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Old 04-11-2013, 10:40 AM   #1
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Best "temporary patio" material?


My wife and I are in the home stretch of a retaining wall project (previous details here). We started this project to give us some outdoor space, and correct grade issues that were pooling water against our foundation

This is what it looks like today. We've got two 12" catch basins installed in the sunken patio area at intentional low points. These drain to daylight via 4" SCH40 PVC.


We would eventually like to do stamped concrete or flagstone in the patio area, but we can't afford it currently. We are hoping to find a good option for ground cover that allows us to walk around and use the area for a year or two before we upgrade to hardscaping.

Keeping the drainage working and functional is goal one here, since that is the whole reason we started the project. It's about 800 square feet. I was thinking a 1-2" layer of mulch would be sufficient, requiring about 5 yards (~$150). I could also contact a local tree company and go with free wood chippings. Gravel is another option, but seems like a royal pain.

Any suggestions?

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Old 04-11-2013, 12:04 PM   #2
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Best "temporary patio" material?


Well if you're certain you'll do concrete or pavers eventually, I might consider gravel or a compacted base material. Since pavers or concrete would need a solid base anyway, you could add the base material now and live with it until you wanted to finish the space.

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Old 04-11-2013, 12:10 PM   #3
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Best "temporary patio" material?


+1 for gravel. Mulch is nice but its going to require some upkeep.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:42 PM   #4
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Best "temporary patio" material?


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Originally Posted by cibula11 View Post
Well if you're certain you'll do concrete or pavers eventually, I might consider gravel or a compacted base material. Since pavers or concrete would need a solid base anyway, you could add the base material now and live with it until you wanted to finish the space.
that is exactly what i was going to say. do it as if you were going to lay concrete. but wait on the concrete.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:46 PM   #5
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Best "temporary patio" material?


Only problem is you are going to have to pull the gravel up if you want the stamped slab to the existing grade. I think I would think about mulch. You can rake it up and put it in the garden when to time to form, pour and surface.

I would not introduce raw mulch. Too many potential problem like disease and insects you do not want to introduce to the rest of the garden.

Would some square rubber pavers work for a season or two? Could use brick ones for that matter I guess. If you are more or less level, you could put them over what you have and just pull them up when done. Cost might be a factor but you could donate them to a playground project for a tax deduction if they are not chewed up when you are ready to pour.

Nice looking retaining wall, by the way!
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:43 AM   #6
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Best "temporary patio" material?


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Only problem is you are going to have to pull the gravel up if you want the stamped slab to the existing grade. !

True, but depending on the height of the current drain, there may need to be some excavating to lower the current area a few inches so when the concrete is poured it is flush or slightly above the drain. Otherwise that drain serves little to no purpose.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:32 AM   #7
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Best "temporary patio" material?


I rather cringe making the suggestion, and the stuff looks awful if not maintained, but what about synthetic turf for a couple seasons. Just don't tell anybody I raised the possibility. In fairness, it is like anything else. Some of the higher end stuff does not look so totally faux faux. And there is nothing like the smell of fresh mowed polyester or polyethylene. Seems so unholy and sinfully unnatural to me. I may have to commit sepico for mentioning it! Hopefully it would inspire you to save faster and get on with the stamped, artisan patio though?




Did you save any of those pallets like I see leaning on the fence? Might have been able to make a temporary deck good for a couple seasons out of them.

Last edited by user1007; 04-13-2013 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:31 AM   #8
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Best "temporary patio" material?


there is all kinds of things that can be done. but why bother, and spend the money(that can be put towards the permanent solution).

grade and base like you are actually going to pour the concrete (except for the forms). just don't pour the concrete. if the base is a little "dirty", put down a little pee gravel.

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