All You Need To Know: Leveling Ground For Patio (DIY Steps w/ Videos)

Are you thinking about putting in a patio in your backyard?

Do you find that your yard is not nearly level enough to get this job done properly and safely?

Would you like to learn more about leveling ground for patio purposes?

If so, we’re here to help!

Leveling the ground before you put in a patio is a very important first step to take. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of putting your patio in at such a slope that it can’t really be used for anything. You might also risk having too many hills and valleys in the concrete and causing it to crack more easily, too.

All in all, it’s much better for you and your patio if you take the time to level the land before you get started on the actual patio installation process. Follow the steps in our article below to help you learn everything you need to know about land leveling.

We’ve also put together a handy shopping guide for you in our materials list. Read on to learn more!

Materials

Tiller

Snow Joe Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator

We recommend the Sun Joe Electric Tiller and Cultivator for the purposes of leveling your patio. This is a high-quality, well-selling product that has a 12-amp motor and offers up to eight inches of depth, depending on the setting you put it on.

Rake

Bully Tools 92311 16-Inch Level Head Rake with Fiber Glass Handle and 14 Steel Head Tines, 60-Inch

Pick up this Bully Tools 16-Inch Level Head Rake for a durable product that can help make smoothing your soil easier than ever before. This commercial-grade rake is durable, sturdy, and sure to help with future projects, too.

Tamper

Ames 8x8 Steel Tamper - 2233400

Choose this Ames 8x8 Steel Tamper for a quality product that will help you get the job done. This is a bestselling tamper that tapers slightly toward the head to make it even stronger and heavier for maximum soil compaction. Best of all, it’s easy to use regardless of your skill level.

Pegs and Strings

You can purchase pegs and string at any hardware store, or you may be able to use something you already have lying around the house.

 level ground for patio

Level

You may already have a level on hand, or you can buy one at a hardware store or even a big box store in most instances. Choose a high-quality one for best results.

Steps

  • 1
    Before you begin, make sure you read the directions for how to use your tiller properly. This will ensure that you know what you’re doing and will prevent any accidents that could occur if you’ve never used a tiller before.
  • 2
    Use your pegs and string to outline the area where you want your patio to be located. Check with a level to make sure the string is even all the way around. Adjust the string slightly to create a gentle slope away from the house. This will prevent water from building up around the base of your house.

Note: If you’re building a standalone patio, you don’t have to worry about adding a slope to the land.

  • 3
    Clear the soil of any noticeable branches or rocks that may be in the way of the tiller. If there’s something too small to see, such as tiny pebbles, this shouldn’t be a problem.
  • 4
    Clear any thick weeds or other plants that may be in the way. Again, if this isn’t very significant, the tiller can handle it.
  • 5
    Choose the depth at which you want your patio to be. Most people start with about six inches to allow for ample room for the gravel and concrete both. However, the choice is entirely up to you.

Note: If your yard is very uneven, you may need to make adjustments to this depth as you go. Otherwise, you’ll just be digging a big uneven hole in your lawn.

  • 6
    Set the tiller to the correct depth and start working. Turn on the tiller and start walking back and forth across the area you want to level. Remember that different tillers work differently, so you may want to refer back to the directions to make sure you’re operating yours in the correct pattern.
  • 7
    Keep going back and forth until you have the depth you’re looking for.
  • 8
    When you’re finished, use your rake to smooth out the soil and to remove any large clumps that may be in the way. Check with your level to make sure everything is even throughout the space where you want your patio to be located.
  • 9
    Finally, use your tamper to tamp down the soil throughout the area. The tamper should be straightforward enough; simply use it to press down the soil and compact it until it’s hardened enough that it doesn’t move around when you walk on it. This is a crucial step to take, especially if you have very soft soil in your yard.
  • 10
    Congratulations! You’re ready to get started filling in your leveled patio space!

Conclusion

So what do you think? Do you feel as though you can confidently level the ground in your backyard and put in a patio successfully? There are a lot of things to keep in mind when you’re trying a project like this, especially for the first time. However, in the long run, this isn’t a very complicated project and it’s sure to be one you can easily accomplish when you keep our guidelines and tips in mind from start to finish.

how to level ground

Remember, too, that you can always ask an employee at your local home improvement store for more details about any step you don’t understand. And if you happen to purchase your tiller there instead of ordering online, you may be able to ask for assistance in learning how to use it, too.

This isn’t a project that should require any professional experience in most situations. However, if you find that you don’t feel comfortable using your tiller or that you can’t seem to understand how to go about leveling your lawn with it, there’s no shame in calling a professional to take care of the task for you. You might even be able to find a local handyman who can do so without charging as much as a full patio installation company might. However, always make sure to hire someone who is licensed and insured in the event that something should go wrong.

If you feel comfortable with it, there’s no reason why you can’t give this project a try on your own, of course. Gather the materials you need, decide on the size and space you want your patio to occupy, and ask someone for assistance. It’s always important to have another capable adult on hand to help out with DIY projects like this. In no time, you’ll have a great patio you’ll want to use for many years to come!

BONUS VIDEO