Smaller Patio Design Helps Pay for Fire Pit and Grill

Garrett Kelly
Written by Garrett Kelly
Updated June 15, 2021
The built-in grill saved money because it took up less space than the pad the homeowner originally wanted. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Scott Campbell of Indianapolis)

After dealing with a crumbling deck, this homeowner decided to have a patio made out of pavers. The design features a fire pit and a built-in grill.

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In 2005, Indianapolis member Scott Campbell and his wife, Debra, moved into their home and set out to create an outdoor living space. They attempted two projects that weren’t built right and didn’t last.

Scott says this project came to fruition when their last attempt failed. It became unsafe for them to walk onto the composite deck they had added to the home. They needed to tear it down and start anew. “The deck started to crumble,” he says. “We didn’t have a choice.”

The Campbells decided they wanted to have a concrete pad laid for their patio area. They selected a contractor, designed a plan and were ready to sign the paperwork. However, they changed their minds after Debra made just one phone call.

Debra called Justin Filbrun, owner of highly rated Justin’s Landscape in Pendleton, Ind., and after their conversation, the Campbells rethought their patio. Scott didn’t want to be stuck with a concrete patio that might crack and end up with a third failed project on his hands.

They read reviews and looked at photos of Justin’s work, but that wasn’t all that impressed Scott. “He wasn’t pushy,” he says. “I don’t like pushiness when it comes to sales.”

The Campbells had a general idea of what they wanted, and Filbrun was able to improve on it. Scott says they ended up with a smaller patio than they initially planned, but the setup is more efficient. “He gave us what we wanted and helped us save money,” he says.

Scott says he had no idea what the project would cost, and at $28,000, it doubled his original estimation. However, he realized that you get what you pay for, and having a successful project was important to him. “It was well worth the cost,” he says.

Scott’s favorite features are the built-in grill, the lighting system and the fire pit. “I get a lot of use out of the fire pit and I’m grilling all the time,” he says.

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