What’s involved when installing a patio?

Stone and brick paved path

A lot goes into creating a new patio and corners can easily be cut. It is important for homeowners to know what to look for while their patio is being constructed to be sure it can be enjoyed for years to come.

Base prep

The most important part of any patio is the base. just like a house foundation, it is what will support the structure. Mid-Michigan has heavy clay soils which hold water. It is important to excavate this material and replace it with a substance that offers both great compaction and drainage. We use limestone fines which we compact in a series of lifts. Patio bases can vary on thickness depending on the existing soil conditions, but are typically 4″-6″. Adding 6″ of material and compacting it all at once is ineffective and will only compact the first 1″-2″. We add 2″ of material at a time and compact as we go until reaching our desired base thickness. This process ensures the entire base is compacted and will not settle in the future.

Setting bed prep

Following base compaction the setting bed is added. Pavers will sit directly on top of this and it is crucial there are no humps or dips. 3/4″ screed pipes are placed on the base and limestone fines are spread between the pipes. Following this a level is run over the tops of the pipes creating perfectly flat surface. During this step we also ensure proper pitch is set to allow water to run away from foundations.

Paver laying

The laying of the pavers is the fastest step. With our time being focused on the base, the process should go smoothly. If curves are present, we over lay past the desired distance and cut the curve in place. Following paver laying edging is added to prevent lateral movement. Sand is also swept into the joints to lock pavers in place. Any damage done to the surrounding lawn and garden is restored and patio furniture is added. This is my favorite part as it means our client can now enjoy our hard work!

Below are a couple samples of hardscaping work we have recently completed. We look forward to helping you with your outdoor space.

~Tom Morgan