smash in Palo Alto, CA

We took out an old deck, and replaced it with a Trex deck and two levels of hardscape patio.

Back Yard Deck Hardscape Path / Walkway Patio Side Yard Step by Step Project Stone / Rock

1 of 30: The deck before removal

2 of 30: After much of the removal. We still needed to dig out the brick border and some of the grass

3 of 30: The excavated side yard, with irrigation and electrical installed. 4-6 inches of baserock will go in next, followed by about 1 inch of sand, then the pavers.

4 of 30: Laying out the retaining wall for the upper layer.

5 of 30: Harry inspects the workmanship. Or the opportunities.

6 of 30: Laying out the wall. The cinder blocks will be used to create the steps out the door. A sample gecko paver rules over it all.

7 of 30: Me compacting the upper layer. Corners and curves are hard.

8 of 30: Harry makes sure that the geckos march in line. The tolerances on these pavers are small, so we actually had to pick them up and start over to get them to fit.

9 of 30: Harry and Juni loves them some geckos.

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13 of 30: Sometimes it was easy to put them down, and sometimes it was not. We'd jiggle, take some up, curse, plead, and eventually get them down. We broke a few in the process, but were able to use most of them when we cut them at the edges.

14 of 30: A council of 3 clean ones. It seems that the stones had been stored for years with cardboard between them, so most were stained and mottled, and this only came off with multiple cleans with a strong acid concrete cleaner. Of course, the sample that we were given was very clean and pretty, and no one told us that they'd be stained.

15 of 30: Taking a break.

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18 of 30: The bed to the right will hold dwarf citrus trees.

19 of 30: Nice cutting job with the tile saw. The geckos are concrete, so they cut OK with a diamond saw.

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23 of 30: We're leaving loose edges for some planters and along the lawn. Since they interlock so well, they will not walk away, even though they have legs.

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30 of 30: We had to lower the lawn edge a bit by peeling it back and removing soil. The loose edges were seeded with grass seed.

Comments / Questions

Hi, I am interested in making or purchasing these gecko pavers. Can you direct me to where you found them or how to make them? I also live in the Bay. Thank you!

I have never seen gecko pavers. That is so neat!


Kudos for finding a way to recycle the lumber. I love he cat watching over the construction process.

Congrats on being a featured yard this week!

What a great patio. It's a very unique look, and you've incorporated it into your yard well. Thanks for sharing.

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