Patio Walkway

January 11th, 2010


Figured out today that we are stupid, like really stupid.

I blame it on inexperience, but logically if your going to create a gridded cement paver patio it would be wise to level the area, put down sand and install the pavers first.

Maybe it’s just project fatigue. We also drove to Home Depot in my little Scion to pick up 10′ lengths of wood and 30 super heavy cinder blocks. Once we loaded up the cart we realized we had to drive back home and get The Boys truck.

We Are Idiots.


The whole plan was to create a 18 x 18′ gridded cement paver patio around the fire pit with gravel as a filler. It would have been smarter to install those f*cking pavers first but somehow we got gravel happy and thought we needed to level out the area with gravel. Dumb move.

I installed the first row of stepping stones behind the garage today and it required digging out each individual spot, leveling and finessing each stone in a rocky pit of hell, and cursing our own ineptness.

I do think it turned out rad considering the disgusting hamster bedding dog run of death that was there before.

We chose 18 x 18″ cement stepping stones that cost about $50 total.


Now we have to decide what to do:

– Leave it all gravel.
– Install 18 x 18″ pavers at $5 a piece.
– Install 12 x 12″ pavers at $1 a piece.

I’m leaning towards the 12 x 12″ pavers, even though initially I was super opposed to them (I had lofty dreams of like 30 x 30″ pavers till I found out how much they are and how fragile). The smaller ones are WAY easier to work with, could be installed closer together and would be about $150 compared to like $350 for the larger size.

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. DSTRONG on 01/11/2010:

    not sure if i want to ask the cost on the 30×30 paver, but consider it might be worth the added expense if you space a few out amongst a bunch of 12×12 or 18x18s? its a compromise.

    i've been enjoying your blog and look forward to keeping up as I now live in a mid-century brick house in Columbus, Ohio and struggle with all the things I want to change about it

  2. Patricia Ann on 01/11/2010:

    *coo* So pretty. Believe me, seeing that does not make me think you are in any shape of form stupid. 🙂

  3. Mrs. Limestone on 01/11/2010:

    Wow – that is a ton of work. But its looking good.

    Not sure if you want votes but I tend to think 12 inch pavers are a little small when floating with gravel. Makes missing them easier.

    Don't be so hard on yourself. Anyone could have made that mistake.

  4. Anonymous on 01/11/2010:

    This is seriously the sort of project you can only learn by doing, so don't feel bad. I think the 12 inch pavers could be great if you took advantage of the smaller scale; i'm kind of imagining a pattern like a crossword puzzle, with the black squares being moss or gravel, or something, then with an irregular edge as it blends back into the gravel… if you position the pavers edge-to-edge (say, like the keys of a computer keyboard), instead of floating them, then the actual size of each paver matters much less… easier to work with, and you get more control over the result?

    Have been enjoying the outside posts a lot! good taste + heavy machinery = heaven!

  5. Anonymous on 01/11/2010:

    PS: The patina of the old fence now looks really great and intentional next to the new gravel and pavers: new and old, stone and organic together, they look great! …whatever color you settle on for the house should be in the same warm grey palette…

  6. bianca on 01/11/2010:

    nice. clean and simple.

  7. Ryan Green on 01/11/2010:

    i love the 12×12 stones that you linked to. i know you're using gravel instead of grass though, so maybe if you use 12×12 you choose a tinted stone instead of a light gray? maybe something darker so they don't get lost in the gravel?

  8. Anonymous on 01/11/2010:

    We made the same mistake! But we're lazy so we just left the pavers on top of the gravel. Someday, I'll get around to getting them level, but for now they look really wrong.

  9. elauinc on 01/11/2010:

    aha. Thanks for this post. Am considering pavers and gravel walkway myself. Would have TOTALLY done the same thing had you not posted. Funnily, we fold the seats down on my scion and it becomes our truck. I wish we had a real one to haul big loads. lookin' good! Can't wait to see the finished product.

  10. Anonymous on 01/11/2010:

    Does all this gravel raise the temp? Seems like heat would be reflected. Or is that not an issue?

  11. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/11/2010:

    We haven't noticed a change. It is a lot less dusty though.

  12. Ryan on 01/11/2010:

    Sometimes iIt's easy to get caught up in the process and not realize that you missed a step (or two) in between. I think you should move all the gravel and start with a level sand bed > pavers > then gravel. It will probably take less time than digging out each paver anyway. I also want to do my patio with 24" ish sized squares, but was surprised that they cost more – and will be harder to work with.

    However, after seeing the pic or your side yard with the 18" squares, well, they look so small and I think that 12" squares for the patio might get really busy.

  13. alex sunday on 01/11/2010:

    how about if you made your grid out of 12x12s, but each grid was 4 of them butted together to make a 24×24 square? a little cheaper than the 18×18, but bigger, almost like the 30×30!

    i think you could make that look pretty sweet. 🙂

Comment It Up!