So You Want to Build a Patio?
Where would you like to put it? Would you like walls or benches? A fire pit or stove?
Let’s address the terrain and the dimensions: Depending upon dry-set or masonry construction we will need a good solid foundation. In this post we are working with dry material. So once we have our circumference outlined we begin excavating about 6” deep.
Once this is done we spread a level 4” layer of “crush and run” or 21B from the quarry. We lightly sprinkle water evenly as we build up this layer and smooth it down with a mechanical tamper. Let it dry and we are ready for about an inch masons sand or stone dust (depending on whether pavers or flagstone) and prepare to set the stones.
This is the more time consuming and articulate part of the work. We have to spread the setting base evenly and gradually as we lay each stone in place to line up in the right place. It can be a work of art. In some cases we need to fit precisely between preinstalled edging and a building, or around posts or other fixtures. Slope is critically important too; about ¼” per foot away from structures or 1” per 10’ in the open.
(to be continued)