We’ve got Stones

A year ago this Sunday Kevin and I bought the Little House from a dental student. He was moving to Florida to do his dental residency but had put a lot of TLC into the LH before he left… especially in the backyard. Everything that he had done seemed great on paper: expanded the deck, built a bar, hot tub, and flagstone patio. Score! Or so we thought. Turns out, the deck was expanded to cover the concrete hot tub that never worked, the bar faces the wrong direction and is stuck out in the middle of nowhere, and the flagstone was poorly laid, cracked, and unlevel.

While the deck extension and bar are nice to have, they’re poorly placed and break up our already small yard. Kevin and I have been planning on ripping everything out of the backyard since we moved in. We’d really like tear everything out, resod and make a small gravel patio with a small outdoor kitchen, seating area, and fire pit on the far side of our yard.

While Kevin was trimming on Saturday, I decided to see how difficult it was going to be to rip up the flagstone. I really only intended to pull up one or two stones and stop there. Really. (You can see the whole side of the yard that the deck extension and bar cut off. We never use this side of the yard, even though it’s very spacious and shady. This is where we want to put our new patio.)

It started just as a few stones, but it ended up being a whole giant can of worms. Once I showed Kevin what I’d done, he wanted to get in on the action. By the time we quit on Saturday, we had more than half the flagstone up. By Sunday night, we had all the stone up and were breaking up the concrete that the stones were set in. We were also so sore that all we could do was lay on the couch. I’m still that sore, in fact.

I’m a bad blogger and don’t have pics of where we are now: we’re still breaking up concrete, filling our (new) wheelbarrow, and dumping the concrete along our alley (where weeds have taken over). When we finish removing all the concrete, we’re going to start on removing the bar (that thing by Kev’s head) to open up our new patio area.

We’ve decided to hold off redoing the flooring in our office in lieu of sprucing up outside while it’s cool enough to actually work outside (if we wait until later in the summer it will be too hot). We’ll still be replacing the carpet in our office; it will just be this summer or fall instead of now.

We’re still working on a final plan of what we want to build out back, but we know that we want to create a whole outdoor living space. Right now, we’re being inspired by these ideas (from Pinterest, of course).

We’re really excited about working on our backyard. We love spending time out there and can’t wait to have a great outdoor space to entertain in.

Do you think we’re crazy for tearing everything out of the backyard? What do you think of gravel patios?

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15 thoughts on “We’ve got Stones

  1. I would have never guess you had that whole setup in your back yard. Wowza that’s a lot of space.

    You live in Texas, it’s definitely worth redoing the outdoor space. I’d assume you would be able to use it year round, except for when it’s ridiculously hot out. Rip it up and make it how you want it. Who cares that someone else did the same thing not that long ago. If it doesn’t fit your needs then what good is it anway.

    Love the inspiration pictures. I’ve never heard of a gravel patio, but it seems a heck of a lot easier than pavers!

    • That was our thoughts! We thing we can sell some of the building materials on Craigslist, so hopefully tearing it out won’t be too much of a loss.

      To lay the pavers correctly, you need a layer of gravel, then sand, then the flagstone. We’d just sell the flagstone we tore up and use that money for a gravel layer. It would be muuuuuuch cheaper.

  2. Wow, I had no idea you guys had that in your backyard. More backyard pictures or even a video, please? Can’t wait to see what you do with the space.

  3. Can I just say that I am the EXACT same way. I am so guilty of saying “oh, I just want to get it started” and then not finished with it for however many days. Sometimes it’s nice to just finish something that’s been bugging you!

    I love your inspiration ideas. I think it’d be real cozy if you put a fire pit back there. Are you going to rip up the old hot tub or will it always be there??

  4. Wow! I had no idea you had all that going on in the back yard! That’s crazy! If it isn’t what you want though and there’s no way to reuse it then it’s not very useful and it makes sense to take it out. Can’t wait to see what you come up with! There is so much potential!

  5. I don’t think you guys are crazy at all! Me and my hubby already lifted up some flagstone that was haphazardly laid in our backyard…and we are trying to figure out what to do with the flagstone that is set in several inches of concrete. It’s ugly and awful looking. Ideally, we’d like to remove it all and have a nice stamped concrete patio go down, but we have no money for it. It’s on our wish list. 🙂

  6. That is a really cool area! The patio and more open-ness will look so much better back there! I can’t wait to see what you do because we have a concrete patio that we want to re-do. We are thinking of pouring fresh concrete and making it a bit bigger and then staining/stamping the whole thing.

  7. Being an environmental science major, I love the idea of a gravel patio (lots of filtering before water re-enters the water stream). Not to mention they look awesome-o! And you guys aren’t crazy! We have to rip up our entire front yard to get all of the nasty ivy out!

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