If you have ever done a DIY backyard project, you have learned lessons that would be helpful to family and friends, right? With our project, we had several volunteers who had done this before and, to be honest, we needed all the help we could get.
First, they had us draw out the design and investigate all the vegetation, carefully planning the seasonal flowers and varying heights of each. Then we watched the videos on the benches, fire pits, and patios on Home Depot’s web site. We measured it out, made our list, and purchased everything at once. I now recommend these steps for every DIY project.
However, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “To many Chiefs…,” well; I was the only one running around the backyard as the others debated the best way to begin. Before they settled upon the start site, I had already unloaded the materials. The flowers and garden materials I placed at the side of the house to keep them shaded and out of the way.
They started digging the fire pit, the garden perimeter, and then the patio area leveling. Next, we put down the sand and realized too late that we should have packed it down before we had placed all the patio stones and pavers. Nevertheless, we continued to put more sand on top working it into the seams as directed.
Here is another DIY backyard project lesson- don’t cement in the fire pit. While not watching, one of our “Pros” damp mixed a bag of cement, put it in the pit and formed it around with his hands. When it becomes concrete and you apply heat, it cracks where it is thinner. It is at this point we learned yet another lesson; we should have used a fire pit insert
The discussion over whether to mortar or just stack the bench bricks took a while but I won. I refuse to sit on a bench that could move however, we loose staggered the patio block around the fire pit to allow for installation of the forgotten insert later.
The flowers and vegetation went in like clockwork. When we stood back and surveyed the landscape, our DIY backyard projects turned out beautifully, and we hope that sharing the lessons learned here will help you with your next project.