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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Saving Mountains with Recycled Granite Home Projects

Feb 28, 2018 07:16PM ● By Julie Olauson

Recently we had the opportunity to sit down with Ryan H., the A&E Recycled Granite 2017 Best DIY Project Winner. Every year, A&E hosts the contest on Facebook, allowing its followers to vote for the winning project. This year, the contest received over 3,000 views. Ryan’s stunning Recycled Granite Paver patio claimed the title, getting over 300 votes. His project turned out looking very professional and he agreed to share his journey from first shovel to last installed paver.

Did you create your backyard design?

Yes. My father and I started out with a sketch. We kept revising it, trying to find the best look for all the features we wanted to include.

Ryan’s project was actually several projects that he and his father, Greg, worked on to produce a multi-functional outdoor living space. The space would have a basketball court, pergola, a large 850-square-foot Recycled Granite Paver patio, a grill island and a putting green. Ryan and his family worked on installing the pavers in May and June of 2017. They survived the summer heat by working with the angles of the sun. They would start in the morning, stop when the sun was overhead and came back to it after the backyard was shaded again.

Your patio used 15,300 pounds of Recycled Granite that was destined to be thrown away. How do you feel about saving that much of our mountains from the landfill?

I’m really happy about the Recycled Granite Pavers. They allowed me to have an environmentally-friendly patio that looks really nice and keeps something beautiful from being wasted.

During the contest, your project got a lot of attention. Over 3,000 people saw your design and it had over 200 comments like: ‘What a backyard—I wish it was mine!’, ‘This was a DIY project? It looks professional!’ and ‘Wow! Can I hire him?’ How does that feel?

Wow! I’m glad people could see how much effort I put into it. My goal was to make it look professional. I spent a lot of time ironing out the design, adding sweeping curves and little details that gave my backyard an amazing look.

Do you have any tips for other DIYer’s considering a project like yours?

Don’t rush. Be patient and take your time. Spend a lot of time on the base—it’s boring but it’s so important and it helps the pavers go down so much easier.

Not only is Ryan pleased with the outcome, so is his family. They love how it turned out and spend part of every day in their outdoor living space. Ryan says, “It’s an extension of our home.” The pavers Ryan used were made from Recycled Granite and his project kept a little over 7 ½ tons of natural stone out of our local landfill.

A&E Recycled Granite is located at 8500 S. Nogales Hwy., Tucson, and does installations as well. For more information, call 520-885-8970 or visit to see the full product line manufactured right here in Tucson.

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