How to Install a Paver Patio

Our backyard needed work (and it still does)! But one of our first decisions when making-over our backyard was to install a paver patio. Like all things – I researched the cost of having someone install a paver patio. The result = expensive. This didn’t seem like a “hard project” so I talked my husband into helping me. I sold it as bonding time!

Instead of the traditional patio install approach we opted to use PaverBases. They reduced excavation by 4 – 6 inches plus reduced the amount of sand needed for drainage and leveling. I found the following video very helpful when planning and installing our patio:

PaverBase DIY Paver Patio or Walkway Installation Instructions

Below you’ll find some quick step directions plus materials used. Every patio will have different dimensions – so I’ve only included the materials we used but not the proper amount needed. You would need to multiple these materials out based on your dimensions and the product specs. So  maybe just look at this post as encouragement for you to DIY! And it will also show  you that you don’t need to be an expert to install a patio. Because, Hey –  we did it and so can you!

Materials
Shovel
Level
Hard Tamper
Landscape Fabric
0.5 cu. ft. Leveling Sand
20.04 in. x 36 in. Black Brock Paver Base Panel
Utility Knife
Paver Stones
Brick Chisel
Hammer
ProFlex 6 ft. Paver Edging in Blacks
Dimex ProFlex Paver Edging Anchoring Spike Pack, (8) 8 in. spikes
SAKRETE PermaSand 40 lb. Paver Joint Sand
Push Broom
Leaf Blower
Hose / water

Here is a “before” picture of our backyard. We decided to place the patio in front of the sunroom addition / jalousie windows. The overall patio would be about 20 feet in length and 9 feet wide.

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Clear the area by removing existing landscaping, grass and/or structures. We roped off the future patio area with our desired dimensions so we knew where / where not to dig. If you’re using the PaverBases panels – you’ll only need to dig down 1 inch for the sand and PaverBase plus the height of your paver stone. So on average maybe 4″ if your ground is already level.

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The goal is to have a very flat and level area. Our backyard is on a slope so we had to remove additional dirt in certain areas before we could even start the leveling process. We also had to create a slope so water would drain away from the house. We placed stakes at each corner and strung a level string line.  Then we measured down for how steep we wanted the slope. Then we moved the string to the new mark. PaverBase suggests 1/4″ per every 10 feet. Next, compact and level the ground with a hard tamper.

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After the surface is packed down and level. Add a landscape fabric. This helps with making sure the sand does not wash away but also helps with drainage.

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Next, spread 1/4″ to 1/2″ of all-purpose leveling sand on top of landscape fabric. Use a board to level sand.

Next, lay the PaverBase panels down on top of the landscape fabric making sure to lock the edges as you go. If you can, off-set the panels to eliminate movement of the panels. If you need to cut the panels around walls, steps or within the designated patio area – use a utility knife to make the cut.

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Lay pavers or patio stones in desired pattern on top of the PaverBase panels. We went with a 90 degree Herringbone design. For any bricks we had to cut in half (because sometimes based on our dimensions a whole brick wouldn’t fit) we used a simple 3.5″ brick chisel and hammer.

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Next, lay patio edging to the parameter of the patio. This will help keep the stones in place. On 2 sides of our patio we also included patio stones to form a wall. Since the far corner of our patio was dug out of a slope – it looked a little nicer adding this feature.

Lastly, use a polymeric sand to fill the paver joints. This helps to harden and lock the paver stones into place.  Follow directions on the product packaging. But basically, you will sweep the dry polymeric sand using a push broom into the paver joints (cracks). Use a leaf blower to remove extra sand from the patio. Next, bind the sand by spraying water onto the paver stones. Let dry for 24 hours before walking on.

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We are so happy with how this DIY project turned out! Mainly because we saved a ton by doing it ourselves! And now we are also able to dine al fresco!

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Side Note:
We looked into replacing the jalousie windows but it was going to cost thousands. Yikes. Instead we spray painted them a dark bronze color.

Before / After

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