May 07, 2007


Finished the patio over the weekend. After digging the hole, framing it and putting in a groundcloth, I filled in a few inches of gravel, and then sand. I marked the levels of the different layers with sticks. It was fun to level the sand using a long board but when I found myself making zen patterns with the rake I knew it was time to go in.

Some people rent a vibrator to pack the gravel and sand. I wanted to do the whole project myself (and save the bother of renting heavy equipment), and so I made some stompers by screwing some old shoes onto some boards. Our three-year-old was inspired by this and had a great time stomping around the yard. I gave the gravel and sand a few good rounds of stomping and also sprayed it with a hose to help it settle. Here are my stompers sitting on a pile of winter tires in the garage:

A second ground cloth went on top of the sand, and then I put on the bricks. I cut a brick in half using a hammer and chisel to fit in by the downspout. My wife read in the paper about a stoneworker with the city who would lay 20 square meters of cobblestones a day-- in comparison this layman laid 18 square meters on Friday last week.

The last step is to sweep fine sand into the spaces between the bricks, locking them in place. The sand works its way into the gaps over time, so you have to keep at it for a couple of weeks.

This picture was taken after a rain shower. There's some extra sand on top that needs to be swept down.


At May 08, 2007 2:13 PM , Blogger rigtenzin said...

Very nice work. It looks great and I bet it will last a long time.

When I built my paver walkway, I borrowed the fat lady next door. I had her sit on my shoulders and I stomped around the gravel to compact it. Maybe that's why my back was so sore after the project.

At May 08, 2007 4:21 PM , Anonymous Tim said...

That looks great. good job avoiding the pounder rental.

At May 10, 2007 9:42 PM , Blogger Papa Twister said...

Meticulous! It's just a patio, but it speaks volumes about who you are.

At July 01, 2007 5:08 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, that does look great, my husband and I are about to do one at our house and trying to figure out how we would even get the compactor to our house if we had to rent. We only drive a Vibe and don't know if we could handle the weight of the machine. When I looked at this my husband brought up that when we had asphalt put in at our last house, it had a 300 foot drive but we had them do the side walks, about 80 feet of sidewalk and they did this same thing, I completely forgot about it. So thanks for putting this out here.

At July 01, 2007 5:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I should have said they did the sidewalks with the boards not the 300 feet of drive.


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