With the dreary winter months coming to an end, it’s finally warm enough to spend some time enjoying the beautiful outdoors, and there’s no better place to do it than right in your own backyard. If your yard lacks visual appeal, though, consider building a stone patio. Whether you need a relaxing place to read a book, a quiet place to drink iced tea and watch the returning birds, or just want to add some extra visual interest looking out your window, having furniture for decks is always a great addition. You will get the very best comfort and a place where you can relax and enjoy your mornings with your family.
First, you’ll need to pick out the right location. The best spot to build is a stone patio that is in a place where it can be easily seen and easily accessed. You’ll want to be able to enjoy the added visual appeal your new patio can provide, so avoid the temptation to hide it around a corner of your home just because there’s extra space. If possible, choose a relatively flat space, as this will minimize the amount extra digging and dirt hauling you’ll do when you position your stones.
To prepare the area you’ve selected, you’ll need to use a good sturdy shovel. Begin clearing the area of the top layer of dirt, digging about three inches deep around the perimeter of the space your new patio will occupy. Do your best to dig as evenly as possible, but slight variations from clay or hard soil are inevitable. For particularly tough spots, use a garden hose to help loosen the material. Make sure to keep a wheelbarrow handy to deposit the material you’ve removed from your patio site.
Next, you’ll even out and level the area you’ve cleared. If you have the means to do so, adding a thin layer of crushed granite will add a touch of professionalism to your project. Use a tamper (preferably 8×8 or 10×10) to pack in the soil you’ve loosened. Make sure that the crushed granite is evenly spread to form the foundation for the stones you’re about to add.
While stone is a beautiful and durable material to use in the construction of your patio, the stones you’ll be using will almost certainly be uneven in size and shape and can vary considerably in thickness. Your next task is to arrange this collection of mismatched pieces like a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. This step is both the most tedious and the most fun. As you begin to lay oddly shaped pieces into your design, you’ll find that certain things don’t seem to fit too well, so don’t be afraid to move them around your workspace trying different locations. After all, their position isn’t “set in stone”. Try to use large stones will edges that line up well.
If there is considerable variation in the thickness of neighboring pieces, use a hand trowel to dig out the area beneath thicker stones. Use any excess soil (it’s still in the wheelbarrow from when you cleared it) to fill in beneath the thinner stones. Use smaller stray stones to fill in the gaps left by the large stones, and secure the stones in place by filling the cracks with dirt or crushed granite. After completing this process, you should be left with a relatively flat stone surface, and your patio is nearly finished.
The final step is to add some personal finishing touches. If you want a shady place to sit and enjoy a good book, consider adding a new bench. If your new patio is primarily decorative landscaping, a birdbath or fountain makes an attractive choice. Maybe you have a statue, a “wishing well”, or a crew of garden gnomes. Whatever personality you decide to add to your new stone patio, it will be an attractive addition to your yard that you will enjoy for years to come.