Concrete Contractors

Types of Patio Construction

Posted by Wanda Brewer

A patio can add a wonderful outdoor living space. It can also be a focal point and enhance the overall look of your landscape.


To begin the process, a line is set with stakes and string to indicate the size and shape of your new patio. This line is then used to guide the excavation and backfill. Contact Patio Construction Richmond VA for professional help.

Pavers add a polished look to any patio and can be used in a variety of ways. They’re ideal for a walkway, driveway or courtyard and are available in a wide array of colors and patterns to complement your landscape design. Pavers are also durable and easy to clean, and they resist cracking due to seasonal expansion and contraction of the ground. They’re a good choice for sloped yards, as they can be used to level the terrain and create a usable patio area.

Before you begin laying pavers, it’s important to lay out the installation area and map out your pattern. It will help you determine how many pavers, base material and sand to purchase. Measure the length and width of the installation area to arrive at the total square footage, then add 10 percent for expected wastage. This will help ensure that you have enough materials to complete the project and not overspend on unnecessary items.

To prepare the paver area, excavate 6 inches and install a layer of crushed rock subbase. Then, lay and compact the base material. A plate compactor is an excellent tool for this job, as it helps you achieve a high level of compaction and a solid foundation for your pavers.

A weed barrier or weed blocker fabric is often placed on top of the base before a sand setting bed is added. This will keep weeds from growing between the pavers, saving you time and money.

Once the sand is put down, it’s important to smooth it out to create a even surface. For this step, a long board and a rubber mallet are useful tools to use. The board should be straight and long, with a notch in both ends so that it can be shimmed along the sand to create a smooth finish. If you’re unsure of how to smooth the sand, consult your local landscaping supply store for guidance.

Once the sand is set, place the pavers into your desired pattern. It’s a good idea to lay the pavers tight against each other to prevent shifting and sliding. Once you’ve laid all the pavers, it’s a good idea to apply a protective sealer to the pavers to make them easier to maintain and to protect them from environmental wear and tear.


A stone patio is a great way to add a bit of modern sophistication to your backyard space while still maintaining a natural look. Whether you want to build a large patio or a small one for relaxing and dining, you can create a beautiful stone design to suit your style. Stone patios can be constructed with pavers or bricks, or with stone slabs or a combination of both.

Before you can begin laying your stone patio, you will need to prepare the site. Start by removing any grass, roots or other debris that may be in the area. Then, dig down to the base of the patio. Depending on the climate where you live, you will need to determine how deep your base should be. For example, areas that receive a lot of rain will need to have a deeper base layer than those that are more dry.

After you have prepared the area, lay down a base layer of either crushed rock or gravel. This should be compacted with a hand tamper or a plate compactor to ensure a solid base for the stones. Next, spread a layer of builder’s sand on top. Again, use the tamper or plate compactor to level and smooth the surface.

Once you have your sand layer down, it’s time to start laying your patio stones. When laying your pavers, be sure to use a mason’s line or batter board to check that the layout lines are straight. This will help you achieve a perfectly even patio. When laying the pavers, be sure to leave a 3/8- to 1/2-inch gap between each stone. When a gap is left, you can add fill to prevent the stones from shifting as they settle.

After all of the pavers are laid, it’s time to install the edging. This can be done with a steel or plastic edging product or with natural stones such as Pennsylvania bluestone or flagstone. For a clean look, you can also use concrete edging products such as Unilock’s Edge-ItTM or Unilock Decorative Borders.

Laying a natural stone or paver patio is a project that should be completed by trained professionals. Contact a Unilock Authorized Contractor for more information and to receive a free estimate.


Tile is an excellent material to use in a patio flooring application because it can stand up well to heavy foot traffic and weather elements. It also comes in a wide array of colors, styles, materials and designs that allow you to create a bespoke outdoor space. Additionally, most tile types are DIY-friendly and can be installed by homeowners with moderate skills and energetic ambition.

Using the same type of floor tile you have indoors is an easy way to connect your interior living spaces with the patio, giving you that flawless transition many homeowners desire. Porcelain tiles in particular can mimic the appearance of stone, concrete, slate and even wood while enduring any climate.

Before you begin installing your tile, make sure that the soil under it is level and firm. To do this, rake and compact the area as you would for any other construction project, then lay down an adequate base layer of gravel that’s at least 50mm thick. This will help with water drainage and prevent the base from becoming too soft over time, which can lead to cracking of your decorative tiles.

Prior to laying the actual tiles, clean the existing patio surface with a power washer or stiff scrub brush and a concrete cleaner such as trisodium phosphate (TSP). This will remove any dirt, pits or other impurities and create an ideal surface for a strong bond between the mortar and the existing surface.

When selecting your tile, let the style of your home and surrounding landscape guide you. For example, a stone-look tile works beautifully with a rustic or edgy design, while a modern monochromatic option may clash. Likewise, a natural stone tile is an ideal choice for a cottage or country-style home and can harmonize with the surrounding greenery.

When installing your tile, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended installation guidelines. For example, it’s a good idea to back butter each tile before applying the mortar, and to use plastic spacers between each tile to generate straight grout lines for an aesthetically pleasing end-result. Moreover, it’s vital that you properly support the weight of your furniture and barbecue grill to avoid any stress that can lead to tile damage or discoloration.


A patio is a flat slab that rests directly on the ground. Patios can be constructed of a variety of materials, from paving stones to concrete to wood. It’s important to consider what you’ll be using your patio for, and then choose the material that best suits those needs.

Before you start construction, be sure to check with your local authorities and building codes to make sure you’re following all required regulations. This can add time to the overall project, as it could take one to four weeks to obtain permits, and some cities or counties may have stricter requirements than others.

Once you’ve consulted the regulations and determined what your permit will be, you’re ready to begin the construction process. First, if you’re building on a sloped area, you’ll need to do some grading. To determine the level of the slope, drive stakes at both ends of your patio site and use a line level to measure the distance between them. The difference in these measurements will indicate the degree of slope in inches per foot.

Then you’ll need to get the supplies for your concrete patio. This includes lumber for making forms and wooden stakes, as well as deck screws to hold the forms in place on corners. Concrete is a heavy material, and it can bend or break wood forms if not properly secured. You’ll also need some tools like a handsaw, shovels and a wheelbarrow to transport and mix the concrete.

Once your form is set, it’s time to pour the concrete. Once the concrete is poured, it’s spread with a bull float to smooth the surface and fill low spots. It’s easiest to do this with another person.

After the concrete dries, you’ll be ready to install your paving stone or pavers. A layer of concrete sand is laid over the concrete to help keep it in place and prevent it from shifting later on. If you’re laying pavers, you can use mortar or concrete sand to fill in the joints between them.

When you’re ready to turn your vision into a reality, contact us for a free consultation. Our team will walk you through the process and work within your budget to build a patio you’ll enjoy for years to come.

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