What You Need To Build A Patio

Extend your living space outside of the house and into your backyard with a DIY patio area. A patio is a beautiful outdoor space that one can retreat to on a warm sunny day. Not only does it create a wonderful location for lounging, but it is a great spot for hosting guests and spending time with family.
Much to many people’s surprise, building a concrete patio is much easier than expected.

A patio made out of flagstone, bricks or concrete pavers is much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle – it simply requires some time and strategy. In this article, we will detail what materials you need and the steps you should follow to transform your outdoor landscape with a patio.

Tools You'll Need

Materials You'll Need

Choose Your Patio Pavers

One of the most important steps in building a patio is choosing what type of stone you will lay. There are various types of pavers that one can choose from including concrete, brick, flagstone, limestone and more.
Laying down concrete flagstone for DIY patio

Concrete

Concrete stones are the most common choice for building a DIY patio. They are relatively affordable, have a classic appearance and typically come in a square shape. This makes these stones easy to install a new patio over a single weekend.

Natural Stone

A natural stone paver patio is by far the most beautiful and durable. Natural stone pavers like flagstone, limestone and granite come in a variety of shapes, colours and textures, and can be used to create unique patterns. Natural stones are also incredibly durable, requiring little to no maintenance long after you have finished your project.

Brick

While most people think that bricks are only used for edging a garden, they can also be used as pavers for a DIY patio too. Bricks are relatively affordable stones that can withstand natural elements and other wear and tear. They can also be laid quite easily in a variety of patterns like straight lines, pinwheels or herringbone to create an eye-catching focal point in your yard.

Steps To Build A DIY Patio

1. Preparing The Ground Surface

The first step in building a patio is preparing the site of your future patio. Choose a site that does not have a large slope, then mark out the perimeter of the area. The average size of a patio is approximately 25 square feet but can be adjusted according to your liking. Simply make sure the area is completely square before moving on.

Mark the edge of the site using string or wood edging to guide your next steps. These markers will work as a sign of where you should dig and where you shouldn’t.

Following the line, excavate 8 inches of dirt plus the height of your patio pavers. This will ensure that you have an appropriate amount of space for all of the materials needed to create your patio.

2. Add Landscape Fabric

The next step of the process is to line the area of the patio with garden fabric. Cut the material to the size of the patio and spread it over the layer of dirt. This will prevent weeds and other plants from growing out of the soil surface and through the cracks of your pavers.

3. Creating The Base With Gravel

After the fabric has been laid, fill the allotted area with a 6-inch layer of gravel paver base. This will level out the ground and act as a secure base for the pavers.

A great tip for ensuring that you lay the correct amount of paver base is to use PVC pipes. Cut two 1-inch PVC pipes to the approximate size of the patio, then lay them in the base. As you spread the paver base, you can reference their height to determine the approximate depth of sand needed. Pour the material up to the line level, then remove the pipes and fill the rest.

Using rubber mallet to install interlock stone on gravel base

Next, tamp the sand using a hand tamper, plate compactor, or a spare piece of lumber to ensure that it’s compact and level. It’s important to have a compacted and level base because it will keep the stone pavers level and in place.

While doing so, use a level to ensure that the gravel sand is not on a slope. Keep your patio level to reduce the risks of catching your foot and tripping.

4. Install Pavers

Laying pavers is the most exciting step of the process because you can see your patio start to come together. Begin at one side of your patio and lay the stones on top of the sand, working in one direction to cover the patio area completely. Use a rubber mallet to hammer the stones firmly in place.

As you install the pavers, keep in mind that you will need to leave a gap between the stones for polymeric sand. You should leave approximately 3/8 of an inch between the stones.

If you have chosen to lay pavers in a pattern, you should also take the time to map it out before beginning. This could save you a great deal of time and help prevent any errors.

5. Seal With Polymeric Sand Material

Adding sand to a patio helps provide drainage while preventing any weeds from growing between pavers.

Using a stiff broom, sweep polymeric joint sand over the patio surface until the gaps between the stones are filled. Then sweep any excess sand off of the patio after completion. To set the sand, add less than an inch of water to the surface of your patio using a garden hose. The water will encourage the sand to sink and set in between the pavers.

Comfortable outdoor seating area on DIY stone patio

Build A Stunning Interlock Patio

Overall, DIY patios are a relatively easy project that can completely transform your backyard. All you need to do is gather the materials, plan out the area, select a pattern and complete construction. This simple process can help you escape your house more frequently and enjoy your backyard with friends and family.

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