How to Install a Paver Patio -- Detailed Do-it-Yourself Instructions

Ruth de Jauregui

A paver patio is relatively easy for a do-it-yourself homeowner to plan and build in one or two weekends. By butting the pavers tightly together, the patio provides a solid surface for a table, chairs and the BBQ. Adding a small canopy or umbrella, flowers in pots, twinkle lights and a tabletop fountain gives the family a place to gather on a warm summer evening.

A small patio provides a quiet place to relax.
  1. Measure the 8-foot by 8-foot patio space, using the tape measure. Allow 2 inches extra on each side for the 2-inch by 6-inch boards, so the space is 8 feet 4 inches square.

  2. Mark the corners with stakes. Tie a string to the stakes, wrapping it around the perimeter. Use the carpenter's square to ensure the patio is square.

  3. Remove the grass and dirt to a depth of 6 inches with the shovel. Rake the patio area smooth.

  4. Place the 2-by-6 boards on end around the edges of the patio. Butt the ends of the 8-foot boards against the 8-foot 4-inch boards to make a space slightly larger than 8-by-8-foot square. Screw the ends of the boards together using deck screws.

  5. Add 4 inches of gravel, spreading over the entire patio space with a rake. Tamp with the plate compacter. Check the level of the patio, making sure it slopes away from the house. Sprinkle with water and tamp again.

  6. Pour 3 inches of sand over the gravel. Rake smooth. Sprinkle lightly with water and tamp firmly.

  7. Arrange the pavers in the space, starting in a corner. Add or remove sand under each paver to ensure it sits firmly on the sand base. Tap the pavers into place with the rubber mallet. Check the level often, making sure that the pavers make a smooth surface.

  8. Sweep sand across the patio, filling all cracks and crevices. Sprinkle with water and add more sand if necessary.

  9. Fill in any spaces around the outside perimeter of the patio with clumps of grass or ground cover plants if desired.

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