Patio & Wall Installation: Tips, Tricks & Techniques

digging up sod

Whether you're building a patio, wall, or walkway, it helps to remember that construction follows a certain order for all structures -- usually from the ground up. The best way to keep your project moving smoothly usually comes down to doing all the steps in the correct order.

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There are, however, critical steps that precede construction. If you haven't done so already, you should make a construction schedule that lists and organizes all the tasks you have to complete. Make sure you include everything. At a minimum, your list will look something like this:
-Research and decide on materials
-Conduct site analysis and determine location of patio, wall, and paths
-Have underground utilities marked
-Draw plans and elevations
-Estimate quantity of materials needed and costs; develop budget
-Apply for building permit and schedule inspections as required
-Modify plan if necessary to meet code; resubmit permit application
-Order materials
-Grade site and install drainage lines
-Organize materials and set up on-site work station
-Strip sod and prepare site
-Set batterboards and lay out site
-Pour footings as necessary

Once you've made your list, add expected completion dates and jot down the names of prospective helpers. Make notes about any plans you have for contingencies, such as weather delays.

When you finish each day's work, put everything away. Keeping the project site orderly lets you get right to work the next time without having to hunt for the tools and materials you need. Make a note of what you need to start with next time.


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