How to Make a Patio out of Concrete Pavers

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

RON HAZELTON:
Yes sir, there's not much I enjoy more than cooking outdoors. But you know, what, outdoor grilling really calls for a backyard patio and that's what Tim Terick in Portland, Oregon has asked me to help him build.
TIM:
Well Ron, I bought this house about a year ago from a little grandma and she didn't do a whole lot of work on the yard. So -
RON HAZELTON:
Deferred maintenance here huh?
TIM:
Exactly. I was thinking about putting a patio or something back here, put the barbecue on it and -
RON HAZELTON:
Kick back, get a little sun.
TIM:
Exactly.
RON HAZELTON:
Sounds like a good idea to me. You know, one thought that occurs to me is this sidewalk right here kind of cuts a diagonal through your lawn, sort of a defining mark here. What if we use this as one edge of the patio?
TIM:
Sure.
RON HAZELTON:
The other thing is, let's make this a rather modest size because I've only got today to work on this with you and you can expand it later on.
TIM:
Okay.
RON HAZELTON:
I recommended to Tim that we use interlocking pavers for the patio. The key shaped stones fit together like puzzle pieces. They're attractive, easy to install and will allow Tim to easily expand the patio whenever he wants. Now this job involves some digging, so before we start, I point out a potential problem.

Now this is an electrical line right here. That's all the way across your yard to your garage. I want to make sure that we don't dig into that, so would you take the garden hose Tim, just lay it out right across the yard here. We'll stay well away from that.
TIM:
Sure. Yeah, I can go get one.
RON HAZELTON:
Tim lays out the garden hose, identifying the underground electrical line and now we're ready to mark the perimeter of the patio.

- right  here. Let's see how that looks, yeah.

Tim begins by hammering in the first corner stake. That's great Tim. Okay, take the end of this tape measure, will you. [     ?     ] the outside edge and then -

We decide to make the patio six by eight feet. Plenty of space for Tim's barbecue and small enough to complete in one day. We string a mason's line around the stakes outlining the patio boundaries.

All right, great and then if you go back down to the last stake there -
TIM:
All right.
RON HAZELTON:
Here we go.
TIM:
Turn the corner.
RON HAZELTON:
Yeah and all the way down.

Once the area is completely marked off, we make sure it's square by measuring the two diagonals. They should be equal and they are. Next, we use shovels to cut away the sod about two inches outside the line. This allows enough space for us to later insert a retaining strip.

What works really well here, go back and forth like this, forward and back. We'll give ourselves a nice well defined hedge here or I'm in trouble.

Once we have our outline, we pull up the string and stakes and begin cutting the sod into a checkerboard pattern. The small squares are easier to remove and Tim can even reuse them later in another part of the yard. We then move on to the hardest part of the job, the digging.

We have to dig the entire area of the patio some seven inches deep. We'll fill the hole with three and a half inches of drainage gravel, one inch of sand and then we'll add the paver stones which are two and a half inches thick. Right now we're just about six, a little over.

So - the bad news is, we've got to take another inch and a half off here, yeah.
TIM:
Okay. Just about there, Ron? I can see China.
RON HAZELTON:
Now it's easy to measure along the edge and see how deep we are. Here's a simple way to figure out what the depth is over here in the center. Tim, bring that board in, would you please?
TIM:
Sure.
RON HAZELTON:
We're going to lay this right across our hole here and then we're going to measure from the edge of the board down to the bottom. We get seven inches right here. Check it here. That looks good. There, good. Okay, Tim. Let's take the other way. I think we're ready to move on. Tim, this is called landscape fabric. if you'll just take the roll there and unroll it, what it does is, it keeps the weeds from growing up between the pavers but it's porous.

It will allow the water to go through so you can get good drainage here. Okay. I'll come down and cut that for you.

With the landscape fabric in place, it's time to pour in our gravel. Okay, Tim, let's dump that right in here.
TIM:
Excellent.
RON HAZELTON:
And I'll sort of - yeah, go for it.

The gravel provides drainage and will prevent water from pooling under the pavers. There you go, push, push your end down just a little bit. There you go.

Now the fact is, our patio will only be as level and even as the gravel. So Tim and first smooth it, using a two by four. Then compact it with a tamper to prevent it from settling. Finally, we're ready to measure.

So what have you got, Tim?
TIM:
Three and a half.
RON HAZELTON:
Right on the money, okay. Okay, good, excellent. Now this is one inch electrical conduit. You can get this in any home improvement center. We're going to use this for something called screed rails. What it's going to do is, to guarantee us that our sand, which we'll be putting down next, is a uniform thickness.

This will all make sense in just a second.

With the screed rails in place, Tim can pour in the sand.

That would be great, yeah.
TIM:
All right.
RON HAZELTON:
You pour, I'll rake. You did all the heavy work today buddy.
TIM:
I need the exercise.
RON HAZELTON:
With the sand in, Tim and I glide a two by four over the screed rails, leaving a smooth level surface for the pavers.

