Monday, April 16, 2012

How to build a patio {part 2}: Determining the elevation

To view the first step in our patio project view:
{How to build a patio: part 1}
{How to trench a downspout}
{How to build a patio: part 3} 
{How to build a patio: part 4}
We built a pergola too:
{How to build a pergola}

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The weather here in Iowa as been unseasonably warm which has been great for us to work outside with shorts and t-shirts.  I love being outdoors and in the sun!

Our patio is coming together slowly.  After we finally had our patio plan in place we needed to determine the elevation.  We did not have a survey crew or lasers, we did not hire anyone to do this.  Luckily, my awesome husband is handy.

Determining the elevation is important.  You want to have a level patio. However, you also want to make sure that you have a slight sloping grade AWAY from your house. This will assure that any rain water will not seep into your house foundation.

Using scrap wood he pounded some stakes into the ground and took
2x4's and hammered them to the stakes.

We established our elevation using a level, stakes and 2x4's. Old school, huh?

In this last photo you can slightly see the elevation difference.

Now that we have the elevation we can start to remove dirt in some areas, lay the gravel and dig the post holes for our pergola. You'll have to stay tuned for our pergola building. Digging the post holes 4+ feet was interesting and we ran into MAJOR snags. But, I'm so excited for the pergola, my favorite part of this patio!

Josh on the skid loader removing dirt in the high areas.

Something I learned through this process is that the dirt didn't need to be perfectly level.  We could level out the ground and achieve our elevation with the gravel and sand.
We also used the skid loader to move the gravel, thank goodness for the skid loader!

After the skid loader dumped the gravel in the right areas, we went to work with a metal rake and shovel making it all smooth. We took a 2x4 and pushed around the gravel to make sure some areas weren't higher than others.

More to come, stay with me folks, it's coming together so nicely! 


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