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How to build a raised stone patio?

Custom deck and patio with outdoor kitchen and fire pit

A common call we get is that a homeowner had a raised stone patio built by someone and they are having a leak below, cracking tile, rotting wood, etc……..

Sound familiar? The reason for this are skipped steps in the design/ construction of this type of project.

It is important to start with a structural load calculation to determine the weight and the appropriate footings. Then there needs to be a determination of floor joist size and spacing. Finally, determine other load factors that may impact the structure. Once this is done, you can proceed with the build.

A common misconception is that once you put down plywood, a mortar bed, and your stone, that this will keep the space below the raised stone deck dry? This is a where we find the problem. A key step is left out of the process here. In this construction, a rubber membrane needs to be installed directly over the plywood by a trained professional and make sure the edges are turned up. The floor joists need to be designed at an angle so the water drains towards the edge and does not sit and stay on the membrane. Finally, a gutter should be installed on the band of the deck to ensure the water is routed appropriately away!

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