• 8 Patio Installation Mistakes To Avoid

    8 Patio Installation Mistakes Most People Make 

    Avoiding these 8 patio installation mistakes will help you get your patio in place and stay strong for years. It will save you time and effort and give you a secure patio you can rely on. If you install your patio fast, on the cheap or take shortcuts to save time and money, you have to know that it doesn’t always work.

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    Unfortunately, the “something isn’t right” with my patio doesn’t turn up right away. It can take months if not years before problems reveal themselves. And most of these issues could be avoided at the time, and well before patio installation. 

    Here are 8 patio installation mistakes that happen time and time again and with a little effort, could be avoided completely. Make sure they are on your checklist when you install your new patio or maintain your existing patio.

    gravel and square pavers

    Source: SunlitPlaces

    1.  Poor Patio Drainage

    To avoid poor drainage on your patio, plan your patio drainage before you commence work. Its often best to get expert help when designing your patio drainage. The correct slope angle for a patio is away from the house at the rate of 1/8″ or 3mm per running foot. 

    Good drainage will stop water from pooling on your patio and seeping into your basement or foundations. The idea is to create a slope that allows water to be removed. Your slope should be invisible and will give you a strong and stable patio for years to come.

    Covered Patios

    Source: BHG

    Poor drainage can lead to your patio sinking or “caving in” as the ground beneath it erodes. The result is that pavers move or crack, ruining your patio.

    As well as draining your patio, you need a way of removing the excess water away from your property to a drain or sewer. Use a pipe or channel to carry excess water. The size of these will depend on the amount of water you expect to remove. If you have a lot of water you can create a channel running along all patio sides. The channel will be covered with metal grills, and part of your overall design. 

    Tin roof with exposed beams patio

    Source: Southern Shore Decorating Blog

    2.  Don’t Ignore Your Edges

    Patios wear around the edges first, and without a solid edging system in place pavers can separate and lean away from the patio. Your edging can be bricks, plastic or pre-formed metal. They keep pavers in place and for the best result should be installed with care.

     covered patio

    Source: Houzz

    You also need to build in construction joints, contraction joints and expansion joints. Soil moves, paving can expand and contract and this needs to be designed before construction begins. Without these planned for and in place you will get cracked pavers sooner or later.

    3.  Spacing and Sand Base

    Use spacers when installing your patio pavers. These make spaces in-between pavers uniform to make your patio look even and more stable.

    hydrangeas + boxwood edging

    Before adding your pavers you need a firm and solid surface. If you are using a sand base, use a compactor to compact sand to form a solid support before laying pavers.

    Pavers can also be installed over concrete by laying down a bed of coarse sand of 1/2″ to 1″ first. Make sure your sand is level before adding pavers.

    4.  Don’t Skimp on Sand

    Its easy to add sand so don’t skimp. You need a generous amount of sand to fill between pavers. This keeps weeds at bay and holds your pavers in place. Even when you think you added enough, add a little more. Be generous. You won’t be doing it again for quite some time, so its worth getting it right. 

    5.  No Plants

    invite lingering

    There is nothing worse than sitting on a concrete patio that feels harsh and dense with concrete. Adding plants softens the harsh look of concrete. You can add plants in pots, flower boxes, or as a hedge around the edges to make your patio a place no one wants to leave.

    6.  Poor Seating 

    add good seating

    Source: HGTV

    Your patio is installed, you’ve added plants and now its time to consider seating. Focus on creating conversation areas. Invite conversation and lingering. Never place all your seating in a row against the wall. This can feel like a school room or army barracks. Instead place them in small informal groups.

    If you have a larger patio area, you can easily create two separate seating areas. This feels more intimate than placing too many seats together around one small table. Chairs should be close enough to carry a conversation without shouting, while still leaving enough room to move around.

    Covered porch

    Source: How To Decorate

    Chairs can be placed around a low table for drinks and snacks or you can place tall bar stools around oblong bar tables. Either way, you want an informal space that people can enjoy whether they sit or stand. 

    7.  Rushing Your Construction

    This is the most common patio installation mistake. Laying the groundwork for your patio is the first step. Its good to allow the ground to settle before continuing with your patio installation. Often people want to jump in and use the patio before the base is completed and this can often ruin the whole base.

    8.  Sun Proof

    hidden outdoor pull down screens

    Source: Austin-Bean

    If you patio doesn’t have a roof, you need to consider how the sun will treat your plants and patio materials. The sun is not always kind. Use products that are UV protected and design your patio using colors and plants that live happily in the sun, without fading or deteriorating. 

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