How to Install a Paver Patio

Do you enjoy the great outdoors, but your home lacks the amenities to do so at home?

If so, there’s plenty of ways to fix that. One of them being a patio.

Compared to their deck counterpart, patios are increasing in popularity. They’re not physically attached to your house, require very little maintenance, have a long lifespan and, in most cases, don’t require city permits or inspections. Patios are also typically cheaper than if you were to add a deck in the same space.

There are many options, too.

Whereas the majority of decks are made of wood, patios present many more options. There are a variety of outdoor materials to choose from when designing a patio, including brick, concrete and natural stone or flagstone.

One type of material, however, is popping up more and more in homes across the country – pavers. A paver is a paving stone, tile, brick or brick-like piece of concrete that is typically used as exterior flooring, such as a patio. One of the reasons pavers are so popular are that they’re versatile. They come in many different colors, shapes and patterns to create an assortment of paver patio designs. Newer homes are increasingly equipped with paver patios for this reason, and yours could as well with just a little research and a little elbow grease.

How to Build a Paver Patio

1. Prepare the Patio Area

The first step in your DIY paver patio is to prep the patio area itself. This includes marking the permitter of where you want the patio to go with marking paint, as well as placing wooden stakes into the ground outside the perimeter markers and attaching a mason line. Once you’ve determined the height of your patio, mark the height on the stakes and adjust the mason line accordingly.

Prepare Patio Area

Image: DIY Network

2. Clear Grass and Soil

The next step in your paver patio installation is to dig out the grass and soil that’s in the area. You can do this with a shovel and a spade. When digging, check your depth against the mason line to make sure you maintain proper depth and slope. Keep in mind that you will be adding four inches of paver base and an inch of paver sand.

Clear Grass and Soil

3. Add Paver Base

Speaking of paver base, when installing a paver patio make sure to add paver base throughout the patio area. To spread the base evenly, use a rake. Compact the area until you have a firm base, then wet the area to make it more solid.

Paver Base

Image: HGTV

4. Add Paver Sand

Remember that paver sand we were talking about? You’ll need it in this step to ensure proper paver patio installation. On top of the paver base, place electrical conduit (tube used to protect and route electrical wiring in a building or non-building structure). These tubes will help guide you when leveling the paver sand.

When leveling off the paver sand, be aware of the work area. If you accidentally step into an already level area, you will create more work for yourself. Once the paver sand is poured, drag a piece of wood (2×4) across the tubes to level the sand. Lift the tubes out and fill the space left by them with more sand.

Add Paver Sand

5. Place Paver Stones

Your paver patio will begin to take shape in this next step, as it’s time to start placing the paver stone. Start at one corner of the paver patio and place the paver stones one at a time. Make sure they’re fitted firmly and never drag the pavers across the sand you worked so diligently to get leveled. If you need to cut pavers to meet the needs of your paver patio design, use a straight edge and marker to trace the cut into the allotted spots.

Place Paver Stones

6. Add Edging Stones

Place edging stones along all exposed edges of the paver patio. This will help keep the paver stones restrained so that they don’t budge.

Edging Stones

7. Finish Paver Patio

Ah, you’ve reached the end. Pretty soon you’ll be able to enjoy your paver patio with your new patio furniture. But first, it’s time to finish your paver patio by spreading some more layers of paver sand over the entire area. Use a push broom to fill the san into the gaps between the paver stones.

Finish Paver Patio

8. Kick Back and Relax

The last thing to do is to enjoy your new paver patio. A patio makes for a great addition to any home, providing a place to gather, barbecue or simply relax.

Now that you know how to install a paver patio, check out our Exceedingly Comprehensive Guide to DIY Home Improvement for more remodeling and renovation tips!