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Use 2x4 lumber to frame the outside of the patio. The inner dimensions should be 16’ x 16’ to allow for eight squares running along each side. Excavate 2 inches down on the inside of the patio and a little past so the framing pieces will be recessed as well. Use stakes to secure the lumber so it sits 4 inches high and make sure it is level and straight.
Add a screw every 2 feet on all sides of the patio frame. Run string lines from one end of the frame to the other every 2 feet. Run this from left to right and top to bottom to create a grid pattern for the squares.
A chessboard consists of 64 alternating squares. To achieve this pattern, you'll build 32 frames, which will end up being the sod squares. Use 2x4 lumber to create square frames that measure 2' x 2' on the outside of the square and 4 inches tall. It is important that you carefully measure the frames; the outside of the boxes will serve as the concrete frames once they're set inside the patio.
Install the first frame on one corner. Set the frame so it sits right up against the outside perimeter frame. Pound in stakes on the inside of the frame, lift the frame up to the height of the string line and screw in the stakes to hold it in place (Image 1). Install one of these square frames in every other box in the string line grid (Image 2).
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