What is one thing that every southern home needs in order to truly enjoy summer in the south? A front porch! I never really knew that I wanted one until I had one. Being so close to a shopping center we have a multitude of furry little neighbors in the form of stray cats. As cute as they are, they had a very strange way of welcoming us into the neighborhood. They liked to use our planter that is right next to our door stoop as their personal toilet…. That smell is what you want to greet your guests before they even reach your door, right!?! It was awful.
Having lived in the house a few months we decided we were done with allowing all 20 of the stray cats in our neighborhood to use our planter as a litter box. We wanted to go ahead and create a small front porch by filling the planter with dirt, leveling sand, and laying brick.
Here is what we used:
- Leveling sand
- PVC pipe the length of the bed
- 2×4 the width of the bed
- Rubber malet
- Paver setting sand
We started by removing any visible plants…and cat poop, and raked the dirt so it was moderately level. We then emptied the bags of leveling sand into the bed.
We pushed it around and smoothed it as much as possible with a rake then laid the two pieces of PVC on either side of the planter. We used the PVC as a track and placed the 2×4 on top of the PVC to ensure that the surface was level.
We started to lay the brick and made sure not to step on the leveling sand to avoid having to start over in that respect. When laying each brick we gave it a good wiggle and gently tapped it with the a rubber mallet before moving on to the next.
This is the paver set (above) we used. It was really easy to put into place. The idea is to pour the sand on the pavers, or in our case brick; sweep the sand into the cracks as evenly as possible, and rinse the surface. The sand acts as a cement of sorts and the water bonds to the sand and causes it to harden when it dries. It’s not a permanent fix but it definitely made a difference and helps with our not so polite four-legged neighbors. It also helped liven up our curb appeal. We were lucky enough to not have to pay for our brick. My mother was getting rid of them from her landscaping so we gladly accepted. Thanks Mom!