DIY Brick Patio-the back breaking way

What started out as a new sectional outdoor sofa and tables bought for less than half price ($800 on sale for $300) ended up being a whole patio construction costing almost $5000. We have lived in our newly constructed home for 10 years with only grass in our small backyard. I bought the Nest by House and Home sectional outdoor sofa and table set but the legs kept sinking in the grass and they had to be moved to cut the grass. Since we have wanted a patio for some time now, and the quotes we got were double or triple the cost we projected to DIY, we went ahead and ordered the brick and supplies. We purchased Uniloc Brussels Block  for our 14' x 20' patio area. Under the technical direction and labour of my nephew-in-law, my husband and I, assisted by my power-house 16 year old nephew, our two boys (10 and 12) and my niece (11) worked for several long, hard days. We had to remove one and a half dumpsters of soil and grass. The boys worked endlessly. Wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow.
Finally the 14' x 20' hole was deep enough for the fill required for our cold Canadian winters. We needed to add approximately 9" of gravel and sand. Wheelbarrow by wheelbarrowful. The chore seemed endless. Finally all the gravel and sand was in the backyard and my nephew-in-law had to level it all and pack it all down with a special machine. Then the brick arrived. With the help of a neighbour, we carried over 4 skids of different sized bricks, one or two at a time, to the backyard (the gate is too narrow to get a machine through.)
Finally the area was ready for bricks. My oldest sister helped my nephew-in-law (her SIL) with the difficult pattern. I was told by the Uniloc rep that this was an easy pattern that wasted few bricks. Wrong. The pattern was very challenging.
Oh, it's starting to look so good. Can I just leave it empty to admire, and just get rid of that new patio furniture? I could just sit and look at it all day.
Then came the challenging construction of the steps. Big enough to step safely on and roomy enough to sit on without taking up half the patio.
We picked up a nice gazebo to cover the sectional, on clearout for $125 at Home Depot.
Although Fall is now officially here, I have yet to add pillows and accessories. I'll probably save that for next spring. In less than a month it all has to go into storage for our cold and snowy Canadian winter.
I love sitting out here after work, about 3pm, and enjoying a tea or cold drink.
My niece and her husband came one day while we were at work to add the special sand that goes between the cracks and hardens. They worked all day, and with two little ones to care for too. They even took the gazebo and furniture and placed it on the patio so we would get the 'whole look' when we got home. We couldn't have done it without the love and sweat of our family. Now we just need to finish off the small gate area and have a get-together to celebrate. Then, in the spring we hope to do over our builder front walkway.
Thanks for stopping by our backyard!
I'm hoping to link up to Kim at Twice Remembered,  Kimba at A Soft Place to Land, and Susan's. Between Naps on the Porch. Have a wonderful week!

Thanks Funky Junk Donna, for the fabulous tutorials on how to add signatures to your posts, and for showing us how to add links to blogs, hidden ever so neatly behind those names above. Stop by Donna's blog for totally awesome DIY  decorating and great blog tips.


  1. Hi Elizabeth! Wow! What a gorgeous patio! I understand the work involved because I just did a little border of pavers around my cement patio and that was a tremendous amount of work!! Great job! It's beautiful!...Debbie

  2. great, great job!! so awesome to get help from the kids. it turned out beatiful,it will be a great place for a drink next spring/summer...getting a bit cool already here...love your new sectional btw...
    have a great week..

  3. Great redo. I love the bricks. Laura@the mansion

  4. I love patios and yours is lovely! Congrats, what a lot of back breaking work but the end result is so worth it.

  5. What a fabulous job and huge undertaking! You have either cast a spell or those people all LOVE you to do so much work ( I guess you could have threatened or bribed your own kids :) Looks professional to me!

  6. You are going to really enjoy that area this fall. I love it.

  7. Wow, looks great! We have to do a deck, not a patio, our ground slopes FAR too much.

    I have a linky party going on over at my place, check it out! http://theshadesofpink.blogspot.com/2009/09/room-month-shade-tutorial.html

  8. So great to see a family working together - I'm sure next spring (after we all thaw out) we'll see pics of you all enjoying it! thanks for visiting me and my newbie blog!I just added the followers section at your suggestion - scoot over there & become my first follower!

    p.s. my family is from ontario (toronto area) so we DO have a lot in common!

  9. Hello Elizabeth!
    The Patio is wonderful. It's interesting to me how these are made. Hope to have an outdoor patio next year/summer. Shall see how this goes.

    Thank you for coming by and saying hello and becoming a follower of homehaven! It's nice to meet you. Look forward to stopping by your blog and see how you are doing.

    Autumn blessings to you,

  10. Love your tranformation! Love the color of the stone! Stop by for a visit sometime!

  11. THat is a lovely outdoor living room!

  12. The patio looks great, I love the furniture you picked up on sale too! Makes you wish summer was a just a wee bit longer, but it's certainly a fall day in Ontario today.
    Be well! ~Andrea~

  13. Love the look of the tumbled brick!! What an enjoyable spot this will be!


  14. It looks wonderful. We did a paver patio this year too... lots of work, but I love it.

  15. So cute...will you please come do my back yard? {smile}

    Thanks for sharing.

  16. Wow, Elizabeth! I know this was a lot of work...but oh, so worth it! It's gorgeous! I know you guys are going to so enjoy this for a long, long time!

  17. Love your patio. It looks beautiful. It would be nice to sit out there in the evening! I'd love to follow your blog. Come follow me to.

  18. your patio looks fabulous. i love gazebos. we had one at our old house. "not allowed" to have one at our new house because of the HMO. your paver pattern looks great. now you'll have something to look forward to for next spring (late spring, hah!). thank God for families, especially young couples with lots of energy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Awesome job...looks great.

  20. I'm late finding your blog and this amazing patio construction post. What a lot of work, but so worth it. You are going to love using come spring. We just bought some wood, leftover from our neighbour and are making plans to build a deck in our backyard this spring.


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