Laying a Patio Next to Your Foundation. Hazardous?

Laying out a patio can be a fun project, as well as a rewarding one. However, if you plan on digging up space for the patio directly next to your home's foundation, do some research to ensure that the patio won’t damage your home.

Finding the Location

Once you determine the exact location and size of your patio, you can better determine any hazards that might affect construction. In addition to building orientations, you may want to consider accessibility to shade, sunlight, etc. You will also want to consider if your lot is on a slope, any views that you may want to take advantage of, as well as privacy from neighbors.

Consider the Elements

Erosion as well as frost can often move stones and concrete as well as retaining walls that are not firmly anchored. If you're installing a retaining wall, digging a trench for the wall may help solve this problem. If your house has poor grading, water run-off can pool against the walls of the house. Over time, water can seep through and cause water damage and mildew to the inner walls.

Base Layer

When creating a base layer, sand is one of the best ways to go. Sand has good drainage as opposed to other stone dust types. Without good drainage, water can build up under the patio/walkway. When this water freezes your patio will be heaved or pushed upward. This often happens with clay. Sand on the other hand, packs down well and has good drainage abilities allowing the patio to shift. Use a minimum of 4 inches of sand to allow for movement and shifting.

Proper Installation

Ensuring proper installation will prevent possible hazards to your foundation. If you’re not planning on using any architects or planners, keeping it simple will make it easy to install the patio yourself. Using one or two materials is much easier than trying to install a complicated patio, in which case, you may want to consider installing a deck depending on your house.

If installed properly, a patio can be a lovely addition to any home and yard. By installing properly and checking your home's landscape and foundation, you can prevent any hazards that installing a patio directly next to the home may cause.