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By Terri Mitchell

Put in a patio on your property this weekend

Even if your green space is small, you will find many ways to use and enjoy a simple patio. These are easy enough to construct, and there are ways to build a durable and aesthetically-appealing patio that won’t break the bank. Before you hire a contractor to spruce up your yard, garden or property, consider ways that you may build your own patio this weekend:

Cement pavers. If you plan to do it on your own, concrete or cement pavers are likely your best bet. These are easy to install, and you can accommodate any size yard or green space with these easy-to-install and inexpensive pavers. First, till the soil where your pavers will go and treat the weeds with something to prevent growth. Work in a small section, arranging pavers so that they sit around one inch deep in the soil. With traffic, the patio will settle and form a stable surface for your yard furniture, belongings and guests.

Stone surfaces. If you have access to a lot of stones on your property, perhaps you will find that a stone patio fits your need best. Start by creating a level surface with an aggregate, such as gravel, and make sure it slopes downward slightly, to allow for drainage. Top your gravel with a layer of sand and place your stones flat side up. Gently tamp the stones down into the earth, filling in the cracks around each stone with more sand. Continue to tamp after filling the cracks until each stone is secure.

Recycled options. If you want to be kind to the environment, consider some recycled options for your patio surface. For instance, you can create a great patio out of recycled or new pallets by grounding the corners of each pallet with a cement block. Dig a hole about twice as deep as the block, and line the hole with some sand before putting in the block and tamping it in the soil. Use these blocks at the corners of the pallets to hold them in place and prevent them from sliding around when you are using the space. You can even furnish your pallet-deck with furniture made from, you guessed it, wood pallets. Create something inventive like a wood-pallet sectional seating arrangement, and install it on your pallet patio!

Alluring labyrinths. An intriguing alternative to a conventional patio is a garden labyrinth. A labyrinth resembles a maze that spirals in to its center. The spiral consists of stones, pavers, or mowed grass to create the winding form and lead you to the eye of the labyrinth. Consider using the center to place a dining table, lounge chair, or focal point for your property that will enhance the look of your overall curb appeal. Some ideal focal points might include landscaping features, sculptures, or even a solar-powered fountain.

Of course, you always have the option of hiring a contractor to build a patio or deck, and it can usually be done quickly, which means you could be using it by the weekend! However, if you are a do-it-yourself enthusiast, then you may want to consider some of these inventive and inexpensive options to create your own distinctive patio on your property.

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