The finished herringbone paver design.
(Image credit: Laura Watson)
(Image credit: number)

Name: Laura Watson
Type of Project: Outdoor renovation
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Type of building: Semi-detached shop front/cottage with 1200 sq. ft. backyard

The Renovation Diaries are a collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

Paving! This is the first work we are doing which will actually be a part of the new garden, as opposed to preparation work, so it’s very exciting. We’ve chosen a simple charcoal concrete paver that will be laid in a 45° herringbone pattern to give some interesting detail to the area (Tommaso says I always choose the most difficult to lay patterns). The pavers will extend past the pergola into the garden to create an area approx. 30 square meters for outdoor entertaining.

(Image credit: Laura Watson)

We removed the red clay pavers from under the existing pergola area. Most of these are in good condition and so we will keep them and re-use them for the walkway to the garage.

Our temporary storage solution.
(Image credit: Laura Watson)
Luckily we have a small passage that runs the length of the house which we are using to store everything that belongs outdoors while we complete the garden work. It’s less than ideal, and I’m sure Rika is not impressed with the new location of her kennel, but we can make do for a while.
Compacting the levelling sand.
(Image credit: Laura Watson)
Checking the levels.
(Image credit: Laura Watson)

We made sure that the levels will run off any water away from the house. We hired a compactor for a day to help with the leveling process.

Progress: laying the pavers.
(Image credit: Laura Watson)
Measuring the pavers which need cutting to fill out the edges.
(Image credit: Laura Watson)
So close to finishing to find we were three pavers short!
(Image credit: Laura Watson)

The pavers went down really quickly. There were lots of fiddly bits at the end, measuring the bricks to be cut for the edges and making sure they were a good fit. Unfortunately, we were three pavers short of finishing the job. We calculated the recommended 5% extra bricks when we ordered them, but obviously with all the cuts and edging, we were just short. Luckily our local hardware store sold the same bricks, so we quickly ducked out and picked up the couple of extras that we needed to finish the job.

We edged the pavers with a small amount of concrete to prevent movement.
(Image credit: Laura Watson)

We put a small amount of concrete against the last row of pavers to prevent any movement once the lawn is down.

Last step: sweeping sand to seal the gaps between the pavers.
(Image credit: Laura Watson)

Finally – the sweeping sand. We went for slightly more expensive coloured sand that also contains resin which will set once wet; this will help prevent the fine sand rising from between the bricks and therefore should help prevent any movement of the pavers in the future. It feels so good to have a part of the final design completed!

Estimated time for project: 8 weeks
Time remaining: 5 weeks

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us tomorrow for installment #7 of Laura's Backyard Renovation.

(Images and diary text: Laura Watson)