|The backyard before we started the redo.|
- We already have flagstone in the sideyard (with thyme growing between the stones), so if we went with a stone material, it would need to be the same. This eliminated pavers and other kinds of stone or masonry.
- Our backyard is shallow, with a retaining wall about 18 feet from the house, so we wanted it to be ground level, not raised like our deck was. Scott and I called our deck "the raft" because that's what it looked like, except it was surrounded by grass instead of water.
- It needed to be relatively smooth, so that patio furniture could slide across it without getting caught on seams.
- We wanted the material to be virtually maintenance free, but we wanted it to looks semi-natural and varied.
The exposed aggregate in this photo was small river rock. Looking back, I should have been more conscious of what kind of aggregate was in my concrete mixture. I expected it to be similar to this, only smaller (because our contractor told me it would be pea gravel). Our aggregate is not as round or smooth but it is just as colorful. And it's fine. I'll show you some photos of it after it is power washed and sealed at the end of May.
But for now, check out the pouring phase. Whew, this is one project I am SO glad we didn't try to DIY. I don't know how much it cost, because the cost was included in our overall bid from the contractor who did all of the backyard work (retaining wall, fountain, burying electrical, rerouting sprinklers, patio, and pergola), but the most recent estimate I got for a similar sized patio was around $6000. That was about 5 years ago -- the price tag definitely scared us off. Based on our whole backyard redo cost, I'm thinking this came in at a much smaller price, like closer to $3000 or $4000. And that, my friends, was worth it. Because this was a big patio and not good for a beginner concrete project.
|The truck arrives.|
|They pumped the concrete from the front, through the side yard,|
and around to the back.
|Our contractor dug out part of our retaining wall and hill to make room for |
the firepit and fountain.
|I asked for two wide steps so that kids would have a place to sit and eat. I love the |
curves that our contractor added. It gives a bit of character to the very square
and flat backside of our house.
If you'd like to get a step ahead of the blog, check out the Backyard Redo album on my Facebook page. Lots more backyard redo photos there!