Building a patio myself

A patio seems like a fairly easy project to tackle for those that are handy.

Outdoor-Fireplace-with-pave

What are the pitfalls?

  1. Grading – knowing how to slope the patio and when you will need retaining wall block to keep the patio from falling or separating
  2. Materials – having the information on how much off the base to purchase and how to compact
  3. Design – to build a patio is just part of it, the proper design to accommodate what  you want to furnish or seat on the space is another part
  4. Finish – how to keep the weeds from growing up through the seams and to keep the patio from staining easily
  5. Warranty – when you build it yourself, you may end up doing it more than once which increases your costs!

Charlotte outdoor kitchen travertine patio

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Advantages of Travertine versus paver patio?

The  two most common patio materials that are used by professionals today in the Charlotte, NC market are pavers and travertine. The question we are often asked is to compare the two?

 

 

Travertine:

  1. Larger tile like shapes
  2. Closer seams so limited room for dirt or weeds
  3. finished clean look
  4. slightly higher priced

 

Pavers:

  1. Multiple patterns and shapes
  2. tend to fade from sun
  3. slightly lower priced
  4. installed with sand in between where weeds can grow from the top

 

Both products are widely accepted in the market and hold up well over time. The key to any patio installation is the proper base and preparation with an eye towards drainage. For more information, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

I’m getting weeds up from my paver patio

There is a lot of misinformation around weeds and patios.

When a patio is constructed properly, weeds are not going to grow up from underneath and through the patio. There is typically a 4 – 6″ base of crushed stone and screening that is used and it is tamped down to make a solid base. A best practice would be to use a polymeric sand to spread in between the pavers and allow it to harden.

If the correct protocol is followed, weeds will not grow from underneath the patio. What can and will happen is weeds growing from seedlings that get blown onto the top of the patio either by wind, trees, or mowing. This is far different and much easier to maintain than weeds that are rooted below.

It is a common misconception and knock against pavers that weeds grow from below. When built properly, this is not the case! To find out more about patios and outdoor living spaces, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

Hardscape sitting walls, design and purpose

With the absurd growth of paver and stone patios, the public is taking notice of features that accompany them. Whether it be an outdoor fireplace, fire pit, outdoor kitchen, or sitting walls.

The sitting walls serve multiple purposes. They are custom designed to meet function and aesthetics.

 

At Archadeck of Charlotte, we typically design them to follow the soft curve or bay of a patio layout to add a “picture frame” or provide definition. They are commonly used as a space saver when we build a fire pit as shown above. We design them to be 18″ – 20″ tall, which matches the height of a typical chair you would sit in.

Other uses include the function of a barrier to water draining back onto the patio due to the grade of your land. In addition, they can be used as a combination of a retaining wall and a sitting wall. Go to archadeckofcharlotte.com to see a complete photo gallery of outdoor living space designs.

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this pave patio with paver steps and sitting walls

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this pave patio with paver steps and sitting walls

How do I expand my patio?

Expanding your patio seems like a no-brainer, right? Here are a few small tips in this blog that you should consider prior to tackling this project:

What is the current slope of the patio? It is most likely sloped away from the house to allow for proper drainage. If you are expanding your patio further away from the house, you will have to grade appropriately so you do not create an area where water will sit due to a grade change.

How is the edge of your patio finished? Is there a border around it? Are there full pieces or cut edges. There needs to be some thought as to how to properly blend in the extension so it appears to built as part of the original design.

Archadeck of charlotte outdoor show place

Archadeck of Charlotte outdoor show place

How old is the existing patio? Has the color faded or is it stained? Perhaps consider combining a different substrate rather than trying to match! To get wonderful patio design ideas, visit our paver patio photo gallery or our stone patio photo gallery. Are you thinking about adding some amenities to your patio? Take a look at our fire features photo gallery.

 

Is Travertine slippery?

With the explosion in the outdoor living category, there are more innovations being used for patios and porches. Over the past 10 years, the use of Travertine Tile style pavers has seen a boom!

Travertine Tile stone deck with iron rail by Archadeck of Charlotte

Travertine Tile stone deck with iron rail by Archadeck of Charlotte

The combination of the beauty of the product and the low-maintenance have made it grow in popularity. In addition, the price of Travertine is not that much greater than a paver patio.

Travertine stone raised patio in Charlotte by Archadeck with stone steps

Travertine stone raised patio in Charlotte by Archadeck with stone steps

The consistent question that arises is whether or not Travertine is slippery? The quick answer is no. This is true if you are using the Travertine stone paver (as opposed to travertine tile). In addition, so of the commercial sealers can make it more slippery. We have found it to be no more slippery that any other stone patio! To see some great patio designs, visit our stone patio photo gallery on our website.

 

Why do weeds grow up through my paver patio?

As a large design/ build firm that specializes in outdoor living spaces, one of the common concerns when considering a paver patio is the weed growth up through the sand joints and the overall maintenance.

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this decorative retaining wall and paver patio with paver steps

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this decorative retaining wall and paver patio with paver steps

When constructed properly, weeds will NOT grow up through the patio. When we refer to constructed properly, we mean to say the proper base of crushed stone, aggregate, and screening material that is tamped down into a hard base and then install the pavers with polymeric sand and allow it to harden.

If the patio is built to these specifications, you should not see any weeds growing up from under the patio. What often times can happen is grass seed, seedlings from trees above, grass clippings, etc…. can get on top of the patio and germinate in the sand from above. When this happens, it is as simple as just pulling them out at they are merely surface rooted!

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built the herringbone pattern pool deck with brick pavers

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built the herringbone pattern pool deck with brick pavers

For a great photo gallery of patios in the Charlotte area, go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com