DIY Deck: 5 Simple Steps for a Stunning Backyard Patio
If you want to have the benefit of an outdoor gathering space without expending a lot of effort, then you should think about putting in a backyard patio. It takes a lot less money and time to build a patio than to build a deck. It also creates a lovely place to bring together family and friends. Here are five simple steps you can follow to build your own backyard patio.
1. Outline the Patio
The first step in building your patio is to lay it out. Hammer in pegs and use some string to outline the perimeter of your patio. After you have measured the string to the right lengths, take a can of spray paint and outline the area. Once you have the patio outlined, you can dig up the sod to start building your patio. A general rule of thumb is to dig down five inches into the soil plus the height of the patio stones or bricks. For instance, if you are planning on using 3 inch thick paver stones, you would want to dig a total of 8 inches into the soil.
2. Lay down Landscape Fabric
Once you have the patio dug out, you next need to lay down a layer of landscape fabric. This useful material will help to prevent weeds from growing up through the cracks of your patio. You can also outline the patio with 2x4s held together with lag bolts if you wish to do so. This will provide additional stability as you work on the base layer, and prevent excess settling or erosion.
3. Put the Base Layer in Place
Before you lay out your patio stones or bricks, you first need to put down a base layer that will provide excellent drainage and a secure foundation for your patio. First, place a four-inch layer of gravel throughout the patio. Make sure that it is tamped down firmly and raked evenly throughout the patio space. Next, place a one-inch layer of sand on top of the gravel. Again, rake the gravel out evenly and tamp it down.
4. Lay out the Patio Surface
Once you have the base layers in place, you are ready to lay out the patio stones or bricks. Make sure to lay the stones out in a pattern that is pleasing to the eye and as even as possible. You will need to add additional sand under the stones to make the surface of the patio as even as possible. Don’t be afraid to be generous with the sand. This will be what keeps your stones in place, and prevents them form settling unevenly.
5. Finish Up
Once you have all the stones laid out in the way you want them, you are ready to finish the patio. Fill all the cracks between the stones with sand to make the patio smooth and even. Sweep over the patio to make sure the sand is even and down into all the cracks. Spray the patio with a misting hose to encourage all the sand to settle down. You should repeat this process a week later, and you can repeat it whenever the stones seem a little loose.