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Building my first patio advice needed... and online creative inspiration

Hey all,


So I've recruited some friends to help me build a patio for our first house.  yard area tends to have a slope in it, with the greatest slope area to be in the area where we are thinking of building our patio.  It will be a paver patio, and we're wondering whether it's smarter to drop the high end, or bring up the low end by using a retaining wall.


At first, I thought dropping the high end would be the best (it would have to drop 13 inches), but there is a drainage pipe the relies on the slope that's there to take the water from our downspout out to our driveway, and away from the house, and then there is also an electrical cable running from the outside of our house on the high side, and down to our garage on the low side.  Both of which would require moving and possibly the current hose and cable are not long enough.  So then I thought, what if I made a retaining wall higher on the low side and brought it up to the height of the higher end, and just put the soil, gravel, sand, compacting, and pavers within that area instead.


Any thoughts on this?  I could use the advice.


And then the other thing, does anyone have any sites, aside from Houzz and Pintrest, they use for inspiration on the layout and decor for outdoor living spaces?


Thanks so much.

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Posted 2013-03-30T01:52:39+0000  by Chase54 Chase54

Hello Chase54 and thank you for joining The Community.  We are glad that you are here. 


First of all, congratulations on the new house!  You are fortunate to have some friends to help you build your patio.  (They may be expecting a cook-out upon the completion of the patio!!!)


It would be helpful to have a photo to better visualize your area, however here are some quick notes and ideas:


You mention an electrical cable running from the outside of your house on the high side and down to your garage on the low side.  Please call “811” or go to  You will put in contact with your local One Call Center: "call before you dig."   Tell the operator what work you will be doing and the affected local utilities companies will be notified about your intent.  In a few days, they will send a locator to mark the approximate location of your underground lines, pipes and cables so you will know what is below - and be able to work safely.  You will also be able to discuss moving any utility lines with the correct personnel. This is information you will need to know for this project as well as those in the future. 


The drainage pipe concern (downspout out to our driveway) should have the water run-off directed away from the house – but how will that affect the lawn or land in that area?  If you have several days of heavy rain and the ground get saturated, where will the water go?  (You do not want to create an above ground pool!)  You do not want excess water to back up and harm the foundation or enter the garage or basement.  You may need to consider a French Drain or trench to divert water safely.


An idea for your design may include a retaining wall, a terrace patio, or step system.  More ideas on designing with pavers can be found in the Pavestone Design Ideas online gallery. 


Best wishes on your project and please keep us posted on your progress.


Eileen HD ATL.jpg

Posted 2013-04-02T17:34:20+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL
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