By far, patios are the most traditional outdoor living area. These ground level seating areas are the perfect space to entertain friends, relax with a good book, or watch the kids play in the yard. Patios are most often connected to the home, and can function as an extension of the living room or dining area. However, adding an additional patio across the yard can provide a sanctuary for quiet conversation and relaxation. Below you will find 5 steps that will get you started in the right direction and turn your vision into reality!
Step 1: Level the Area
Mark the outer edges of the patio with spray paint. Use square shovels to knock down high spots in the soil and remove debris. For a patio that sits flush with the yard, excavate one to two inches of soil to accommodate the height of the stones. A rented sod cutter or rototiller can be handy for large, shallow excavations. Be sure to wear safety glasses and ear protection if working with a rototiller or sod cutter.
Step 2: Lay Out the Stone
A natural stone patio works like a big puzzle. Lay out the individual stones, adjusting for the best fit and keeping the gaps between stones consistent. Place the largest stones in areas where furniture will sit and those that will experience the heaviest foot traffic.
Step 3: Cut Stones as Needed
If a stone has a sharp edge that could be a hazard to bare feet, knock the edge off with the back of a hammer and smooth it out by hitting with the front of the hammer. To reduce larger pieces, score the stone along the desired cut line. Line up a chisel on the score mark and tap with a hammer. Move the chisel about half a chisel-length down the scored mark and tap again. Repeat the process, working down the scored mark until the piece breaks off. Even up and smooth out the broken edges with a hammer. Always wear safety glasses when cutting or breaking stone.
Step 4: Set the Stones
For rock like Flagstone, they will need a sand base. If you’re using Flagstone, set the stones one at a time, lifting the stone and pouring enough sand underneath to cushion the entire stone. Replace the stone, wiggling it around to push sand into every crevice. Use a rubber mallet to pound stones in place.
Step 5: Check the Stones
Check the stones to make sure they’re level. Also test each piece by stepping on all parts of the stones to make sure they don’t tip. If a stone isn’t stable, lift it and add sand as needed. Small pieces that have chipped off of stones can be wedged underneath as well.
If you’re considering adding a patio area to your home’s exterior and think you’ve found a plan to follow, come to The Rock Place. We’ll help you choose the right style, size, and amount of stone required for your project. You’re welcome to call us at (615) 459-9200 with questions or just come by 475 Wade Herrod Rd in Smyrna to see our many options.