Prepping for a Patio

This is one of the major projects we have been working on the past few weeks.  Since moving into our house, we have discussed this patio.  We have spent a great deal of time planning the entire outdoor living space.  This entire space will be done in stages.  The first stage is laying a patio with pavers.  The second stage will consist of us building an overhead cover.  We are still working out the design elements and a plan of execution for that stage.  The third and final stage will be to build an outdoor kitchen area.  Because there is a pond behind our house, we would like to create a place where we can not only barbecue, but also clean and cook any fish we catch. 

About a month ago we finally began working on phase one of the backyard, the patio.  The hardest part of this project is leveling the ground.  The first thing we did was mark the area with stakes.


Then, we had to dig up the sod.  At first, Mr. C thought he could get the sod up by shoveling.  He was right, you can, it just takes a long time and it is back breaking work.  We wanted to salvage the sod in an attempt to save it to use in other areas of the yard.  We also gave some to our neighbors that needed some.


Shoveling was taking too long.  So we decided to rent a sod cutter from a local tool rental company.  It cost us $78 to rent the sod cutter for 4 hours.  We knew this wouldn't take long and four hours would be plenty of time. 

To use the sod cutter, we adjusted the blade accordingly and you simply run it across the area you wish to cut.  My brother came by to help us.  He rolled up the sod after Mr. C passed with the cutter.


Once all the sod was cut and out of the way, the ground looked like this. 


The next step was to level the ground.  This took the greatest amount of time. Our neighbors and Mr. C's mom helped us with this part. We used tillers to break up the dirt and shoveled the dirt around to make the surface as level as possible.

Once the ground was finally level, we laid a sand base for the pavers.  For this, we used all purpose sand rather than play sand.


To level the sand, Mr. C passed a 2x4 over the entire surface.


Now that the ground was prepped it was ready for the pavers.  We will share the method we used for this in a later post.

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