If you’re looking to build a patio, concrete blocks are the way to go. They are inexpensive, durable, and easy to work with. Here’s how to build a patio with them:
- Laying the foundation: To lay your foundation, start by measuring the area that will be covered by the patio. Ideally, this area should be slightly larger than the space where you plan to place furniture so that there is room for people to walk without tripping over their feet or bumping into things while they move around on it. To determine how many blocks will be necessary for this project, multiply its length by its width and then add 10% of that total amount as extra blocks for filling any gaps between them later on down the line when it comes time for finishing up your project.
- Preparing your blocks: Next step is preparing all of those concrete blocks so that each one has two sides facing upward (when placed vertically). This can be done by drilling holes into each block’s top surface using either an electric drill or hand-operated screwdriver; however make sure not.
Building your own patio with concrete blocks can be a deeply satisfying project. It’s well within the means of most homeowners and requires only basic carpentry skills, some materials, and a bit of elbow grease. I’ll walk you through the steps so that by the time you’re done, you’ll have an attractive new space ready to enjoy with friends and family.
Pick a patio location.
Once you’ve decided to build a patio, it’s time to pick its location. The best place for your patio is in a sunny spot that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day. The sun’s warmth will help the concrete blocks dry faster and cure properly, which will help prevent cracking over time.
Also think about where you’ll be plugging in your electric tools and how far from your house’s main electrical panel you want to put them. Make sure there is an outlet nearby, since most of these tools require electricity in order to operate effectively. For example, when I built my own backyard buddhist meditation space with concrete blocks—which I affectionately refer my “meditation shed”—I ran power cords out of my garage and into an outlet near one end of our deck so that I could saw up materials right there rather than hauling everything inside (and back out again).
It also makes sense for your outdoor kitchen appliances like grills and smokers not only because they can be messy but also because they require electricity as well (if they don’t run on propane). A water spigot near by helps keep things sanitary too.
Lastly, consider where drains are located within each room plan along with how much privacy fencing will provide between neighbors; both factors are important when choosing your ideal site location.
Gather your materials.
You’ll need the following materials and tools:
- Concrete blocks. You’ll want to buy blocks that are large enough to fit your patio and strong enough to support the weight of people walking on them. The ideal size is 16″ x 16″.
- Concrete mix. This is available at any home improvement store in a variety of colors, but gray or light-colored concrete will most closely match the look of natural stone patios. Don’t forget a trowel, cement board cutter/wire strippers, gloves and goggles as well.
- Lumber (such as 2x4s) for framing the patio area; standard 8ft long boards work great for this! These can be cut down later if necessary once you’ve finished laying out your design–but make sure not to use treated lumber because it may react with acid in rainwater runoff from your patio surface over time causing discoloration or rust stains around its edges (which isn’t attractive). If you’re using treated lumber then consider using pressure treated pine instead since this won’t require any maintenance over time like regular boards would.
Dig out the earth and level the ground.
The first step to building a patio is digging out the earth and leveling the ground. Use a pickaxe or shovel to dig out the earth. Make sure that you are digging down at least two feet deep, so that when you lay plastic and pour concrete, it will be sturdy enough to support your patio. After you have dug out the earth, level it with a level in several different areas so that your patio will be even all-around.
Lay down some gravel and compact it.
Lay down some gravel and compact it.
To lay down the gravel, you’ll want to use a tamper, which is basically a giant hammer that you use to pound down dirt and gravel into place. It’s also helpful to use a rake and shovel to level out the gravel, remove excess material from your patio once you’re done laying it down, and sweep away any leftovers using a broom (for sweeping). Finally, for a more polished look after all of this work has been done: spray with water from a garden hose.
Dig a trench for your plumbing or electrical wiring.
The tricky part is digging the trench for your plumbing or electrical wiring. You can do this with a shovel, but if you have access to a backhoe or other digging equipment, it’s much easier. If you don’t have access to any such equipment, grab your shovel and start digging.
You’ll want to dig a hole deep enough for whatever it is you’re putting in there: if you’re running electrical wiring through the patio, the minimum depth should be 12 inches; if your sewer line needs to be extended under the patio flooring so that it connects with an existing drain pipe underneath your house or another building on your property (like another bathroom), then make sure there’s enough room between where they intersect inside of these areas as well as underneath where they meet at their closest point outside of said areas–this means at least 14-16 inches overall lengthwise per direction between each other point mentioned above (i.e., two directions).
It’s also important that all trenches are dug straight so that when everything else goes into place later on down this process timeline path there won’t be any issues with having something not line up properly because one side was longer than expected due to poor planning beforehand or something along those lines happening during construction time itself.
Line up your blocks to create a shape you like.
You can use a string line to align your blocks so they are straight and level. Place the string along one edge of your patio and use a pencil to mark where it hits each block. Then, move it over until it is in the same place on another block and do the same thing. If you want, you can also put bricks or blocks of wood along each edge of your patio to keep it square while you’re constructing it.
Once everything is lined up correctly, secure each row with concrete nails or screws drilled into the concrete blocks underneath them (you could instead use mortar if you prefer).
Use sand to finish your patio and make sure it’s even.
Once the blocks are in place, it’s time to finish your patio. Use a rake or leaf blower to spread 1/2″ of sand evenly over the surface of your blocks. Use a level to check that the surface is even, then use a hose to wash off excess sand and ensure that there aren’t any puddles between any concrete segments. Finally, sweep away any remaining loose dirt with a broom so that it doesn’t end up becoming part of your patio once you walk on it later.
Add soil around your patio and add some landscaping elements if you’d like.
Once your patio is finished and you’ve added some soil, it’s time to add some landscaping elements. You can plant shrubs and flowers as well as a few trees around the patio. If you want to add something unique like a fountain or fire pit, now is the time to do that too.
You can also add furniture such as tables, chairs and hammocks for relaxing on your new concrete blocks patio.
Building a patio out of concrete blocks is relatively easy and can be done by most people with basic carpentry skills and materials.
Building a patio out of concrete blocks is relatively easy and can be done by most people with basic carpentry skills and materials. You need to have a good idea of what you want to build, as well as the right tools. It is also important that you know what you are doing before starting building your patio out of concrete blocks.
The best DIY projects are the ones that utilize simple, easily accessible materials. This is one such project, so even if you don’t have a ton of experience with construction or DIY projects, you can have a great time tackling this patio and make something beautiful to enjoy for years to come.