The Perfect Patio
You don’t have to spend large sums of money to reap the benefits of having a patio in your yard. If you have the will, there’s a way to do it yourself and have a professional-looking outdoor space to host dinner parties or sip a warm cup of coffee in the mornings.
How to put in a patio
To start this project, you’ll need some tools available at A to Z RentAll. Among them:
- Excavator or mini, for digging at least the recommended 8 to 10” base of gravel
- Bobcat, for moving dirt
- Wet saw, to cut bricks or stone if necessary (See our wet gas brick & block saw, wet electric brick & block saw)
- Compactor, to compact both the gravel base and later, the sand between joints
- Wheelbarrow, to carry gravel and sand (Use a bobcat or mini skid steer for larger patios, as those need more gravel)
- Shovel, to move loose materials
Here’s a list of other items you may need:
- A push broom
- Small sledgehammer
- Work gloves
- Tape Measure
- Rubber Mallet
- Safety goggles
And other materials:
- Paving stones
- Landscaping fabric
- Landscape spikes
- Edging material (aluminum, preferably)
13 Steps to a Perfect Patio
- Size your patio. Measuring the space will help determine how many pavers to buy and the quantity of supplies you need. To figure out how many pavers you need, multiply the total square footage by the square foot of the pavers you want.
- Create the layout. Place stakes into the ground and connect them with string to create a general layout. Then, paint over the string to mark the area on the ground.
- Determine patio height. If your soil is wet, it will need a thicker base than if you have well-drained soil. Regardless, it should be slightly above ground so rainwater won’t collect on its surface. Also, consider the thickness of your paving stone. Leave 6” for your sand and gravel foundation.
- Excavate. After you excavate, firmly use the compactor to compact the dirt surface to the desired height. Make sure it’s level.
- Use landscape fabric. This will protect your patio from weeds. Roll out the fabric and secure it along the edges with 8” landscape spikes. It’s good to roll it out about 6” past the dig line to ensure you don’t run out. After laying in the edging and stones, you can trim it off.
- Fill in with gravel. Fill in your entire area with 4” layer of crushed gravel. Level it off to ensure consistency. Compact the gravel base.
- Lay down sand. Use a compactor. Then lay down 2” of sand.
- Screed sand. After you screed, frame your area with landscape edging. Don’t use plastic edging; opt for the lightweight, flexible, warp-resistant and easy-to-use aluminum instead.
- Add edging along the perimeter. Use heavy-duty work gloves, and secure the edging by driving 8” nails with a small sledgehammer.
- Snap chalk lines. Do this to ensure pavers stay straight.
- Place pavers. Tap them down firmly with a rubber mallet. Once you get the hang of it, your patio will take shape in no time!
With so many types of patio stones on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose one.
- Cut odd pieces. If you need pavers to be split to fit corners, use a wet saw to speed up the process. It will cut through the pavers quickly and easily.
- Lock pavers and blocks together. Sweep sand evenly around, filling all joints, then compact and reapply sand. Repeat. Rinse off any excess.
- Enjoy! Purchase outdoor tables, a lounge chair and a fire pit for maximum enjoyment!
Laying out a patio is hard work, but worth doing if you’re up for the challenge. Contact one of our experts to discuss which tools you’ll need to best get the job done.