Big Dig Update: The Paver Patio is Complete!

Hello friends!

This post has been a long time coming, our pond-turned-paver-patio project was a success!  Well, we still want to put in an outdoor fireplace, but this was the “guts” of the project, if you will.  I couldn’t be happier with the finished project, and am excited to share it with you.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Ponds seem like a great idea in theory, but the reality (for us, anyway), is that they are very high maintenance, and never look as good as you think they should.  Paver patios on the other hand, much lower maintenance, and a much higher usability factor too.

Let’s get started with our journey – where we were, and where we are now.  Prepare yourself for photo overload.

Before – U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no alibi.  And this is during the winter, when things aren’t totally overgrown and crazy.

At one point (before we owned the house), the pond was featured in a local home magazine.  So it did look good once…  11 years ago.  You can even see the bottom of the pond.  Amazing!

Fast forward to real life.

It’s not pretty, folks.

This is probably the one time that the pond looked nice while we owned the house – and you can sort of see the bottom.  We had just paid a professional to drain it and clean it (talk about a dirty job).  This lasted for maybe … 14 minutes.

We did have some pretty lily pads.  But we also had a ton of frogs that liked to hang out here and reproduce.  And there were bullfrogs too.  Do you have any idea how loud a heap of bullfrogs is?  Very, very loud.  And pretty annoying when your bedroom window overlooks the bullfrog pond.

The Plan
Long before we got started on all of this, we had a plan in place.  Our landscape designer presented us with three options which I discussed here, but here is the plan we chose.

A nice patio area, with the focal point being a center fireplace.

The fun part was when the big guns came in and dug it up – I should have asked to drive the heavy equipment, I think the worker guys would have let me.

It’s got to get worse before it gets better, right?  That pond was deep!

This project was definitely one where I’m glad we paid a professional.  Lots of work to do with drainage and making sure everything is level.  Way out of my league.

They were able to work the big boulders into the slope of the landscape perfectly.

Once the hole was filled and leveled out, they put in the gravel, which set the stage for the pavers.

Then there is the beautiful pavers – they even did a border, which I love.  And I can’t believe I don’t have a photo of the pavers-in-progress.  They were super fast, and knocked this out in a day (maybe two) if memory serves.  I can’t even imagine how long it would have taken us if we had tried to do it ourselves.

And here it is when the landscaping was installed to finish it off with some color and flair.  Bear with me here, I’m pulling photos that I’ve taken from all sorts of sources. 🙂

If you have a good eye, you may notice something missing in the back left corner of the yard – the gazebo.  We ended up taking that out because 1) we don’t use it, and because 2) it is a haven for wasps and carpenter ants.

We must have looked like the Beverly Hillbillies with it out on the road in front of the house.

I’m really loving the new patio though – I have been going out with the puppy in the morning and sitting out there before it gets too cold.

And it was great for our fish fry this summer – we put up a tent (since we’d had such a rainy summer – of course it didn’t rain).  I can see another tent out here when my oldest graduates from high school…

The only thing we’re missing at this point is the fireplace.  Until then, I think we can manage with a fire pit out there.  

And finally some side by side before and after photos.









Have you done a big outdoor makeover?  Please share!

Linking up:

TDC Before and After


  • Reply
    Lisa @ Shine Your Light
    September 29, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Wow Jenny, what a transformation! It looks great as a patio area! Who knew having a pond was so much work! You must be thrilled – such a great space to enjoy with your family and friends!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    The happiest day of my backyard life was the day our gazebo came donw. And oh I am sooo happy that I sold our pond kit before we ever put it in the ground. Don't get me wrong, I think ponds and gazebos can be Be-U-T-ful but wow alot of work!

  • Reply
    October 2, 2015 at 2:25 am

    Wow, that looks great! We have a water feature here, and it is constant upkeep, but because it is pretty mild in Oregon we can have it going all year, which is nice. When we moved into our house two years ago the back yard had the water feature, a tiny patio, (a large trampoline that was left as well) and a bunch of trees. Oh, and one shrub. Within two months we started on a big patio, stairs and fencing project which was unfortunately started in what turned out to be the coldest weather in decades. And because we are in the hills, quite a bit of work had to be done about getting the drainage right. Going with professionals was definitely the way to go. Since gardening is my thing, having such a blank slate was a blessing, however.
    Enjoy your new space!! It looks beautiful!

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