How to Build a Paver Patio – Part 1 of 3: Planning


How to Build a Paver Patio – Part 1 of 3:  Planning


This is Part 1 of 3 for:   How to Build a Paver Patio



Building a brick paver patio is NOT a difficult project, but it is somewhat labor intensive. However, NOT only will this type of project add value to your home, it will last a very long time and give you much enjoyment over the years. It is definitely a worth while investment.

In these instructions, I will teach you how to build a paver patio the proper way, so that you will get this long lasting enjoyment with very little maintenance over the years. These instructions can also be modified to apply to installing a patio block patio, flagstone patio, or a brick paver walkway, etc. The basics will all be the same, only the outcome will vary with your choice of materials used, as well as your particular project.

While you can certainly build your patio more cheaply with patio stones instead of brick pavers, be aware that patio stones will not last as long as the pavers. They will deteriorate faster over time. Pavers can be a lifelong investment.

You can also build your patio using flagstone, if that is the look that you prefer. However, you should keep in mind that flagstone is often more irregular on the face, so it will be difficult to get your patio furniture to sit properly without rocking. I would recommend using flagstone for a walkway path rather than for a patio.

The following (2) lists that I have provided: Materials & Supplies Needed & Tools & Supplies Needed are exactly what you will need to complete this project correctly. You will need to complete Step 0 – Plan Your Patio for Size, Type, Style, and Inclusions before you can order your Materials & Supplies Needed.

Also, make sure that you go thru the Tools & Supplies Needed list before you place your order, so that you can also order any of the items on the list that you do NOT have. There are several specialized tools needed for this project that you may NOT already own.


Materials & Supplies Needed:

The amount needed of the following materials will depend on your project size. Please refer to the Step-by-Step Instructions for calculating.

  • Can of Marking Paint
  • 1# Box of #4 C.C. Cooler Nails
  • (1) 8’ – 2” x 4” Perfectly Straight and Level Screed Board
  • Plastic Edging (for any sides of the patio that will be adjacent to grass)
  • 10” – 12” Galvanized Edging Nails
  • Sod Staples (if using curves)
  • Limestone Screening
  • Torpedo Sand
  • Brick Pavers or Patio Stones or Flagstone
  • Polymeric Joint Sand

Purchase Materials & Supplies Needed at:


Tools & Supplies Needed:

  • Work Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Steel-Toed Work Boots
  • 25’ or 100’ Tape Measure
  • Corner Square
  • Claw Hammer
  • 3# Baby Sledge Hammer
  • Snap String
  • Line Level
  • Tarps (amount and sizes dependent on project size)
  • Flat-Head Spade Shovel
  • Sod Cutter Rental for large patio areas
  • Long-Handled Flat Shovel
  • Rototiller
  • Pick
  • Wheelbarrow
  • 12” Bow Rake
  • 24” – 36” Aluminum Leveling Rake
  • 24” – 1” x 2” Stakes (amount dependent on project size)
  • Circular Saw, Compound Miter Saw, or Hand Saw to point the stake ends
  • 4’ Level
  • 3 – 10’ 1/2” EMT Conduit
  • Pipe Cutter
  • Hand Tamper
  • Several Cardboard Boxes
  • Stanley Knife
  • Knee Pads or Foam Pad
  • Large Head Rubber Mallet
  • Wet Saw for cutting pavers
  • Push Broom
  • Garden Hose with Spray Nozzle
  • Wax Yellow Crayon
  • Wet Saw with Wet Saw Blade

Purchase Tools & Supplies Needed at:




Step-by-Step Instructions


Step 0 – Plan Your Patio for Size, Type, Style, and Inclusions

You should first take the time to stand back and visually imagine your patio finished. If it directly adjacent to your home, you should make sure that it will look balanced and properly sized for your needs. Take into consideration the placement of lower windows, doorways, and allow for ample room around patio furniture, barbeque grill, and any other items that you intend to keep there, such as flower pots, garden hoses, a fire pit, etc. Make sure that you account for everything that you intend to include.

Use a tape measure to physically measure each of the items and either place something to mark each corner of the items where each will be staged, or take the time to draw up a plan to scale. Do NOT just guess. You may be sorely disappointed if you do NOT estimate correctly. You can use some screwdrivers or rocks to mark out the corners of your proposed dimensions, and use a garden hose to lay out any curves.

Then you need to decide on the exact type, style, and color of the pavers, patio stones, or flagstone that you want to use. Will your pavers be rough or smooth? Will you use more than one color? You may need to go to the supplier that you intend to use, to visually look at the products before ordering them. Sometimes the colors in the pictures on the internet are not always as accurate as seeing the items in person.

You will then need to choose a pattern for your pavers, and decide if you will also incorporate a different colored paver into a pattern within the patio, and/or if you will have a different color for a perimeter border. There are many, many, different choices. Be creative, but keep your ideas pleasing to the masses, keeping in mind that you may sell your home in the future.

The following picture shows some simple patterns:


You can even get really creative and incorporate a logo or a design of your choice. Layout a pattern on paper and cut it to size. Keep it relatively simple, as it is best NOT to have pavers cut to sizes less than 3” wide in order to keep them stable. Dry lay your chosen pavers on a hard surface, keeping them tightly butted together, and lay your pattern on top, marking the perimeter of your design with a yellow wax crayon. A wet saw will be needed to cut the pavers according to your desired pattern.

At this time, you should also plan on what you are going to do with the grass and soil that you will be removing in order to install your new patio. If you have bare spots in other places in your yard, you may be able to transplant some of the good sod removed in order to repair these areas. You may have low spots in either your yard or planting beds where you can use some or all of the soil that you will be removing. Otherwise, you will need to know how you are going to dispose of the removed items. Planning ahead will help you avoid waste or double work moving things more than once.

When you have your materials delivered, you should have them placed as close to your proposed patio area as possible. If they are NOT being placed on your driveway, then you should lay a tarp down for the screening and sand before having them placed. The screening should be the closest to your proposed patio area, then, the torpedo sand, then, the pavers. The screening and the sand should both be covered with tarps until you are ready to install, in order to prevent them from getting wet due to rain, which will make them much harder to move.


Step 1 – Create a Materials & Supplies Needed Sheet

Before you can create your Materials & Supplies Needed sheet, you will need to know the dimensions of your project, as well as the dimensions of the pavers or patio stones that you will use.

Please see my post:   Formulas for Calculating Amounts of Materials Needed   for information on calculating these amounts based on your project size.

Click the following Link to see my Page:   Steps Common to All Projects   for completing Steps 1 thru 4. When those (4) Steps have been completed, return here and begin with Step 5.


Step 2 – Calculate Project Cost


Step 3 – Order Your Materials & Tools Needed


Step 4 – Inspect Your Delivery


OK. Your design has been chosen. Your materials, tools, and supplies have been ordered and delivered. Now it is time to start the construction.

Continue this project by clicking the following Link:   How to Build a Paver Patio – Part 2 of 3:  Construction


Please take the time to leave a Comment, letting me know how your project went.



CJ Dodaro


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