A paver patio or deck is a great place to sit back and relax with your family. It can also enhance the appearance of your house and garden. Designing and building your own paver patio is much easier than it looks. Whether you’re using sandstone pavers or any other type of paver material, follow this step-by-step guide to create your perfect paver patio.

Materials You’ll Need

These are the materials you’ll need for laying out your paver patio.

  • Some outdoor pavers. Consider your preferred design and paver shape. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for sealing and maintenance.
  • Flat edge shovel.
  • Tamper or plate compactor, level, rake, wheel barrow, and hand truck.
  • Gravel for base and foundation.
  • Leveling sand.
  • Stiff broom.
  • Paver edging
  • Wooden stakes and marking tape.

1. Mark the Area 

Start by deciding on the location of your patio and its size and shape.

  • Mark the area with some wooden stakes and wrap marking tape around the stakes to get a clearer idea about how it will look.
  • Square and rectangular shaped patios are some of the easiest to create.
  • As a general rule of thumb, any patios set next to the house should decline slightly away from the house at the rate of 1 cm for every metre of patio space.
  • Be sure to take care not to dig into any buried cable or wiring.

2. Lay the Foundation

The next step is to lay the foundation.

  • Use a shovel to remove sod and even out the area. You’ll need to dig down at least 4 inches for enough room for pavers and the foundation sand.
  • Once you’ve dug the foundation, rake over the area and compact it with a tamper to make sure it’s as smooth as possible.
  • Check for fit by laying down a row or pavers along the width and length.
  • Lay at least 2 inches of paver’s sand over the ground. Compact with the tamper.

3. Lay the Pavers

If you have any doubts about cutting and laying pavers, seek the advice of a professional.

  • As you lay each paver, use a level to ensure that it’s being laid out evenly.
  • Smooth over the sand before laying down the paver.
  • Use the previous paver to guide laying down of each paver.
  • Lay pavers as tightly together as possible.
  • Use a tamper or plate compactor to press the pavers down after you’ve laid out all the pavers.
  • The paver may need to be cut with a wet saw or chisel if there are any obstructions or curves in your patio.
  • You may want to install a retaining edge to hold your pavers in place. Plastic retaining edges are widely available and easy to install.

4. Sanding Your Patio

A layer of sand between your pavers keeps your pavers in position and ensures that there’s no weed growth between your pavers.

  • When you’ve completed laying out the pavers, pour a generous amount of sand over the pavers.
  • Use a broom to sweep the sand evenly into the spaces and to remove excess sand.
  • Wet the area with a hose and add additional sand as necessary. The water will help compact the sand.
  • In the future, you may want to continue adding sand at regular intervals especially if you live in an area that experiences heavy rainfall.