As you can see in the picture on the right, the enterance to our house was not very pretty and in need of repair. The surrounding ground level was above our door height and water would leak into the house every rainfall and snow melt. It was indeed time to fix the yard by lowering the ground level around that side of the house. Since I have landscaping experience I thought what better way than a uni-lock patio, I could lower the ground level and hold it back with a small retaining wall. I put an ad in our local classifieds for free uni-lock pavers of any shape or size. I got a reply back instantly for some standard uni-lock pavers that almost perfectly matched the ones I already had. All I needed to do was show up at the guys house and remove them from the ground because it was his old patio and he was ready to upgrade to something new.
I had to dig out like 14-16" or something like that to make the final grade right. Then I poured 6-8" of crushed limestone screenings and packed it every 2". I didn't have a machine tamper so I used my trusty 8"x8" hand tamper for packing. I also packed the final layer of unilock then brushed in some fine interlocking stone sand and packed some more with my hand plate tamper. I finished the step and start of a retaining wall but couldnt't afford the wall stone so I used some natural stones to across the edge for the time being. Everything turned out so good that I just couldn't stop; I kept advertising for free interlocking stone and I actually got some more. it was about the same amount as I already had but just slightly a different colour. So back to digging and shovelling I went.... This time I could afford the retaining wall to complete the look. It was really cheap and looks great. I went back and lifted my first patio so that I could mix and match the bricks in a weaving pattern that further ties all the colours together. It took two different jobs to complete this but it is a fantastic family patio and we get to enjoy full sun from morning till 4pm on our beautiful unilock patio.
When we moved to this house, the property seemed very small... On our first visit we actually thought that our yard ended at the back of the sheds on the property. It turns out that we purchased approximately 320 feet in depth of yard at 60 feet wide. The sheds are only about 100-110 feet away from the front yard so that leaves me approximately 210 feet of overgrown brush, weeds, trees and grass (4 feet high) to clear and cut!I started by clearing out a path from the sheds and cleared out land to the firepit. At the time I only had an electric weedwacker... It couldn't handle the job and I ended up burning out the motor, it was time to upgrade to my new gas powered weedwacker. The new weedwacker cut through the majority of long grass and weeds. I was able to collect all the cuttings and dump them into the 'forest' part of our yard, we have about 50 feet of 'forest' that I will leave alone to grow, attract and keep wilderness feeling. I ended up with a ton of stones and rock. The small stones will go onto our property marking natural stone walls and the larger rocks I will use to build a retaining wall so that I will have a more level back yard space to add a firepit, childrens play set, trampoline etc... It started getting cold outside because of the end of season so I stopped clearing the yard so that I could complete other jobs like laying a unilock patio/enterance and vinyl siding a shed so for now its time to play!