Our house isn’t big, so outdoor living spaces are key. Plus, why did we move to Portland in the first place if not to enjoy the outdoors? So after some painting and cosmetic stuff inside, a patio in the backyard was job one. I actually promised my wife and daughter our first hot tub ever as part of our big move West, and the patio is the base for the tub.
We already had a nice big space marked out, 14 by 21, right off the small deck in back. That’s a lot of materials, but stone suppliers all deliver. I actually went with some affordable tumbled concrete pavers from Home Depot, called RumbleStone. A 14×21 space is also a lot of digging, and our tiny fence gates wouldn’t let in a big digging machine.
Luckily, I really only needed to level the area and then build up the base from there, so I went with a shovel and muscle power. Two days later, I was almost done. Good lord. The key is careful layout with stakes and strings, which ensure that you are keeping everything flat, yet tilting the patio a bit away from the house to send water that way.
I’ll be compacting the whole area with a rented tool, called a plate compactor, but to do a bit of tamping and get everything close to level, I made my own tamper, which works awesome!