The options for paver patios may seem overwhelming, but these ideas and tips should see you enjoying your brand new outdoor living space in no time.
One of the most important factors to consider when creating a paver patio is stability—you don't want your patio built on uneven or soft ground, which could lead to pavers shifting or buckling over time. To ensure a stable surface, make sure you dig at least six inches down, to hard, stable, flat ground.
In this design by Thomas Oppelt, the elegant casita offers a glimpse of the surrounding countryside. Image courtesy of Gene Northup of Synergy Sotheby's International Realty
Maintaining the historic character and integrity of the landscape was the main objective of this design. Rustic and understated elements add personality and credibility. Design by Chad Robert
Relaxing Pool House
The pool house is reminiscent of a Mediterranean beach cottage with soothing neutral shades and lots of natural light. Design by Rebecca Johnston
Landscape designer Jamie Durie created an Asian-style space for dining and relaxing where the "walls" of the pergola serve as an enclosure as well as a place to showcase potted specimens.
This patio is located away from the house, surrounded by colorful landscaping and shaded by trees. A short wall provides a sense of enclosure. The walkway continues on to a potting bench and a secluded arbor swing. Design by Jamie Durie
Contemporary + Classic
A beautiful wall with Spanish arches serves as the backdrop for this gorgeous backyard lounge area. The look merges elements of Old World design with the clean lines of contemporary style. Design by Jamie Durie
Three Tiers of Relaxation
The Place for Pizza
The focal point of this new outdoor kitchen is a wood-fired pizza oven imported from Italy. The 36-inch oven turned out to have a 52-inch base, so landscape architect Mark Schisler had to move the counters three feet to accommodate it. The oven is covered with a stone veneer, rather than real stone, to save more space.
This terrace went from an area with no place to sit to the ultimate in a resort-like lounge and dining space. When evening comes, the area turns into an extra-comfy place to watch movies. A 3-D water feature and a fire pit table complete the ambiance.
Whether it's for roasting marshmallows with the kids or grown-up entertaining, the fireplace often becomes the outdoor gathering spot for the family. A new retaining wall on the steep slope provided the terrain for this patio and new lawn. A berm of cryptomeria trees will provide privacy from the neighbors. Design by Mark Schisler
Weeds are the bane of any paver patio, and no matter how tightly the pavers are packed they tend to find a way through—so be sure to lay down a barrier to stifle their growth. If they're particularly hardy in the area, you may want to consider a soil additive.
Make sure the sand and gravel layers you add on top of the foundation are tightly, powerfully packed. These have to be flat and compact to ensure a flat paver surface that won't shift over time.
Be sure to grade your patio away from your home so that water runoff isn't directed to your basement. For every two feet of distance, a quarter-inch drop should do the trick.
The surface is the showpiece, but the exterior of the patio needs to be secure as well to prevent shifting—edge your patio with bricks, a cement lip or vinyl or metal edging.
When laying the surface, be aware that individual pavers or groups may have different tones. Try to blend the different shades uniformly to avoid a patchy-looking patio.
Lastly, add sand. Pouring a layer over the entire patio and then sweeping off will help keep bricks in place.
See also: Deck and Patio Design Ideas