Building a patio is a fantastic project but considering the expense and complexity of working with the materials involved, you need to know a lot more than a little about cement to get great results with your backyard patio project.
Instead, we'd recommend using the concrete pavers available at your local home improvement center for your backyard patio project. The wide variety of shapes and colors make it easy to create a customized outdoor room, and with the proper tools and site preparation, you'll get a long-lasting, weed-free surface.
To get started building the patio, do a careful assessment of the planned patio location and its drainage needs. Keep in mind that nearby downspouts can cause erosion and the appearance of unwelcome plants. Also, surfaces that slope toward the house can lead to flooding in basements and crawl spaces.
From there, you'll next need to figure out all the materials you'll need to build the patio, including the crushed gravel and sand needed as fill for the eight-inch-deep excavation of the patio zone. A five-inch fill of crushed gravel goes in first and is tamped down with a power tamper, followed by a sand base, more tamping and your pavers.
Attention to detail at every step of the patio building project is critical, but the work is worth the attractive, low-maintenance patio you'll have as a result.