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10 Things You Must Know About Paver Patios

Thinking of installing a paver patio? Keep these expert tips in mind to make the job easy and the results fabulous.

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Photo: John Wiese Photography

Paver Patios: Low Cost, Easy Maintenance

A patio can be created with many materials, but it's hard to beat one made from patio pavers for ease of installation and low maintenance. The initial cost may be higher than other options, but you'll save in the long run by not having to stain or seal it continuously. Plus, repairs are easier, one paver at a time. Patio pavers come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials to fit any outdoor space.

See the following slides for tips on installing paver patios. Then see this step-by-step how-to when you're ready to build a patio paver in your yard.

Need some design inspiration for your paver patio? See these 40 paver design ideas to jump-start your imagination.

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Photo: Jupiterimages ©

Dig Deep For Best Results

Before you prep your patio area, call your local utilities or 811 to have any plumbing, cable or electrical lines marked. Then dig down below the root level of vegetation in the area a good six inches or so. For dry soil, try watering the area the night before you plan to dig to dampen and soften the area for easier digging.


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Photo: Tomas Espinoza

Keep It Weed Free

Use landscaping cloth to create a barrier between the old soil and the new base of sand you'll be using. This will minimize weeds and other unwanted vegetation encroaching on your patio from underneath. To figure out how much landscaping cloth you'll need, calculate the square footage of your patio space by multiplying the length by the width and then add 10 percent.

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Create the Base

Pack in the paver base and/or sand using a wacker plate compactor or tamper. You need a solid, level and smooth base upon which to lay pavers. You'll want to add and tamp 1-inch layers of gravel until there is a firm 3-inch thick compacted gravel base. Spread and level a 1-inch layer of sand over the gravel base and remember to repack each subsequent layer of material.

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