DIY Patio Project

I have a raised garden bed in my backyard that has been really good at collecting weeds for the past two years. After a failed attempt at a garden, I decided that it would be pretty cool to build a patio/fire pit combo on top of it.

The bed is enclosed by huge railroad ties. First, I measured the area and figured out exactly how many four-cobblestone pavers, bags of polymeric sand, paver base, leveling sand and Chiselwall block I would need.  Next stop — a trip to Lowe’s Home Improvement.

Area cleaned and sprayed with Spectracide killer

After I cleaned out the bed and gave it a good spraying of grass killer, I leveled it. Then I placed an even layer of sand and the four-cobblestone pavers on top. This was the most tedious part of the process (making sure all of the blocks were level.) I would recommend renting a tamper, which was a step that I skipped, and ultimately would have been a huge time-saver.

Leveling sand that I put underneath the pavers

Layout of the pavers sans polymeric sand – as you can see, the railroad ties got more narrow, causing pavers towards the back to overhang

A challenge that I ran into during the project was that the skeleton of the bed got more narrow,  instead of forming an even rectangle. Not a problem. Using a Skil saw and a 7″ diamond blade, I trimmed the pavers to ensure an even fit. Once I was satisfied with the layout and leveling, I push broomed polymeric sand on top of the pavers, namely in between the cracks. Then I lightly sprayed the composition with a garden hose to moisten and harden the sand.

Polysand swept, dried and complete fire pit

My base was complete! Now to the simple part – constructing a fire pit. All that I needed for this part was a chisel to knock the lips off of the block. Then I assembled them into a circle shape and stacked them four blocks high. No joining agent was needed; the blocks are sturdy and do not move. I threw in a few bags of paver base inside the pit so that when I burned wood, it wouldn’t rest on the patio block floor.

At the last minute, I decided to add a pergola for the sole purpose that they’re just flippin’ cool. I read some really good reviews for a Lowe’s 10′ x 10′ matte black pergola that people recommended a few mods on. I assembled the pergola, but added four 4×4 posts inside the hollow legs to ensure durability during storms. I also added black cross-ties to the slats on top of the pergola in case it got windy, and drilled in into the patio block with anchor bolts.

Complete project: pavers, fire pit and pergola

I love my new outdoor space! I purchased two Adirondack chairs and painted them a natural green from the Valspar Eddie Bauer collection.  Let the smore roasting begin!

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