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Building A Patio? Here Is A Guide

Building A Patio? Here Is A Guide

Patio. The name conjures visions of glorious sun-drenched days spent drinking cool beverages under the welcoming shade of an umbrella. Whether it is simple slabs or colourful tiles set in elaborate patterns, Patios have the magic to transform the outdoor living area.

A patio is everything you need if you want to spend a lot more time in the backyard during summer. It fulfils requirements ranging from doubling up as a place to host parties and entertain people, to serving as a storage area for your garden equipment to avoid hurting the lawn. Once fall or winter returns, the patio becomes an outdoor space where you can spend time without being wet and muddy. 

Building A Patio? Here Is A Guide

All except the most extravagant patios can be installed by homeowners in as little as a weekend. Planning is crucial, as is understanding the problems and finding solutions while working on them.

The paver base of the Patio - if it is sinking or uneven

One of the common concerns while installing a patio is whether the pavers will settle but also shift. A paver patio that is not flat and seems to have sections that sink or rise, resulting in an uneven surface, is not what you want.

Such problems can occur with newly built homes where the foundation is not firm, the soil settles, causing sinking patches in the first two to three years after the construction.

The movement of pavers can cause gaps in the pavers with time. Fortunately, this patio issue is one that is likely to be resolved easily! The pavers will not transition if they have a structurally robust base to sit on. 

Restraints for the patio's edge

Have you walked past a paver patio and thought that the concrete pavers are about to "let go"? Since this particular patio was likely constructed with no edge constraints, they appear this way. Edge restraints physically prevent the last row of pavers, stopping them from slipping off. Without these, pavers will shift during freeze-thaw cycles or when people walk on them. It would be best to use a plastic or a concrete curb for edge restrictions. These finishing touches will ensure you have a long-lasting, usable patio you could enjoy for years to follow.

Weed growth in the joints

Weeds could thrive in the seams of paver patios, which is another typical complaint. The use of particular sand (known as polymeric sand) inside the joints, on the other hand, will make a tremendous difference.

Polymeric sand seems to be fine sand that has been blended with additives (typically silica) to create a binding agent when added to water. Instead of loose sand that is conducive to weed growth, Polymeric sand would prevent weeds from breaking through.

However, if not applied correctly, Polymeric sand can cause issues. With improperly laid polymeric sand, we see a lot of patio failures. If not used correctly, the sand will not hold, leaving the joints empty. This misstep could result in a weed-infested patio.

Poor drainage on a paver patio

As previously stated, a drainage problem, if not addressed, can cause the patio to sink or "cave in" because the ground beneath it erodes. Pavers may begin to break as a result of this.

Water could "pool" on top of a patio if the pavers are sunken, resulting in low places where water gets collected all the time.

However, improper drainage can lead to a variety of other issues. The rushing water can cause the plant beds around the patio to be swept away.

Rainwater could also collect beneath the patio or rush out with such power that it threatens the stability of the home's foundation.

Poor drainage on the patio can even impact the basement. Without a place to go, water flows towards the house and ends up in the basement, causing tons of expensive damage.

Sand for paver patio joints

After installing pavers, polymeric sand, also called joint sand, can be used to seal them in place and prevent them from moving. According to the manufacturer's instructions, using polymeric sand with activators would be advisable. With the adhesive blended with the sand, the activators would help keep the pavers intact. Activated with water, it would turn solid, somewhat like concrete. Furthermore, most businesses use fine masonry sand, which can be obtained by the truckload, to keep the pavers in place. 

The aesthetic of the pavers would be similar to the activated sand used, with the spaces between the pavers filling up. The longevity of the pavers, however, would be shortened. Because this sand contains no adhesive or binding chemicals, this should wash out of paver cracks. The sand would have to be refilled once that happens. The pavers will slide if the sand does not change, with the patio needing to be resurfaced. Another consideration is that good joint sand may prevent weeds from sprouting between pavers, while sand will enable them to flourish.

Building A Patio? Here Is A Guide

DIY Steps

Add a layer of landscape fabric to the patio's foundation

Landscape cloth is ideal to line the excavated area. Even though it is not a necessary step, it aids in preventing weeds from emerging. The weed management strategy is worth it because landscape fabric is inexpensive to install. 

Build a gravel and sand patio foundation

Lay a 6-inch-deep layer of gravel or limestone paver at the bottom over the whole patio space in the excavation area. Whether you're utilising a limestone paver bottom, lightly moisten the material with a garden hose. To make a tough base, use a tamper or a leased plate compactor. When you're using gravel, cover it with a 1-inch layer of builder's sand. To obtain a smooth surface, use a tamper / a plate compactor again.

If you want to use a paver of limestone bottom, levelling sand will be required. To begin with, lay two 1-inch PVC pipes across the length of the said area. Cut these to fit into the patio base. An inch worth of levelling sand should be applied to the surface. After that, place the 2x4 across PVC pipes and level it with sand. Disconnect the pipes and use sand to fill in any gaps.

Place the pavers or stones

Place the first flagstones/pavers solely on a single side of the patio. As needed, apply sand behind the stone to achieve a level surface. Place as many stones as possible together. Weeds will grow in large spaces between stones, adding to the unevenness of the patio surface. Add plastic edging around the edge if desired, and the patio shape allows. Place the pavers or stones. 

Make a plan for your DIY patio, but get rid of the sod

To outline the contour of your patio, you can use a garden hose or stakes & mason lines. When you're unsure what size your new space should be, create it a little bigger than you planned. It's frequently more challenging to expand an existing stone patio later than to design a larger one at scratch.

Scrape sod and soil from the patio area with a sharpened garden spade shovel. Dig up an 8-inch-deep base and the flagstone, brick. If you're building a patio near the house, make sure there is a slope leading off the house's facade. Make a 1-inch drop every 4 feet with a level. Move the extra soil toward a compost heap, a low location in the yard, and along the foundation using a wheelbarrow.

Maintain the stone patio if you built it yourself

Building A Patio? Here Is A Guide

To adorn the new paver patio, gather any outdoor seating and a table or two. If the patio stones begin to sway with time (or perhaps the sand wears away), sweep and moisten with a hose to keep the patio surface smooth. Arrange to clean the stone patio with a power washer or scrub with a detergent base solution to avoid mildew and stains.


Several folks have no idea how and where to construct a patio unless they come across a guide that is useful. Use these pointers to get started on your ideal project right away!

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