How To Make A DIY Paver Patio In 5 Simple Steps - Deck Bros (2023)

As professional deck builders that value quality craftsmanship and respect the contracting industry, we would very rarely recommend DIY projects, especially when it comes to your outdoors.

However, we understand that sometimes the budget for a home improvement project, like a paver patio, is too tight and the only available option would be to save on labor costs.

In this article, we’ll guide you through how to make a DIY paver patio to look like it’s made by one of the best landscapers in your area.

Let’s begin.

How To Make A DIY Paver Patio In 5 Simple Steps - Deck Bros (1)

1. Measurements And Materials

Measure the area you want to pave and purchase the necessary number of patio stones, in this case, the concrete pavers. You will need to buy more than the total square footage because you will need to leave space for joints between the pavers.

Talking about pavers, there are multiple design and material options you can choose from.

Pavers can be made of a variety of materials, but the most popular option is concrete. However, there are also pavers made of natural stone, brick pavers, or other materials. When deciding which type of paver to use, be sure to consider the climate in your area and how the paver will hold up over time.

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For example, if the concrete paver is of lower quality, water can seep in and break it, leaving a nasty look on your paver patio. On the other side, bricks will be more expensive, but they’ll offer a more unique feel to your outdoors.

Prepare the patio area by removing any existing sod, plants, or debris. If there is a concrete slab or patio already in place, you will need to remove that as well. Check out how much it would cost to remove concrete slabs from your backyard here!

Building over concrete is never a good idea, as it’s very likely that with time, the concrete slab will move around, break, or even sink, ruining the looks of your DIY patio with pavers.

After the site is clean and you’re ready to begin your project, make sure you have everything you need to start building the patio with pavers. You’ll find all these at home improvement stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot.

  • Shovel
  • Garden Rake
  • Hand Tamper
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Tape Measure
  • Pavers
  • Paver Base (usually gravel)
  • Paver Stones or Leveling Sand
  • Furring Strips
  • Exterior Wood Screws
  • Level
  • Landscape Fabric (weed barrier)
  • Garden Hose
  • Wheelbarrow

To begin, use a level and string line to create your entire patio space. Before starting excavation, call 811 to check for underground utilities (like water pipes or cables). If everything is clear, excavate down to the desired depth (usually about 6″). Compact the soil with a hand tamper.

How To Make A DIY Paver Patio In 5 Simple Steps - Deck Bros (2)

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3. Begin Laying Out The Paver Patio Materials

To lay patio pavers or concrete pavers for a typical patio installation, you need to build up several layers:

After the 1 inch layer of sand, level the ground again and start placing the pavers. You’ll have to start in one corner and work your way out. You’ll have to use a spacer to leave a gap between each paver for joints. The gap is usually half an inch. Once the paver is in place, tap it with the rubber mallet a few times to make sure it’s not going anywhere.

Rinse and repeat until you reach the other end of the patio paver area.

4. Install Paver Patio Edging

This step can be done prior to filling in the gaps with sand, or after.

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After you get some of the pavers in place, install plastic edging or paver restraints along the perimeter with spikes spaced about every foot.

More likely than not, you’ll need to cut some pavers to fit them between the perimeter. Measure, make a mark on the paver, and cut them using a circular saw with a concrete blade.

You may also clamp the pavers one at a time to a stable surface so you can cut right through them without any obstacle. Make sure you’re using a mask and safety glasses, and also keep an eye out for the dust collected in the saw, as this can cause your tool to wear.

Check out this paver edging made of solid rock. It simply looks great and keeps the patio vibe consistent.

How To Make A DIY Paver Patio In 5 Simple Steps - Deck Bros (3)

5. After Laying Out Pavers

Once the entire patio is laid, fill in any gaps between the pavers with sand. Use a push broom to push all the sand in-between the gaps. This process will take a lot of time and patience, so be sure to have both.

You’ll want to spread the sand, push it in the gaps, spray it down with water, let it dry, and do it again. The water helps the sand settle and sink, and you’ll do it again to make sure there are no gaps in the joists, or you’ll risk the pavers moving.

