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Building a Patio? Here’s How to Create Your Ideal Design

Building a Patio? Here’s How to Create Your Ideal Design

Maximize your outdoor living space with a stylish and functional patio. Personalizing your patio space is a great way to beautify your home and create your own outdoor oasis.

When searching for patio products online, make sure to have a Home Building Centre or Home Hardware Building Centre selected as your preferred store.

Plan Your Perfect Patio Size

Consider how you want to use your outdoor space when you plan your backyard patio design. How much space do you have? Do you like to entertain friends and family, stretch out and sunbathe or frequently barbecue mouth-watering meals?

If you love cooking, give some thought to where to place the patio deck in location to the kitchen for easy serving and clean-up. Dining outside? Make sure your patio offers enough space for you to fit a dining table and lounge area. Consider where the best sun exposure is for tanning¬ or shade for staying cool.

Also make sure to:
  • Give some thought to the location of plumbing, septic and electrical lines
  • Check local building codes or homeowners association regulations for any restrictions or requirements. Determine if any permits are required

Pick Your Preferred Patio Stones

Once you have a plan in place, consider the type of patio pavers you want to use. They come in different shapes, textures, sizes and colours. Materials can mimic many different looks such as stone, brick, cobblestone, tile and more.

TIP: When buying pavers, make sure to account for cuts and waste. It’s a good idea to buy about 5% more than your calculations require.

Concrete

Concrete patio stones are a classic choice that can range in appearance.
Concrete Features:
  • Time-tested, natural appearance
  • Made of a cement and aggregate composition that is strong, durable and easy to maintain
  • Highly resistant to salt corrosion and the elements (sun, rain and ice)
  • Smaller stones have the ability to flex during frost heave without becoming damaged
  • Individual pavers allow for easy installation and repair
  • Can be easily removed when gaining access to underground services
  • Slip and skid-resistant due to rough surface
  • Wide variety of colours, styles and shapes allows for greater design possibilities
  • Can be reused and reset, making them more environmentally friendly
  • Certain concrete sealers can enhance the vibrancy of colours
  • Virtually maintenance-free
  • Affordable
 ​

Natural Stone

Most commonly found as flagstone or fieldstone. Flagstone is available in various colours and stones. Flagstone patios have a striking appearance and good traction when wet.

Natural Stone Features:
  • Not as durable as concrete or rubber, so less ideal for high-traffic locations
  • Irregular shapes available in various colours and stones such as limestone and sandstone
  • More expensive than brick and concrete

Types of Patio Pavers to Choose From

In addition to the material you choose, there are a number of different types of patio pavers. Consider pavers and patio stones, wall stones and edging to create an integrated look.

Pavers and Patio Stones

Patio pavers and patio stones are a great way to create patio decks and walkways. They add style and function to outdoor spaces. Pavers and stones can have a more utilitarian or decorative appearance. Determine your needs before you purchase. Some pavers are suitable for driveways, but many are for foot traffic only.

Retaining Walls

Wall stones are great for raised planting beds, retaining walls, tree rings and fire pits. You can use them to construct straight or curved walls. They can have a natural look or clean, finished appearance. Use patio blocks to create an integrated and stylish outdoor space. Note that a heat shield (liner) is required for any fire pit application.

Patio Edging

Edging stones provide a border between two landscapes such as a flower bed and lawn. They can add dimension and character for separation that can be distinct or subtle. They also keep mulch in place and provide a cleaner line. Use edgers for garden edges and borders.

Patio Stone and Paver Installation Prep

Prior to patio installation, make sure you prepare the area and establish the base. ​

Preparing Your Outdoor Patio Area

Once you have determined the patio size and location, it’s time to prepare the site:
  1. Set a stake into each corner of the perimeter. Tie string between the stakes.

  2. Use a line level to make sure the line is even.

  3. Dig out the dirt and sod between the stakes. Allow space for the base and the height of the pavers.

  4. Dig about 6 inches beyond the strings to allow room for edging around the site.

  5. Plan for the proper slope. The patio needs to slope away from the house.
    IMPORTANT: For water runoff, the pavers should sit slightly higher than ground level and the patio should slope away from the house.

  6. Tamp down the exposed earth for a level surface. Use a hand tamper or a compactor for larger areas.

  7. Add a layer of landscaping fabric. This helps prevent growth of weeds.
Now you’re ready to get started laying the foundation.

Create a Stable Patio Stone Base

There are several layers required to ensure a stable foundation for paver installation.

Gravel base:
The gravel base gives the patio stability, allows for drainage and helps you work with natural elevation changes in your landscape. You’ll want to rake and tamp it down, so it is smooth and graded properly.

Bedding sand:
Next, bedding sand is placed on top to ensure a smooth base for the pavers. Level the sand to ensure it is flat.
With the area prepped and the base laid, you’re now ready to install your patio pavers!

Polymer jointing sand:
After the pavers are installed, it’s a good idea to use a polymeric sand. This mixture fills the joints or gaps between patio and walkway blocks. It provides superior resistance to weeds, wind, rain, washout and freezing.
You’re now equipped with the information you need to create your perfect patio design. With your ideal location, materials and framework ready to go, you can now create your dream outdoor space.

Check out our large assortment of products to build your patio.

When searching for patio products online, make sure to have a Home Building Centre or Home Hardware Building Centre selected as your preferred store.

Looking for help with installation? Contact your local building centre for home installation services. We’d love to help! ​​
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