June 14, 2024

Home Model

For incredible home

Backyard Paradise: Open Floor Plan for the Great Outdoors

This week, we’re in Charlotte, North Carolina, to create a beautiful outdoor area for our Backyard Paradise contest winners.

Courtney Claugus was selected as the lucky winner of our Backyard Paradise contest, so we’re giving her and her husband Adam’s backyard a makeover with help from our friends at Quikrete and Pavestone.

Read on to learn about some of the projects we tackled. 

Pavestone Avant XL paver patios in greystone
These large, gray linear pavers complement the Claugus’ contemporary home. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Build Two Paver Patios

Two is better than one! And in this, case, two paver patios offer more space for outdoor living! 

We designate one patio for seating and another for dining — like an open floor plan for the great outdoors.  

Crews from Quikrete, Pavestone and a local construction company build the dual patio setup. The first patio extends from the existing concrete patio, and the second is on the other side of the house. 

Worker uses compacter to compact paver base for a patio
Paver base provides a solid foundation and also raises the pavers to be even with the concrete patio. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

They first lay out the footprint for the patios, then add four inches of paver base to establish the foundation.

Level running over paver sand
Leveling the paver sand ensures an even patio surface. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

After compacting the paver base, they add one inch of paver sand, then use a level to make the surface even.

Worker laying Pavestone Avant XL pavers
Workers use a string to ensure the lines stay even throughout the length of the patio. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

The patios are built with Pavestone’s Avant XL pavers. These large, 16-by-16-inch patio stones have the look of large format plank pavers. The false joints on the gray pavers create clean lines, so they go well with Adam and Courtney’s contemporary-style home. To add some line variety, the crew rotated each paver to create crisscrossed lines.

Paver patio border edging
Smaller pavers create a border around the large pavers. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Once the large pavers are laid, the crew marks a line where the border will begin and cut it with a concrete saw. Then, they lay the smaller border pavers in a soldier course pattern. 

Brush pushing sand over paver patio
Just like grout color matters when laying tile, paver sand color makes a difference on a patio. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

The last step is filling the joints. We use a granite screening to complement the pavers as well as the house’s color. for fine. 

Stepping patio stones next to a concrete slab and flower border
These matching pavers create stepping stones to unite the two patios. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

After the patios are complete, we place a few pavers between them to create stepping stones, so the two are united.

Pavestone Rumblestone outdoor fireplace
The outdoor fireplace becomes the perfect focal point for this seating area. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Build Outdoor Fireplace

Every seating area needs a focal point, so we build an outdoor fireplace.

We use Pavestone’s Rumblestone Outdoor Fireplace Kit in Greystone. Before we assemble the fireplace, we lay eight inches of paver base, compacting it in layers, so we have a sturdy foundation.  

Building this fireplace is simple because the kit includes a set of color-coded drawings that detail which blocks go where on each step.

Rumblestone fireplace blocks with adhseive
The fireplace is held together just by the weight of the stones and some construction adhesive. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

We don’t need any mortar to build this fireplace because the blocks are held in place using Quikrete Advanced Polymer Construction Adhesive.

Wood mantel on a Pavestone Rumblestone outdoor fireplace
Pavestone representative Chris Claire found this wood mantel at his mother’s home. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Once the fireplace is built, we add a mantel using a recycled piece of wood. It softens up the hard edges of the stone and warms up the space.

Shade sail over paver patio and outdoor dining table
We install the shade sail hooks on the house slightly higher than the ones on the post so we can match the slope of the home’s roof. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Install Shade Sail

The paver patio for dining offers little shade, so we install a shade sail to make the area more comfortable.

First, we dig holes for our two 6-by-6 posts that will support the shade sail. We set wood posts in the ground using Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete, then surround them with pavers to match the patio.

Brush staining cedar wood plank
This stain matches the existing outside columns. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

To match the posts to the house columns, we stain pieces of rough-sawn cedar and wrap them over the wood columns. Before we nail the wood over the posts, we add some spacers to keep the cedar planks from bowing. Wrapping these 6-by-6 posts not only makes them look larger, but it also hides the cracks that are inevitable with solid posts. 

Danny Lipford drills a wood beam for a shade sail
The top horizontal beam unites the two posts. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

To join the two columns, we build a horizontal box beam with longer pieces of 1-by-8-inch cedar on the ground before we lift it into place.

Next, we attach two hooks to the top of the posts for half of our shade sail, then attach another two to the side of the house for the other two corners of the shade sail.

Then, we install those hooks slightly higher to give the shade sail a slope and match the angle of the roof. 

Watch: Installing a Shade Sail 

Danny Lipford and Chelsea Lipford Wolf with Backyard Paradise winners Adam and Courtney Claugus and their dog Kendrick.
Danny Lipford and Chelsea Lipford Wolf with Backyard Paradise winners Adam and Courtney Claugus and their dog Kendrick. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Post-Production Thoughts

Courtney and Adam had a nice backyard, but they didn’t have much outdoor living space to enjoy it. With just a small covered concrete pad and a couple of chairs, their outdoor entertaining well was pretty limited.

Backyard with small concrete patio
Adam and Courtney had a big backyard but little room for entertaining. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Now they have not one but two great Pavestone patios that offer plenty of space for entertainment. One is just the right size for outdoor dining under the cover of the shade sail we added, and the other offers a massive space to relax with friends.

backyard with two paver patios and a shade sail
By adding two paver patios, we’ve more than doubled the outdoor entertaining space in this backyard. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

The Rumblestone fireplace adds a focal point with loads of character and is bound to be very popular on those chilly nights. Plus, the large format pavers complement the contemporary home’s color and character.

Special Thanks

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