Are you thinking of adding a patio to your yard as a DIY project? Or are you looking at your patio and wondering if whoever installed it did it right? Some people have patios that are slightly raised above the grass; others are level or even lower. Should your lawn be lower than the patio? In general, yes, it is better to have a patio that is slightly above ground level. This confers many benefits that will help keep the patio clean and in good condition for longer. Discover why and how high your patio should be.

Weed and Grass Spreading

One of the essential benefits of having a slightly raised patio is to make it more challenging for grass and weeds to begin to grow into the patio. When your patio is first installed, the sand pounded in between the pavers will protect it from weed growth. Overtime, this protection is washed away with the rain, and weeds will start to prowl in. This process will be faster for a patio that is level or beneath the grass. However, in either case, the patio will need new sand.

Water Run-Off

The other major benefit of having a patio that is raised above the grass is that water will run off it and onto the lawn, and not the other way around. This keeps the patio drier, makes it useable faster after rain. It also keeps it clean. If it were lower than the grass, dirty water from the grass would run onto it. In addition, this water runoff would disturb the soil beneath the patio. It is likely it would sink more or become uneven over time.

Tripping Hazards

The lawn should be lower than the patio, but not by too much. If there is too much of a distance between the patio and the lawn, it can become a tripping hazard. The proper distance is between a half-inch and 1.5 inches.

My Patio is Low, What Do I Do?

It depends on your specific situation, but there are some solutions. If your yard is sloped and the patio was put in a naturally low spot, you may need to move the patio to fix this problem. That or you could regrade the yard, but this is a large expense that you likely don’t want to incur unless you need to regrade the lawn for other reasons. Although, if the low spot isn’t too deep, you may be able to raise the patio slightly and keep it in the same spot.

If your patio is in a high spot in the lawn but was just dug out too deeply, then your best solution is to tear it up, refill some of the depth with dirt or gravel, and then put the patio back into place. This is a labor-intensive option, but it will solve the problem.

Lastly, if there are only a few inches of high grass around the edge of your patio, you can remove the sod, dig those few inches out, and then put the sod back in place.

You may want to speak with a professional to ensure that you have chosen the right solution for your yard.