Patio: Our Big Little DYI Part 3

This past weekend was very wet. So much so that our yard flooded temporarily in some areas and we couldn’t help but take advantage of an unfortunate situation. Sending the kids gliding down the yard in our old canoe was the highlight of the weekend. It also made for some good pictures and we got a lot of laughs, though not a lot of progress on the patio. Here is what we accomplished this past weekend:

Setbacks: RAIN. RAIN. RAIN. We have been getting so much rain. The historic town of Ellicott City, MD, about 30 minutes from us, was severely damaged the other weekend. Our yard has been a mushy mess. We have made light of the situation with the kids, but the truth is, this rain has to stop. It’s delaying our progress, yet more importantly, causing serious damage for locals.

French Drains: We placed French drain piping along the backside of the wall, beneath this is gravel, so it is not resting directly on soil. Wrapping the drain pipes in weed block adds and extra barrier to prevent dirt and grit from getting collected within the pipe. We had to tie in the downspout from the garage into the French drain as well. Next we bury the pipes with more 57 stone and will backfill further with top soil and 50/50 screened top soil mixed with compost, better for gardening.


Electricity: I wanted two outlets put in the retaining wall. It’s always nice to have electricity on hand for various appliances and technology. My husband put two exterior electric boxes (GFC outlets) and ran the wire through a conduit (tubing for wire protection). This ran to the exterior of the basement wall, which he then drilled through and pulled the conduit through. He will later connect this wire to a new breaker in the main electric panel of the house. Electricity is not something to play around with. He is experienced in this area, with many electrical projects under his belt.


We have laid the piping and placed some stone. This is as far as we have gotten at the moment. Next weekend we hope to place the tiebacks and install the plywood sheeting on the patio side. It would also be nice to backfill behind the wall more. We met with the guys that are going to prep, pour, and finish the concrete. They gave us a fair price, and recommended we add rebar to the concrete slab to further strengthen it. This is an added cost, but worth it of course. So we plan to follow through with their suggestion.

Hoping the rain subsides a bit too. The “river” ends right in my neighbors garden, hoping they can save it.


Part 1 to the Patio project is here

Part 2 to the Patio project is here

Part 3 to the Patio project is here

Part 4 to the Patio project is here

Part 5.1 to the Patio project is here


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