Home and Garden

Weedy Backyard Turned Usable Patio Area


Outdoor space was key in 2020 – but sometimes these outdoor spaces need a little overwork to become comfortable hangouts. Kate Beckman, for example, had access to a lovely back yard when she moved in with her mother during the pandemic. There was, however, a stretch of the yard that seemed largely untouched: “It was a spot near the shed and in the shade of two large trees,” says Kate. “Because of all the weeds, there were a lot of mistakes. In short, we couldn’t just put chairs and sit in the shade. “

Although the place wasn’t a real hangout, Kate saw a lot of potential. “I thought it would be perfect to work outside as my office job is remote for now,” she says. “Since I didn’t have much to do other than work while ordering at home, I decided to spend some time remodeling the space.”

At first, Kate assumed the patio would be a weekend project, but quickly realized that it would take a lot longer to get it all together. “I’m not someone who normally does DIY projects,” she says. “Before I moved home, I lived in a small rental apartment in NYC. The extent of my home improvement has been to rearrange the furniture from time to time. Nevertheless, I was determined to stick with the project – especially since the largest investment, the paving stones, could not be exchanged. ”

Kate began by weeding the area, then raking the ground and spreading 20 bags of sand before installing a weed barrier that reached them all over the course of a few weekends.

The following weekend, Kate buckled up for what was perhaps the hardest part: laying the paving stones, each weighing 32 pounds, all of which were stored across the yard. After a lot of heavy lifting and some sand adjustments, the deck was almost ready. All it took was a finishing touch that Kate and her mother took last weekend.

“My mom and I lit a few lights and she planted more flowers on the patio, including hydrangeas, pansies, geraniums and hostas,” says Kate. They also bought a chair. Kate estimates the total patio expense – including flowers, pots, lights, furniture, paving stones, and other materials – was between $ 1,300 and $ 1,400.

In the end, Kate and her mother were able to create a lovely outdoor space that is perfect for relaxing – but also within range of the WiFi, so Kate can enjoy an outdoor office on days with good weather.

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Melissa Epifano


Melissa is a freelance writer specializing in home decor, beauty, and fashion. She has written for MyDomaine, The Spruce, Byrdie, and The Zoe Report. The Oregon native currently lives in the UK.


Robert Dunfee