How do I build a raised patio next to my house?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

To build a raised patio next to your house, there are several steps you need to follow to ensure a successful and level construction. Let’s break them down:

1. Plan and Measure:
– Start by planning the size and shape of your patio. Consider the space available and how you intend to use it.
– Measure the area where the patio will be located and mark the boundaries using stakes and string. This will help you visualize the shape and size of the patio.

2. Excavate the Area:
– Use a shovel or a mini excavator to dig out the shape of the patio perimeter. Remove any grass, plants, or debris from the area.
– Ensure that the excavated area is level and compact the soil using a tamper or plate compactor. This will provide a stable base for your patio.

3. Build Retaining Walls:
– If your patio will be raised, you’ll need to build retaining walls to hold the raised section in place. Choose a suitable material for the retaining walls, such as bricks, concrete blocks, or natural stone.
– Dig a trench along the perimeter of the patio and lay the first row of retaining wall material. Ensure that the walls are level and use a spirit level to check for accuracy.
– Continue building the retaining walls to the desired height, making sure each row is level and securely connected.

4. Fill in the Raised Patio:
– Once the retaining walls are in place, fill the raised section of the patio with soil or gravel to the proper height. Compact the fill material to create a solid and level surface.
– Use a level to check that the fill material is even and adjust as necessary. This step is crucial to ensure the stability and longevity of your patio.

5. Surface Material:
– Choose the surface material for your patio, such as flagstone, pavers, or concrete. Each material has its own installation process, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
– For flagstone or pavers, lay a base of compacted gravel or sand, then arrange the stones or pavers in the desired pattern. Use a rubber mallet to ensure they are firmly in place.
– If pouring concrete, prepare the area by placing formwork along the edges and reinforcing the base with steel mesh or rebar. Then pour the concrete mixture and level it using a screed board and float.

6. Finishing Touches:
– After the surface material is installed, sweep sand or polymeric jointing compound into the joints to stabilize the stones or pavers and prevent weed growth.
– Clean the surface thoroughly, removing any excess material or debris. You can use a broom or a leaf blower for this task.

Remember to consider proper drainage when building your raised patio. Ensure that the patio slopes away from your house to prevent water accumulation. Additionally, consult local building codes and regulations to ensure compliance with any permits or restrictions.

Throughout the process, pay attention to detail and regularly check for levelness to achieve a professional-looking and functional raised patio. Don’t hesitate to seek professional advice or assistance if needed, especially for complex retaining wall construction or concrete pouring.