How to Build a Raised Stone Patio
A patio is usually the central focus of most gardens.
It’s the place where the house meets the grass, where most people prefer to sit and make memories, relaxing in the comfort of a rocking chair or dishing out food at a barbeque, with all the family gathered around a patio set.
A raised patio is ideal for its flexibility, allowing you to comfortably accommodate all of the functions listed above and many more.
They are also known for their low cost and low maintenance, which makes them ideal for most people just venturing into the world of DIY garden landscaping.
Building your own raised patio will give you the ability to control the style and functionality of your garden, adapting it for your own specific needs.
But do you have to be a building expert to lay your own raised stone patio?
How long and how much effort will it take to build one of these unique garden features?
What are the advantages of having a raised stone patio?
Well, those who want that extra control over their garden can rest easy, because we have a step-by-step guide for constructing your own raised stone patio as quickly and efficiently as possible.
What are the Advantages of a Raised Patio?
One of the main draws is how customizable these raised patios are.
You aren’t tied down to any specific design, you can mold your raised stone patio to whichever style that you feel suits your garden.
The maintenance of a solid stone platform is also great. You won’t find any stray leaves, litter or dead animals clogging up the underneath of your patio.
If you do gather some excess litter on the top, simply sweep it off with a brush!
How to Build a Raised Patio
Okay, now we move onto the task at hand, with our easy-to-follow guide for building your very own decking setup.
Make Your Marks
Take your tape measure and mark out the exact area of your patio flooring using the chalk.
By accurately calculating the square footage, you should be able to determine how much material you’ll need for your project.
You’ll also want to mark the wall near where you want the patio surface to be.
Get the Right Height
Using string or garden hose, mark out the height, width and any curves that your patio might have.
You’ll want the lines but without the substance of your patio. Use a spirit level to make sure the topmost part is even.
Once you have marked this area out, you’ll want to excavate the lower portion of your prospective patio and remove any obstructive vegetation and other organic materials.
Dig a base trench of around 24 inches deep to accommodate the base of your patios retaining wall.
You'll want to compact the base trench of the entire patio base area, ideally using a plate compactor.
Make a few passes, as it will be very important to get that airtight, super-solid foundation.
Make sure the trench is deep enough for you to embed your retaining wall. The foundation is the anchor on which your stone patio will rest, so safety is paramount here.
Leveling Your Trench
Taking some lumber or sturdy piece of timber, level out the base of your trench.
This will be important to ensure that the surface of your patio is also level.
You won’t want your guests and your patio furniture sliding off any bulges or lopsided angles.
Making Your Trench Waterproof
Lay some tarpaulin or landscaping fabric over the top of your base trench.
Once this is laid flat and even and pinned in place, then start pouring concrete over the top.
Use self-leveling cement on top of the concrete to get that precision level of flatness, although make sure the concrete is completely dry before applying the cement.
Create a Retaining Wall
This is the most crucial part of your patio wall design, the retaining wall has to be supportive and provide the ultimate resistance to the pressure placed on its surface.
The build quality of your retaining wall will all depend on how high and wide you’ve decided to build it.
If your patio is particularly high, with steep slopes, then you’ll want something that has the utmost stability and strength.
Lay the bricks meticulously using a builder’s spirit level to ensure that they are consistently even. Use soil from on-site to prevent the bricks from shifting when compacting and filling.
You should then install a drain pipe across the entire length of the back wall on your site. This will ensure that rainwater will run off and prevent subsidence and erosion in the long run.
Use a waterproof fabric to cover your wall and protect it from hydrostatic pressure.
When you start creating the structural backfill, you might need a porous concrete that will help the air circulation in the bricks once they’ve settled.
Use sand or rock that can be compacted firmly when constructing the retaining wall. This will ensure that you won’t get any air bubbles that will cause the sand to shift and become lopsided.
When you get to the top of your wall, apply a capstone to seal off the wall against runoff and rain.
Make sure you place your first patio paver into the corner of your base by sliding it firmly up against the retaining wall, making sure there is no space between them.
The leveled sand that it sits on should be disrupted as little as possible, so use a rubber-headed mallet to tap down the paver gently.
Repeat this process until all the pavers on the bottom of the wall are in place.
Take some sand and pour it over the pavers to ensure that all the gaps have been filled. This will guarantee you a completely solid foundation for the rest of your stone patio to sit on.
Your base layer is taking the collective weight of the entire patio, so it must be completely sealed and strong.