The Price Of Pavers Patio

The cost of having a patio with pavers can vary depending on the size of the patio, the type and quality of the pavers, and the installation process. Generally, though, you can expect to spend anywhere from $5 to $15 per square foot for a paver patio, not including labor costs.

If you’re considering doing the project yourself, be sure to factor in the cost of renting or buying all the necessary tools, as well as the cost of the pavers and other materials. It’s also important to factor in your own time and labor when calculating the overall cost of the project.

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Hiring a professional to install a paver patio for you will cost more, but it will also save you a lot of time and effort. The average cost to have a professional install a paver patio is $8 to $25 per square foot, depending on the size and complexity of the project.

Keep in mind that the price of having a patio with pavers installed by a professional can also vary depending on the type of pavers you choose, as well as the company you hire. Be sure to get multiple quotes from different companies before making a final decision.

Interested in a concrete patio? Check out the concrete patio cost in Omaha and get ready to start you project with the best pros in town!

The Price Of A Patio With Pavers

There are a few additional costs that you may want to factor into your budget when planning for a paver patio. These include:

  • The cost of having the area excavated or graded (if necessary)
  • The cost of adding a base layer (such as gravel)
  • The cost of renting or buying tools
  • The cost of purchasing patio pavers, edging, and other materials
  • The cost of labor (if you're hiring someone to do the work for you)
  • The cost of sealing the patio pavers (optional)

How To Make A DIY Paver Patio In 5 Simple Steps - Deck Bros (4)


If you’re still determined to get a DIY patio with pavers, this is the best guide you can get. It’s a simple process, but it does take a lot of time and effort to build a paver patio right.

Our advice is simple. If you’re going to do a DIY paver patio, choose a simple design pattern, make sure you know how to use the necessary tools (a circular saw is a dangerous tool to use), and make sure you allocate the project enough time.

If, however, you’d rather have the opinion and craftsmanship of a professional, contact Deck Bros today. We offer professional deck building and deck repair, and we can also tackle any patio or landscaping project.

Call us today at (402) 369-5724 or request a free quote and let’s get your project started!

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How do you make a simple paver patio? ›

  1. Prepare the Patio Area. Laying pavers is a DIY project that takes about one weekend to complete. ...
  2. Clear Out Grass and Soil. ...
  3. Add Paver Base. ...
  4. Add and Level the Paver Sand. ...
  5. Place the Paver Stones. ...
  6. Cut Pavers. ...
  7. Add Edging Stones or Paver Edging. ...
  8. Finish the Patio.

What is the easiest paver pattern to lay? ›

Running Bond Pattern

Because it is the simple pattern to lay, easy to install, and uses the least amount of waste compared to the other patterns. Running bond is laid side by side creating illusions with its strong linear lines.

What is the cheapest way to create a patio? ›

Gravel is one of the most inexpensive patio material options. You'll pay approximately $6-$10 per square foot. It is also easy to install so you can save on the cost of labor if you want to do it yourself. All you have to do is wheelbarrow it in and spread it around.

Can I just put pavers on dirt? ›

Lots of questions come up regarding how to lay pavers on dirt, however, it is not recommended to lay pavers directly on dirt or any unprepared ground. In order for pavers to look and perform their best in a permanent situation, the ground needs to be levelled, excavated and hard compacted.

What is the best base for pavers? ›

The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute recommends washed concrete sand as the best base sand for pavers. Concrete sand, also known as bedding sand, is coarse and doesn't trap excess moisture beneath the paver surface.

What is the best material to put between pavers? ›

Polymeric sand is a material used to fill paver joints, the empty spaces found between each paver, tile or natural stone. It is sometimes called jointing sand, paver sand or hardscape sand. Jointing sand is made up of fine grains, to which manufacturers add a mixture of specific additive particles.

