Patios provide ideal spots for parties, storage and outdoor relaxation. A well-built, attractive patio provides beauty and value to any home. Patio construction is not difficult with the right materials and tools. Follow these instructions to build a patio, even one on a slope.
Things You'll Need
- Patio pavers or bricks
- 4"-by-4" pressure treated boards
- Steel brackets
- Outdoor wood screws
- Saw and brick saw
- Sheet of black plastic
- Surveying tools
Build a Patio on a Slope
Find a gentle slope and make your patio no longer than 15 feet. At its tallest, the patio should not stand more than 2 or 3 feet from the ground.
Measure the final height of your patio above ground level using surveying tools (transept and measuring stick). Begin to build the patio box from the high end, where the patio is highest above ground level. Build a wall of 4"-by-4" (waterproof) boards up to the level measured with the transit. For a stronger bottom wall, use cinder blocks connected with concrete and rebar. Connect the boards with steel brackets or bolts screwed down vertically through several layers of wood.
Run boards from this wall up to the edge of the slope. As the box continues up the hill, it will require fewer and fewer boards as the ground rises. The finished patio box should appear to step up the hill until it is composed of just a few 4"-by-4" boards bolted to each other. Make sure that the box does not stand above ground level at its far end (dig it into the ground if necessary). The box should be level along all sides.
Line the inside and bottom of the box with sturdy industrial plastic. Attach the plastic to the insides of the box near the top with staples. Fill in the base of the box at the deep end with dirt or gravel so that there is only about one foot of free space. Tamp down this filler material so that it is hard. Fill the remainder of the box with sand up to a level at which pavers or bricks can be laid level to the edge of the box.
Level the sand with a board and wet it. Compress the sand with a tamper until it is hard and uniformly level. Start laying bricks or pavers along one side of the box and work outward. As you work, periodically check to see if the patio is level. Cut any bricks or pavers with a masonry saw to fill in small spaces. Finish the patio by sweeping sand into the cracks between bricks and pavers.
Tips & Warnings
- Compress the sand a few times with the tamper to ensure solidity.
- Try to make your box as airtight as possible so sand will not leak out.
- Never use heavy equipment without supervision or extensive experience.
- Always check with local electrical and gas companies before digging.
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