Blog Fest: Patio Planning

With a year of blogging under our belt and seeing only one renovation project start from square one is a little depressing.  Too bad we didn’t hop on the blog train before we started finishing our basement, huh?  Well, this year, we’ve got some big projects in store and we’re going to take you along for the ride.  Let the Blog Fest begin!  First project on our to do list, rip up the old and pour a new concrete patio.

I’ve already shared my annoyances.  First, I think it would be helpful to share the layout of our current patio.  The walkway to the garage is completely covered with dirt, so I didn’t bother drawing that in.

The grey us where our current patio is, the dark grey as rock and the brown circle toward the top is the Ash tree, which we will cut down at some point.  The south-east corner doesn’t extend completely.  The new patio will, like this:

Over the weekend, we started planning the layout by pounding long nails into the corners.  Vincent had to help, of course.


With the stakes in place, Ben wrapped string around to form a perimeter.  Then we moved a few nails to tweak the design and took a few walks around to test the layout.

We decided on an angled path from the main patio area to the garage.

In addition to breaking up a ton (or several) of concrete, here is the plan:

Our current patio is roughly 8 feet wider than the planned patio will be, but will remain the same depth from the house.  We’ll add an angled walking path from the new, smaller patio to the garage.  The concrete will go around the basement bathroom window well (the half circle), up to the house.  A walking path will sit a few inches from the edge of my office window well (the white box with rounded corners), leaving room on either side of the window for rocks with a small plant.  I’d also love to have a row of hydrangeas along the eastern edge of the patio, to soften the edges and act as a pretty barrier between the yard and patio.  And because I love hydrangeas.  And because our yard slopes there and it may be tough for little feet to manage.  And because I love hydrangeas.

We’ll keep the concrete stairs because they are in perfect condition, just need a good cleaning.  The new concrete slab will sit a few inches higher than the surrounding grass to help keep dirt off, but three or so inches below the bottom stair.  This should help explain.

Because we’re removing the area where the grills are, we’ll have to relocate the grill.  Probably to the right of the stair was you walk out, south for the men reading this.  Why is it that men always use North, South, East and West when giving directions while women usually use right, left or straight?  Or landmarks.  When we pour the concrete in the back, we’ll also pull out the pavers in our front walkway to pour a seamless concrete slab extending from the stairs to our concrete driveway.

Some of the pavers will be repurposed as the grill platform.  How about a little side by side plan comparison?

What warm weather projects are on your to do list?  Have you ever poured a concrete patio?  Or completed any sort of patio?

13 thoughts on “Blog Fest: Patio Planning

    1. Hi L,

      I just drew this in Photoshop because that’s what I’m comfortable with. It’s not to scale, but you get the idea. A floor planning program would work and everything would be to scale… Thanks!


  1. Thanks for the side-by-side comparison – because I’m reading the words and it’s all 8 feet shorter and I was like – what? I didn’t see that! So yes, I appreciate the side-by-side!

    Also annoying – when they ask how many miles it is somewhere – Um, I don’t know, about 38 minutes – who counts miles???

    1. Oh Steph, that is annoying. Girls seem to measure in time, not distance. Or is that just me. And you’re welcome for the side by side. I know it’s confusing without it and I can’t get accurate pics to show because I’d have to get on our roof. Haha.

  2. This is our year for a new deck as well. We spent ALL of last summer planning (arguing about) it and have finally come to a design we both like – I get my hammock area and he doesn’t lose any of the grass. Now to just get going on it. We’ve never built a deck before so this will be fun! Or at least entertaining for the neighbours.

    1. Thanks, Ashley! Hopefully it looks as good in real life as it does on paper. Fingers crossed. 🙂

  3. My husband and I are putting in a new concrete patio, too. We removed some concrete horseshoe pits (the previous owners were state qualifiers in horseshoe tournaments), re-leveled the yard, and replanted grass last month. The last two weekends have been spent planning and building the forms for the concrete. After hauling in dirt, we still need more… Hopefully, we will see concrete this weekend!!! I’m glad to know we aren’t the only ones…

  4. We just had a stamped concrete patio poured last week! 🙂 I too love hydrangeas and planted two under our bay window last year. I’ve been itching to plant more and when I saw how our walkway to the patio ended up being nicely curved, I knew I’d have to flank the “entrance” to the patio with 2 more! Off to the garden center this weekend…

    ps- I’m vegetarian too 🙂

    1. Hi Karey,

      It’s a ton of work, isn’t it?!? Here’s to hoping you’ll get concrete over the weekend!!

      Rebecca, Your patio looks great! I ran the stamped idea past Ben and he declined. Oh well. Yay for more hydrangeas in the world!! Can’t wait to see how yours turns out! And yay for vegetarians! 🙂

  5. Love the new plans for the layout. This is going to be such a nice addition to your backyard.

    I’m right with you about the directions – I always use landmarks. It drives my husband crazy.

  6. Its great to see that good planning and time has been put into creating and designing your beautiful patio. All the concepts and ideas that have been used all blend in well together. Remember to use furniture that will match up with the surroundings and also furniture that you will be comfortable with.

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