Planning your patio

You’ve been thinking about it. Envisioning relaxing in the cool breeze under the warm sunshine on your very own stone patio.

But where to start? We’ve got guidance that will help whether you’re DIYing the install or just want to learn more about the process.

Step 1: Before purchasing materials or starting construction, we recommend reflecting on your vision for the space. What type of activities will take place on the surface? What size outdoor furniture or other amenities do you have?

Step 2: Make a realistic examination of your site. What are the challenges that will come with incorporating your vision with the benefits or drawbacks the spot may present?

Step 3: Make your patio plan. We recommend gravitating toward simple lines and sturdy functionality in patio spaces. Simplicity and durability will help you get the most out of your patio through the years. Those principles will also allow you to add, remove, or rearrange features like grills, firepits, chaise lounges, and other flexible enhancements at your convenience.

We also recommend using high-quality materials, even if it means having a smaller space overall. Well produced materials will last longer and give you more value for your dollar over the long run.

Step 4: Choose your materials. You can grab these supplies a la carte, or get one of our convenient patio packages delivered with all the basic materials you need.

First, you will need to choose your patio’s base. The base is a crucial factor that will affect the entire construction process for better or for worse. Planning adequate time, labor, and money necessary to ensure a high quality base will provide easier installation and years of maintenance free enjoyment.

Viewpoints differ on the best products to use as a base for patio.  A traditional and common material in this region is AB3 rock as a base and sand as a bedding course. AB3 contains fine materials that compact to make a concrete like surface and a strong base of support. It’s a proven method and the choice of most customers we serve.

Another option is to use a “clean” gravel with ¾” wash for the base and ¼” chip as the bedding course. This method also offers a strong base, promotes drainage, and is starting to become more popular with our customers.  

Keep in mind that you’ll want your finished patio to slope away from the house so rain is directed away. Typically one inch of drop every eight feet is a good rule of thumb. Use the contours and slope of your site when possible.

Next, choose your pavers. Keep in mind the pattern that you envision for your patio and that it will be out in the elements year round, bearing the weight of people, furniture, and amenities.

We sell Unilock and Belgard brand paving stones that offer varying levels of durability and colorfastness. Putting thought into the right materials will make for a timeless, enduring space you will enjoy for a long time.

Here’s a brief overview of the kind of difference you’ll get with premium pavers using Unilock as an example.

Unilock Classic Pavers contain large and small rock aggregates, with color mixed throughout the stone.

Unilock EnduraColor Pavers uses a courser base of aggregate and more concentrated color with smaller aggregate on the top for a stronger finish.

Unilock Elegance Pavers are premium pavers that are four times stronger than concrete. Offered in varieties like cobblestone or naturally riven stone slabs.

Finally, pick up your paver rail, spikes, and polymeric sand.  

Rails will be used to keep patio stable, and can be flexible or rigid depending on whether your patio design has straight or curved edges.  

Spikes will be used to hold paver rail in place.  

Polymeric sand will be used to help keep foreign matter out of paver joints, which will deter both plant and animal pests. Polymeric sand comes in multiple colors and we stock the two most popular: grey and beige.

A final word of advice before construction. Don’t wait until your patio is completed to enjoy. Grab a friend, work together, and appreciate the process as it comes together.