Once you selected the area to build on, decided on the size and shape of your patio and got all the required materials, it is time to break some sweat.

Here are the main steps for building your simple patio:

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1. Mark the shape of your patio on the ground – you can use marking spray or for better results few spikes and a thread.

2. Cut and remove the grass and dig the earth underneath.

Typical depth for a professionally made patio foundation is ½’ to 1’. The more earth you remove the more sound you patio’s foundation will be.

Here it is how it may look like in the end

But digging, hauling all that earth and backfilling with gravel may break more sweat than you would like. If you are not really concerned that down the road you may be the proud owner of a slightly uneven stone patio, laying the patio stone on top of couple of inches of compacted gravel is an excellent alternative. Breaking sweat will be kept to minimum.

3. Backfill with gravel
4. Using a garden hose, water soak the gravel very well to allow for optimum compacting
5. Level the gravel with a long and straight piece of wood and make sure you have a grading of about ½ ” at every 6’ of length

6. Compact the gravel until it does not sink anymore or … you decide you had enough and is time for a beer
7. Make sure the surface of the foundation is properly leveled- if not, add or remove gravel as required

8. Soak and compact more
9. Spread about 1/5” of limestone on top of the foundation
10. Start laying the patio stones from one corner
11. Use a rubber mallet to seat the patio stone well
12. Make sure the stone is well seated and it does not tilt

13. If any of the stone is tilting

  • lift the stone
  • add more or remove limestone
  • reseat the stone

! Lifting the patio stone may prove a bit difficult and strenuous with bare hands. You may like to use a lifting tool you can easily handle and insert underneath the stone.

14. Spread sand in between the stones
15. Remove any excess sand using a broom

Now is really the time to bring over the table, the chairs and all the other things you planned to put on the patio. You are the proud owner of you new patio stone. In addition, you get lifetime bragging rights about how you pulled it off. You should really throw a party!

Here is how to build a raised stone patio or build a multiple-level stone patio.

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