5 New Patio Ideas on a Budget


Use Salvaged and Natural Material for Pavers

Hitting construction sites and local construction projects can be a gold mine for some natural stone. Approach the foreman of the site and ask for permission to harvest a small amount of stone for your patio. Have firm numbers in hand and be willing to be flexible on when you can pick it up, and how much you can get; generally, this means at their convenience, and how much they want to give.

At the same, time pick up a stone chisel, hammer, safety glasses and gloves. The gloves, hammer and chisel can be pre-owned, but always buy new safety glasses, and always keep them on when you're working. Make a trip to the library or search the Internet to learn the basics of dressing stone. The addition of a brick chisel will allow you to cut bricks to size.

Natural stone can be used to reduce the amount of salvaged bricks and pavers you need. If you cruise the want ads, be ready to move at a moment's notice, so have a truck, gloves, safety glasses and free time handy.

Diligent work over the span of a few weeks can net a surprising amount of material. Pile the material as close to the site as you can and organize into types, something like a hardscape palette. Keep a loose tally of the surface area the piles could cover. The next step is to make a paper layout of what the patio surface will look like -- and then it's time to get to work.