Expanding the Backyard Patio

Alternate title: We decided to spend all our money before the baby comes.

Just kidding. Kind of.

Andy has been wanting to put in a patio for a long time. I didn’t think it was worth it. When we got pregnant I really didn’t think it made sense to spend the money. But then one day I was mowing the lawn and had a vision of how good it would look and how much more enjoyable our outdoor space would be with it.

That was all the encouragement Andy needed. A few weeks later we signed a contract and were put on the schedule for installation!

Wisdom of the day: If you are thinking of doing this yourself, just don’t. You know we love us some DIY, but this is not worth it. Every little detail is crucial to having a patio that can stand the test of time. It took our crew of professionals 3.5 days to complete the project. It was the best project ever. We did NOTHING and all the mess stayed outside!

The Process:

backyard before patioYou can see above our old patio was just a tiny cement slab.

backyard side before patio The side of our house. Very messy looking. Always. Andy convinced me that having a walkway from the driveway would be really usable. I was super skeptical.

backyard patio installationBuilding out the pathway and taking our gutters underground!

backyard patio installationHere they have mapped out the whole patio. It would have taken us all summer to get to this point. It took them like a day.

patio paverstone deliveryAll the pavers delivered. Though our house did stay clean during this project, our driveway was another story.

laying pavers for patioAs much as I really liked some of the more modern looking bricks with gray tones, it made sense to stick to the more traditional reds to coordinate with the orangey brick on our house.

You get the idea. We had a tiny patio. We made it big. They worked hard. Here’s what we got!

paverstone pathway patioI planted some new shrubbery to hide the drain and frame the house a little. You can see we planted grass. It likely will need some more work next summer too.

paverstone pathway to patio side yardI have plans to make the side flower bed a lot nicer next year, but this is good progress! Love how the rose of sharon creates an entrance into the backyard.

entrance to patioThe patio is actually a bit elevated from the rest of the yard. After they finished the installation we spent two days working incredibly hard, laying mulch, planting sod and seed, cleaning up the beds. It’s not perfect but it is more than presentable!

patio firepit areaIgnore the hose laying out. We have to keep the grass seed moist! When we decided on the layout of the new patio we were both really excited to have a sitting area where we could put a firepit. We ordered this one online. Over time the orangey color will turn more red and brown.

more firepit area patioWith a baby on the way and kids at our house all the time, I was concerned about having a firepit. The one we purchased had an optional lid. I love it because not only can we keep it sealed (the lid is heavy and not something a kid can just knock off) when not in use but it also becomes a little tabletop – perfect for kids to eat on.

dining area for patioHere the patio is from another angle. The grill and smoker are along the house. Next year we hope to build out a counter space next to the grill.

dining area for patio paversWe’ve been enjoying having the patio set out a little from the house and not directly under the pine trees like it was before. Next year I will probably add some planters for some color in this area.

galvanized tub water featureOne last fun addition we did before we cut off any more spend on the patio area. We love the sound of a fountain in the backyard. So soothing! But doing a built in fountain just wasn’t in the budget nor did it make sense really for our neighborhood. Andy purchased this tub on Amazon and a water pump and built our own! We figured it was a small investment and I can always use the tub for a planter or something. But the nights we’ve been outside it has been a nice background noise.

And that’s it! Here’s hoping for some beautiful fall weather so we can enjoy the patio as much as possible before winter comes!

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San Francisco: Not Portland, But It’ll Do


I will post pictures of our remodeled guest bathroom at some point. I promise. We still have lots of finishing details to do though, ranging from plumbing the sink to buying new towels.

One reason the bathroom is still a ways from being legit done is we are basically jet setters [ha!] and swung out to San Francisco for the fastest trip ever. We landed Friday morning and left Sunday night. Whew!

My summary of San Francisco: It’s no Portland. But it was pretty nice.

We did so much in our three days there.

We did all the touristy stuff in one day, like visit the Golden Gate.

SanFranciscoSaw the sea lions. Stinky. But still cute?

San_Francisco_Sea_LionsHad good seafood.

San_Francisco_CodMotherThe next day Andy was at a client so I made myself comfortable in downtown Santa Cruz.

Santa_Cruz

I can spend forever in a coffee shop like this one. If I hadn’t been hungry for lunch I likely would have just sat here all day.
Santa_Cruz_Verve_CoffeeOnce Andy was done with the client he and his coworker joined me for a little sight seeing and shopping. I’m not even going to explain this picture. Just, c’mon. This guy. So lovable.

Santa_Cruz_ShoppingOur last day was truly a whirlwind. We went up to Sonoma, did a wine tasting then whirled around to see the redwoods at Muir Woods.

Muir_WoodsMy favorite part of the trip. Awing.

RedwoodsFrom there we sauntered over to Sausalito for drinks and french fries [true story]. Mostly just to enjoy this view.

Sausalito_SunsetWe caught the red-eye back home and I have been paying for it all week. At least I get to sleep in my own bed. Poor Andy was off the next morning for another trip.