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Yes, it's possible to build a patio (attractively and for a fraction of the pro price) if you know what's in store beforehand.

build-a-patioRusset Street Reno


Some women long for diamonds, my mother just wants to build a patio. Whether it's the dead of winter or the height of summer, the patio project is the perennial topic of conversation, especially if she happens to be in earshot of my dad.

"Just think, we could find some stone and put the patio right behind the dining room window," she says, gesturing her arm in a sweeping motion before the window, like Vanna White introducing a prime showcase prize.

"Nothing big, just a small patio, enough for a table and chairs, how hard could it be?"

The patio still hasn't been built, no matter how hard she lobbies. My mom can convince anyone about anything to the point where I think of her as a People Whisperer. If you give her 5 minutes, she'll convince you to get bangs and paint all of your furniture white. Even if you didn't intend to ask her about hairdos and furniture makeovers. But she hasn't made progress on the patio project, because there is an unshakable fact that my father must know deep down in his heart: Building a patio is difficult.

Which is true.

But it's not impossible. Sara at Russet Street Reno tackled the project and the results (above) seem worth any sort of trouble that may have come up in the process. Her quoted price to get it built was $8,000, but her DIY (materials and all) set her back $2,400. Here's the before:

build-a-patioRusset Street Reno


See? Totally worth it. Sara details the whole process from start to finish on Russet Street Reno, but here are a few of her "Nobody will tell you this beforehand" tips:

- Most dumps won't take dirt/sod. After digging the patio area with a rented sod cutter (a must), Sara and her husband tried to rid themselves of the huge pile of sod. Turns out that most dumps won't take it. But a craigslist ad turned up many people who were happy to take the dirt off their hands (and lawn).
- Skip the playground sand. When filling joints, sand is a must. But use polymeric sand instead of the playground stuff. It'll dry to a hard finish that keeps weeds at bay.
- Pallets are refundable. Once your done with your project, return the wooden pallets back to the place where you bought the stone. You'll get a small refund for doing so.

Want some inspiration before your build a patio? Check out...
5 Patios in the Round
Patio Flooring Ideas: What's Right For You?
Five Deck and Patio Options

And to see how a pro installs patio pavers, watch this...




  • Sara @ Russet Street Reno

    Hey, thanks for the shout-out! I can't wait to start using our hard-earned patio this weekend :)

    Reply
  • 1 Comments / 1 Pages
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