Landscaping – Proper Measuring

Around my home, the past couple of weeks have been so productive and beneficial for me. It’s been great to be outside: summer is in sight, and it’s been a joy to start getting my backyard in shape. I’ve spent numerous hours outside since the start of May, and most significantly, I have begun the initial stages of prepping the area of my backyard for where the firepit and entertaining area will go. The plan (seen in the rough sketch image below) is to have a circular firepit (which we are getting custom built) that will be 36″ in diameter, surrounded by 12″ of paving stones. The firepit and paving stones will be properly landscaped (properly graded, including the ground below the firepit prepped) so that this feature will be able to withstand prairie weather for years to come.

To ensure this is done properly, I’ve spent several hours researching and educating myself on how to properly landscape and prepare for high traffic areas, such as paving stones. Shoutout to This Old House – How to Install Concrete Pavers and PavestoneCompany – Pavestone Paver Installation on YouTube for the helpful knowledge and tips on properly landscaping and laying paving stones.

I’m a planner, so when I commit to something, I want to make sure it’s done right the first time. For the initial stages of this project, here are some of the things I learned:

  • Since there will be digging and excavating taking place, the first thing on the to-do list was to have SaskPower, SaskEnergy, and SaskTel come to stake out our backyard and determine where each of their underground lines are running (already completed). Fortunately, the area where we plan to dig and put our firepit isn’t near where the underground lines are (thank goodness, because this part will involve digging approximately 8” underground to pack down the area where the paving stones and firepit will end up…more on this will be discussed in my next post).
  • Using the location of the underground lines, we confirmed where we want our firepit to be, and then determined the perimeter to where the flat landscaping stones will extend to. In the images below, the yellow flags are the location of the SaskEnergy lines, and the orange/red flags determine the perimeter of the project (the orange flag in the middle represents the centre of where the firepit will be). From the centre of the firepit, I measured so that the edge of the area is 8’ away, and any building material is at least 10’ away, which is the required distance that City of Regina bylaws regarding Firepit Regulations dictate that firepits must be from any combustible material (ie: buildings, porches, and decks).

Now that the area is staked out, the next steps of this project are to begin prepping the area (digging and properly grading), including creating the base layer that the firepit and patio stones will be placed upon. To be continued…

A sketch of the firepit area to be landscaped.

Yellow flags showing the location of SaskEnergy lines.Orange flags showing the perimeter of the area that will be landscaped.Me measuring the radius of the firepit and paving stones.Measuring the radius of the firepit and paving stones.

5 thoughts on “Landscaping – Proper Measuring

  1. The last few weeks have been wonderful for outdoor work projects. I sure hope it continues! I am looking forward to seeing your project unfold. Once your firepit area is built, you can check out my blog for some gardening ideas to add to it!

  2. Mike, this looks interesting! I can’t wait to see the final project. Measure twice, cut once, as my husband always says! Looks like you have a nice size yard to add in that fire pit! Nothing beats the summers than late night fires and beers 🙂

  3. I can’t wait to see how this project unfolds. I appreciate the honesty with “when I commit to something, I want to make sure it’s done right the first time”. It took me a long time to fully understand this and realize how important this is. It’s a lifestyle! From what I see, it’s going to be incredible.

  4. Mike, I can’t wait to see your final project! We have a firepit area in our backyard and we use it all year long. I would recommend if you like cooking over the fire making sure to have a grate to put on so that you can cook. Hope that things go smoothly and you are able to be in there sooner than later.

  5. Mike, this looks like a fantastic plan. I only have one question… are you available to hire? I have wanted to have our firepit put in for a few years now but the process takes some serious focus, as you well know.
    Are you putting in bonfire furniture or is it designed for regular lawn chairs? We are having difficulty deciding what surface we want to install so that the chairs sit flush and don’t tip – this is a pet peeve of mine. What are you putting around your large flat stones?

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