A reader writes:
I am not a garden train hobbyist though it looks like an interesting hobby. I came across your article about making a patio out of your old pool area (thanks, Google)and I'm contemplating doing the same. I'm just a little old lady not tough enough to haul bags of cement, gravel etc. and I'm definitely looking for an inexpensive way to do this. I also don't need anymore grass to cut and have a big enough garden. Your patio looked great in the photos. I am writing to ask if you are satisfied with it a year++ later. If you had it to do over... would you do anything differently? THANK YOU for your time and energy in responding when you can. I appreciate it!
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Thanks for getting in touch. I'm glad you asked.
What I did wrong:
I didn't realize how much lower the pool area compared to the rest of the yard. So when it rains very much, my "patio" is standing in water.
After a day or two it's fine again. And this is probably only about 10 days out of the year, so it's not life-threatening, but it is disappointing. I had thought about putting up a sort of gazebo or shelter house using the bricks as the floor, but that won't work now.
I got another 300 bricks for free from a local college that needed to get them out of a warehouse, so I probably have enough to finish the basic circle I started with. So I'll finish that and even out the plantings around the edges and learn to deal with working around heavy rains.
I guess the takeaway is that I should have had another truckload of sand brought in before I started the project to make certain the patio was going to be at least as high as the surrounding sod.
That said, 350 or so days a year it looks great, and we've used it for parties and picnics. Hope this helps.
If I hadn't basically stolen the bricks, this would have cost me a fantastic amount of money, and as it is, this was a lot of work. How's your back?
Let me now what you decide and how it works out.