A well designed patio only adds to the beauty of a well-kept lawn and front yard. It’s one place where you can relax, take a nap, feel the breeze and spend quality time with loved ones.
You can select from a wide variety of flat stones available in the market. Choose from square of slate, limestone and so many more. Just remember is to pick a stone that can easily bear the local climate and day to day foot traffic.
When you plan patio installation, remember that the task is much similar to laying the tiles in a bathroom. But while you would be able lay tiles independently, when installing the patio, a little extra help will be mandatory.
Since you won’t be moving the stones ever again, it is important that they are set in the right position the very first time.
We have outlined for you the major steps involved in installing a patio.
1. Excavation and Preparation of the Site
You need to start by driving stakes which are three foot long outside the comers of the patio, in order to mark the area.
Next, set a builders level in the middle. You should set a benchmark i.e. the point where the border of the patio touches the house.
Using a level scope and with the help of an assistant, mark the stake point at the base of the rod. You need to repeat this process for every stake.
Now, identify the farthermost stakes and make a mark at 1/8 inch between the stakes and the benchmark. This should give you the finish grade. Now, start digging at least six to twelve inches below the finish grade.
Here’s Mike Craft explaining in a short video tutorial how to lay the foundation for a patio.
2. Setting up the Base
You now need to cover the identified subgrade area with at least three inches thick layer of pack. The blend should be a mix of crushed stones and dust. Use a plate compactor to ensure that the layer stays compact.
You will need to tamper with hand near the sidewalks, foundation’s and walls. Keep the pack moist and don’t stop till it is at least two and a half inches above the marks that were made on the stakes.
3. Start Setting the Bed
Mix twelve parts of stone dust with one part of dry cement. You need to add the water to get a stiff mix.
Start from one corner, level out the mixture and with a hand trowel. Now place the stone on the mixture. Do ensure that the stone is set about half an inch in the cement mixture.
4. Setting of the Stone
The stone need to be placed face up in the cement bed. Slightly twist the stone in order to ensure that the contact is firm.
Now use a rubber mallet and tap it on all sides.
Mark Fuss in a short 1.5 minutes long video demonstrates the step 4.
5. Levelling Of the Stones
Once all the stones have been set, cross check if they are in tandem with each other.
Use a string to check if they are pitched against each other at the accurate angle. The stone should be close to the string but not touch it. If you think that a stone needs resetting, just lift it with a shovel and simply add or remove some cement mix. Remember to brush and rinse the stone before the mixture dries up.