Since move-in day, I’ve been dreaming about making over our back patio. It is a large area (almost 400 sqft) that was originally concrete slabs that sloped towards the house, which caused water issues in the basement. There were some large evergreen bushes that took up about 5 feet of usable space, some boring concrete stairs, and some outdated railings. It was an okay space, just not one that you’d really call “outdoor living.” I’ve had big dreams for this DIY patio and we’ve been working on it for a couple months now! We are in the process of finishing up the construction but I might have already ordered a few things!
The Patio: Before
Our back patio has come a long way since we moved in… below is a photo of what it looked like during demo of the first floor! Since this photo, we’ve replaced our siding, the back door, removed the stairs, and replaced the windows.
We looked into a few options for replacing the patio, but ultimately decided to go with pavers. Mudjacking (lifting up the slabs) was not an option because they were cracked. We knew we wanted to rip out the stairs and bushes, so the concrete would’ve looked awkwardly pieced together. Getting new concrete slabs poured was quoted at around $6,000, which was quite a bit more than we wanted to spend. Pavers came in right around $600, and other materials (class 5 gravel, paver sand, and polymeric sand) added another roughly $400, bringing the whole base in at around $1000.
We are adding a privacy fence that will span the depth of the patio between our house and the neighbor’s, as well as a pergola and wood stairs. The upright posts for the pergola are up, and the stairs are almost finished! It’s finally close enough to finished that I’ve started shopping for furnishings. I can’t wait to install everything and start enjoying it!
Here’s what the patio looked like after we demo’d the concrete slabs and stairs (new siding and windows pictured as well):
Here’s what (part of) the patio looks like after the pavers and upright supports for the pergola went in:
The Design Plans
I’m envisioning a true outdoor living oasis- dining area, outdoor “living room,” and firepit area, complete with pretty lighting, plenty of plants, and a generally neutral, simple design.
We’ll have a long dining table under the pergola. The roughly 6′ tall privacy fence will span the entire width of the patio and wrap around to the posts on the right side of the house. On the long side of the fence (opposite the chairs), we’ll have a built-in bench and planters.
Below is an idea similar to what I’d like to achieve for our fence. I’m aiming for a modern, clean design and want to incorporate lots of greenery with the planters as well as some hanging plants on the pergola.
In addition to the dining area, we’ll have a lounge area that will have a sofa and chairs, large umbrella, and firepit, as well as a large cantilever umbrella for some extra shade.
The design board below encompasses the general style I’m going for with the seating area. Because our pavers are light gray and our house is darker green, I wanted to use materials would provide some warmth and contrast to both the pavers and house. The rug will stand out against the pavers, but will give the furniture and white planters a chance to stand out with the dark green background. The white cushions and umbrella will “pop” against the house as well.
I actually recently purchased some of the items already and installed them- I couldn’t wait! It’s not finished yet, but here’s what it looks like currently!
I am so excited to finally get this patio finished up so that we can enjoy the rest of the summer on it! For some perspective on just how long this project has taken, we tore out the concrete slabs and stairs in October of 2018, so it’s been about 8 months with no back stairs and a huge dirt patch in our backyard. Yes, we literally jumped in and out of our house for 8 months! Our poor dog got so used to it that I think he was confused when we built the back steps!
This area will truly be an extension of our home and add close to 400 sqft of living space that we will use almost all year. I definitely plan on investing in an outdoor heater so that we can enjoy it late into the fall!
Stay tuned for the full reveal, as well as some DIY tutorials for the air conditioning cover, pergola, and fence!
Shop the design board sources below:
4 piece sofa & chairs set | Wayfair
Rug | Target
Firepit | AllModern
Umbrella | Wayfair
Coir Rug | Studio McGee
Tall white planter | Target
White ribbed planter | Target
White bowl planter | Target
Candle holder with concrete base | Target
Cafe lights | Brighttech
Floral pillow | Target
White and gray striped pillow | West Elm
Thin striped lumbar pillow | West Elm
Two-pack white pillows | Target
Crochet gray & cream pillow | World Market
White & gray painted palm pillow | Pottery Barn