Constructing a Patio

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Home improvement

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Constructing a patio can be an expensive and labor-intensive task. However, you can opt for a more sensible and cost-effective solution by building a concrete patio section by section. Here’s what you’ll need to get started.

Tools required include a measuring rule, stakes, sledgehammer, shovel, wheelbarrow, rake, hammer, power saw or handsaw, carpenters’ square, level, garden hose, portable cement mixer (3-cubic-foot capacity), 6-foot 2 × 4 for striking off, wood float, steel trowel, push broom, and weights.

Materials required are string, gravel, 2 × 4 and 1 × 3 pressure-treated ground-contact lumber, or 2 × 4 and 1 × 3 cedar or redwood stock, 2-inch-wide masking tape, 8-penny galvanized common nails, premixed gravel-mix concrete mix, or Portland cement, sand, and coarse aggregate, and plastic sheet film.

The time required for constructing a patio varies with size, but it typically takes at least 2 days for a 9-foot-square area.

The first step in building a patio is to choose the location carefully. The patio should be constructed on a level and well-drained area that slopes away from the house. Factors such as sun, shade, and wind should also be considered.

The patio is constructed as a grid of 3-foot-square concrete units framed by wood. Plan the patio for an area that’s level and well-drained, and slopes slightly away from the house. Once you’ve decided on a design, outline the patio area on the construction site with stakes and string. Measure accurately and keep the corners of your staking square.

When you’ve finalized the size and shape of the patio, excavate the entire marked-off area to a depth of about 7 inches. Fill the entire dug-out patio area with a 3-inch-thick layer of gravel and rake it level. To frame the patio, build a grid of 2 × 4 pressure-treated ground-contact lumber on the excavated site, or use 2 × 4 cedar or redwood stock.

Preparing for Patio Construction

To frame the patio, build a grid of 3-foot squares firmly nailed and staked at all joints and corners.

Before starting construction, it’s important to prepare the site properly. Plan the patio for an area that’s level and well-drained, and slopes slightly away from the house. Consider factors such as sun, shade, and wind when choosing the location.

The patio is constructed as a grid of 3-foot-square concrete units framed by wood. Once you’ve decided on a design, outline the patio area on the construction site with stakes and string. Measure accurately and keep the corners of your staking square. Excavate the entire marked-off area to a depth of about 7 inches, and fill it with a 3-inch-thick layer of gravel. To frame the patio, build a grid of 2 × 4 pressure-treated ground-contact lumber or 2 × 4 cedar or redwood stock.

After completing these steps, you’re ready to start constructing your patio section by section. For more information on accessories for your patio, check out the links provided.

  • How to Build Patio Furniture
  • How Bug Zappers Work
  • How to Design with Shrubs

To build a patio, start by creating the outside frame using 2×4’s and securing them together with galvanized nails. Make sure all top edges are flush and use at least two nails through the 2×4 face at each joint. Then, drive 12-inch stakes around the frame to hold it in place, being sure to set a stake at each corner and at each grid joint. Once the frame is assembled, check its pitch and adjust as necessary by raking the gravel to the required slope. When the frame is firmly in place, pour the concrete using a machine-mixed concrete in a portable cement mixer. Work section by section and protect the top edges of the wood frame with masking tape. For more information on patio accessories, visit the recommended links.

To make a concrete patio, first load the cement mixer with half of the required ingredients and add water according to instructions. Turn on the mixer and add the rest of the ingredients, mixing for at least 3 minutes. Once ready, pour the concrete into the prepared frame or a wheelbarrow. Spread the concrete evenly and use a 2×4 to level the surface with the help of a partner. Smooth the surface with a wood float and let it stand until the water sheen disappears. Finish the surface with a steel trowel and a damp push broom for a nonslip finish. Cover the concrete with plastic sheet film and let it cure for at least 1 week, wetting it once or twice daily. Pour individual units of the patio or work in alternate squares. Wait for each unit to cure completely before walking on it and 1 more week before putting furniture on it. Finally, remove the protective masking tape. For patio accessories, check out How to Build Patio Furniture, How Bug Zappers Work, and How to Design with Shrubs.

FAQ

1. What is a patio?

A patio is an outdoor space usually located adjacent to the house. It is typically paved and can be used for dining, entertaining, or relaxing.

2. Why should I build a patio?

A patio adds value to your home and provides an outdoor living space for you and your family to enjoy. It can also be a great place to entertain guests or simply relax after a long day.

3. What materials can I use to build a patio?

There are a variety of materials that can be used to build a patio, including concrete, brick, pavers, stone, and gravel. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.

4. How do I design my patio?

Start by considering how you will use the space. Will you be dining, entertaining, or simply relaxing? Once you have determined your needs, you can begin to choose the size, shape, and location of your patio. You may also want to consider adding features such as a fire pit, outdoor kitchen, or seating area.

5. Do I need a permit to build a patio?

Permit requirements vary by location, so it’s important to check with your local government to determine if a permit is required. In general, a permit is usually required if the patio will be larger than a certain size or if it will be elevated.

6. How do I prepare the site for my patio?

The site should be level and free of any debris or vegetation. You may need to remove grass or other plants, and you may also need to excavate the area to create a level surface. It’s important to take your time and ensure that the site is properly prepared before beginning construction.

7. Can I build a patio myself, or do I need to hire a professional?

Building a patio can be a DIY project, but it does require some skill and knowledge. If you are comfortable working with tools and have some construction experience, you may be able to build the patio yourself. However, if you are unsure of your abilities or if you want a more elaborate design, it’s best to hire a professional.

8. How long does it take to build a patio?

The time it takes to build a patio depends on a variety of factors, including the size, materials, and complexity of the design. In general, a simple patio can be completed in a few days, while a more elaborate design may take several weeks.

9. How much does it cost to build a patio?

The cost of building a patio varies depending on the materials, size, and design. In general, a simple patio can cost a few hundred dollars, while a more elaborate design can cost several thousand dollars.

10. How do I maintain my patio?

Maintenance requirements depend on the type of material used to build the patio. In general, it’s important to keep the patio clean and free of debris, and to seal any porous materials to protect them from stains and weather damage. You may also need to periodically re-level the patio to prevent cracking or settling.

11. Can I add to my patio later?

Yes, you can add to your patio later if you choose. However, it’s important to ensure that any additions are properly integrated into the existing design and that they do not negatively impact the stability of the structure.

12. How do I choose a contractor to build my patio?

When choosing a contractor to build your patio, it’s important to do your research. Look for a contractor with experience building patios, and ask for references and examples of their work. You should also check their licensing and insurance status, and make sure that they provide a detailed contract that outlines the scope of work and payment terms.

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