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ctedeschi 03-29-2013 09:28 PM

Building my first patio advice needed... and online creative inspiratio​n
 
Hey all,

So I've recruited some friends to help me build a patio for our first house. yard area tends to have a slope in it, with the greatest slope area to be in the area where we are thinking of building our patio. It will be a paver patio, and we're wondering whether it's smarter to drop the high end, or bring up the low end by using a retaining wall.


At first, I thought dropping the high end would be the best (it would have to drop 13 inches), but there is a drainage pipe the relies on the slope that's there to take the water from our downspout out to our driveway, and away from the house, and then there is also an electrical cable running from the outside of our house on the high side, and down to our garage on the low side. Both of which would require moving and possibly the current hose and cable are not long enough. So then I thought, what if I made a retaining wall higher on the low side and brought it up to the height of the higher end, and just put the soil, gravel, sand, compacting, and pavers within that area instead.

Any thoughts on this? I could use the advice.


And then the other thing, does anyone have any sites, aside from Houzz and Pintrest, they use for inspiration on the layout and decor for outdoor living spaces?


Thanks so much.

user1007 03-29-2013 09:45 PM

First I know it is a radical idea but I have a magnificent one in my small town. My library has oodles of great books on patio design. I tend to be an online person too but there is something fulfilling about plowing through real books.

You mention the high and low end of your slope. But over how much distance does it slope? And just a suggestion and you will need nice string line and a string level at some point anyhow. Have you actually measured the slope over the distance you have in mind or is 13" an eyeball guess? I am willing to bet you if you are eyeballing it is more.

I think once you know the true slope you have you can start thinking about how to retain the low end of it. You may need a step up to the patio on the low end if even at 13" and you should plan for that. You have obvious esthetic issues if you don't want to stare at dull retaining wall on the low end. Some places may require a railing for a drop over 12" too so that should be in your patio plans.

You know, not to make more work for you, but now but be a great time to scale your land and house to paper. Some of the landscaping software packages out there are not awful and will set you back $39. They will scale accurate dimensions for you. And with a complete plot and landscape plan you can see the whole picture and not paint yourself into a corner.

ctedeschi 03-29-2013 09:55 PM

Thanks for the advice! My library is within walking distance, and I'm sure it will have some great resources.

So, I have measured the dimensions of the area, and it's a 13 inch drop over 14 feet in width. The length of this will run about another 17-20 feet, depending on how close I want to get to the end of my yard, and also a tree...lol.

Do you have any recommendations for software? Awhile back I had purchased a Landscape software, but it's not too user-friendly...in fact, it's a little confusing.

Thanks again,
Chris

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdsester (Post 1148770)
First I know it is a radical idea but I have a magnificent one in my small town. My library has oodles of great books on patio design. I tend to be an online person too but there is something fulfilling about plowing through real books.

You mention the high and low end of your slope. But over how much distance does it slope? And just a suggestion and you will need nice string line and a string level at some point anyhow. Have you actually measured the slope over the distance you have in mind or is 13" an eyeball guess? I am willing to bet you if you are eyeballing it is more.

I think once you know the true slope you have you can start thinking about how to retain the low end of it. You may need a step up to the patio on the low end if even at 13" and you should plan for that. You have obvious esthetic issues if you don't want to stare at dull retaining wall on the low end. Some places may require a railing for a drop over 12" too so that should be in your patio plans.

You know, not to make more work for you, but now but be a great time to scale your land and house to paper. Some of the landscaping software packages out there are not awful and will set you back $39. They will scale accurate dimensions for you. And with a complete plot and landscape plan you can see the whole picture and not paint yourself into a corner.


ctedeschi 03-29-2013 10:05 PM

Oh, and yes, I actually did a line leveling today to check the slope, because I wasn't sure what it was and I didn't think I could really eyeball it effectively.


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