How to Build a Simple Patio Space

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A little planning and moderate construction skills are all you need to build a gorgeous outdoor patio space.

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If you are willing to put in just a little time and effort, building a small patio space in your yard is an achievable goal. It’s true that building a patio requires some considerable forethought and a moderate amount of construction skill. But if you follow a reliable patio-building process, you can overcome those challenges and create a patio space that you and your loved ones can enjoy for years to come. To prepare for that kind of project, the following guide will serve you well.

How to Build a Simple Patio Space
Chose the Form and Location of Your Patio

A poorly planned patio construction project is likely to fail. So, as an essential first step, you will need to determine your new patio’s:

How to Build a Simple Patio Space
Choosing Your Patio's Location

Choose an area of your yard that is relatively flat and where a new patio would not conflict with any existing structures or utilities. Ideally, the area you choose will be highly accessible. This will make it easier to move construction materials in and out of the area. It will also make your patio more usable once completed.

How to Build a Simple Patio Space
Sizing Your Patio

Next, consider the size of your patio. The larger your patio is, the more costly and time-consuming it will be to construct. The benefit of a large patio is that it will serve many users once it’s finished.

How to Build a Simple Patio Space
Finding Your Patio's Form

Regarding shape, it’s best to keep it simple. Uncomplicated, rectangular forms are often the easiest to build. If you choose a curving shape, know that it may be difficult to cut your paver stones to match your intended shape.

How to Build a Simple Patio Space
Mark the Shape and Excavate

Once you know your patio’s shape and place, it’s time for you to mark your future patio space and begin excavation. Here are some quick steps that you can follow at this stage:

How to Build a Simple Patio Space

Later you will fill that depth with several layers of base material and your patio paver stones. It is helpful to know the dimensions of the pavers you wish to use as well as how many inches of base material you intend to lay. Let those figures be a loose guide during excavation.

You should also make sure to excavate an area that is about a half-foot wider in all directions than your intended patio shape. This tactic will help you complete the next step correctly. Once your excavation is complete, use a hand tamper to compact the soil within the excavated area to prevent unwanted settling.

Lay Patio Base Materials

Patio base materials help drain water and contribute to the overall longevity of your patio. There are many types of base materials that are useful in construction. But for the sake of building a simple patio, all you will need is a large-grain material such as crushed stone or pea stone and a fine-grain material such as sand. Once you have those materials, here is what you should do:

How to Build a Simple Patio Space

Make each base material layer as level as possible. Also, your base materials should fill the entire excavated area, which is slightly larger than the patio itself. This will discourage erosion at the edge of the patio.

Lay Paver Stones

One of the easiest steps in this process is also one of the last. When laying pavers for a dry-laid patio, all you will need to do is place the pavers on the layers of sand. Again, make sure that the sand is level, then lay each paver stone on top of it in any pattern you like. Adjust the sand as needed to make sure that each new paver is level with the one you placed previously. A bubble level is a great tool to use during this stage.

How to Build a Simple Patio Space

As a final step, you should cover your patio area with sand and use a broom to sweep the sand between the paver joints. Next, spray the patio with your garden hose to encourage the sand to settle between the joints. Repeating this step until the joints are full of sand will promote long-term stability for your patio.

How to Build a Simple Patio Space
Complete Your Patio with Plants and Furniture

With all practical matters taken care of, it is time to embellish your new patio space. Plantings around your patio will enliven the space, while a nice set of patio furniture will make your patio a comfortable place for you and your friends to enjoy together for years to come.

How to Build a Simple Patio Space
A Few Excellent Patio Examples

By now, you have a good idea of how to create a simple dry-laid patio in your yard. You’re now ready for one of the more exciting aspects of designing your patio. Choosing the style and intended use for your patio is what will allow you to get the most out of the space. Here are a few ideas to spark your inspiration.

Outdoor Dining on Your Patio

If your patio is nearby your house, consider designating it as an outdoor eating space. The patio in the image below serves that role and is large enough to accommodate a table for six.

How to Build a Simple Patio Space
Grow a Patio Garden

A patio alone is nothing more than hardscape. If you want to enliven your patio area, the best approach you can take is to add plants. Use containers to grow some ornamental species and arrange them throughout your patio as you please.

How to Build a Simple Patio Space
Patios Are Great for Firepits

Firepits are one of the most sought-after residential landscape features. If you are one of the many homeowners who want one, why not incorporate a firepit into your new patio?

How to Build a Simple Patio Space
Relax By Treating Your Patio as a Lounge Space

The best backyard landscape designs permit you to expand your living spaces to the outdoors. Why not add a comfortable set of cushioned outdoor furniture to make your patio a place of repose?

How to Build a Simple Patio Space