There are several ways to enhance outdoor living with patio landscaping ideas that can be created using decorative concrete blocks.
The best part is these projects can be done by the average do-it-yourselfer as long as you're willing to do some manual labor. The hard part is getting the blocks from the store to the backyard. Forget about having to mortar them together, all you need is some block glue. The advantage of gluing the blocks together is the flexibility which allows minor shifting to occur without the structure coming apart. Anything mortared together would need to be placed on footings because any shifting at all would cause the mortar to crack apart.
Making seatwalls out of concrete blocks is an easy way to spruce up any concrete patio. Not only do they serve as extra sitting space, but they add the coziness and visual appeal you're seeking.
Seatwalls can be placed on the concrete or along the outer edge. If placing them outside the patio, it's highly recommended that you dig a ditch about 8 - 10 inches deep and fill it with about 5 inches of crushed stone. The top of the first row of block should be close to ground level. The key is to make sure the first row is level, then it's smooth sailing from there. Set the second row in place, then once you like the way it looks, go back and start gluing them to the first row. Repeat the process for each row.
As a contractor, the most common request when it comes to patio landscaping ideas is incorporating a firepit. Instead of pouring concrete to make the pit, I prefer to use decorative concrete blocks. Not only do I think they look better, but it's much easier and the concrete blocks allow for some air flow which helps the fire burn better. Again, these blocks can be set on or off the concrete and are simply glued together. Once the pit is built, I recommend filling the bottom with a few inches of crushed stone.
Flower beds can enhance any backyard, but the look of a raised flower bed built with concrete blocks adds so much more. And you don't have to get on your hands and knees to plant flowers.
This is where you can be really creative with the layout and build as high as you want. Since you'll probably want to build this outside the patio, I recommend ditches filled with crushed stone before laying the first row. Make sure to line the inside with felt paper before adding the dirt.
Some of the easiest structures you can make with concrete blocks are pillars. They are simple to build and don't require many blocks, but can be an excellent addition to almost any concrete patio. Because they don't take up much room, they can usually sit on the concrete eliminating the need to prepare a base. The cap for your pillars can be done with the same blocks or you can make a mold and pour concrete to make the top.
You may want to rent a concrete cut off saw, especially when building rounded structures. Laying the cap is when you'll do most of the cutting. Most cut off saws can be hooked to a hose to eliminate dust.
When gluing, just squirt a dollop onto the middle of the block so glue doesn't squeeze out from underneath the blocks.
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