Patio Foundations for Winnipeg Conditions

As we've discussed in other articles, Winnipeg has a lot of ground movement.

As you might have noticed, this causes all kinds of problems for roads, driveways and hardscapes of all kinds.

In landscaping, we do have to accept quite a lot of movement of the ground no matter what we do so we should build with flexible brick systems, but there are some things we can and absolutely should do to minimize movement in the first place.

Part of the engineering magic in landscaping is to control the movement of water through the patio and in the ground below.

Remove absorbant organic material

First, we remove as much organic material as possible. Organic material is what absorbs water and therefore changes in volume. The area under your future patio will be excavated to a depth of 8" to 10" (or more, if necessary).

Replace with crushed rock

The organic material will be replaced with an inorganic foundation of crushed limestone.

3/4"-down crushed limestone has excellent drainage properties, allowing moisture to drain away from the surface of the patio where it can do the most damage.

Extended Base for Stability

Our approach includes extending the stone base beyond the planned dimensions of the patio or driveway. This practice provides additional stability, particularly at the edges of the structure, preventing potential issues like edge cracking or a gradual caving (ie. subsidence).


To increase load-bearing capacity and prevent future settling, the crushed stone is pressed down with a vibrating plate compactor.

Unlike round stones which never compact no matter how much you try, crushed gravel can be compacted into an incredibly hard, strong surface. Even after it is compacted it still allows water to flow through.

Geotextile membrane

As a barrier between the stone base and the clay sub-soil, we install a geotextile membrane, sometimes called landscaping fabric. The geotextile is a water-permeable fabric that allows water to drain out of the base stone while preventing the clay sub-soil from mixing with the foundation.

Tailoring Solutions to Site Conditions

Each site presents unique challenges, from soil composition to landscape topography. We tailor our engineering solutions to these specific conditions.


Doing all of this reduces ground movement under a patio and walkway to a degree that interlocking brick systems can tolerate. We've been in business for 26 years and have seen what works and what doesn't. We're also on the hook for our 5-year guarantee so are motivated to do it right.

A proper foundation and a flexible interlocking brick system is how to build a hardscape that lasts.

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