Erin & Ken's Backyard: Paving The Way

Erin & Ken's Backyard: Paving The Way

Nora Taylor
Jun 30, 2016
(Image credit: Submitted by Erin & Ken)

Name: Erin & Ken
Type of Project: Backyard Redesign
Location:Upper Tangletown — Minneapolis, Minnesota
Type of building: 1930s Tudor-Style Duplex

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The patio rock, sand, and pavers arrived on Friday, and Ken and I both took the afternoon off to begin laying the rock base layer. Our small Minneapolis driveway was only large enough to accommodate the delivery of the pavers and sand, and thus the rock, which was delivered in bulk via truck, was delivered in a heaping pile on the side of the street in front of our house. We pulled a free permit from the City for the rock delivery, and got right to wheel-barrowing it to the back of the yard the moment it arrived.

→ For the full step-by-step tutorial: How to Lay a Brick Paver Patio

Ken using a compactor to pack down the layer of rock.
(Image credit: Submitted by Erin & Ken)

By the time the army of patio layers (aka family and friends) arrived on Saturday morning, Ken and I had the rock layer nearly completely laid and leveled. However, there was still much to do, so we were incredibly thankful to have all hands on deck helping with every component of the process.

The sand layer going on. We used PVC pipes to create an even thickness across the patio.
(Image credit: Submitted by Erin & Ken)

Our paver supplier recommended using a circular saw diamond blade to cut the pavers, and while the diamond blade worked fine for straight cuts, we found it wasn't quite accurate enough for the angled cuts needed to create the curves in our design. Luckily, our friend, Blake, owns a tile saw and offered to bring it over to make the angled cuts. By the end of the day on Saturday, the entire patio and pathway were in place, and the only portion left to pave was the semi-circle landing in front of the garage man door/driveway.

The pavers going in! We had 3 people running pavers from the driveway, and 2 people laying them.
(Image credit: Submitted by Erin & Ken)

On Sunday we woke up to a chilly, rainy day, but nonetheless, Ken and I were determined to wrap up the paver-laying that weekend, so we threw on our rain gear and knocked out the last bit in the rain. I'm sure our new neighbors now think we're crazy!

Sunday morning in the rain as we wrap up the semi-circle landing.
(Image credit: Submitted by Erin & Ken)

Later that week, once the rain cleared up, we finished the patio with polymer sand and a few coats of water with the garden hose.

Spraying the polymer sand with water to help set it into place.
(Image credit: Submitted by Erin & Ken)

Laying the new patio is probably our largest undertaking with the backyard, so it feels really good to have it checked off the list. Next week we'll be tackling several smaller projects: building the semi-raised planter beds, installing and painting the new garage man door, and painting the existing back door. Exciting times! Hope to meet you back here next week!

Estimated time for project: 7 weeks
Time remaining: 5 Weeks
Perecent Done: 30%

→ Read the Erin and Ken's full diary series or, check out all of our renovation diaries.

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