Create a private patio

In October 2016, the homeowner wanted us to reduce the yard footprint in order to increase parking spaces for a Charlestown family. The following year, he was ready to redo the backyard. The clients’ goals were to have a nice patio area, a stone set of steps that had to be at least 18″ wide, and a planter for his elderly mother to plant flowers in.

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Maximizing space with small footprint

To achieve a balance with “nature”, we incorporated earth tone pavers. We ended up using Techo Bloc Blu 60 in the colors Champlain Gray and Sandlewood. We came up with a formula of 80% Champlain Gray and 20% Sandalwood – in order to achieve the color we wanted. For the Stone Veneer, we used Stoneyard, Portsmouth Granite, and Ashlar pattern. The Ashlar Stone Veneer pattern is an end grain cut of the stone with a texture surface – offering an eye-catching design to complete the look.


We had to actually remove the small wall in front that we had installed the previous year in order to get the machine into the yard to excavate. The installation of a planter would severely impact the footprint. The most difficult part was the side of the house. The side foundation was completely caved in. The spiral staircase was partially bolted onto an old concrete block The back wall was an ugly colored brick.


We opted to retrofit a long planter along the fence – to avoid interfering with overall footprint. We stuccoed over the entire side wall to make it look new. We dug out the entire side of the home by hand to address the foundation. We ended up cementing concrete blocks along the side, then stuccoing over them, to make the foundation look brand new. We poured a new concrete pad for the staircase and outlined it in cobblestone.

Planter Buildout

After we excavated the entire area over a foot, we had to create concrete footings for the steps and planter. We used 2″X 8″ wood to build forms and then mixed concrete and filled them. We let them settle overnight. Once we pulled the forms, we built the frames out of cinderblocks. We attached the stone veneer with the bluestone caps. Then we put in 8 inches of stone-pack and compacted it for the base of the patio, then installed the pavers.