Do's and Don'ts When Building Your Own Patio
When you look at the big picture it seems pretty simple and straight forward! We’re going to lay some bricks on the ground! How hard can it be?
While you certainly can make the project as simple as laying bricks on the ground, but that will result in a patio that does not last very long, and is unsafe, as there will be many gaps in the pavers where people can trip.
We put together here a list of some pro tips to help guide you along on this DIY adventure so you not only end up with a good-looking patio, but one that is safe and lasts decades!
DO use precision! Make sure that you lay out your pavers with precision right from the start. If you get off the mark early on, it can lead to even bigger mistakes later on. It's a good idea to use string or landscaping paint/tape to maintain a straight edge, and always check, recheck, and double-check your work!
DON'T hammer pavers together. While you can use a rubber mallet to tap your pavers down into the sandy base layer below, don't smash pavers together with a hammer. Pavers need to have about 1/4 of an inch between them, to allow for flex, expansion, contraction, and water seepage.
DO use an edge restraint to hold the pavers in place. An edge restraint prevents the pavers from moving out of place due to the gradual shift of the ground over time. If you don't want edge restraints to be seen in the finished product, invisible edge restraint material can be used that are spiked into the base materials.
DON'T walk away from the job without adding a final sand layer! The pavers need to have sand or very fine stone swept into the cracks between the pavers. Some contractors will use polymeric sand; others will use very fine pebbles. The goal with fine rock is to allow for a permeable effect (water seeping through the fine rock into the ground beneath). The goal with polymeric sand is to create a flexible seal between the pavers.
DO plan for the long-term. A paver patio can last for decades, and once they're installed, they're very difficult to remove! Make sure you love the design and the style you're planning on installing, and make sure the size of the patio will meet your needs for years to come.
DON'T downsize your patio! Here's a hint, one of the number one complaints homeowners have about their patios is they're just not big enough. It's amazing how fast a patio space can get used up with benches, chairs, tables, grills, etc. Make it a little bigger than you were originally intending, and you'll be happy you did!
There you have it, six pro tips from your mind to yours.
Remember, if at any time your project is going South and you just can’t be bothered to continue on, we’d love to come in and help you out, take it off your hands and build it for you.
Just give us a call: 908-725-7536!