How many inches of sand should be under the pavers? ›

Paver sand holds the pavers in place and allows you to adjust them. The final paver sand depth needs to be 1 inch and you need to account for sand filtering into the paver base and into the joints between the pavers. Make your calculations using a sand depth of 2 inches or 0.1667 feet.

What goes down first paver base or sand? ›

Before laying the pavers, a layer of bedding sand is placed over the compacted base material. This layer provides a bed into which the pavers are set. The sand bedding also helps to protect the sand joints from being eroded away.

What is the easiest DIY patio? ›

PAVERS are the best option

For a do-it-yourself patio, a simple square design with one size of pavers is a lot easier to install than one with various sizes and curves because you will not have to cut the pavers, which takes time and skill. Pavers are strong, inexpensive, and easy to install.

Is it cheaper to build a deck or paver patio? ›

It's cheaper to build a concrete patio in terms of both the initial cost to lay a concrete patio, as well as its cost of maintenance over time. A concrete patio costs only $4 per square foot, while a deck costs roughly $6 per square foot for lower-cost pressure treated lumber.

What can I use instead of pavers? ›

5 Compelling Alternatives to Paving a Patio
  • Poured Concrete. Most concrete patios are made from either concrete slabs or individual concrete pavers. ...
  • Mosaic Tile. One of the most unique and stylish ways to pave a patio is to use wet concrete and mosaic tiling. ...
  • Dirt. ...
  • Loose Gravel. ...
  • Permeable Pavers.

How tall should paver steps be? ›

Use the rise and the slope to determine how many levels your steps will need. Using the previous example, divide the rise of 16 inches by the height of the modular paving stones you've chosen. (The US standard for step height is 7.5 inches.)

How far apart should stepping pavers be? ›

You'll want to space your concrete stepping stones in such a way as to accommodate the average human's stride. Spacing them 24 inches on the center is just about right for most people.

Is sand necessary under pavers? ›

Installing driveway or patio pavers without sand is not a good idea because the sand base serves as the main stabilizing material for your pavers. Without sand, the pavers are likely to shift and sink over time, resulting in an uneven and messy surface.

Is gravel needed under pavers? ›

The principle to remember is this: your pavers are only as stable as the base they're sitting on. That's why you'll need to lay a substantial gravel base on top of your dirt. Use road base gravel so that you get the right mix of fine and coarse aggregates for the best compaction.

What is the best gap between pavers? ›

Laying the pavers too tightly can actually cause some issues in the future. The recommended space between the pavers is 3 mm (⅛”).

What type of sand goes under pavers? ›

Concrete sand is the proper sand for laying a foundational base for a concrete paver installation. It is extremely coarse sand so it can be compacted uniformly and allows for adequate water drainage. Concrete sand will lift slightly into the joints of the pavers when they are being leveled, locking them into place.

Can you lay pavers on sand only? ›

How to lay pavers on sand? For the installation of pavers, use coarse sand. The sand intends to strengthen a smooth, high layer over the rock and create a firm, solid pavement surface. Coarse sand is cheaper than sandboxes' fine sand, making it an affordable and practical choice.

What is the strongest paver pattern? ›

The strongest of the patterns is the herringbone. It can be laid at a 45- or 90-degree angle. The pattern has many angles which will engage your visitors as they make their way to the entrance of your home. Because the pattern tightly interlocks the brick it can handle significant weight, so it is ideal for driveways.

What happens if you don't put sand between pavers? ›

Joint stabilization – If you don't have sand in the joints, rain water or pool water will run between the brick paver joints, and wash out the base aggregate sand material your brick pavers float on, (usually a 1.5” – 2” sand base) making your brick pavers loose, wobbly, uneven, sunken in or even raised up in some ...

What is the best sub-base for a patio? ›

' The most common granular aggregate sub-base is DoT (Department of Transport) Type 1 and Type 3 Limestone. They are both crushed stone: Type 1 has a maximum permitted top size of 63mm, graded down to dust; and Type 3 is an open-graded 40mm unbound mixture with a reduced amount of fines.

