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.
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.
They first lay out the footprint for the patios, then add four inches of paver base to establish the foundation.
After compacting the paver base, they add one inch of paver sand, then use a level to make the surface even.
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.
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.
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.
After the patios are complete, we place a few pavers between them to create stepping stones, so the two are united.
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.
We don’t need any mortar to build this fireplace because the blocks are held in place using Quikrete Advanced Polymer Construction Adhesive.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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