Laying a masonry block outdoor patio is a rewarding project that yields several benefits. It creates a warm and inviting space in which guests may be entertained, families can enjoy outdoor meals, and memories can be made. A stone patio also adds property value to a home. Creating a patio with masonry block is a simple activity that should only take one to three weekends to install, depending on its size.
Plan the Patio
Before purchasing a single paver or masonry block, the patio needs to be planned out. Homeowners should decide everything from the size of the patio to the type of stone or paver desired in the planning process. The space should be measured and a budget should be set to determine the cost of the materials and project overall. Although the project can be completed by a single individual, if you plan to hire any help, that should also be taken into consideration. Set a schedule with a complete time frame to ensure that the project goes smoothly for everyone involved. Finally, make a run to a landscaping store to purchase the masonry and landscape materials.
Prepare the Site
Be sure that the space intended for the patio is well-shaded, drains well, and provides an intimate setting for company. Dig out the site, making an even hole across the space. The hole should be 10 inches deep to accommodate all of the materials. Next, fill in the hole with 6 inches of gravel. This layer should be mostly even, but should include a slight slope to help create proper drainage during rainy weather. Make sure the gravel is coarse to ensure that it packs in with the other materials well. Then, set a stone border around the entire site, taking care to fit the pieces together as completely as possible for the best even fit. Gaps should be no wider than about one inch.
Complete the Masonry
This step is where the sand comes in. Lay a layer of sand down on top of the gravel to form a barrier not to exceed one-half of an inch. Lay the rest of the masonry over this level, taking care to fit the bricks or pavers as closely as possible. Some gaps are fine to include, especially when homeowners plan on incorporating some type of vegetation, such as moss, in the design within the gaps. A professional mason can be hired to even out the bricks more uniformly. A compactor should be run over the entire project to ensure an even surface. Then scatter dry sand within any remaining cracks to help seal the patio, keeping the stones well in place. Masonry sand is usually recommended for this. Once complete, the area can be finished off with any outdoor furniture, topiaries or other desired accents. Planting ornamental trees or grasses in select spaces around the patio help to give it a more inviting atmosphere. Some homeowners like to finish off the project with a pergola. Host a backyard barbecue to show off the project and christen it with a group of guests.