Raised Patios

Raised patios provide the natural look of stone in patio designs

Raised patios, with their natural appearance and low maintenance, are becoming a popular choice of patio design, both for backyard patio designs and also for a new approach to landscaping the front yard with a stone patio treatment.

As with the traditional ground level patio, raised patios are built with stone or stone-like materials. They can be raised just a few inches above ground level or they can be several feet off the ground, just like a traditional wooden deck.

Raised patios, however, unlike wooden decks, have the advantage of being low in maintenance. You won't have to stain your patio stones, for example, and stone patio materials will not rot. Repairs are relatively simple because stone patios can be fixed one block at a time. Because they are made of natural stone or stone-like materials they are also very durable and virtually won't wear out.

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Raised patio materials

This type of patio design can be built with a variety of natural looking materials including:
  • Patio pavers
  • Brick
  • Flagstone
  • Natural stone
  • Patio blocks
  • Aggregate
  • Concrete pavers

Information on concrete patio products

You can get additional information on specific concrete products for raised patios at the website for the National Concrete Masonry Association at www.ncma.org. Go to the applications section or use the search function on the site. Information is also available at www.icpi.org, the website of the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute.

Patio building checklist

Before you start building your raised patio, there are a few things to think about:
  1. Building bylaws: Find out the bylaws in your local area that apply to additions such as patios. There may be building restrictions such as how close your patio can be to the lot line, where it is positioned relative to your house and neighboring houses, how it will affect drainage of your lot, and other factors.
  2. Put your patio design ideas on paper: After you find out the bylaw requirements, start drawing ideas for your patio design on paper. This should include the approximate size. Building a patio of this type is a big undertaking and you don't want to be building your patio with spur-of-the-moment design and building material decisions.
  3. Make a budget: After you have put down some design ideas for your patio, chosen a design, and have made a decision about the materials, you can do an estimate of what the materials will cost. You should also determine whether you want to build it yourself or hire a specialist who is experienced in building raised patios.