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The Unlikely Story of the Patio Project: Deck Demolition to Paver Patio

Me, installing the steps

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand. – Vince Lombardi

The Patio Project and the Rotting Deck

My family has always used our backyard deck often, for dinners and relaxing and time with family and friends. This summer, though, after having our chair legs go through the decking, we knew our deck wouldn’t live much longer. We knew we needed new deck boards, even though we had sealed and stained them annually. In August, my three sons agreed to help with the project, and we dove in.

tearing out a deck

I ordered the right lumber from Lowe’s and scheduled delivery, but once my guys had taken the decking off, we discovered the joists below had rotted, too. We made the decision to demolish the entire deck and start over with a patio.

Now, I’m guessing you’re laughing by now. We all know that one home improvement project always turns into a few more than expected. It’s true, and for a mom and her teenage sons, it probably isn’t the smartest thing to take on a huge project when none of us had any experience with decks or patios. But we did.

The deck was a beast to demolish, but my sons did it almost solely on their own. They were amazing.

a blank slate -- the deck is torn out and preparing for pavers
a blank slate — the deck is torn out and preparing for pavers

The Patio Project

The patio, we thought, couldn’t be too difficult — just calculate, watch a few online videos, and go.

There were a few things we learned during the 6 weeks it took to accomplish the patio:

  • Deck footers and bracing bolted to the house does not remove easily
  • Patio stones are heavy. So are the bags of sand and gravel. 40 pounds a piece times a hundred or more = a whole lot of lifting, carrying, and moving.
  • The bigger the patio stone, the more difficult it is to level it.
  • Patios are not accomplished through perfectionism, just through lots and lots of hard work.
Stone by stone, installing a paver patio
Stone by stone, installing a paver patio

The whole process took us four weeks from the first prying up of a deck board to the final sealant being applied to the patio. I spent almost every night after work on some aspect of the project.

Me, installing the steps
Me, installing the steps

But now, it looks and feels great, and it’s added another order of value to the house, both in use and in future value. And though it is not perfect if it is scrutinized with an expert eye, it has been accomplished through a lot of (fun) teamwork, hard work together, and time spent working together toward a common goal. My family and I feel accomplished. I am so grateful for the wonderful helpers and the time and energy to do this — though other things (like this blog) have had to be on hold…

Now, as fall settles in, our only goal is to enjoy it!

Enjoying our new patio
Enjoying the new patio

I hope your summer – into – fall has been a fun one together with your family and friends! – Jennifer

6 thoughts on “The Unlikely Story of the Patio Project: Deck Demolition to Paver Patio

  1. Looks like a wonderful place ! You’ve made precious memories by doing it together, and will make priceless memories in using it together. Due to your motivation and appreciation your sons now have a great accomplishment. Whenever they use the patio they can feel pride in having had a hand (and a back !) in laying it. Impressive. Not only the patio itself but (even more) the family unity it represents. Kudos !!

    1. You’re right — it’s the family unity and accomplishment together that I love the most about it. Hard work is never fun, but hard work together can be. 🙂 Thank you so much, Barbara!

  2. This is what happens when you have an engineer (or two!) in the family. What a wonderful opportunity for all four of you. Congratulations. It looks beautiful.

    Is there anything you can’t do, Jennifer? 🙂

    1. Thank you, Michelle — it was a fun project, especially now that it’s finished! 🙂 Thank you so much!

  3. Great work. Very Happy for you. If you make up your mind everything is possible ..

    1. Hi Rohit, that is the truth — when we focus our minds on an accomplishment, we find that we can do it. Thank you!

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