How to Build a Patio: A Step-by-Step Guide

Paver Patio Next To Home

With the continual rise in popularity of DIY home projects, you might be looking to try your hand at doing some home improvement yourself. Luckily, even if you’ve never built anything, learning how to build a patio isn’t as difficult as it might seem. However, it will require patience and a decent amount of trial and error. And let’s face it, we all say we have patience until it comes time to assemble Ikea furniture!

While building a patio is a fairly straightforward project, there are definitely some things to know before you get started.

On a separate note, this guide is written to help you be able to construct your own patio. Here at Third Heaven Landscape, we build it a bit differently since we have access to different techniques, tools, and do this all day long.

Also, please use caution when building your own patio since there is always risk involved when taking on a home improvement project. Enjoy!

Patios vs. Decks

Before you dive in, it’s crucial to understand what you want when starting to construct your perfect backyard paradise. Not everyone understands the difference between a patio and a deck, and the two structures offer very different aesthetics and use.

Simply put, a patio is a stone or brick platform structure that is usually level with the ground. A deck is typically raised and made of wood. Decks also require more advanced construction skills than patios.

Both structures offer the opportunity to create a unique outdoor living space for your family, but it’s up to you to decide which one is right for you!

Patio owners want to feel like they’re in nature more. Deck owners generally want to feel like it’s an extension of their home.

Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Patio

Once you’ve decided that a patio fits into your dream backyard, it’s time to start planning.

If it’s your first time, you might be anxious to get started on your patio project. But just like most projects, you need to plan out everything before you break ground. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a situation where your life gets in the way and you have a half-started project stuck in your yard for months to come. 

This is a step-by-step guide on how to build a patio from the ground up.

1. Decide on a Patio Design

The patio design is arguably the most critical part of planning and building your patio. You’ll want to make sure that it will be large enough for your needs and that the design is something you will like long-term. Patios are straightforward to build, but ideally, you do not want to have to redo it over and over again.

To give your patio a more complete-look, or to separate it from the rest of the yard, you should consider adding a retaining wall to your design. Sloped yards may require a retaining wall to give you a level surface to build your patio anyway.

There are so many patio ideas out there that it can be challenging to decide on one. We recommend looking up as many ideas as you can, and if you’re still having trouble, you can always consult with a professional at Third Heaven Landscape to help design your dream patio.

2. Get the Right Tools and Materials

Once you’ve finalized the design of your patio, it’s time to gather everything you need to get started. You will need not only the right materials but also the proper tools to build a patio successfully.

The tools you need to build a patio include:

●        Tape measure

●        Marking spray paint

●        Garden stakes

●        Shovel

●        Garden hose

●        Landscape rake

This can change based on your unique patio design, but the general materials you need to build a typical patio are:

●        Patio pavers (this can include bricks, pavers, or stones)

●        Paver base

●        Paver/leveling sand

●        Furring strips

●        Exterior wood screws

We recommend getting your pavers cut by a professional for your first patio project, but if you need to cut them yourself, you will also need a masonry saw, gloves, and protective eyewear.

3. Prep the Ground and Lay the Base

The next step is to get the area where you’ll be building your paver patio ready. Use a tape measure and marking spray to outline the area, then add garden stakes and a mason’s line around the perimeter.

Beginning at the base of your house, work outward to start shoveling away grass and dirt. Dig about four inches in the ground, making sure you dig an additional inch down about every eight feet to allow water to drain away from your house. Mark the right height with your stakes, or adjust the mason’s line to ensure you’re digging the correct height throughout the whole area.

Once you’ve successfully dug the ground to the correct height and made sure that it’s level, it’s time to start laying the paver base for your patio.

Using a landscape rake, spread about four inches of gravel and make sure it’s compact. You can do this by using a hand tamper or by renting a plate compactor – these can be found at your local hardware store. Then, wet the area with a garden hose to make it more solid and spread about an inch of paver sand over the gravel. Again, ensure it is level.

Leveled Ground Before Patio

4. Start Laying Your Brick Pavers

Once you’ve got the ground prepped, it is finally time to start building your patio! This step is simple but can take the most time and attention. This also takes the most amount of practice to get it right!

Start laying your pavers or stones into the sand, arranging them in your design. Continue to lay them into place until you’ve covered the entire patio area.

5. Finish Your Patio Project and Enjoy!

Once you have all the bricks laid, place edging stones along the perimeter of your patio. You can secure them with concrete, mortar, or polymeric sand to give them a more finished and professional look.

All that’s left to do is enjoy your new patio! Adding a cover to your patio is also becoming more popular to have the ability to relax on it without fear of getting sunburnt!

Don’t Want to Build a Patio Yourself? Contact Third Heaven Landscape

Even if you know how to build a patio, it’s very common to not feel confident building it yourself or wanting to take the time to actually do it. 

If that’s the case, fill out a form on our contact page to turn your patio dreams into reality. We can help with building, restoring, and finishing your patio to create an inviting backyard paradise.