Pavers may be the easiest patio surface to install yourself.
Pavers are set on sand or crushed concrete rather than bound with mortar. You can even lay pavers on top of your existing patio if it’s level and in good condition, so there’s no need to break up the old patio or excavate the ground.
Here’s an overview of the job:
• Settle on a style. Pavers come in dozens of shapes, sizes, colors and textures. Concrete is the most popular kind of paver, but they also come in marble, clay and travertine. Decide if you want a natural stone patio, a faux-stone look, an old-style cobblestone floor or a classic brick appearance. The most versatile size is four-by-eight inches because they’re easiest for forming a variety of patterns.
• Get the proper permits, if required, from your city before starting the work.
• Design your patio. Decide where you will place the pavers, the size of the floor and how many pavers you’ll need.
• Unless you’re laying pavers over an existing patio, you’ll probably have to excavate the area.
• Lay a base, which is usually sand. You can rent the equipment you need to lay the base layer from a hardware store.
• Prepare to spend some time on this project. Laying the pavers one by one is time-consuming.
• You may need to cut and grind some of the stones to fit them into your pattern. Place the pavers as close together as possible.
• After the pavers are on the floor, build an edge restraint from more pavers, by installing the perimeter pavers on a bed of concrete.
• Brush masonry sand, builder’s sand or polymeric sand over top of the pavers and sweep it into the crevices between each one. Polymeric sand does the best job of interlocking the pavers and keeping weeds away.
• Some installers apply a concrete sealer to the pavers after sweeping the sand in between. The sealer helps keeps the sand in place.