Even if you have never done any landscaping before, you can use some basic steps to build an outdoor patio. It is not as hard as you might think but it is a lot of work. Just take your time and you can even do the work over the course of a few days.
Start by measuring out the size of the area you want to make into a patio. For this example, try a 6 x 6-foot patio, so adjust the materials and time quantities to meet your needs. After you have measured out the 6 x 6-foot square in the yard, it is time to dig. Dig about 2 feet deep all the way around the entire area. You should now have a 2-foot deep hole that is 6 x 6-feet wide.
Cover the bottom and the sides of the hole with plastic garden barrier. It is important to put down this plastic barrier to ensure that no weeds grow up through the patio. Pour gravel into the hole, filling up 16 inches of the hole while leaving 8 inches remaining to fill. Take the ground compactor and lightly pound the gravel so it is nice and compact, without crushing the gravel.
Pour in 6 inches of patio sand, leaving 2 inches empty in the hole. Take your time, compound the sand with a lot of force and make sure that it is very compacted. Lightly water the sand to help with the compacting. Do not over-water, as you do not want a mud pit. After measuring the remaining room in the hole after compounding the sand, you will probably need to add another inch or so of sand. Make sure you compact that sand as well and continue the process until you have a very compact layer of sand and only 2 inches of room remaining.
Shop for the perfect tile or brick for your patio, keeping in mind both the color and pattern. Most patio pavers, brick and tiles average around 2 inches in thickness. You can adjust the sand layer accordingly, if you choose a different depth of surface material. Just don’t go too shallow with the sand layer or you will risk losing stability.
Lay out the pavers or brick in the pattern you would like onto the compacted sand. While putting the pavers down, be sure to press them down into the sand so they are secure. Once all of the pavers are put in, it is time to pour a layer of patio sand all over the surface of the pavers you put down. Use a push broom to move the sand around so that it falls down into the space between pavers.
Use the water hose to spray down the surface and wet down all of the sand that has fallen between the pavers. Continue this process until you have a level surface. When the sand dries, it stiffens up, holding the pavers in place like concrete.
You will need to continue to add patio sand into the cracks of the pavers as they begin to settle. Use the same process as you did the first time of spreading sand over the surface of the pavers and using a push broom to force the sand down in between the pavers. Don’t forget to water each time after you put down a layer of sand. This process should continue for about a week. Check periodically during the first year and add sand as needed.