Concrete Blocks and Recycled Pavers: Our Patio is Done!

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The patio project took months longer than we expected. It also took more concrete blocks and patio pavers than we estimated. However, it was worth the many trips to Habitat for Humanity ReStore searching for used and bargain pavers and concrete blocks. Multiple trips to the Big Box hardware stores to purchase more pavers and block, as well as bags and bags of concrete and tubes of adhesives. And two loads of sand that filled the bed of our truck and stressed our muscles to unload it.

20170610 starting patio
Temporary steps and stakes for patio – June 10, 2017

When we moved here, there was a small patio made of 16 x 16 red brick pavers. We stacked and re-stacked them several times while working on the sun porch and fence projects. A good portion of them were used for our temporary sun porch steps. We used those steps from mid-November when the sun porch was completed until we replaced them with this project. On June 10th, we measured the desired length and width of the patio and placed the stakes in the ground. If you look closely, you can see them in the above picture. What doesn’t show in the picture is the slope of the yard. To make the patio level, we needed to build a raised based for the lowest portion.

After many hours of digging and placing the concrete block base, the patio was starting to take shape.20170705_204800 The blocks have been filled with cement to provide stability and a solid base for the pavers to rest on. The pavers resting on the concrete blocks were attached with adhesive. The next step was to backfill  the area with dirt to level it out and pack it down to provide a good base for the pavers.


The majority of the dirt was dug from under the carport on the edge of the wooded area on our property. Some interesting background on the carport can be found at our post, How to Move a Carport – Take 2.

Andy filled the wheelbarrow with dirt, attached it to the mover and drove it down to the patio to dump it.20170707_084452 He repeated this process many times until there was enough dirt to bring the entire base to about two inches from the top of the blocks. This space would be filled with the leveling sand.20170707_151542

The next step was the sand. Lots and lots of sand. We got one truck load, and after using all of it, went back for another full load. Two tons of sand!



Here are a couple of progress shots as the sands was spread and the blocks were placed. 20170712_195302

We needed to cover the sand with a tarp to keep it protected from the rain and the dogs. The puppy thought digging in the sands and spreading it around was helping.20170723_165946

After the pavers were down, the rail was placed on the higher side and around the corner. The support posts are fastened into the concrete blocks with 4 inch concrete anchoring bolts. This picture also shows the partially finished steps off the patio into the yard.20170813_154539

20170824_195206This picture was taken on August 24th. Two of the rails are up and the small retaining wall on the far corner is almost complete. By this point, we really wanted to finish the project and move on to another. The progress picked up and
we didn’t take as many pictures. It looks like Sadie is ready for the patio to be done too.

After the last rail was up, the steps were completed and the downspout was redirected to a drain tile. Andy applied the polymeric locking sand between the pavers and several days later, applied a sealant coating to protect it.

You can see the gas grill happily covered in the corner of the new patio. We had been using it down in the yard by the privacy fence since early June. So happy we are done with that!

We are considering the project done for the season. We want to stain the rail and paint the concrete blocks, but that will have to wait for now. Other projects and obligations are calling us. If you have any questions about our patio project, send us a question using the Contact Us page or leave a comment below.


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