Patio and Back Yard Reveal

Author:  Spring

Yippee!! It is finally finished.  The major back yard facelift that Mr. Spring and I started in March is finally complete. You can read about the start of the facelift here and here.   We have plenty of blisters and aching muscles to prove it.  Was it a lot of work?  Yes.  Did we know what we were doing at first?  Thanks to lots of research, yes.  Would we do it again?  Yes!  Are we proud of it and of ourselves?  Yes, yes, yes!!!

When we bought our first home, it was important for us to live in an established neighborhood in an urban rather than suburban setting.  We knew that we would have to tackle projects, but if it meant we could increase our home’s value by applying some muscle, then we were all for it.  Our little charmer had all of the major updates completed, thankfully, so that we can just add our tastes through cosmetic overhauls.  That’s what this project was all about.

In a nutshell, we removed all of the previous owners’ gravel, rocks, decking and patio in order to build our own new and larger patio and lay sod.  He didn’t have a lawn – at all.  He didn’t want any maintenance – at all.  We wanted grass for Gracie, and since my husband grew up in an apartment in New York City, it was only right that he should have the opportunity in his life to do mowing and lawn maintenance.


Patio before location

Because our winter in Syracuse was sooooooo long last year, we didn’t want to wait for the snow to melt to get started.  The first thing we did was to remove all of the previous owner’s DIY projects.  Based on all of the rocks, bricks, gravel and wood we hauled out, he probably had some sore muscles and blisters once upon a time, too.

Runner Crush and sand

Thanks to Mr. Spring’s research and calculations, we knew exactly how much materials we would need for our project.


We had to give up the use of our garage and driveway for a while, but it was worth it in order to stock pile our sand, top soil, and paving bricks.

Patio marked out

After all of the things we didn’t want were removed, we carefully laid out the patio’s dimensions and then added sand and runner crush to provide a solid foundation.

Packing down dirt

We rented a machine to help pack it down.  That was so worth it.

Patio landscaping fabric

Next came the barrier and then….

Packing down runner crush

more  packing down the ground.

Runner crush down

Bricks starting to go down

 We selected a herringbone pattern for the brick layout.  It required lots of careful measuring and cutting.

Close up of patio going down

 It was also very important to keep the surface level.

Patio cuts

 Doesn’t it look professional?  Not bad for two newlyweds learning as we go.  When it was finished, we added a type of sand in the cracks that will firm and hold the bricks together when water is added.

Cutting bricks

I enjoyed cutting the bricks, while Mr. Spring was putting down the main pattern of the patio.

Start of the patio

Working late into the night

We worked after the sun went down many evenings, but we just couldn’t wait to get the majority of it finished.

Patio after

Shortly after we finished the patio, we laid the sod, bought a new outdoor table and chairs, a fire pit, and of course, tiki torches.

After shot

We L.O.V.E. it.  We use it when we sit out with the neighbors…..

Patio after

And for dinners for two.

The painters are coming next week to paint our house’s exterior which means the total backyard facelift for this year will be complete.  I will be sure to share the new look with you.

We are planning a movie night for our first major outdoor entertaining event.  Stay tuned for the upcoming details.


Linking to Photobucket


  1. says

    I love the pattern of the bricks-great job!I hope you don’t have mosquitoes there like we have here in Mississippi-you will need lots more tiki torches!

  2. donna says

    wow! I can’t wait to show Tom your project. He has bricked in herringbone pattern twice now. A patio at our first house and the brick walkway on our new/old house. Painstaking measuring and determination. He did it all, I was support team and kudo giver! I am so impressed with you and Mr. Spring. The picture of you cutting brick is my favorite. Beautiful job! Love your house and all the fun you are having with it!

  3. says

    What a sweet patio you have now. I can tell it took a lot of work to get it down like that and the pattern you chose and the cutting of the bricks has given you a wonderful spot. Love it. Thank you for sharing…

  4. says

    It just looks lovely. The herringbone pattern of the patio looks great & ya’ll did a really wonderful job of it. Congrats & enjoy!
    🙂 CAS

  5. Carolyn Rasnick says

    You guys are amazing!! Love your enthusiasm and work ethic to tackle even the toughest jobs at your home. I’m sure you will get paid back for your efforts when you are ready to sell!! Enjoy while you can….summer will be gone before we know it. 🙁

    • says

      After a lot of paint samples colors on our house we decided on a gray. Stay tuned for after photos once it is finished.

  6. Kathy says

    Wow, Jordan, you and Mr. Spring are amazing. So creative–just like your momma! I love your “new” backyard.

  7. says

    Wow, y’all did a fantastic job. Love the herringbone pattern. That was very hard work, but so worth it.

  8. says

    This is AMAZING!!!!!
    I am so impressed that you two even considered tackling a job this
    involved and labor intensive! All the leveling and cutting and measuring?
    Oh my goodness. It looks fabulous and the reward for your job well done must feel great!
    You two rock!
    (And if you two lived through a project like this? Your marriage will last forever!)


  9. says

    What an awesome job. I can appreciate the time and hard work that went into creating your gorgeous patio. I’m glad you laid the bricks on a herringbone pattern, even though it was more of an effort. Beautiful! ~Delores

  10. says

    I am definitely wowed at the perseverance and hard work that goes into a project like this. I think I’m exhausted just looking at the pictures!
    But oh the result is so worth it, no?

  11. Ed Glassberg (Realtor) says

    Looks great can you come over to my house and do any project you want. Let me know when movie night is. I’ll bring the pop corn.
    All kidding a side. It is great to do hard work, see it come together and enjoy it for many year. Not everyone gets thah enjoyment.