Posted on: 18 November 2017
Professional patio design and installation can be a costly venture and is not always a viable option for those on a tight budget. Thankfully, it is possible to design and create your own patio using inexpensive materials and simple processes: with a little time and guidance, a professional result can be achieved at a fraction of the cost of professional prices. Read on for a quickfire guide on building your own patio on a budget.
Stage One: Choosing an Outline The first step in building your new patio is choosing its shape and dimensions. It is generally a good idea to choose a simple, geometrical shape. Opting for swooping curves and irregular angles may look nice, but for a first project, an even rectangle or square will be much more straightforward. Measure out the area you will be working in (either a lawn or soil surface), mark off the desired area with four metal or wooden posts at the corners of the new patio area, and string around the outer limits of the space. Measure each side to ensure the area is even before progressing to the next stage of the build.
Stage Two: Preparing the Patio Area
Having marked off your desired patio space, you are now ready to tackle the most physical element of the job—digging out the patio space to make way for the new concrete filling. Do not fret, though: using special base panels (interlocking paver panels which form a level base for the patio) will cut your work significantly, saving the need to dig a deeper pit filled with sand and gravel.
Rather than digging six inches deep as is typical when creating a patio space, paver base panels require only a two-inch depth once the area is levelled off by compacting the dirt and soil with a tamping tool or other flat surface such as a plank of wood. Walk around the two-inch deep pit and ensure that the dirt and soil is fully compressed before moving to the next step. By using paver panels, you will no longer require a levelled-off concrete surface, saving time, money and hassle.
Stage Three: Making Final Preparations
For the longevity of your patio, it is prudent to install a weed blocking fabric over the base of your freshly compacted soil. Weeds are surprisingly strong and resilient and can push their way through concrete and paving, which will result in an unsightly and uneven finish. To counteract this, purchase a high-quality weed blocking fabric and cover the whole area designated for your patio. Fabric typically comes in rolls approximately three feet wide, so be sure to overlap each roll liberally (6 inches is a good yardstick to aim for) to ensure that no weeds penetrate through to the patio surface.
Once the weed blocker is down, apply a final layer of sand approximately one inch thick over the whole of the patio area. Use your tamping tool or wooden board to ensure that the sand is compacted (as you have done previously with the soil) and begin laying your interlocking paver panels, leaving a smooth and sealed level surface for your paver stones to rest on.
Stage Four: Laving the Paver Stones
The final stage is the simplest of all, but also the most satisfying. With the money you will have saved by tackling this project by yourself, you will have a vast choice of simple and more ornate concrete paver stones to finish off your patio. Cheap rectangular stones will be more than sufficient in creating a pleasing finish for barbecues or an outdoor dining area; however, be sure to consider more elaborate options such as stamped concrete paver stones. These are mass produced with a highly decorative finish that emulates ornate artisan stonework but the stones are as easily laid as basic square or rectangular stones.
Once you have selected your desired paving, simply lay them over your paver base and sweep leftover sand into the gaps for an aesthetically pleasing finish. Using landscaping spikes (approximately 12 inches in length), secure your paving stones in place across the whole perimeter to ensure that everything stays put by hammering them deep into the sand and soil below.
Contact your local specialist to discover the best options for concrete paving. Good luck!Share