One good thing about the COVID lock-down of 2020 was DIY projects! This was our first one and let me just say I'm freaking proud of US! We are NOT handy. At all. Or I guess I should say we were not handy pre-COVID. We've managed to figure a few things out over the last year so now we are almost handy, thanks to Pinterest and YouTube.
Identify the Problem and the Solution
For us, we were trying to solve the mud problem caused by our dogs jumping off of the deck and destroying our grass. We needed a landing zone for their massive weight and momentum. Bonus, turns out it also serves to keep their nails filed down!
Find some pics.
Pinterest took care of that for us in just a few minutes. Here are some of our top picks (haha do you get the pun?)
Measure Your Space
We drew a rough sketch of the space we needed to cover and took measurements across varying points of the diameter, as well as the full length across. With this in hand, we were able to talk to the supplier and get a good estimate on how much we needed for our project.
Get a Grass Cutter
We rented ours from Home Depot for a half a day. No matter how big you think your SUV is, it won't fit. We had to come back with a pickup. We also ran into some issues because the grass was pretty wet and muddy, but once we got the hang of it, it went rather quickly. Ask the Home Depot staff to give you a run down on how to use it - how to lower the blade, start it and stop it, etc. Also make sure you know what is required to turn it back in - clean, full gas tank, etc. We ended up having to clean it in the Home Depot parking lot to avoid a cleaning fee.
We used spray paint to "sketch" out the area we wanted to cut in the grass, and then just followed the lines. It worked like a charm.
You will get some good sod pieces, so if you have a place to repurpose that grass, it's something to keep in mind. You will want to have the area prepped to lay the sod before it dries out.
Find Your Materials
We used a local Landscape Supply company (Ewing Landscape). They were extremely helpful and gave us quantity estimates based on our drawing and measurements. They only had two options for flagstone pavers, but we liked one of them and were thrilled with the price. They offered delivery but the timeline was pretty far out. We had access to some pickup trucks and were able to make the haul ourselves. Remember to bring a cover if you want to protect your truck - it's a messy endeavor!
There are some pretty big and heavy pieces - you will want gloves, a wheelbarrow and some serious strength to get the pavers to your project area. This was by far the hardest part of the project and will likely require some helping hands of some sort. For us, that's what sons are for!
Here's what you will need at the landscaping place:
Here are the tools you will need:
The was the most satisfying part! I have no idea why the sand came in two different colors. We used this step to finalize the grading and make sure it was as level as possible. We were going for an inch thick, preparing for the need to shimmy the stones into place.
I have always loved to write. Over the years I've put my thoughts, experiences and opinions on paper. Some of these posts are old and some are new.