I am considering building a masonry patio and am concerned about puddling.

Is it standard practice to build patios on a grade to prevent puddling? If so, what is the typical grade? How is the grade made?

  • To augment Marek's good answer, slope is introduced with the forms and any intermediate "screed poles".
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 14:44

2 Answers 2


Standard engineering advice for "flat" exterior surfaces is that they actually be sloped at 1/8" per foot (which is close enough to 1cm/meter as to make either perfectly acceptable) for drainage purposes, rather than be "dead flat."

Method is to make the base that shape, using anything from laser levels to stakes and strings. The base needs also to be stable and compacted so that it stays that shape over time. Stability in cold climates may involve thick layers of well-draining material and sub-surface drains to prevent frost-heaving. 

  • Whether or not is has a pitch (like it should) the base needs to stay that shape over time otherwise where it doesn't will be a puddle. +1
    – Mazura
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 19:15

I think this is entirely up to you. You could do it flat, but I agree - you don't want puddling or ice patches. Theoretically - you just need positive slope carrying water away from the surface. This doesn't need to be 1/8" or 1/4" per 1'-0". There really is no standard; we have done all sorts of exterior walking/impervious surfaces from dead flat to sloped. Its going to be far more important that you surface is a dead flat plane, with no dips etc... The greater your slope, the more forgiveness you will have in terms of your slope. So, if you aren't confident with your brick laying - increase the slope.


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