How to Build A Paver Patio: Surveying and Design

by / Wednesday, 25 May 2011 / Published in Articles

One of the best additions to a backyard is a nice paver patio. With a little time and minimal expense you can complete this work of landscape art on your own. This project will probably take you more than one weekend to finish, so be sure you’ve got the time and energy before you start.

Before picking up a shovel or ordering material, you’ll need to design your patio. This includes surveying your current landscaping, checking for buried utilities, and picking your paver pattern.

First, you must consider the features of your yard. Keep in mind that you’ll need to dig a base for your paver patio, at least seven inches deep. Familiarize yourself with the location of any buried electrical lines or other underground utilities. Planning your patio around any plants or water features make it more interesting, but also more complicated. Identify any other obstacles and be alert to their effects as you develop your plan for the paver patio.

Next, come up with a plan for the size and shape of your patio. To keep it simple, you may want to stick with a rectangular paver patio; this saves many angled cuts and other difficult tasks. If you’re up for a challenge, integrating curves or circles into your patterns can make for an interesting decorative feel to the patio. Keep in mind your timeframe as well – the more complicated your patio, the longer it will take to finish.

When calculating the materials for your paver patio, multiply the length times the width times the depth. Include an additional 5-10% to ensure you have enough material. In addition to the pavers, you’ll need gravel and sand to build your base, and a covering of landscape fabric to keep the weeds out. Don’t forget the edging! If you’re not sure what type to get, ask someone at your local home improvement store.

Pavers come in many different sizes, shapes and colors. Your local home improvement store is a good place to view the selection. When it comes to pavers, the bigger they are the faster the job goes. Don’t order them too big though, or you could hurt yourself or those helping you. Also, if you’re looking for a more artistic feel, the smaller ones are more versatile, allowing you to create more complex patterns in a smaller space. Keep your personal preferences and existing landscaping elements in mind while choosing the right paver stones.

Ok, you’re almost there! Before you begin your project, be sure you have all of the necessary tools and materials to complete the project. Taking shortcuts to make up for a lack of proper tools or materials will leave you with an unstable, out-of-level patio. Remember: it’s easier to do it right the first time. Taking extra care will ensure you have a patio which will last a lifetime.

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