Before you get involved in a patio design project, it is important to understand the time and energy it will take to complete the project. Of course, once the project is complete, it can add a great deal of beauty and even value to your home.

It is fairly traditional for patios to be made out of concrete, but in recent years flagstone and brick patios have become extremely popular patio design ideas. They provide an updated, contemporary look that goes beautifully with a stone or brick home.

If you are serious about working on a patio design do it yourself project, here are some helpful tips for getting you started right.

Materials For Your Patio

The first thing to do is determine what kind of materials and how much you will need. Carefully consider how much of the backyard you will want to cover with your patio. It is best to mark the ground with spray paint or another device so that you can measure the length and width of the area before purchasing materials. Keep in mind that you will need to measure differently if you are using an area that narrows or widens or if you want to include a unique geometric shape.

Patio designs vary in shape and size so you will have to purchase materials needed for the sand bed, or base material, depending on whether you are using concrete, brick or flagstone. It is best to consider enough sand to cover 1 inch thick across the entire bottom of your planned patio design area, but you may want to consider more, especially if you live in a cold climate zone. You will also need sand to fill the cracks if you are using patio pavers for paver patio designs, brick or stone for stone patio designs.

Your next step will be a trip to purchase the materials. Once you decide on the style of brick or stone for your design, determine the size, and then a supplier or store manager can help you to determine exactly how many bundles of brick or stone you need or how many tons of cement, gravel or sand as your base material. Remember to include extra patio pavers, bricks or stone in case you need spares or need to cut some of them to fit correctly. The same goes for concrete or sand, just in case something goes wrong with mixing.

Excavation One of the most important parts about getting your patio design right is excavating correctly. This will help to ensure an even patio that will hold up under the weather.

Before you get started with digging, you should always call your local utility company to check the placement of cables and electrical wires. Another important factor to consider before excavating is the slope, or grade, of the home and how water will drain once the patio is in place. The most important factor to consider is that the water will drain away from the home and that there is at least a ¼ inch slope for every foot of patio going away from the home.

There are two basic ways to begin excavation. One requires simply removing the grass in the desired area and constructing a frame from 2 by 4s to contain the sand and stone until in place. The other will require digging and removing sod approximately 2 ½-4 inches deep, depending on the leveling of the yard and the house. You will also need to take into consideration the thickness of the stones or brick if you are planning to work with brick or stone patio designs.

After the excavation is complete, you will move on to beginning the process of laying the base materials and actually laying the concrete, brick or stone if you are using flagstone patio designs!

Create Stone Patio Designs – greater texas landscape

In planning do it yourself stone patio designs, the first step you need to take is to determine what type of stone and what size.

Even for a patio, you can use the larger stepping stones, but it is more common to use a cobblestone or patio pavers with patio paver designs, which are usually more uniform in shape and size, making it easier to lay in unison.

There are endless varieties of colors, shapes and sizes of paver stones, so this is often a good choice to go with.

Once you have determined the type of stone you will use and the quantity necessary from the supplier or hardware store, it is extremely important to determine the design you will use on the stone patio before you get started. You will not be successful at laying the stones yourself if you wait until you are in the middle of the project to determine how you want them laid. There are a variety of design books, magazines and online tools that can help you with patio design ideas.

The steps you need to take to create your stone patio design, is as follows:

1. Excavate the area, to between 2 ½ and 4 inches deep. How deep you excavate will depend on how thick the stones are and will also depend on how much slope you need to consider in the patio design. Also make sure to consider where you will place all of the extra soil and dirt once it is removed from the design area. You may want to create a frame out of 2 by 4s, to allow you to stay within your desired area, if your excavated area is not that deep.

2. Compact the excavated area. It is necessary to completely smooth out the area to ensure that there will not be any unevenness in your design.

3. You will likely be using compacted sand for your base material and will need at least 1 inch to cover the entire excavated area. Pour the base and use a 2 by 4 to even out the base material. Remember if you are using sand, you will need to dampen the sand before placing it in the excavated area, to allow for easily laying the stones. Be sure to place at least 1 inch of material before moving on to the stones. You may need more base material if you live in a cold climate area.

4. Although it is the most simple of instructions, placing the stones will be the most time consuming, as it is important to place them evenly so that you will not have to go back and fix them at a later date.

5. After all the stones have been placed correctly, it is important to restrain them around the perimeter before compacting the stones. Most experts will recommend an aluminum or plastic edging to help in maintaining the stones in bad weather.

6. The next step is compact the stones. In order to properly compact the stones, it is suggested to use a vibrating plate compactor for the best results.

7. The final step will be to pour the remaining cracks with sand. Almost all patio designers will suggest using irregular sharp sand, which helps to create an interlocking action between the stones. It will help to keep the stones from coming loose. Be sure to fill the joints to the top.

8. Compact the stones again after adding the sand. If necessary spray down the stones to clean up and your stone patio design is complete!

If you want to learn more about stone patios, here are some flagstone patio designs.

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