To build a patio-Days 1 and 2

We are building a patio finally! We are going with a ~12’x26′ block paver patio using Nicolock 18″x18″ Heritage Slab in Heritage Slab by Nicolock in Golden Brown. We were lucky that HiWay Concrete had these special order color blocks in stock.

Our plan is 8 pavers wide parallel and 5′-8″ from the foundation for 12′ width, and 11 pavers long perpendicular to the foundation. Along the outside edge will be 8x8x16 concrete blocks as an edge with some dry stacking for semi-walls, and perhaps a pizza oven and/or fire pit at the end opposite the house. We will dig down for a 5″ dense grade base, 1″ leveling sand layer, and 2″ for the pavers. The patio will slope 1/8″ per foot away from the foundation and the 8″ concrete blocks will aid in the existing grades not being that slope; the sand can pile up against the block outside the patio. There will be two openings without the blocks, we will see how that works. The blocks will also sit on the leveling sand, so our excavation will be 16″ wider and longer.

Day 1

No pictures here, it was all layout. I set the corner location near the back step at 5 feet from the foundation and put a grade stake in. Then I located the other stake 13′-4″ along the foundation wall. We checked and double checked that both stakes were 5′ from the foundation. Once we were comfortable, we set a stake 17′- 10″ perpendicular from the first stake. Then I went into a lesson with Justin about the magic of 3-4-5 and how to use this to make sure you are square. We used 6-8-10 and then reversed to 8-6-10 to double check the stake location. Then we set the fourth corner and used the magic ratio to check all corners are perpendicular. At this stage, it isn’t critical, but close is great. We added stakes around midpoints of all sides.

Day 2
We then ran a line level on the perpendicular stakes at an arbitrary elevation and held that elevation and marked on all stakes. Then I measured down to grade on all stakes and found which corner was the highest and which lowest. With some math and planning, we decided the first stake set existing grade will be the patio block top elevation. We picked an even measurement over existing grade and marked that on the stake. We held that elevation across to the other foundation side stake and marked the middle stake. The we marked the opposite corner stakes and with math measured down the elevation drop due to slope. Then we ran lines all around the marks. Sounds complicated, but what we did was establish a plane where we use a story stake marked 9″ from the bottom, and this is where the bottom of our excavation should be everywhere.

Then we excavated one section.

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