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How to Build a Raised Patio Stone

By Aurora LaJambre ; Updated September 21, 2017
A stone wall supports a raised patio.
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Building a raised patio from stone protects the surface from encroaching plants and often provides a better view of the landscape from your outdoor dining and entertaining area. Build a raised patio a few inches or feet above ground level, depending on your needs. Before you can lay the patio surface, you'll need to build retaining walls to support the raised structure.

Determine where the raised patio will be and use hoses or ropes to create an outline of the patio.

Excavate a trench around the border of the patio that measures 1 foot wide by about 6 inches deep. Use a water level on the surface to see that the trench is level all around. Tamp the trench with a tamper tool to stabilize the ground.

Add 3 inches of gravel over the trench, tamp it down and add another 3 inches. Tamp the gravel until it is hard and doesn't shift beneath the tamper.

Mix enough mortar to cover the patio trench. Refer to the guidelines for the amount of water to add and stir until the mixture has a stiff consistency. Dump small piles of mortar into the trench and smooth it over with a trowel. Place the first course of patio stones in the trench end to end.

Apply mortar to the top of the first course working in lengths of 3 feet at a time. Place a second course of patio stones, offsetting the joints so that each top stone overlaps two stones beneath it. Pack mortar between the joints with a jointer tool and remove any excess with an end of the trowel.

Lay more courses of stones until the walls are the intended height of the patio. Wait 48 hours for the patio walls to dry and pour gravel inside the built-up retaining walls. Fill the retaining walls until the gravel surface is 2 inches from the top of the wall, plus the depth of one stone. Tamp the gravel until the surface is completely compact and smooth 2 inches of coarse sand over the top.

Spread 1/4 inch of mortar on the interior sides of each patio stone before setting it in place. Place the patio stones starting in one corner of the patio and keeping consistent spacing between each stone. Pack mortar between the joints with the end of a trowel or a jointer tool. Wait at least three days for the raised patio to dry.


Things You Will Need

  • Rope or hose
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Hand tamper
  • Gravel
  • Mortar mix
  • Trowel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Patio stones
  • Jointer tool
  • Coarse sand

About the Author


Aurora LaJambre is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, N.Y. For over five years she's covered topics in culture, lifestyle, travel, DIY design and green living for print and online media. Her publication credits include "WOW Women on Writing," "Six States" and Catalogs.com. She graduated from New York University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing.