Un-making Waves – The Fire Pit Adventure, Part 2

Wow, I can’t even begin to describe to you the geography of the far part of our backyard. Wavy. Really, really wavy.

If you caught my Instagram story from a little while ago, I took folks on a tour of our undulating backyard. The fact of the matter is, the entire far part of the property was filled in with wood chips. And those wood chips are decomposing. Fairly rapidly, I’d guess.

a view of the yard where the fire pit will be re-built
It’s hard to tell in the photo, but if you follow across the photo from the base of the tree, that’s the ridge of a hill and a fairly deep hole on the other side.

The original owner of all of the neighborhood land was in the tree business and later in his life he decided to upgrade and build a larger, more modern house on his land. That’s our house today. And when he was selling off pieces of his property, he had to raise up some of the land. And what did he have a lot of? Wood chips.

Needless to say, it’s been a challenge to level out the ground. It took me a week to fill this hole!

filling in a hole with topsoil
I thought the hole was 6″ deep, but it was also pretty long. Very deceptive.

With any patio, you’ll need a good base. I used this screened topsoil that we had hauled in from a favorite local vendor. Under normal circumstances where the ground is already made of topsoil or even clay, your base layer would be made of gravel. Already being behind the 8 ball here, I used a lot of topsoil to firm things up instead.

using a tamper to push down the topsoil
So. Much. Tamping.
Using a level to make the ground level
Attempting to level it off.

We’ve got a terrible bittersweet problem in the area, so a weed barrier is a must. Plus I don’t want to have to be pulling up those tiny weeds on my nice, new patio. I am no stranger to weed barrier and I never pay attention to the brand I buy, but this time around I found this one at my local Ace Hardware. It was nifty in that it lightly stuck together to help with the overlap.

spreading out the weed barrier
It looks a mess, but I will be happy I did this later!

Once I had my immediate patio area filled in and covered with weed barrier, I had 2 cubic yards of concrete sand brought in. This is just another layer to help keep things stable, but also to give the pavers something to sit in.

A view of the tamped sand
My triceps are going to be ripped after all this!

Come back next week when I take you though the process of installing the pavers!

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