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Backyard patio

I have wanted a backyard patio for years. Being stuck at home during the stay at home orders opened a perfect opportunity to finally fulfill my wish. 
The area right outside the door that lead to the backyard yielded the perfect spot for our patio. The area had always drove me crazy because it became a catch all for everything. Sometimes you could possibly find ladders, kayaks, hitch haulers, along with whatever else found a temporary home there. All of the displaced items were put into their rightful places and the area was cleaned of all items. The area was then tilled to loosen the ground and level it the best we could. We raked back and forth to get the dirt to lay where we thought it looked level. We removed whatever we felt was excess and not needed. That dirt was set aside to use later. 
Next was a trip to the hardware store. Thick weed barrier, stakes, and a stamper completed the purchase. The stamper was used to pack the ground. This is a hard and tiring job that seems endless. One definitely gets arm day checked off with this step of the project. The ground needs to be packed over and over to ensure it is nice and solid. You don't want to see any loose dirt. 

After hours of stamping the ground we laid the thick weed barrier. We unrolled the barrier and laid it on the packed dirt. We were sure to have it overlap where the edges meet. We did this to ensure no weeds would grow up in any cracks. The stakes were used to hold the barrier in place. It took a little bit of effort to push them through the barrier and into the ground. Overall they were pretty easy to use. 

After pricing edging stones from big box stores and a local nursery that also specializes in landscaping, we were able to find the best deal at the local nursery. We snagged edging stones from their clearance section that were leftovers from a previous job. $1.00 a stone was half the price we found at the big box stores. 
After placing the edging stones where we wanted them along the outside edge, we backfilled the outside edge with the dirt we removed and set aside. We wanted the top of the edging stones to be level with the yard on the outside edge. This area on the outside of the edging stones will be an eye sore until the grass grows back. 

We didn't plan as well as we could of doing this project. If planned better, one could definitely finish the patio in one day. After we priced pea gravel bags at the big box stores compared to buying a bucket load from the local nursey, the nursey was by far a better deal. By far I mean by a few hundred dollars. We used our truck to haul the gravel and paid $85 a bucket load. We originally thought two bucket loads would cover the area. Unfortunately we needed three loads to cover adequately. Only problem was the nursey had shorten hours at the time and the project had to wait days to be completed. We used a push broom to sweep the pea gravel from the truck bed. Once in the area the backside of a rake was used to spread throughout the area. 

After filling with the pea gravel came the fun part. We had to purchase patio furniture to fill the space. It was tough to figure out what to do but we finally decided on a firepit with chairs and a hammock. Grass seed was purchased to grow next to the edging stones where we backfilled with the extra dirt. 

Cost break down:
Thick weed barrier roll                       $75
Stamper (borrow one if you can)     $35
Stakes                                                   $ 5
Edging Stones ($1 each)                   $36
Pea Gravel (3 buckets $85 each)      $255
Grass seed (used all over yard)       $85
Fire Pit and 4 chairs                           $250
Hammock stand and hammock      $250
                                                              _______
Total for fulling my wish                  $991

Without the furniture the cost was under $500.  
We splurged on getting a more expensive hammock. 
I  am extremely happy with space and currently have no regrets.  The grass has grown back making the eye sore of the back filled dirt a decent memory.  It was a few days hard work to have numerours days sitting in the backyard swinging in the wind on the hammock or killing the night next to the fire pit. 


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