How to Build a DIY Paver Patio in Just One Day

brick, patio, pergola
Photo: Ed Gohlich

With the right materials and proper foundation, you can build a paver patio in a day. These easy-to-follow instructions include expert tips to help you achieve the perfect finish for your new DIY paver patio.

01 of 10

How to Build a Paver Patio

brick, patio, pergola
Ed Gohlich

Brick or concrete pavers are durable and weather-resilient, which makes them an ideal low-maintenance material for patios and walkways. Plus, building a paver patio is relatively easy when you use the proper technique. Follow these 10 steps on how to build a paver patio from start to finish.

02 of 10

Clear the Patio Area

tamping dirt

Start by choosing an area for your patio, and remove any shrubs, stumps, and roots near your work site. Dig up about 6 inches of soil to make room for the base and pavers. Rake the ground level and tamp the soil to create a firm bed.

03 of 10

Control Weeds Around Your Paver Patio

landscape cloth

To prevent weeds from popping up between the brick pavers, lay landscape fabric over the bed. Cut the edges so the fabric fits in place. The porous material allows water to flow through but blocks weeds from sprouting.

04 of 10

Lay a Gravel Foundation

Marty Baldwin
Marty Baldwin

Lay gravel to create a foundation for your paver patio. Spread a 2-inch layer of crushed gravel evenly over the landscape fabric. Use an iron rake to smooth the layer.

05 of 10

Tamp the Gravel

tamping gravel
Marty Baldwin

Tamp the crushed gravel until the base is extremely firm. This will help ensure that pavers settle evenly. Then add another 2 inches of gravel and tamp again.

06 of 10

Make Your Paver Patio Level

level packed gravel
Marty Baldwin

To ensure that your paver patio will be level, attach a level to a long, straight board. Move the board across the bed of gravel to check how level the surface is. Adjust the contour of the bed as needed to make the surface as level as possible.

07 of 10

Add Sand for Support

screed level
Marty Baldwin

For a second layer of support under the paver patio, spread 1½ to 2 inches of builder's sand over the gravel. To smooth the sand, lay a long, straight board along the base of the house. Then take another board, notch both ends, and shimmy it along the walk and the other board to smooth the surface.

08 of 10

Prep the Pavers

sawing brick
Marty Baldwin

To upgrade the look of your paver patio (without adding to the expense), consider mixing and matching different sizes of pavers. You can reduce costs by cutting some full-size pavers in half. Instead of renting a commercial-grade brick cutter, which can be heavy and difficult to move, look for a compact brick cutter intended for smaller projects. Or see if you can pay the rental supplier to cut some pavers for you.

09 of 10

Lay the Pavers

rubber mallet on pavers

Lay the first line of pavers, using the edge of your house or walkway to guide straight lines. Alternatively, you can use a mason's line stretched tight between two stakes to keep lines true. Position pavers no more than ⅛-inch apart, and tap them into place with a rubber mallet. Continue placing pavers to fill the entire patio space.

10 of 10

Finish Your Paver Patio

sand sweep over pavers

After placing all the pavers, spread a shallow layer of sand over the patio area. Use a push broom to work the sand into the crevices between pavers. Hose down the area to further settle the sand, filling any gaps that arise, then hose down the area a second time to finish your paver patio.

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