Two Patios are Better Than One

Audrey J. Powers

Jerry and Shay’s backyard is big enough for them to enjoy, but something is missing. Their small patio offers little space for entertaining guests, and their old firepit is secluded from any seating.

But that’s OK. Because when your patio is tiny, just create another one! That’s just what we’re doing on this episode of Today’s Homeowner.


The Projects

View of concrete patio
This patio is small but in good shape. Fresh paint and concrete stain brighten its appearance to better match the new patio.

Spruce Up Existing Patio

First, we want to touch up the existing patio so it visually works well when the new patio is completed.

We pressure wash the concrete pad and then stain it to better match the new paver patio. To apply the stain, we use a pump sprayer with a circular motion, and then roll the stain to get it deep into the surface.


Laying out a patio using string
Before we can create a paver patio, we have to define the space.

Laying Out the New Patio

The first step to building a new paver patio is creating the layout. We determined where we wanted the fire pit and used a string and spray paint to find a radius for the paver patio surrounding it. 

Once the layout was complete, we removed the grass with a rented sod cutter. Because the backyard had a slight slope to it, we needed a short retaining wall on the lower side of the space to create a graceful transition from the existing patio to our new one.

First, we had to dig a trench for the retaining wall. Next, we poured paver base into the trench and tamped it down. Compacting paver base deep into the dirt ensures the patio will have a strong foundation.

Retaining wall for patio
A retaining wall is a must for installing patios in sloped backyards.

Building a retaining wall isn’t the most glamourous part of the project, but it’s necessary. We used Pavestone Rumblestone Pavers for our wall.

To cut our pavers to the size we needed, we rented a concrete saw from The Home Depot. If you only plan to use an expensive tool once, it just makes sense to rent instead of buy.


Paver patio with large pavers
Large 2-by-2-foot pavers make this patio feel more spacious and look luxurious.

Build a New Patio

After lining the patio with pavers, we prep the area for laying down slab pavers.

First, we compact the dirt and spread paver base. We then lay metals pipes before laying sand down to ensure the sand is a consistent depth throughout to support the heavy 2-by-2-foot pavers. 

We added two steps from the existing patio to lead down to the new one. Both steps must be the same size, so we have to cut down some of the concrete on the existing patio.

Paver fire pit
Jerry and Shay’s new firepit is now the focal point of their patio.

Once the pavers are complete, we sweep sand into the joints and we’re ready for the new fire pit. We used a Pavestone Rumblestone Fire Pit Kit, and assembled the fire pit in less than 20 minutes!


shed in backyard and patio
The shed in the backyard felt too out of place, so we painted it to tie into the house instead of standing alone.

Dress up the Backyard

The white shed was distracting from the backyard view, so we painted it black using Behr’s Cracked Pepper. We used an Earlex Super Finish Max HVLP Sprayer from Woodcraft to speed up the process.

To tie the shed to the patio, we used the same color to paint the back doors and trim.

Utility shed in backyard
Just painting this shed and adding some light landscaping ties the backyard’s overall look together.

We also:


Danny and Chelsea with homeowners
“Today’s Homeowner” hosts Danny Lipford and Chelsea Lipford Wolf, pictured with homeowners Shay and Jerry.

Post-Production Thoughts

Jerry and Shay have a beautiful backyard with great shade trees and lawn. But the old fire pit had seen better days and the existing patio offered few opportunities to enjoy the outdoor space. It was too small for entertaining and the monotone color palette lacked any real interest.

Now, the whole backyard has come alive with the addition of a big new patio that complements the shape of the trees while it enjoys its shade.

Large-format pavers make the patio seem larger than it actually is and the new fire pit is the ideal spot for entertaining.

There are two large steps that create a graceful transition to the old patio, which has been revived with a new shade of stain and a bold color on the doors.

That same color on the storage shed plus some simple landscaping have transformed this yard into a spot you just can’t wait to enjoy.


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