How We Expanded Our Outdoor Living Space With Stone Pavers

How to expand your outdoor living space with paving stones and how to do it without breaking the bank. This DIY backyard landscaping idea is a weekend project that includes a stone patio plus a grid-style paver pathway with Spanish and Irish moss. In just two days, the two of us were able to increase our outdoor living space by over 200 sq feet and we're no spring chickens!

DIY Backyard Landscaping With Large Pavers

DIY Outdoor Living Space Expansion With Large Paving Stones


All the years we've lived in this house the area on the side of our deck has sat empty. Nothing grows there because it's shaded from our neighbor's lilac trees that spill over the fence onto our property. There was also a very large spruce tree that sat smack dab in the middle of that space. It was such a waste of space that wasn't being utilized and so we took the plunge and had the tree removed.

Instead of expanding our cedar deck, we felt using paving stones would add more visual interest to our backyard landscaping. In this little backyard nook, we were able to build a stone patio for our small 8' x 8' gazebo and a stone and moss grid-style pathway.

How to do it without breaking the bank

Large 24" x 24" paving stones can be pricey, especially when you need a lot of them. If you plan your backyard landscaping ahead of time, you can save a lot of money by taking advantage of end-of-season clearances. We hit the jackpot when our local Home Depot still had stacks of them available in the same color.

Here is that area of our yard after the tree was removed.

DIY Backyard Ideas

...and here it is after.

DIY Backyard Landscaping Idea

I will say this project isn't for the faint of heart. Oh my gosh, talk about back-breaking work for a couple of old crows in their mid-50s. Advil became our best friend during this project.

Here's how we did it

First, we raked the dirt until it looked relatively level and then used a tamper to get it perfectly level. Next, we spread a load of crushed gravel mix for the pavers to sit on. I should mention here that we built a frame with pressure treated 2" x 6" lumber along the fence to contain the crushed gravel mix.

My apologies for not having photos of this step but with just the two of us, it took every ounce of energy we had let alone stopping to take photos.

DIY Backyard Stone Path

Next, we rigged 2"x 4s" on top of our wheelbarrow (pictured above), to haul the hernia inducing heavy pavers across the yard. Boy did that make the job easier!

DIY Stone Patio Expansion

As I mentioned earlier, we separated our outdoor living space expansion into two zones and we'll start with the stone patio for our 8' x 8' gazebo.

In this area, we butt the paving stones against one another four pavers wide by four pavers deep to make an eight square foot patio area. As each block was set in place it was checked for level and adjusted accordingly.

Larger Paver Patio Expansion

DIY Stone And Moss Grid Pathway

In the other area beside our deck, we created a grid pattern with the 24-inch pavers leaving a 4-inch gap between each block.

DIY Backyard Spaces With Paving Stones

We were so relieved when the 37th block was set in place.

DIY Backyard Paving Stone Patio

We sat our butts on that wet stone patio and enjoyed a few brews to celebrate.

Large Grid Pattern Stone Path DIY

Once all the pavers were placed we added an organic potting soil mix in the gaps between the pavers and planted a mixture of Scottish and Irish Moss.

Backyard Paving Stone Grid Path With Moss

Once the moss matures and spread between the blocks it will showcase that lovely grid pattern.

When we purchased the paving stones late last summer we also found the four large cedar planters on clearance for $14.00 each. We couldn't build them for that price.

DIY Backyard Living Space Expansion

Now you'd think this project would have made us never look at another paver project again. Nope, just like childbirth, you forget about how painful it was and do it again. On the other side of our backyard, we used roman pavers to create a backyard firepit zone.

If you have any questions about this outdoor living space expansion, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top. I love hearing from you!

If you enjoyed this DIY Stone Patio or Stone Grid Path idea, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your Backyard Landscaping or DIY Outdoor Projects board on Pinterest.


Outdoor Living Space Expansion Before and After


I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.

13 comments

  1. absolutely gorgeous!! Magazine worthy for sure.

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  2. All the extra steps you took will really pay off. It looks wonderful now, but please share pics when the moss spreads.

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    1. Thank you Sandra 😀 Finger's crossed the moss survives and does well.

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  3. Awesome job!! I know firsthand just how much work you put into your project after installing 2 DIY patios throughout our moves. Our 3rd was hired out. LOL

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    1. Thanks Allyson, smart lady hiring out the third! I can't imagine doing it a second time let alone three. I told Mr. Frugalista that our next home is a condo! LOL

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  4. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn
    ********************************************************

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  5. My goodness, you have given me a lot of ideas to ponder for my own backyard! This looks awesome, Marie! Another one pinned!

    Hugs,

    Tee

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    1. Music to my ears, Tee! So glad our DIY patio gave you inspiration for yours. Thanks for the visit and the pin. Hugs backatcha 🤗

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  6. Wow, that looks great! I love the idea of having the moss spread, that would look lovely!

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    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! The variegated color between the spanish and irish moss should be quite lovely when full grown.

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  7. It looks great! We also built a little area for our fire pit with stone pavers and I am loving it.

    Thanks for sharing at TFT!

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    1. Thanks Amber, I bet your firepit area looks amazing! We sure love the pavers around ours. It just dresses up that area of the backyard.

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I always enjoy hearing from you so please don't be shy! I read and reply to every single comment.