Covering/Removing a Lawn

Hi,
I have moved into a new house (new to me - NOT new) and the back law is a disaster, it is more like a field, lumpy, big clogs, uneven etc No amount of cutting will make it good.
I want to convert the area into a sitdown, barbacue area with a pergal or similar structure. It has a good border area with well establishe trees and bushes but I need to make it more habital.
I am no expert so I am unsure if I need to take the lawn up and thro it or simply cover it with "something" and then cover with gravel flags or paving etc. I have no desire to have a lawn, the area I nee is for sitting and visitors etc. I am looking to have borders or smal rock garden areas etc.
The garden is about 12 metres by 10 meters.
Thanks in advance
Peter Rhode
-- Peter Rhodes
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You have lots of options. Gravel, brick, concrete pavers, large concrete tiles, asphalt paving, concrete paving....
If it were mine, I'd put down concrete pavers because I like the look. You could have several patio areas connected with walkways, leaving room between for small planting areas.
You might also be happy with concrete paving, expecially if you opt for stained concrete. I've seen beautiful installations with saw-cut patterns and different colors.
All of these options will require you to remove the existing sod and a few cm of dirt. Then you'll put down sand to get the right level. Finally, the finished surface goes on. The exact process varies with the product. -- Steve B. New Life Home Improvement
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And the exact process also varies with the grading. You need at least 6" of base material. That plus the thickness of the pavers determines the height. Depending on what the finished grade needs to be determines if material needs to be removed and how much. The other factor is what type of soil is there to begin with.
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[snip]
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And the exact process also varies with the grading. You need at least 6" of base material. That plus the thickness of the pavers determines the height. Depending on what the finished grade needs to be determines if material needs to be removed and how much. The other factor is what type of soil is there to begin with.
I'll second the paver idea and suggest you design it using more than one color paver. I used peach color around the front and side, between the house and a perimeter sidewalk (broken up by a small pond and fountain in front near the door) and continued it around part of the rear of the house. In the rear, I used a perimeter of about 5' of peach pavers, with two small (2' x 6') set-in gardens, to which I ran micro-irrigation lines. Outside the peach pavers, I used brick red color pavers for a sidewalk, and marked the outside edge of the walkway with a single row of peach. Outside of that the edge is scalloped with four half circles and I planted a rose bush in the gaps between each of the circles, so I have a straight edge to mow against.
Now I'm going to extend it further around the rear side (it's an "L" shaped house) to eliminate an awkward area to mow at the end of the current pavers.
This project just kind of grew like Topsy. The original owner had filled in the gap between the perimeter sidewalk and the house with gravel, which always looked dirty. Once I got started I discovered that in the rear the perimeter sidewalk was sloped slightly towards the house and was funneling rainwater under the foundation of a rear porch, so I had to remove that part of the perimeter sidewalk and replace it the the pavers walkway, sloped properly. Once all of this was done I've been able to take down the gutters on two sides of the house, eliminating a 1 - 2 times a year maintenance problem.
My goal in all of this was to spend money (capital investment) up front and minimize later maintenance requirements. So far it's meeting that goal and is an asset to the house as well.
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