Intimidated by the idea of building an entire deck, but still interested in creating a dedicated outside space? Look no further. Patios are well within the determined home DIYer’s abilities, and for those willing to make an investment, they can turn out looking pretty incredible.
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How to build a patio
Patios are typically slightly raised, stone-based outdoor spaces. While they are typically uncovered, the term has come to refer to roofed semi-outdoor areas as well.
Like we mentioned, patios are usually stone-based. So here are the usual suspects as far as materials go:
- Stone slabs
However, with innovative minds come interesting new materials such as glass, acrylic, and even aluminum.
While a basic, concrete slab might do it for some, there are a number of exciting patio options out there. From simple, rectangular areas to intricate curves, your (and the collective internet’s) imagination is the limit.
Consider experimenting with different tiling patterns, stone textures, and layouts to get the most out of your patio project. See below for inspo.
If you’re trying to fully or partially DIY your patio, here’s a quick overview of how the process works. You’ll likely need to go the sand-based (or dry-laid) rouge rather than attempting a mortaring method.
First, you will need to check to make sure there are no utility or gas lines in the area you want to build on. Once you get the all-clear, measure your area and take note of the type of ground you’re building on (call your local building department f you have questions). This data can be presented to your dealer, who will help you determine how much of each material you need.
Once you’ve gotten all the planning done and you’ve purchased your materials, you’ll need to prep the area. Mark it off using stakes and string, ensuring you have the correct angles. Then, dig out the area, flatten it, and cover it with landscape fabric.
At this point, you can choose to frame your patio with wood to help with alignment or continue forward by filling the area with gravel. The gravel should be about 1 inch deep, depending on your desired height. Level the gravel and move on to the sand.
Now, you’ll create a sand bed by putting builders sand over the gravel, tamping, then adding more sand. If you haven’t already framed your patio, you should use aluminum edging and chalk lines at this point.
Lastly, you place the pavers in your desired pattern. Once all of them have been placed, sweep sand over the entire surface and wet it to add stability. Repeat this process a week from when you initially finish the project and periodically as the patio ages.
Keep in mind that this is not a one day project, so be patient and do as much planning as you can beforehand to make sure everything goes on without a hitch.
If you’ve just finished creating your new patio or are simply redoing one you already have, you’ve arrived at the most exciting part of this project: decorating.
Dining and Seating
One of the most common elements of outdoor spaces is a dining or seating area. You’ll need to determine which one you want to include (or if you have a large space, you could include both).
Dining areas involve selecting both a table and chairs to suit your desired vibe. Don’t be afraid to mix the sets though. You can pair a weathered wooden table with some minimalist chairs to create a unique space.
For straightforward seating areas, make sure you’re mixing comfort and practicality. If you opt for plush couches and chairs, they need to be weather proof and fade resistant, so your patio doesn’t end up looking sad and dilapidated in a few months. Don’t forget that small side tables can help pull together different styles, so your seating elements don’t all need to be the exact same.
Another huge part of outdoor areas is the greenery. Whether it is a traditional garden, potted plant, landscaping, or a raised garden, the plants on and around your patio can help the space feel much more lively.
If you’re afraid of having to do a lot of maintenance, look for drought-resistant plants that thrive in sunlight and only need to be watered every once in awhile.
Don’t forget to add bits of your personal style to your outside space. If you love rugs, get one suitable for outdoors. If you adore gathering around a fire, consider getting a fire pit or outdoor fireplace.
For more ideas and inspiration, check out these 56 amazing patio ideas: