How to Build a Patio

A patio can add beauty and curb appeal to your home. This can also become a nice spot for hanging out – you just add a table and some chairs to transform the spot!

While a patio might be a bit expensive to get done by professionals, you can actually build one on your own! It’s fairly easy, once you know the right steps that had to be done.

Photo credit: Stanley “Dirt Monkey” Genadek

Building a Patio from Scratch

Step 1. Divide the area into three categories.

  • The first one is the subbase made from raw soil.
  • The second category is the base soil (class 5). It’s the portion that separates the base soil from the pavers.
  • The third category is the sand base.

Step 2. Make sure the subbase doesn’t have organic material:

  • No grass
  • No black dirt
  • No turf
  • No roots

Step 3. It’s important to compact the subbase. There are several ways to get that done. In his tutorial, Stanley “Dirt Monkey” Genadek used a compactor. But you can makeshift compactors from wood and something heavy (like a cube of cement).

If the subbase appears to have a lot of moisture, you can add a filter fabric on top before you add the base soil.

Step 4. Once the subbase is substantially compact and level, add the base soil. Genadek prefers a class 5 soil because the uniform material makes it easier to compact.

The depth of the base should be at least 6” for a standard patio or patio driveway.

For driveways regularly exposed to heavy traffic from big trucks, he suggests increasing the depth to 8” or even 10”.

Step 5. Add 1” of sand over the base soil. Don’t go beyond this because sand doesn’t have any cohesive material in it.

Step 6. Layout the pavers. There are several ways to arrange the pavers but if you’re not so critical on the patterns, you won’t waste materials if you do a cut-less patio. That means that you don’t cut any of the pavers but just lay them down and find the perfect fit.

Step 7. Once all the pavers are in, sprinkle sand over the top and fill the gaps. Then, pack the pavers with the compactor.

Watch the video tutorial here:

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