Building a Paver Patio: Laying Pavers
Once you have a plan and solid base for your paver patio, it’s time to begin laying pavers. Begin at a corner and work your way across, using your first corner as your reference point. Be sure to check your work periodically – any jogs or curves in your pavers will only become worse as you get further into the project. After laying down a paver, tap it firmly with a rubber mallet to set it into place.
If you have any curves, angles or unusual edges, lay the pavers past the edge first. Mark the edge with a construction pencil or chalk. Then, using a saw with a special diamond paver blade, remove and cut each paver individually. This makes it clear where each paver belongs, saving you a lot of confusion and stress. If you’ve already laid out your edging, you may have to remove a section as you finish your corner; once you’ve finished all the cuts, don’t forget replace the edging.
Once your pavers have been set you may wish to compact them. Some paver manufacturers do not recommend this, as it may crack them; be sure to read any instructions or warning that came with your pavers. Contact your local landscape company or hardware store if you’re not sure whether you should compact your pavers.
To finish the joints of your paver patio, sprinkle sand over the pavers and brush it into the cracks with a broom. This helps to prevent weeds and other plants from taking root and growing up through your patio. Misting the sand with water will help to settle it in the cracks. Repeat to fill any gaps which reappear. This sand should be compacted with a light tool to avoid cracking the pavers.
Finally, use a paint roller or garden sprayer to apply a clear masonry sealer to the paver patio. This will make the pavers more weather-resistant and less likely to stain. As with your other supplies, this can be found at your local home and garden center.
You’re almost done! Now that the pavers are in place, backfill the perimeter of the patio with soil, gravel, bark chips or similar material. Be sure to use enriched soil if you are planning to plant grass along the edge of your patio. For a more professional touch, have your landscaping company design and install a decorative plant arrangement around your new paver patio.
There – your paver patio is finished! You’re now ready to enjoy the gorgeous summer days on your brand new patio. As time goes on, you may need to add more sand between the pavers to keep the joints filled. If you’ve planted grass around your patio, it may be subject to frequent use, so don’t forget to overseed it in the spring or fall. A little maintenance is all that’s necessary to keep your paver patio looking nice.
Stand back and appreciate your work – you just built a paver patio! It will serve you well in all seasons and for all events. Grab your lawn furniture and grill and invite some friends over to celebrate the occasion with a kick-off barbecue!