There are plenty of houses that have a simple set of steps that lead out to the backyard and nothing else. You may just have a door that goes straight out to the backyard. Let’s get our hands dirty and turn that eye sore into something you can enjoy. Patios or decks are beautiful additions to your home and not as difficult as you might think to do by yourself.
The first thing that you need to do is imagine what you would like it to look like. That means take it all into consideration. Do you want a patio? Is it going to be concrete or brick? Do you want a deck? Do you want a fireplace, a grill, a concrete seating structure…etc.?
There are so many options that we should probably explore a few. First of all, a great patio idea is one that has a grill to match the surface of the patio. Also, you can either buy your furniture or build it with concrete, brick or wood. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. I’m not asking you to build Appalachian chairs. But, it’s not as hard as you think to build wood, brick or concrete benches. It’s just as easy as building wall structures to enclose your patio or deck.
So, let’s start with one scenario where you have a brick patio with a brick grill in the middle of it and a few brick benches surrounding the area. If you have grass, you’ll have to work with the ground so that you dig all the grass away and then work the dirt until it is level. A great way to level ground is to till it until it is soft, take all the rocks out of it and then use a long 2X4 to drag across the surface. Use a level to make sure you are on track and keep dragging the 2X4 across the surface until it is perfect.
Place your bricks anyway you want. Staggered is often best. But, there are plenty of designs to choose from such as diagonal and interlocking. Once you have your surface bricked. Choose the area where you want your grill. An article entitled The DIY Patio Grill and Fireplace Double can teach you how to build your own grill in the middle of the patio. If you can build your own grill, you can use your imagination to build some benches for people to sit comfortably.
If you wanted to build your patio with concrete, you would have to learn how to pour and level out the concrete. But, it’s not hard. If they sell DIY books about it at your local hardware store, it’s obviously not a skill you need a degree to do on your own. Mastering it is another argument entirely. But, give yourself a chance. You just might find you can have some fun playing with your own concrete.
Building a deck is little different. Measure out your area and make sure you have enough wood as well as the right building material. Now, what I would do if I was you is build the grill first. Then, build the deck around the grill. It’s much easier than any other option you can imagine.
You can build a deck right on the ground if you want. It doesn’t have to sit high up in the air. But, it should if your back door is way up there. However, if your backdoor is just about on ground level, I would suggest just building the deck right on the ground. Run 2X4s vertically on their ends and make sure they are equidistant as well as square with your home. It takes some time and effort to do. But, don’t forget to make it perfect. Use a T-Square and string for guidelines. It’s a snap.
Now, run 2X4s flat across the tops of your base. Bolt them into place. Readjust as you go so that nothing has the chance to maneuver out of place. Constantly make sure that your deck is aligned and realigned. It might seem like a slow process. But when you work alone, it has to be. Your deck will soon be in place and built nicely around your grill. Now, build wood benches. Finish it off with railing and you’ve got one great looking deck in your backyard.
I have been saying for years that there is practically nothing you can’t do yourself. Of course, there are times when you need to call an expert. But if they sell books at your local hardware store that teach you how to tackle certain projects, it’s obviously not rocket science. Mastering it is obviously another story. But, you can tackle most anything on your own.