Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The change of plans

This past weekend, it was what we call “nice” in Iowa in February – sunny and 30 with about two feet of snow still on the ground. So, hubs and I decided it was a great afternoon to take advantage of the snow and head out back to walk out plans for our paver patio.

We trudged back and forth through the snow, marking where the boundaries to the new patio would be, measured and came up with a few alternatives. Since we’re also planning on replacing the aging deck with something newer and more our style, we measured that too and headed out to Menards.

In their decking section, they have a super handy kiosk that lets you plan out your deck and then gives you a supply list and estimate for materials. It also makes really annoying thud noises anytime you press a button, but I guess that’s the price we pay for convenience.

So, we put in our deck plans and got a very pretty 3-D drawing and a very pretty price.

Naïve and energized by this, we moved forward and put our 23x25 paver patio stats in the magic machine. It spit out a kind of ugly drawing and a price that deflated our spirits. Not to mention, the materials list called for over 35 THOUSAND pounds of rock to plopped in our yard. Um, we’re all for DIY, but let’s be honest, laying 2,665 paver bricks was not how we planned on spending our summer. Apparently 23x25 is an absurd size for a paver patio. Bigger, better, best failed me again as a philosophy.

Our initial planning adventure does end on a happy note; hubs came home and pulled out graph paper and colored pencils and together, we crafted a pint-sized paver patio that will still suit our needs and won’t have us auctioning off our first-born or spending the rest of 2010 leveling and laying bricks. The revised plans call for a 25x12 patio with some curves, some benches and lots of perennial native plants and grasses.

With the Des Moines Home and Garden show coming up this weekend (yeah, we’re spending Valentine’s Day there!), we’re sure to find lots of good ideas to make the most of our new plans.


  1. Our patio is approx. 11x30, and it was totally doable! I think the size you picked is good. Can't wait for spring, right?

  2. Yay! I'm so glad you went to Menards. Don't you just love the planning kiosk?! The rock isn't as horrible as it sounds. Can't wait until summer!

  3. We'll have ridiculous hosta situation in our backyard, come late spring. Feel free to come over and steal some, if you like.

  4. Nice! I have a ridiculous day lilly situation (seriously, someone planted a giant circle of them randomly in the yard and I'm guessing buried a parakeet underneath), so perhaps we can trade.

  5. Laying pavers really is not too bad of a job. The hardest part will be the excavation and laying the base, but it is amazing how many people will show and help for some grilled food.....
    I say go for it!!!

  6. Alexson~not sure what types of paver materials Menards had, but we purchased Arbel pavers from Rhino Materials in West Des Moines...and love em!

    The planning stage is the funnest!


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