Patio walls are a great decorative and functional addition to your outdoor living space. You can use a patio wall to divide entertaining space or create more seating. An easy, do-it-yourself patio wall can be built with wall blocks available at any home improvement store.
Step 1 - Measure and Mark
Measure out the space where you will build the wall. Mark it with a string using the stakes to hold the string in place. You could mark it with a plumb line as well.
Step 2 - Lay Out Wall Blocks
Lay the blocks on top of the ground beside the patio temporarily to see how they will fit. Determine a pattern, if you’d like to use one.
Mark the edges of the row of blocks with a string and stakes. Remove the first course of blocks. Dig a wall foundation of about 4 to 6 inches. Remove all sod and soil from the marked area. Pour 3 inches of pea gravel into the foundation and use the compactor to tamp down the gravel, creating a steady surface for the blocks.
Step 3 - Build on the Patio
You may decide you want the wall on your patio, rather than beside the patio. If this is the case for you, simply arrange the blocks on the patio. You will still set stakes in the ground at the edge of the patio and use a string to guide you in placing the blocks. You may need to shim the wall slightly to make adjustments for uneven concrete.
Step 4 - Arrange the Blocks
Starting in one corner, set the first several blocks for the first course. Use a level and add the first few blocks of the second course and level those blocks as well. Once you are certain the blocks are level, you can continue with the first and second course of blocks.
Step 5 - Set Metal Stakes
If your wall will be more than three or four courses high, you will need to set metal stakes in the ground behind the wall to support it and keep it from shifting. Be sure to check the alignment of the wall because it is there to prevent slanting or shifting in the blocks.
Step 6 - Complete the Wall
Continue laying blocks in courses until your wall reaches your desired height. Check periodically to be sure that the blocks remain level. If you anticipate that your wall may be used as seating, consider a second layer of wall blocks to make it double thickness.
While you can make a wall from poured concrete or flagstone, the wall block patio wall is the simplest patio wall, is functional as well, and looks elegant and finished. Adding a patio wall is a great idea for beautifying your outdoor living spaces.