Patio Progress: Phase 4

Finally our patio is officially complete! Here's how we wrapped up that project:

Although we had what looked like a finished patio in our back yard after we laid our final brick a few weeks ago, we were actually a few key steps away from completion. The main thing standing between us and a finished patio was one heavy machine: a tamper.

In order to ensure a seamless finish to your patio (no tilted or loose bricks that shift when you step on them), you need to use this extremely heavy, lawn-mower-looking machine to press all of the pavers into submission (the photo doesn't look too scary, but this beast can weigh around 70 lbs!). We definitely don't own a tamper and weren't looking forward to straining our backs by renting one at Home Depot. Besides, we didn't have a truck to haul it in. So where did we turn?

Why, Craigslist of course!

We hired a nice man from North Minneapolis who offered up his truck and manual labor for a great deal. He was a little rough around the edges and didn't really know anything about tamping a patio, but we thoroughly enjoyed his stories and couldn't have finished the project without his extra set of hands (well, he doesn't literally have an extra set of hands, but you know what I mean!).

Unfortunately, we were using pavers that couldn't quite handle the pressure -- of the tamper that is. We ended up with quite a few broken ones we then had to replace. I guess that's what happens when you order the cheapest pavers available ...

After we packed up the tamper and sent our new friend on his way, we got to work sweeping sand into the cracks of the patio. We used a special locking sand for $10 a bag (at Menards), to help hold the bricks in place and provide extra insulation from the elements.


We also removed the wood frame, nailed the plastic permanent frame in place (both of these were done before tamping), and filled in dirt around the entire patio. But I didn't get a picture of the finished product because ...

... before I was ready, our backyard looked like this:

Well patio, we'll see you next spring!

Read about the entire Patio Project, here, here, and here!

tamper photo taken from here

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