A patio is an outdoor space that is not enclosed or covered. However, you can choose to install a patio cover or a patio enclosure after you've installed the initial patio, both of which can enhance the overall space. Installing a patio is a project that an ambitious do-it-yourself beginner can complete in a single afternoon.
Planning a Patio
Many types of patio kits are available. The first step is to set up a budget, which will allow you to find a patio kit that fits your needs but is also affordable. If you are also planning to build a patio cover or enclose your patio, add this into your budget. Also, many cities require permits for outdoor structures that are enclosed or added to the home, so you may need a building permit.
Before purchasing the materials or a kit, measure the area in which your patio will be installed. Once you have the measurements, choose a kit that will best suit your space.
Several types of materials are available in a wide variety of colors, styles and sizes. Patios are constructed using stones, brick or cement. Brick can be arranged in a variety of patterns and colors, making it a popular choice. There are also other stones, such as slate or granite, that can also provide an ideal patio space. Concrete is another option, which can be stained various colors or stamped to create patterns. Concrete pouring may require a permit, so check local laws and regulations (see references 1 and 2).
Use your budget to determine which type of patio kit and materials you can afford. You can also mix and match materials to create a look all your own.
Patio kits can vary on what they include. Some kits may include everything but the stones, while others will come complete with stones. To begin, dig out the patio area and remove the sod and weeds. Once the sod is removed, use some stakes to map out the patio and create a grid. Use a carpenter's square to ensure all corners are at a 90-degree angle (see Reference 3).
Next, line the patio area with landscaping fabric. Landscaping fabric prevents weeds and grass from returning and sprouting through the cracks in your patio. A layer of gravel is then laid over the top of the fabric, followed by builder's sand to fully smooth out the surface (see Reference 3).
Once the sand has been spread, use a tamper to tamp down the sand and ensure everything is properly compacted. This will prevent any surprise shifting during and after the installation period (see Reference 3).
Beginning at one corner of the patio, begin installing the chosen stone. Once all stones are in place in the chosen pattern, you can install edging, such as lumber or plastic garden liner, to keep everything in place. Last, sweep some remaining builder's sand over the top of the patio. The sand will fill in the spaces between the cracks, preventing the bricks from shifting in the future (see Reference 3).
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