DIY Adventures: How to Build a Paver Patio - Step by step

DIY hardscaping isn’t for everyone, but for those who have the time to spare and skill it can be a highly rewarding experience as you’re building the foundation where your family will rest their feet for decades to come.

But don’t think you have to be a seasoned veteran to create a simple paver patio! Thanks to the wealth of video lessons on Youtube and articles on the internet, all you need is determination and materials.

We recommend you read this article and then research other videos and articles to get more insight on what it all entails.

Let’s start!

Step #1: The first step to building a DIY paver patio is deciding which paver pattern and style to use. There are many to choose from, like Jack-on-Jack, Running Bond, Herringbone, and Pinwheel. Next, pick the paver product that best suits your interests. Also, bear in mind that a paver patio comprises several layers of material, including a 6-inch layer of gravel base, a 1-inch layer of sand, the pavers themselves, and jointing sand or fine rock that's installed between the sand. Make sure you have access to all of these materials before you begin, and make sure to select materials that fall within your budget but which are still high-quality.

Step #2: Once you have your materials squared away and you know what type of paver patio you'll be building, begin the preparation process by marking the layout for your patio. Take rough measurements with a tape measure or survey tape, then use stakes and string to help you create a precise, accurate perimeter for the patio. Check to make sure that the layout is square by measuring diagonally from all four corners. If both diagonal measurements are the same, the layout is square. Also, ensure that the space is level, and remove or add dirt as needed to make sure you're working on a level site. (If your patio comes up against a house, slope the patio away from the house with a 1-inch drop every four feet.

Step #3: Now that your site is fully envisioned and prepared for the patio, the next step is to remove the sod and dirt with a shovel. The pavers should sit at or above ground level, so remove enough dirt and sod to account for the width of the pavers, plus 6 inches of gravel and 1 inch of sand. Once your site is properly dug out, use a compactor to compact the soil. Next, lay and compact the gravel base in 2-3-inch layers, compacting between layers. Keep the slope uniform, and don't be afraid to compact repeatedly! A properly compacted gravel base ensures the pavers will not recede into the ground over time. Finally, lay the one inch of sand, compact it and ensure that it is level (or properly sloped, if the patio is up against the house).

Step #4: Now it's time to start laying the pavers! Lay the edge pavers first, using a string or a straightedge as a guide to ensure you are laying the pavers in a straight line. Work towards the middle area, leaving a small, 1/4-inch gap between the pavers. Use your level to ensure that the pavers are level as you install them. Make sure the tops are even, one paver to the next. To adjust, add sand underneath a paver to bring it up a bit, or use a rubber mallet and tap on it to push it down slightly.

Step #5: Once your paver pattern is fully laid out, the next step is to cut any pavers that need to be cut to ensure the shape of the patio is how you want it to be. Then install paver edging, which are plastic or metal restraints you install around the patio perimeter to ensure the pavers do not drift apart. Finally, spread polymeric sand over the patio, and use a broom to push the sand across the patio, letting it fall naturally into the cracks between the pavers.

What’s Next?

That wraps up our DIY Pro Tips on how to build a paver a patio. We hope you found it helpful!

During this DIY adventure, if you get stuck and give up, we want you to know that PVM Pavers is here for you and we’d gladly come out, take over and build you a space you’ll love, at a price you can afford.

Just give us a call: 800-495-0148
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