Our Big Little Patio – The Finale

My apologies for not posting about our final patio project, it has been completed for several months now. Last we were still prepping the ground for grass seed, today the grass is mostly filled in and we have already hosted a few parties. Here is what we did to complete the project.

Fire Pit

Probably the most important aspect of the patio is the fire pit we installed. We ordered a metal fire ring from Amazon as well as some fire bricks which we used as our base. The fire ring was placed on top of the bricks to protect the concrete underneath from overheating and possibly cracking. We then used rocks from our property to build the stone wall of the fire pit. Using mortar to hold the stones in place, we had to do this over several rounds because of the weight of the stones.  Saving the flattest pieces for the rim, it turned out great. We will also seal the stones and keep a fire pit cover over it when not in use to preserve it. Before we sealed we cleaned up the stones to remove loose mortar and other debris using a wire brush and power washer. Careful with the power washer, you don’t want to get too close to mortar joints or it will eat right through it.

Stonewall Garden

I wanted an herb garden on the outside of one of the retaining walls. After my husband studded the wall he used plywood to complete the structure. We then wrapped it in the felt paper, which is the same stuff we’ve been using on the other parts of the retaining wall. On the inside of the wall, we hung heavy plastic so wet soil wouldn’t sit against wood and rot it. Next, we used a metal lathe to cover the wall, this allows for the mortar to cling to the wall and the stones. Again, we had to go slow, the stones are heavy. To complete the project, we used a power washer to remove sloppy mortar and then sealed it.

Final Touches

We have sealed the entire project from wood to stone to concrete. Added some landscaping around the edges as well as some solar lights to show people where the slope down to the patio is. Another purchase from Amazon were some hanging lights, which we put under the deck to add some ambiance. I had hoped to add fancy new furniture to the patio, but we went over budget by about $600, so we purchased some plastic Adirondack chairs from Home Depot which will get us through the season. Next year I will decorate.

The patio is great, it’s close to the house, has plenty of room for entertaining, and the fire pit is unique. We love to entertain and have thrown a few parties, both big and small. A little blood, sweat, and tears never felt so good. Our budget was $5,000 and we spent about $5,600. Overall, I think this was a successful project. The overage in cost was primarily due to needing more backfill dirt than we anticipated.


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