Tips for Building an Outdoor Patio

Whether you just purchased farmland for sale in Michigan or a house with a relatively small yard in California, building an outdoor patio can be a great way to enjoy that new property, but it can also be quite costly as the DIY Network notes, so you’ll want to be sure that it’s done right the first time.

Choose the Right Style

It’s important to choose a style that harmoniously blends the house and yard or garden. Aim to follow the theme that’s already there with existing building materials. For example, if you have a brick Cape Cod-style home, build a patio out of stone and brick. The most important thing to think about is the kind of paver you want – they come in three different materials: concrete, brick and natural stone. While natural stone is attractive, providing an earthy aesthetic, it can also be pricey and it’s not ideal for high traffic areas as the tend to break easily. For high traffic areas, you’re better off with brick as it’s stain-resistant and strong. Here, on the  you may find concrete most affordable, plus it’s durable, strong and comes in a variety of colors and styles. 

Make Sure it’s Large Enough

If your patio isn’t large enough to allow for things like enjoying an alfresco meal and general foot traffic, it could end up being a waste of time and money. Be generous with dimensions – if you want to accommodate a 3-foot-square table and four chairs, you’ll need a 10 X 10 patio. Add another three feet to each dimension to make room for extras like a play area or a grill. Outline the area using stakes and strings before construction begins, adjusting measurements to suit materials.

Call Before You Dig

Before prepping the area for your patio, be sure to call your local utility company to have any electrical, cable or plumbing lines marked. When you’re ready, you’ll want to dig at least six inches down, getting below the root level of any vegetation. If the soil is dry, water the area the night before you dig which will help soften it up to make it easier.

Use Landscaping Cloth to Prevent Weeds

Be sure to use a landscaping cloth, creating a barrier between the old soil and the new base you plan to use. That will minimize weeds and any other unwanted vegetation from growing underneath and encroaching on your patio. To determine the size you need, multiply the length by the width of the space and add 10 percent.

Don’t Forget About Drainage

Be sure that the patio slopes away from the foundation of your home, toward an existing drainage area or to one that can handle the moisture. It’s best to play for a quarter-inch drop in elevation for every two feet of distance.

Save Some Extra Bricks or Stones

By saving a few extra bricks or stones it can make repairing easier later. You don’t want to get into a situation where the paver you’ve used is discontinued and have nothing to replace broken ones. When the inevitable happens, you can remove broken pavers using a thin pry bar or a couple of screwdrivers.

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