Updated: Jun 27, 2018
We try to spend as much time as we can living outdoors. We strive to create outdoor spaces that are as homey and comfortable as it is inside. In this outdoor space we were able to start with a fairly blank canvas. The previous owners had done little to maintain the yard and had not spent much effort updating the space. As our own design we were able to utilize our own man power to make the project more affordable. We also used materials that were used, re-purposed, on sale and even someone else’s trash. We did what we had to do. Doing your own work does take time and lots of effort however we were able to choose and implement the design from start to finish.
We had designed a space that eliminated more than half of the grass space to allow for a large patio that would span the entire south side of the yard. The patio connected an existing concrete pad and an existing elevated deck.
We began the project with installing sod, which we incidentally obtained for free from overstock from someone else’s sod purchase. It was starting to go bad so we had to install the sod without proper soil prep. We had to just go for it. When you prepare to DIY a sod install there a few recommended tasks a homeowner should prepare for. You should plan to dedicate two weekends to this job. The first weekend is for soil prep and the next is for install. Before you begin you should have the soil tested for ph levels and research what materials you will need to add to the soil for optimum ph levels for sod.The ideal pH for most grass types is 6.5 to 7.0. This would be an optimum pH but different grass types can tolerate a range of pH levels, you will need to check on your sod’s specific needs. You can get a rapid soil tester from any home improvement store such as this Rapidtest soil test kit. Once you know what your soil needs you can add what it needs to reach optimum ph. Next, you add organic soil to the area and use a Roto Tiller to throughly mix the soil into the area. A roto tiller can be rented at a home improvement store. You will need to make the area level and sloped so you do not pool water or create lumps in you grass. Then finally you will lay the sod.
We then began the process of installing a brick paver patio. We purchased pavers through craigslist. We created a curved shape to the patio using retaining wall pieces and laid a zig-zag brick in standard brick pattern.
The final design stages included the purchase of a patio conversation set, refinishing patio cushions, and lots of spray paint. We had planned to re-finish the fence the following summer but we moved before that could happen. Up until that point we spent many hours enjoying our oasis.