How do you keep sand from washing under pavers? ›

You can protect the joint sand from washing out by sealing the paver surface. Sealing restores the beauty of your pavers. The paver sealer also serves as glue between the joint sand particles hence holding them together, and preventing the sand from being washed away when it rains or during pressure washing.

How much base Do I need under pavers? ›

Paver thickness is generally about 3- to 3 1/2-inches. Therefore, you need to dig a paver patio base depth of about 9 inches (22.86 cm) to accommodate any kind of paver. 5 inches (12.7 cm) of the hole will be filled with the base material for the base such sand or gravel.

How far down do you dig for a paver patio? ›

There is no absolute rule to determine how required depth, however recommendations vary by use. The guidelines are 4 to 6 inches for pedestrian walkways and 8 to 12 inches for driveways. Local soil conditions also impact depth needs. Generally, clay bases need to be dug deeper to facilitate drainage.

Do you seal pavers before or after sand? ›

Allow any moisture in or on the surface of the pavers to dry at least 24 hours. Allow 48 hours or more if temperatures are cool or a pressure washer has been used. For best results the sand should be dry to its full depth before sealing.

How do you keep pavers from sinking or shifting? ›

Compacting causes the stones to form a tight bond with the bedding layer, which reduces the chance of your pavers sinking again. Sweep joint sand into the joints between the pavers. Do this by pouring a pile of sand on your hardscape and sweep it over the stones until your joints can't hold any more sand.

What happens if it rains when installing pavers? ›

Heavy rain

It makes for unpleasant working conditions, but it can also cause havoc with many forms of paving and surfacing. As mentioned above, for most forms of modular paving (flags, blocks, setts, kerbs, etc.) heavy rain can saturate the bed, leading to fluidisation and/or over-wetting of mortars and concrete.

How can I pave cheaply? ›

  1. Create budget-friendly stepping stone paving. ...
  2. Paint old paving for an inexpensive makeover. ...
  3. Use cross sawn logs for cheap paving. ...
  4. Take a patchwork approach for an inexpensive update. ...
  5. Go for quick-lay paving to cut costs. ...
  6. Reduce maintenance costs with durable porcelain paving.
26 Jun 2022

What is the cheapest material to build a deck? ›

Pressure-treated wood is generally the cheapest material to build decks from. For up-front savings, that seems great, but don't forget long-term costs. Wood decks require yearly maintenance such as staining or painting, and they'll often break down quite quickly if you fall behind on maintenance.

Whats better a deck or pavers? ›

A deck will likely not last as long as a patio, especially if it doesn't receive the proper care. Regular maintenance can help it to last longer, but it takes time and money. A patio made with concrete pavers or natural stone is more durable without the need for too much maintenance.

How much would a 500 square foot paver patio cost? ›

Cost Estimator by Size
PATIO SIZEAVERAGE COST ($11.34 per square foot)TYPICAL PRICE RANGE ($8.69 to $22.18 per square foot)
300 square feet$3,402$2,607 to $6,654
400 square feet$4,536$3,476 to $8,872
500 square feet$5,670$4,345 to $11,090
600 square feet$6,804$5,214 to $13,308
5 more rows
9 Jun 2022

What are the cheapest type of patio slabs? ›

As one of the cheapest paving options on the market, Limestone is a great choice if you are looking to create a bold finish to your patio without breaking the bank! Black limestone slabs look stunning when wet, offering deep tones which are great at disguising most types of spills from a garden party or BBQ!

Can you lay pavers without paver base? ›

According to several paver manufacturers, paving blocks can be installed on top of concrete without mortar if you first lay down a 1/2″ to 1” bed of coarse sand. The process is nearly identical to laying a paver patio over ground.

How do I build a small concrete patio? ›

How to Build a Concrete Patio Slab
  1. Step 1: Lay Out and Excavate the Patio.
  2. Step 2: Drive Stakes Along the New Layout Lines.
  3. Step 3: Nail the First Form in Place.
  4. Step 4: Splice Boards Together, if Necessary.
  5. Step 5: Place the Mesh.
  6. Step 6: Pour the Concrete Into the Forms.
  7. Step 7: Flatten the Surface.
  8. Step 8: Round the Edges.

