If you’re wanting to spend more time in your backyard this summer, then what you need is a patio. The patio can serve many functions – it’s a great hosting area for parties and entertaining guests, it can provide the perfect location to put your garden furniture to avoid damaging the lawn and once fall and winter rear their ugly heads again, it offers you an area you can use outside without running the risk of getting wet and muddy.
The best thing about patios though is just how easy they are to build. In fact, you can quite easily design and build one in your back garden within a handful of weekends. Here’s a seven-step guide to building your own patio.
Step one – make sure you are safe
As with any building task, there are dangers involved so you need to make sure you are safe. Investing in some basic protective clothing is the easiest way to do this and with the work largely focusing on the ground, that means looking after your feet. You can do this by purchasing a pair of the Best Slip On Work Boots available.
Step two – stake the perimeter
Stake out the area you are intending to turn into the patio by using either wooden stakes in each corner that are linked together with string or landscapers spray paint. This then gives you a clear guide as to where the patio is going.
Step three – decide on the patio height
You’ll want your patio to be slightly above the surrounding ground so that rainwater won’t stand on its surface. Take into consideration how thick the paving stones that you will be using are and make sure you leave an extra six inches or so for the sand and gravel underneath.
Step four – excavate and prepare the area
Once you’ve decided on your height, you’ll know how far you need to dig down and so can begin excavating the patio area. Once that is done, you’ll need to level it off and then cover it with commercial-grade landscape fabric. This prevents weeds coming through to the patio and prevents the patio from sagging once it is in place.
Step five – lay in gravel and sand
On top of your fabric comes a layer of four-inch gravel which is evened out and on top of that comes a layer of two-inch sand. Both of these will hold the paving stones in place and provide a solid foundation upon which your patio will sit.
Step six – add edging
Add edging around the perimeter of the patio. The most common form of patio edging is lumber, but you can also get creative with old bricks or aluminum. Whatever material you use, secure the edging in place by driving nails through pre-drilled holds.
Step seven – lay the patio using a chalk line
Before you lay the patio, snap chalk lines along the edges to ensure that you are laying the bricks in straight lines. As you lay each paver into place, tap them down firmly with a rubber mallet to ensure they are embedded in the sand, covering the whole area in the same way until you have your own, homemade patio.