DIY Network

How to Build a Paver Patio

A paver patio with a natural stone look adds personality to any landscape. To install one yourself, remember a few basic tips.

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Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Prepare a Base

Plan your design on paper first. In calculating the materials, multiply length times width times depth. Always add an extra 5-10 percent for edges and waste. Have your utility company check for buried wires. Most utility companies will send someone out to locate underground cables or pipes at no charge. Rent power equipment to help with the heavy stuff.

You’ll want to excavate about 8" down. Next comes a 3-4" base layer of compacted gravel followed by another 1-2" of sand. Use a screed board and guides to level out each layer of gravel and sand before compacting. Pull the screed across the gravel or sand until the surface is flat. Add or remove materials from areas as needed.

Step 3: Lay the Stones

Now you can begin laying stones in any interlocking pattern you wish. Your patio should slope away from the house for drainage, a quarter to half inch drop per foot. When finished, spread paver sand into the cracks to lock pieces together. Concrete pavers install easily and look as natural as random cut stone. Concrete pavers can be cut using a guillotine cutter or masonry saw. These can be rented at many equipment supply stores. To minimize rental fees, measure and mark all of your stones with a pencil or chalk beforehand and cut at one time.