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2022 June 10

Making a patio

The one thing I've always found difficult about deserts is their dust. As I've been exercising more I found that I wanted to do it outside in the cool morning air. The only issue is that I didn't have a good place to do it without getting dusty. And so I decided to build a patio where I could hang out and workout without too much dust. Here was my process.

First I excavated (with some help from my brother) the area I wanted. I went down about 4 inches. How deep to go depends on your soil. If your soil is soft you will want to go deeper. My soil is hard, with lots of clay (it needs to be wet with a hose to dig) and so I could dig less.

Then I flattened out the surface. This took some time. In addition to being flat, I wanted it to slope toward the plants so that runoff wouldn't build up. I just used a shovel and a hand tamper for all of that.

Then I went and got 1 ton of crushed medium rock and filled the hole. I wish I would have paid a bit more attention here because it turned out i put too much rock on one side and had to excavate it all again later. Anyways, I flattened out the rock with the tamper and the shovel.

Then I went and got between 1-2 tons of sand (two standard-sized backhoe buckets). I put the sand on top of the rock and flattened it out as best I could. I did this in sections because I wanted to test out setting the pavestones but it may be better to do it all at once so you can see which sections are uneven and fix them.

Then I called and bought 168 pavestones from home depot (one palette). I got some adobes and some reds so I could add a border with a different color to the patio.

Setting each pavestone goes like this: 0 - Chisel off gunk from the edges of the pavestone so it can connect cleanly to others. 1 - Put the pavstone down on some sand and work it next to the other pavestones, use a hand level to get the new pavestone level to the ground and to other stones. 2 - Make sure the pave stone does not move or wobble. You can check this by pressing the corners. 3 - User a rubber mallet to set the pavestone firmly into the sand. 4 - When satisfied with movement and level, performe a step test where you test walking on the pavestone. It should not move or make noise.

Now repeat that 168 times and you'll have a patio.

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