Laying a patio can be a challenging task if you do not have the proper plan in place. There are many types of patios one can chose to lay. Patios can range from wood to brick to stone. Once you select the type of patio that needs to be installed the handy work can begin.
Installing a stone patio is an excellent way to show creativity and individuality. There are many colors and designs to choose from. To start gather your supplies. These can include gloves, dusk mask, mason twine, carbide tipped awl, goggles and ear protection. It is important to remember your safety equipment when preparing to work with grinders and saws. This brings up the next items needed, tools.
These will include: steel rake, bush broom, spade shovel, square shovel, wheelbarrow, level and rod, angle grinder, tape measure, circle cutter, pointing trowel, hand rake, hand tamper, plate compactor, circle saw, rubber mallet, hand sledge, and skid-steer loader. Once all your tools and supplies are collected execute the floor plan. Include in this plan the height, width and length of your patio. This can be easily done by using graph paper. Be sure to also know your land. It is important to know where the ground freezes or if there are any water or gas lines in the vicinity so they can be worked around.
A stone patio can be installed in eight simple steps. First, excavate the site. To do this drive three foot stakes in the ground in the corners of the area the patio will be laid. Use the level to find a benchmark. Next setting the base will need to occur.
Cover the sub-grade with a crushed stone and dust base. Be sure to water the base to keep the dust down. Use the plate compactor to assist in this step. Once the base is set mix the cement in the wheelbarrow in order to lay the stone. Once the mix is to desired thickness, spread the mix in the base where stone will be laid one stone at a time. Now that the bed is set lay the stone into the setting bed smooth side facing up lined up with the other stones.
Tap the stone into place with a rubber mallet. Once in place use the level to be sure all stones are even with the next. Repeat this process until area is covered with stone. If necessary cut the stones with carbide-tipped awl to make sure stones fit evenly. Remember to use goggles, gloves and earplugs for this process. When the patio is dry enough to walk on dust the joints with a stone dust to better hold the stones in place. Hose the patio down to assist in packing the dusting.
Once the patio is set and dry pull out the summer temperature of choice, lawn chair and kick back and admire the finished product. Many do not believe they have the handyman knack but these simple steps make laying a patio look as easy as sipping lemonade on a hot summer day.