Tips for Building a Patio
Wouldn’t it be great to have a place to relax outdoors after a long day at work? A great do-it-yourself project is to learn how to build your own patio. With some time and hard work, you can create a getaway spot your whole family will enjoy.
Begin by laying out the proposed location for the patio. Think about the other buildings or landscaping features of your yard. Will you have more than one level of the patio, a built-in barbecue pit or retaining walls? Draw out exactly what you’d like the patio to look like so you can determine what materials are needed.
Decide on the material you’ll use to create the patio. You can use brick, flagstone, wood or even concrete. If you’re not handy with tools, you may want to ask for help or advice from home improvement employees or friends who have built their own patios.
Rather than depending upon pictures in a book, magazine or printed store display, try to find a real-life display which shows exactly what the colors of the pavers are. You don’t have to match the color of your home. Contrasting or complimentary colors are common. Darker colors are also less reflective which can make your patio more user-friendly.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. There’s nothing set in stone which says you can only use one type of paving or surface for your patio. You may want to have a gravel walkway leading away from brick or tiles. Use contrasting edging or plants to enhance the finished look of the design.
Draw out a pattern to get an idea of what the finished project will look like. You’ll also want to purchase more tiles or pavers than you think you need at the beginning of the job. This will ensure you have the materials from the same lot so there isn’t a large difference in color.
The foundation to your patio is so important. If the ground where you’ll put your patio is well-compacted soil, you may not need the hardcore sub-base. Prepare the ground by adding a compacted base of hardcore rubble followed by gravel or a sub-base material which is compacted.
For your first patio, you’ll want to start with something small. An average brick patio can be made within two to three days if the weather cooperates with you. Create a patio design which is simple – rectangular is easier than curves – a design which doesn’t require you to cut the bricks would also be simple compared to a design which needed to have bricks cut.
Another way to build a patio is to find a book that gives step-by-step directions. Here is a great book on how to build a patio on Amazon. You want the patio to look good so you’ll want to learn all you can about the type of patio you want to build. Take your time and you’ll have a patio you can be proud of when it is finished.