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Paving Paradise: How to Prepare Your Yard for More Space


If you want to increase the amount of functional space in your yard, then paving might be just the way to do it. A safe, solid surface is less affected by plant roots or heavy rains, making it the right space for you to park your car, walk in and out of your house, put a firepit, or create an outdoor kitchen.

Plan Your Space

Planning is half the battle. And with something like a permanent new structure next to your house, planning is essential. You don’t want to change your mind later. So talk with anyone involved and plan carefully. Things to consider are: what kind of space do you want, where will it be, and what lighting is in that area. By determining these things, you can easily make a good decision.

Once you know what you want, it’s a good idea to mark the area. Then you can see how big it is, and make sure everyone is on the same page. So get some spraypaint, flags, and maybe string to mark your space. Having it planned out will also help you know how much material you will need.

Clear the Vegetation

Sometimes the perfect space is where a tree once stood. Or maybe your yard is unruly, and this is your chance to make a change. Whatever the case, you are probably going to have to start digging. Pull out your shovel and any other trimmers and get started. Once the space is clear it’s time to create a base.

Create a Base

The foundation might also be called the base. It's usually going to be several inches of crushed gravel. This provides drainage underneath but also stability. How many inches of gravel you need will depend on the specific application. A patio or sidewalk just for pedestrian traffic won't require as much as a driveway. It usually depends on the weight of what will be on top of the base. So choose the amount of gravel you use wisely.

Lay Out the Base

This can be a simple matter. First, you need to create the layout. What kind of space are you looking for? A kitchen and a patio are two different needs. Next, you will need to do the grading. Having a flat surface is critical. If the base isn’t level, the concrete could slide, slip, or crack over time. Grading ensures the best drainage possible while sticking with the slope or level of the terrain. Once it’s nice and level you will start to add the gravel. Finally, you will need to then add the sand to fill in any cracks and generally make the structure more sound.

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Make sure you follow the steps necessary for the kind of paving you have done to your yard. Whether it's pavers or actual concrete paving, it will rely on the foundation underneath it for support just as much as your home does. Once the paving is done, it will be very cumbersome and expensive to get back underneath and fix anything.

DIY or Use Professionals?

Some paving might be something you can do yourself. However, the best results happen when you have a professional concrete company come in and do the work. They have the tools to make the job happen. Not only that, but since they buy in bulk, they can get materials more cheaply. But probably the most important thing is their experience. Having done dozens, hundreds, or perhaps thousands of these jobs, they will know what they are doing.

Give It Time to Set

A fun idea would be for everyone in the family to put their hand or paw prints in one corner as a signature moment. You could also write a date for a good family memory. Just make sure to do it before the concrete has a chance to set and dry!

Now all you need to do is to give it time to dry and set. It is critical that you don't let anyone or anything walk through it until then. Any damage could result in needing to start over. Once it's in a good position, you can start using it. However, until that happens, you don't want to wreck all the hard work (pun intended) put into it.

Once your concrete has set, you will be the proud owner of a new living space. This new space will add value to your home and property. But more importantly, living outdoors with your family will help strengthen bonds. So make a space. Make it yours, and share it with your family.

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