A summer project: a new patio

iStockphoto LP
iStockphoto LP

The summer season brings a panoply of ideas to improve our outdoor environment. The patio is often at the top of the list, because it’s so practical for meals and for taking a minute to relax.

If you want a patio that will pass the test of time, while maintaining an elegant look, the most important thing is to install a foundation that will support the selected material.

First, outline the perimeter of the patio that you want to build and determine the height.

Then dig to a minimum depth of 18 inches.

Line the bottom and sides of the excavation site with a landscaping cloth that will prevent the crushed stone foundation from mixing with the ground while allowing water to flow through to ensure proper drainage.

Spread about four inches of 0-3/4 crushed stone (which means that the size of the stone varies between zero and three quarters of an inch in diameter), and use a plate compactor to compact it. Repeat both steps until the patio is level, less the thickness of stones used, plus one inch.

Once everything is compacted and horizontal, the next step is to spread an inch of rock dust without compacting it.

To facilitate operation, use two guides made of wood or another material that is about three feet long and one inch thick, plus a plank placed perpendicular over the two guides, to ensure an equal thickness over the entire surface. The empty space must be filled when the guides are removed to ensure an equal thickness across the entire surface. When the guides are removed, the empty space must be filled without disturbing the material.

Now that you’ve finished preparing, you have to install the slabs or blocks you chose.

Avoid walking on the rock dust so that you don’t distort the levelling.

The final step is to fill the spaces between the blocks. There’s a wide variety of materials: rock dust, sand or polymer sand. We recommend polymer sand because, once you place it according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it becomes very hard and prevents weeds from growing and ants from nesting.



Once the work is completed, take advantage of the summer season to take enjoy your new patio.


Photos: iStockphoto LP