Hot tub on a budget (plus how to install a paver patio)

Hello friends! I wanted to pop in today to let you know what’s going on around this pad. Since the flip house sold last month, we’ve been going crazy knocking out¬†projects around our own house.

I painted the living room and kitchen and also painted about half of our front porch railing. We also installed a new kitchen floor and organized the garage. But my favorite project right now is the hot tub and paver patio we’re putting in!

A sweet friend from church mentioned she knew someone who wanted to get rid of a hot tub, and she asked if we were interested in it. We’ve always discussed how much we’d like to have a hot tub, but we didn’t want to spend a fortune on one. Well … long story short, we checked out the hot tub and bought it for $600!

Here’s a picture of it when we went to check it out before we bought it. Our little guy calls it the “hot pool.” ūüôā

california-cooperage-hot-tub

It’s a 6-person California Cooperage¬ģ. After we agreed to buy it, we had to figure out where in the world we were going to put it! Matt really wanted to create a paver patio for it, which I was reluctant to try because it seemed like a very labor-intensive project. I was leaning toward a poured concrete pad. We agreed to go with Matt’s idea and began preparing the backyard.

How to install a paver patio

We leveled about a 13’x13′ section with a rototiller, shovels and rakes. I say “we,” but mostly Matt tackled this part (praise God).

preparing-hot-tub-base

After Matt had everything fairly level and framed out, we added about an inch of sand, and Matt and Eva “dragged” it to ensure a completely level spot that would be ready for the paver base panels.

leveling-hot-tub-base

We chose these paver base panels instead of a stone base, simply for ease of installation. Matt said the price of the panels was comparable to using the crushed paver stone.

hot-tub-base

After laying out the panels in the framed area, the base was ready for the pavers. We chose Newline‚ĄĘ English Cobble‚ĄĘ stones. We mixed and matched the Riverbed Beige and Fieldstone colors, and set them in a random pattern. We were able to get the entire patio laid in one evening with me, Matt and the kids all helping.

english-cobble-riverbed english-cobble-fieldstone

After laying the stones, we filled in the cracks with polymeric sand from Lowe’s. We brushed that out, then wet the patio with a hose to set the sand.

Here’s the hot tub on its new patio base.

hot-tub-before-stain

Whew.¬†After that, it was on to the beautification process. As you can see, the hot tub was a bit faded, so I decided to stain the exterior cabinet. After much research, I decided on a ZAR¬ģ wood stain in Moorish Teak. For some very helpful information on how to stain fiberglass, plastic or other non-wood surfaces, click here.

hot-tub-stain

staining-hot-tub

You can see the dramatic transformation in progress. I stained the whole tub, and now I’m letting it “cure” for about a week. After that, I’ll go over it with a exterior-rated polyurethane with UV protectant built in.

While the stain dries, I’m landscaping around the new patio.

hot-tub-landscaping

I’ve chosen all evergreen bushes and plants because I want the hot tub area to feel like a woodland oasis. I’m using 2B river stone around the plants.

I can’t wait to show you the “after” pictures when everything is done! Total,¬†we’ll probably have about $2,500 invested in the hot tub, patio and landscaping. This is a chunk of change for sure, but nowhere near what we would have paid for a new hot tub, or for someone else to install the patio.

What do you think of our progress so far? Stay tuned for the final reveal coming soon.

Spring backyard patio decorating

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of At Home. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve always stood by my¬†claim¬†that summer is the best season of all. But, I have to admit, spring does give it a good run for its money. I¬†love¬†spring for many reasons, but mostly because of all the possibilities it brings with it.

This time of year, our family likes to talk about all the fun things we want to do outside when it warms up, including heading to the lake and hitting up our favorite ice cream shack. It’s also the time of year I get inspired to put the back patio in party order.

This year, I wanted to keep it simple and spruce up our back patio by adding some budget-friendly color and texture. This space was looking rather sad after another long, Pennsylvania winter.

I decided that a rug and some new garden planters would provide the most impact without costing me a lot of money or time. I headed over to the new At Home Store in Mannassas, Virginia, to see what they had in stock for outdoor decor. (This store is not too far from where I’ve been spending the past several weeks on a business-related trip.)

This is the first time I’ve ever been in an At Home store. Oh wow. If you’re like me and you brake for shiny things, you will need to go into this store with an iron-clad game plan. I could have easily spent several hours – no days – looking at all the home-related deliciousness.

Actually, I could have spent several hours alone just perusing the Outdoor Decor Collections  in this store. 

Huge, huge, huge selection of home goodies for any budget.

I settled on this¬†rug and two, large metallic¬†planters for the back patio. The 5’x7′ rug from the At Home Patio¬†section of the store¬†was $49.99 and the planters were $69.99.

I spent a few hours scrubbing the porch and cleaning up the patio furniture, windows and siding. Then I added my new decor.

It’s amazing what a little elbow grease¬†and budget-friendly¬†decorating can do for a backyard space.

Have you done any outdoor decorating yet this year? I’d love to hear ideas you’ve got planned this year for Outdoor Entertaining.

Visit Sponsors Site

Front door hardware and porch ‘jewelry’ at the flip house

Hello friends! Today I wanted to share with you some of the details on the new door and front porch at the flip house.

If you recall, last week I shared the before and after of the new, red front door.

Door-before

And after:

New-front-door

Modern-Masters-Sophisticated-red-door

I used Modern Masters¬ģ Front Door Paint in the Sophisticated color.

For the hardware, I chose the¬†Schlage Connect‚ĄĘ with¬†handleset and¬†accent lever.

Schlage-install

This is the exact set I installed on the front door at my primary home. I cannot say enough good things about this hardware. I love, love, love it!

Schlage-Connect-hardware Schlage-handle-closeup Schlage-touchscreen-keypad

If I ever move, the first thing I’m installing at my new home is one of these handlesets. The touchscreen feature is so convenient and it doesn’t interfere with the beautiful aesthetics of the hardware. For step-by-step instructions on¬†how to install this set, check out this post.

Along with¬†the Schlage hardware, I installed this 1950s knocker to the door for more “bling” and to¬†add¬†a special feature¬†true to the period of the home. I purchased this on eBay for $11.

50s-door-knockerI gave it a coat of Rust-Oleum¬ģ flat black primer, then a coat of oil-rubbed bronze metallic spray paint, to¬†match the hardware.

Rust-Oleum-primer Rust-Oleum-black-primer

Here’s the final result of that quick project:

50s-style-door-knocker

Schlage-red-front-door Schlage-red-door

I added some accessories to the porch as well, to give it a more upscale feel and tie all the colors together. I painted an old planter with the same Rust-Oleum ORB spray paint I used for the knocker, then added some faux greenery from Hobby Lobby.

Urn-planter Planter-with-faux-greenery

The rug is from Ross. I think I paid $12 for it.

I found an adorable plaid, wool blanket at a thrift store that had all the right colors in the porch palette.

Plaid-wool-blanket-and-pillow

I bought¬†the pillow for $7 at Gabes. I gave it a good coat of Rust-Oleum NeverWet¬ģ to weatherproof it.

NeverWetI used my paint sprayer to give new life to an old porch swing left at the property. I chose a water-based solid stain in a mahogany color.

Brown-Porch-swing

What do you think of the porch “jewelry?”

Schlage-red-door

Special thanks to Schlage for providing, at my request, the handleset for this door, and to Rust-Oleum for providing the spray paint and NeverWet. As always, all opinions and projects are 100 percent mine.