How deep should deck stairs be landing made of pavers? ›

Stair landings must be at least as wide as the stair and at least 3 feet deep. They must provide a safe exit from the stair and may not slope more than 1/4 inch per foot. Beyond that requirement, the IRC does not establish what materials can be used as a landing.

Should pavers be level or sloped? ›

A paver patio that is not sloped properly can cause more damage than good as you can end up with standing water that damages your foundation or attracts mosquitoes and bugs. Most patios rely on their slope to provide proper drainage of rainwater.

What slope should a paver patio have? ›

Patios must have a slight slope (1" for every 4' to 8') for proper drainage. If you don't provide enough slope, rainwater will settle into low spots, eventually softening and washing out the sand and subbase materials beneath. A flat or poorly sloped patio could even direct water into your basement.

Do you leave gaps in pavers? ›

When you lay pavers it's recommended that you leave a 2 – 3mm gap between pavers, jointing sand is broomed into the gaps.

Can you lay pavers directly on dirt? ›

Typically, it is not recommended to directly lay down pavers over dirt. For pavers to look and perform well in a permanent installation setting, the ground/dirt floor must be excavated, leveled, and hard compacted.

Are pavers supposed to be perfectly level? ›

The ground should be level for pavers to drain, but with a slope of 1 inch to every 4 feet in length, to encourage drainage. To demonstrate a slope of 3 inches over a length of 12 feet, use your measuring tape to change the string as required.

Is it cheaper to pour concrete or lay pavers? ›

As far as installation costs and concrete costs go, poured concrete is technically the most affordable per square foot. However, even though the upfront cost of pavers is higher, concrete pavers offer greater value and durability than poured concrete and stamped concrete.

Can you just lay pavers on grass? ›

Installation – Over Grass

Porcelain pavers can be laid directly over existing grass or lawn as 'stepping stones' or to create a pathway, but for better stability of the pavers, the grass beneath the pavers should first be removed, together with a shallow layer of the topsoil.

What do you put under pavers? ›

Materials to put under pavers might include mortar, sand, bituminous material or pedestals. Should I Lay Pavers on Sand or Mortar? Again, it will depend on several factors. The mortar set method is most popular and is typically used in pedestrian or vehicular areas where a rigid system is required.

Should I pour concrete under pavers? ›

While it may seem like a good idea to install pavers right to the concrete, it may not be the best way to go about it. Pavers are great because of their flexibility. They are able to move and shift with the ground as it heats and cools. Concrete, on the other hand, can crack under the constant shifting.

How thick should sand be under pavers? ›

Estimating the Paver Sand

Paver sand holds the pavers in place and allows you to adjust them. The final paver sand depth needs to be 1 inch and you need to account for sand filtering into the paver base and into the joints between the pavers. Make your calculations using a sand depth of 2 inches or 0.1667 feet.

What kind of sand goes under pavers? ›

Concrete sand is the proper sand for laying a foundational base for a concrete paver installation. It is extremely coarse sand so it can be compacted uniformly and allows for adequate water drainage. Concrete sand will lift slightly into the joints of the pavers when they are being leveled, locking them into place.

Do I need fabric under paver patio? ›

ANSWER: Yes, The fabric holds in the sand so it does not migrate into the soil. The fabric, sand, Panels and slope all give you the proper drainage needed under your project area.

Do you put sand or gravel under pavers? ›

A GRAVEL BASE LAYER BEFORE SAND IS A MUST! Using sand alone to set pavers is not enough. The best and recommended paver base is 3/8-inch crushed gravel. The gravel provides a flexible base that absorbs ground tension to prevent frost heaves.

Do you have to dig before laying pavers? ›

If you're installing pavers over an old concrete patio or foundation, you won't need to dig at all. However, if you're installing pavers over an existing lawn or garden, you'll need to dig down at least 7” so that the new surface will be level with the surrounding ground.


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