Sunday, January 4

Building A Patio

Building / Pouring a Concrete Patio
It’s about this time of the year, right after the holidays, that I start looking forward to spring.
The gardening and hatchery catalogs start arriving in the mail and I make a list of projects I hope to finish in the coming year.
On the list was building a patio. 
When we purchased our little farm 4 year ago, (which we named Lynch’s Mt. Horb Farm), flower beds, a veggie and herb garden and even a patio were all missing from the landscape.

At our previous homes I built our patios from old salvaged bricks.  But those were smaller in size than what I envisioned for our farm. And besides, I’m saving my newest collected stash of bricks to make a floor in the original chicken coop that I’m rebuilding and turning into a camping cabin.

In the area where my new patio would be were large overgrown bushes, grass and a circular sidewalk.  I decided that since the large old maple trees in this area are also in a circular formation around the back of the house we would build the patio in a half moon or rounded shape.
Grass, bushes and a rounded walk where the patio will be

The first task was removing the large overgrown bushes.  Those pulled out easily enough with a small backhoe.  Work smarter not harder I always say.
And the backhoe was able to make quick work of removing the old sidewalk.  We believe the sidewalk was put in for the original old farm house that burnt down in the 1950's.  A section of the walk leads to nowhere and may have gone to an old outhouse at one time. Since the sidewalk was old, thin and crumbly it came right out.
Removing bushes and a photo of the rounded sidewalk.
(The long straight sidewalk part lead to nothing). 

Once the bushes were out, we removed all the grass and tree roots and dug down just deep enough to add a layer of gravel.  (The concrete will be poured onto and cover the gravel). We also packed the soil down.  You do not want any settling after the concrete is poured.

Frame is built, gravel is done, now for the wire mesh

Framing the circular form was harder and took more time than we thought.  More framing boards were needed than if building a straight form and each board needed to bend in order to keep with the rounded shape. The boards used were scored on one side to allow bending without snapping them. To score the board, use a circular saw to cut three quarters of the way through the board, running the length of the board.

Once the frame was in place, additional gravel was hauled in to level the entire area. 
To keep any concrete splatter off the house we hung large sheets of plastic.

The final step before the concrete could be poured was installing a layer of wire mesh or rebar wiring.  This helps hold the concrete together and causes a stronger end product.

The frame, gravel, wire mesh and new concrete

At this point we also decided to have a water line installed under the concrete.  We want to build a Barbecue area with cabinets, counter, storage and a small sink at a later date.
Now to pour the concrete!
The guys worked in small batches because if poured all at once, the concrete will set up too fast before you have a chance to smooth it out.  One person poured while two others smoothed the concrete into place.
Also, the entire patio is built at a very slight angle or slant so rain water will run off.

Concrete is level, now for a pattern

Once all the concrete was poured, formed and leveled we had a stomp pattern applied.  This is done with a form while the concrete is firm but still somewhat wet. 
Concrete must age for a few days before using or walking on it.  And once aged, a seal coat should be applied. 
Adding a pattern to the concrete

The final step was landscaping! The entire area around the new patio was a mess!  The dirt had to be leveled and rocks, concrete pieces and debris removed.  I also hauled in new soil to build up the landscaping around the patio before planting. 

Landscaping around the new patio

It’s only been 2 years since the patio was built but it looks as if it’s been here for years. 
For landscaping I planted some of my favorites:  Hosta, Black-eyed Susan, Purple Cone Flower, Sedum, Ornamental Grass and a few other favorites.

Patio and landscaping after one year

The following year my husband Bill and I built stairs from the patio down to the lower level garage out of salvaged 6 x 6 timbers and concrete.  You can see how we did that here:  Hillside Walk and Stairs.

I have many new projects on my list this year and hope to complete as many as I can.  Building a greenhouse was on the list last year but I ran out of time.  I can’t wait to get started on it!
If you look at the photos, the greenhouse will be built where the sliding glass doors are.
I will be using salvaged wood framed windows. The greenhouse will be attached to the house with an entrance from the house and one from the outside. 

Patio complete and ready for barbecues!

Here’s wishing you luck and success with all your projects!


Other DIY Projects:


Anonymous said...

Rіght here is great site for everyone who Һopes too understand a few do-it-yourself projects! You definitely put a fresh spin on subjects and projects people have wanted to attempt. Excellent stuff, just great! And I love your patio! ~ Pitow

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Thanks! And we love the patio too!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful article! I will be linking to this particularly great post on our website. Keep up the good writing!

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...


Anonymous said...

We will need this in the future, just a slab now. Terri Higham

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Ours was just grass and we had to move the outdoor furniture every time we mowed, ugh

Anonymous said...

Is this where we sat when we came to visit? Beautiful. Terri Higham

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

Yes! That's our patio. It was just grass when we bought the house so had to move the outdoor furniture every time we mowed, ugh

Anonymous said...

Looks very relaxing. Jason Brunton

Elizabeth Ohiothoughts said...

That it is Jason, that it is. There is nothing like sitting on the patio with a cold drink after a long day of work, with the bbg going and the sound of birds and farm animals in the back ground. Bill's perfect scenario is oldies music playing in the background, so we take turns, : }