All right, Tim, that's our first one right there.

The pavers are formed into two shapes, straight edged border pieces and key shaped fieldstones. The fieldstones fit together in an alternating top to bottom pattern.

This fits in just like that.
TIM:
Just like a little piece of the puzzle.
RON HAZELTON:
Yeah.

Tim quickly gets the hang of it. And soon, we're ready to remove the first screed rail. Tim fills in the trench with sand and I smooth out the surface with a wide putty knife. Now this L-shaped edging is going to go all around the perimeter of our patio.

And the reason that we need it is, without it, these pavers on the edge would tend to move or migrate out into the lawn. So this is a pretty easy one to use. We just set it in place like this. And then there are holes right here and about every fourth hole, we drive in one of these spikes.
[MUSIC]
So what do you think?
TIM:
Looks pretty good.
RON HAZELTON:
Yeah, it really does, doesn't it? Well we've got some gaps left in here. That's by design. Now we're going to fill those up and lock everything together. So it's back to the wheelbarrow for more sand which I spread over the patios with a stiff bristle broom.

Finally, Tim uses a fine spray from his garden hose to wash the sand down into the joints. Tim's patio is nearly complete.

Well it may not be big, Tim, but it sure is good looking huh? And you know, we did all this in less than a day. Next weekend if you want, you can do half the yard.
TIM:
Well Ron, I love it. All I need now is a bigger barbecue.
RON HAZELTON:
What you got here, steak? Hot dogs?

Build a garden patio in a single day using interlocking pavers in a simple design that's easily expanded.

Interlock straight-edged and key-shaped pavers that fit together like puzzle pieces in a rectangular outdoor patio design. This small patio plan is simple and quick, yet easily expanded. Laying pavers on a footing of gravel and sand keeps the patio level and promotes drainage.

Consider Yard Features and Obstacles When Positioning the Patio
Step 1

Consider Yard Features and Obstacles When Positioning the Patio

Position and size the patio to complement existing yard features and walkways. Identify and mark obstacles and hazards such as electrical lines or other underground utilities to avoid as you dig the footer.

Mark a True Rectangle with Square Corners for the Patio Footer
Step 2

Mark a True Rectangle with Square Corners for the Patio Footer

Mark the four right-angled corners of the patio footer with stakes. String mason’s line around the stakes to outline the perimeter. Measure between each pair of diagonally opposing corner stakes--the distances should be equal if the corners are square.

Cut the Sod from the Rectangle Marked for the Patio
Step 3

Cut the Sod from the Rectangle Marked for the Patio

Use flat-bladed shovels to cut the sod two inches outside the mason’s line as allowance for retaining strips to keep the pavers stationary. Cut the interior sod into small rectangles for later reuse, sliding the shovel beneath for easy removal.

Dig the Hole for the Patio Footer Seven Inches Deep
Step 4

Dig the Hole for the Patio Footer Seven Inches Deep

Excavate the entire patio area to seven inches to allow for gravel, sand and pavers. Measure from the bottom of a board spanning the footer to ensure the seven-inch depth at the sides and middle of the footer.

Line the Patio Footer with Landscape Fabric and Gravel
Step 5

Line the Patio Footer with Landscape Fabric and Gravel

Line the footer with landscape fabric to stop weeds growing between the pavers. Fill the footer with 3 1/2 inches of gravel, then level and tamp it. Both fabric and gravel will allow rainwater to drain into the ground below.

Use Screed Rails to Ensure a Uniform Layer of Sand
Step 6

Use Screed Rails to Ensure a Uniform Layer of Sand

Lay two lengths of 1-inch diameter electrical conduit on top of the gravel as screed rails and distribute a 1-inch layer of sand. Glide the edge of a two-by-four along the screed rails to ensure a uniform sand thickness.

Edge with Paver Border Pieces and Alternate Field Stone Pattern
Step 7

Edge with Paver Border Pieces and Alternate Field Stone Pattern

Start at the patio's edge, fitting straight-edged border pieces along the perimeter and key-shaped field stones in the interior in an alternating pattern. Remove the screed rails, fill the groove with sand and smooth with a wide putty knife.

Drive Spikes into L-Shaped Edging to Hold Pavers in Place
Step 8

Drive Spikes into L-Shaped Edging to Hold Pavers in Place

Place special L-shaped edging around the patio perimeter to prevent the pavers from migrating. Drive in spikes to hold the edging, placing one at every fourth hole in the ready-made edging.

Sprinkle Sand on Patio and Brush into Crevices between Pavers
Step 9

Sprinkle Sand on Patio and Brush into Crevices between Pavers

Add more sand to the surface of the patio and work the sand into the crevices and tiny gaps between the pavers with a stiff-bristled broom.

Spray Patio with Water to Wash Sand into Paver Joints
Step 10

Spray Patio with Water to Wash Sand into Paver Joints

Adjust your garden hose to a fine spray and wet the surface, washing the sand down into the joints. This final layer of sand will stabilize the pavers to minimize shifting.