Family Patio Project
Updated: Sep 20, 2022
Make Your Patio Project a Family Affair
This flexible-base patio was constructed by three generations of the Weber family. Dad and I originally built it in 2006. Constructed on a slope, roughly half the patio is elevated with a segmental retaining wall made of hollow-core concrete blocks. When the hollow cores are filled with 3/4" gravel, the upper and lower courses of block interlock to form a strong wall.
We only needed two courses of block, plus the cap blocks, to achieve the patio height we wanted. The lower course of the wall is mostly buried below grade, and the walking surface at the opposite end of the patio is even with the lawn. The remainder of the patio was built using the traditional crushed-rock base, sand bed, and paver layer.
The photos here show some recent maintenance work on the patio. Over the years, some of the sand washed out from beneath the pavers located near the retaining wall, causing some displacement of the pavers. Dad recruited some new help for the maintenance . My nephew Owen helped on this project.
To repair the patio surface, we removed the pavers and topped off the wall blocks with extra gravel. We then added a new load of sand--this time opting for a much coarser grade of concrete sand that won't wash out. Take note of this if you attempt a similar project at home.
Large projects like this one can require machinery to move the heavy landscaping materials. A tractor with a box blade came in handy to move and level the crushed rock and concrete sand.
We spread and leveled the surface using a homemade screed board. We then compacted the sand, replaced the pavers, and compacted the surface. The patio is now back in good shape. -- M. Weber