Laying Pavers for a Backyard Patio

Laying concrete pavers is a simple and inexpensive way to create a patio entertainment area.

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To ensure your patio is level and has proper drainage, layer the materials and smooth out each layer.

Tools and Materials:
gravel, course dirt and sand
straight 2x4 8-foot boards
wood stakes and string
bender board
shovel and trowels
grading rake
tamper/vibrating compactor
level and measuring tape
dead-blow hammer


1. Using a grading rake, smooth out the area and make sure it is fairly level.

2. With a shovel, and spread gravel evenly, covering the entire area making sure it’s still fairly level. Use the grading rake for leveling.

3. Spread the dirt out and repeat the same steps as you did with the gravel.

4. Repeat the process with the sand. Once sand is spread evenly, do a final pass with the grading rake. This process will create a nice solid base and it will also provide proper drainage.

5. Go over the entire area with a soil compactor/tamper to pack down the base.

6. Lay a 2x4 board on its side to do the final grading and remove any excess sand.

7. Lay 2x4 down flat on the ground then place a level on top of it to check that your surface is even.

8. Build the ledger frame for the patio using wood stakes and bender board. The ledgers will help keep the pavers in place.

9. Use measuring tape to make sure the area is framed out evenly. If it’s not even, the pavers won’t line up correctly.

10. Run a string from end to end on the framework using stakes to hold up the string. Run one string for the outside edge to keep your pavers straight and one string to rest right on top of the pavers for the height.

11. As you lay pavers down, make sure you set them straight down, vertically. If pavers are shifted from side to side you will get sand in between the pavers and they will not sit evenly. If needed, simply pick up the pavers and use a trowel to level the sand for that square.

12. Repeat the process until area is complete.

13. When all pavers are down, use the tamper again on top of the pavers to settle them down.

14. Remove the bender board and stakes.

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