How to build a wooden patio

August 10, 2014

Building a wooden patio is an excellent way to maximize space in your yard. Learn how to build a quality patio using these practical tips.
Plan your project

Proper planning and building techniques are necessary for wood deck construction. Before building a patio, you need to cover your bases and factor in how you intend to use it. This will help you establish the dimensions and decide on its final location.

Making sure your plan is to scale before you build it will allow you to envision the project and properly estimate the amount of wood and materials you’ll need.

Step by step

There are many ways to build a wooden patio. Nevertheless, several steps and proper techniques must be observed to ensure outdoor durability.

First, the patio should be raised on cinder blocks or concrete piers, all depending on the environment and the amount of ground motion you experience with seasonal freezing and thawing. In other words, if there is little ground movement, the patio is usually built on cinder blocks; but if the ground is unstable, it’s better to dig and anchor the deck with concrete piers in the ground.

Once the base of your patio is ready, you can start building the frame. Builders recommend using 2 x 8 joists to support the patio and ensure stability.

The last step is laying down the planks that form the surface of the patio. You’ll need to leave a small gap between each board. Timber expands depending on the temperature, and the boards will get damaged if they are placed too close together.

Maintaining the wooden patio

Wood is a sturdy and sustainable material, but if not properly maintained, it can quickly deteriorate. Once your patio is built, you need to care for and maintain it. The materials you’ve selected will inform you of the proper maintenance to perform. With proper care and maintenance your patio should last for decades.

If your patio materials are pre-treated (e.g., pressure treated wood), they may become grey over time. When this happens, you can restore its lustre by using one of many stripping and finishing products sold in hardware stores.

When you scrub your patio to clean it or coat it with a protective wood finish, avoid using metal or wire brushes. They scratch and damage the surface of the wood. Opt instead for flexible bristles that won’t damage the wood when you apply coating.

In any case, if you're unsure, ask your local hardware store for advice. They will turn you on to the right products to maintain and care for your wood so you can enjoy your backyard oasis for years and years to come.

How to build a wooden patio
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