Weekend Highlight: DIY Paver Installation With My Parents

I didn’t make it to flexibility class, K9 nose work, aerial silks or even regular dog training last week. Everything had to stop so I could start working on my backyard. There are four major projects I need to accomplish in order to get my backyard into decent shape.

1. Extend the patio with pavers to create room for the grill and various gardening apparatus.

2. Install two drip irrigation systems. One will be designated for regular plants and shrubs. The other line will be used for the cactus.

3. Plant larger shrubs after adding Bokashi compost to the areas designated for planting.

4. Order and shovel in landscaping rocks.

My original thought was that I could install the paver patio extension on my own. After a trip to Home Depot to find out about renting a vibratory compactor, I realized that I was going to have to ask for help. That machinery is incredibly heavy. There was no way I could maneuver it on my own.

Previously, my mom told me that she and my dad would help me with my backyard projects, but I really didn’t want to bother them. I know my dad is great at figuring out these projects and getting them done nicely, but I hate to ask for help with these kinds of tedious, physical tasks. Finally, I did ask, and I’m glad I did. I enjoyed doing this project with my parents; however, I will still avoid doing anymore projects that require this much work and assistance.

Here is how the project went along:

Before beginning this project, I consulted videos and instructions from both Home Depot and Lowe’s. My parents and I picked up the materials needed and we discussed how we were going to get the project accomplished. We decided to frame the area with 2″ x 6″ x 8′ wooden boards. I had already dug down seven inches into the ground for the 5′ x 8′ area of the patio extension.

Once the framing was up and leveled out, we added the gravel and tamped it down with the compactor. I tried out the compactor and pretty much got pulled around the tiny patio space.

Then, it was time to add the sand. I wanted to try the method of putting down two 1-inch pvc pipes as tracks for leveling out the sand with a 2″ x 4.” That did not work out so great. I was probably doing something wrong because I could not get it to work. Unfortunately, we tediously leveled the sand for each paver as we put them in. We managed to keep good spirits and did not give up on the project or completely break any pavers out of frustration. When we were satisfied with the placement of each paver, it was time to sweep sand into the paver seams and run the compactor over them. It was frightful hearing and watching that heavy machinery pound into the pavers. We crossed our fingers that none of them would break, and they didn’t.

After an incredibly long day that reached some uncomfortably high temperatures, we did finish the task. It looks great and I enjoy having the extended patio. Now it’s time to plan for the drip irrigation system, which I am sure I can do on my own…

About misslittleowl

A teacher writing about local happenings, school adventures, intriguing books, desert gardening, and whatever else she stumbles upon that needs sharing.
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