Build a Paver Patio for a Backyard Upgrade

Caitlin Kruse

Article Posted By: Caitlin Kruse

of The Mama Notes

Build a Paver Patio for a Backyard Upgrade

In her previous, renter-friendly backyard upgrade, Caitlin Kruse of Style Within Reach made excellent use of a couple of under appreciated materials: gravel and pavers. She’s back for another backyard project in our Patio Style Challenge series, and this time she puts pavers and gravel to use in building a paver patio.

To be sure, you’ll also see plenty of Caitlin’s talent for outdoor decorating. But the gravel and paver patio is the star of this show. It was a very cost-effective way for Caitlin to expand her outdoor living space, plus she solved some annoying drainage problems in her backyard.

And best of all, it looks terrific.

Gravel and Paver Patio with Paver Path

The timing for the Home Depot Patio Redux couldn’t have been better. We just moved into a new house this spring, so I gladly took the challenge to spruce up our new space!

We have a nice-sized deck, which is a great spot for our Brown Jordan Northshore Patio Furniture for right now. Eventually, we hope to have a lower deck so we can spread it out a bit! But we had a few problem areas in our yard we knew we had to address ASAP.

Improving Backyard Drainage

The drainage in our yard is a big mess. Every time it rains, water pours in from our neighbor’s yard and floods the area right under the deck stairs — essentially creating a mud pit that barely has a chance to dry out. It also makes letting our dog out really fun.

Since our deck is quite crowded, we thought we’d create an easy and affordable patio area at the base of the stairs not only to address the drainage, but also make a spot for our grill. We have the same problem along the side of our house so we decided to create a gravel and paver path that begins at the fence and leads around to the patio.

Brown Jordan Northshore Patio Furniture on a beautifully decorated backyard deck

A gravel and paver patio

Building a Paver Patio

Since our days are quite busy right now as we prepare to welcome our first child in just two months, we wanted a project that we could knock out in a weekend. I watched this paver path tutorial video on The Home Depot’s YouTube channel, and decided we could easily accomplish a gravel and paver patio for under $500 and in a weekend’s time.

Leveling ground in preparation to build a gravel and paver patio

Laying out paver stones to choose a pattern for a paver patio

First, we cleared out the space next to our deck. That meant removing some patchy grass and leveling it out and setting up stakes and rope to map out the area for the paver patio.

Then, I laid down our paver stones and played around with a few different pattern options. After the design was final, we removed the pavers and down went a layer of paver base, which we leveled down with a steel tamper. Next we applied a layer of paver sand and also leveled that with the tamper.

It sounds like a lot of steps, which it is, but it’s really essential in creating a base for your paver patio that will drain properly, be level and hold your pavers in place so they don’t slide.

A paver patio expands the outdoor living space next to a backyard deck

Now for the fun!

We laid out our paver design and lined the entire space with smaller pavers that look like bricks. We used 12 x 12 step stones and filled in the spaces between pavers with gravel.

It took us two afternoons to complete everything.

Decorating the Paver Patio and Deck

Flowers from The Home Depot's VIVA! brand

Once we had our new paver patio completed next to our deck, I did some decorating. I added some plants from the VIVA! Collection to add a little color to the yard.

Flowers add color to a nicely decorated paver patio

A little greenery decorates the coffe table from Brown Jordan Northshore Patio Furniture Collection

Greenery adds warmth to an outdoor decor

Grapes and cheese on an outdoor coffee table

A potting table with a lattice back next to a backyard deck

Vines getting established on a stained lattice

We found this old cart on the side of the house when we moved in, so I added a coat of white paint, and now it’s a potting table next to the deck.

I also stained a lattice I picked up at The Home Depot and hope to have some greens growing up it soon!

Caitlin Moran is the creative mind behind the lifestyle blog Style Within Reach, where she writes about affordable and attainable style. After working in the fashion industry in New York, she now lives in the Washington DC area.

For more backyard upgrade ideas, see other Patio Style Challenge articles here on The Home Depot Blog and follow our Patio Style Challenge board on Pinterest.

Browse our online Outdoor Living Department and The Home Depot Garden Center to find everything you need for a beautiful garden and patio.