How To Build A Patio On A Slope

Having natural light, ventilation, views, and additional space are just some of the advantages of having a patio. Its role is fundamental in home design, and there are many benefits and, if planned well, few demands. Find out here how to get the most out of it.

A terraced hillside loses less soil to erosion than a normal hill, and it also creates a level planting space for gardens. Flat terraces reduce runoff, which means the land requires less supplemental irrigation. It can be not easy to garden on a slope, but decking makes the task much easier and more efficient.

How To Build A Patio On A Slope

How To Build A Patio On A Slope

• Measure the hill to determine its origin and the number of terraces that you will have to build at a certain height. In general, steeper hills should have higher terraces. However, the actual terrace heights are up to the gardener. For example, a hill with a 10-foot rise might have five 2-foot terraces or ten 1-foot terraces. The fewer terraces the hill has, the more each terrace can be.

• Measure the run of the hill to determine how much each deck owes. For example, consider a hill from which you will have five 2-foot-high terraces. If the hill has a 20-foot span, each terrace must be 4 feet long.

• Measure the slope’s width to determine how much to cut wood for the deck support walls.

• Cut the wood so that each deck will have front wall support and two side pieces. Shallow decks may have unique wood pieces for the walls, and tall decks might require a few pieces of wood stacked on top of each other to build the walls. Cut enough wood so that each wall’s bottom can be buried to a depth equal to 1/2 its thickness. The wood will be buried in the ground to stabilize the terraces. Alternatively, buy pre-cut lumber to the correct dimensions from a home store.

• Buy thin metal tubes or spikes enough to stick through holes in deck walls and into the ground. For 1-foot decks, buy 18-inch spikes. For tall decks with multiple layers of wood, you can buy spikes long enough for only the first layer of wood on the stake and then place additional layers of wood next to other dowels or bolts.

• Dig a trench level at the foot of the slope. Make the trench deep enough to fit about 1/2 the height of a wooden support wall in the underground pit, leaving enough of the wall above ground to make the deck at the desired height. Dig the trench wide enough to mount a wooden support wall in it.

• Dig two trenches in the hillside along the deck’s sides, making sure the side trenches’ bottoms are level with the bottom of the front pit.

• Place one of the precut pieces of lumber in the front trench and pack soil around it to secure it in place.

• Place pieces of wood in the trenches sideways along the deck’s edges and pack soil around them.

• Drill the vertical holes through the wood to the ground.

• Hammer metal tips or pipes through the walls’ holes to ensure the deck supports the ground’s walls.

• Add more wood pieces on top of the base pieces if needed to build the walls to the desired deck height. Short decks often only need a single piece of wood, but tall decks generally need multiple pieces.

• Drill the holes through additional lumber pieces, put dowels or pipes through the holes to connect them, and hold them in place.

• Move soil from the back of the deck to the front of the deck to level it.

• Repeat steps 6 to 14 to construct terraces down the slope until you reach the top of the slope.

Things to Remember While Building a Patio the Slope

Plan the layout with an overall idea

This allows you to zone the space to achieve visual order and make better use of the surface.
For example, in a long and narrow patio, the watchword balances proportions and nuances the longitudinal effect.
Another possibility is to divide it into two levels so that, if you have the highest bottom, you will scale the first quadrant near the house. Thus, you can create a meeting or dining space integrated into the set but separated by unevenness. At the other end, you can leave an area of ​​plants.

Bring natural light inside.

Whenever it can be communicated directly with the interior, use French doors or large glass panels.

Condition it in a basic way

If you plan to leave the patio for a second stage, the advice is to leave it at least clean and tidy so that the view from the inside does not condemn you.

What is the ugliest is the pavement. Level the ground and fill it with gravel of medium granulometry, in white, grey, volcanic red, or with pebbles. The gravel is respectful with the vegetal layer since it allows to preserve the land’s humidity, which also means a significant saving in water. You can add dry-laid pavers, porous concrete, slate, quartzite, porcelain, or wood. To give it a little color, cross a network of wires from wall to wall to lead a vine, a wisteria, or a rose bush, for example. Complete the proposal with low lighting that marks the perimeter of the patio.

Gain privacy

The ideal height for the fences or walls surrounding a patio is determined according to parameters that have to do with the typology, the grade levels, etc. A one-story ground-floor patio surrounded by buildings is not the same as that of a townhouse on the outskirts.

However, for reference, to get a space protected from the gaze, you would need a height of about 2 meters. To complete a low wall, translucent elements can be used, generally compatible with urban regulations. They are achieved with different frame designs, wooden slats, lattices, translucent glass, vegetation, etc.

Reduces the incidence of dividing walls

This is usually a problem that takes away the charm of the patio. It becomes too prismatic, and everything we put seems to lose scale. It gets smaller. To avoid this, you can put several ideas into practice. One of them consists of creating a distraction at the height of the observer’s gaze (1.5 meters plus an upward margin of 50 centimeters) by superimposing on this strip an element that covers the wall.

The most effective and impressive is the vegetation. You only need to create an earthen bed attached to the wall. Depending on the patio’s size or shape, you can play with this layout by giving it greater depth at the angles with a sinuous silhouette, which will also help energize the visuals. Another possibility is to work on the walls with a visual change of register, for example, with paint of another color.

Limit the aerial dimension of the space

Do it, especially if you live on the ground floor. As a first step, before doing anything, you should present the idea to the neighborhood community. One option is to create a wooden or steel structure to support a translucent or transformable closure that allows you to use the space with greater privacy. Bamboo, wicker, heather, wooden slats, blinds, or roller blinds can be used. Another possibility is a system that gives you a more waterproof closure, for example, using adjustable aluminum slats.

Bet on an awning

Through an awning, you get privacy and solar protection for the facade and the pavement. To cover a large space, folding awnings are very appropriate, which you can also divide into several sections. Another possibility is the roller awnings and those with invisible arms, which differ from the previous ones because they offer a continuous and smooth surface, more appropriate for smaller patios.

Use it as a bioclimatic tool

The patio is a bioclimatic design tool since it can be used as natural cooling since it cools the air by evaporation. It is a system widely used in the traditional Andalusian patio and Arabic architecture and is very appropriate for dry climates in general. What is involved is that the hot and dry outdoor air comes into contact with water and vegetation before entering the house, so that when it is saturated with humidity, it cools and rises at night to the rooms. In this way, the temperature can drop by about 3ºC. In winter, on the other hand, it accumulates the sun that will later access the interior of the house, slowing down thermal losses.