In the time we have lived in this house, we have never had a designated outdoor seating area. When you buy a fixer upper house, your first focus is the inside and then when you do focus your attention on the outside, the first priorities are grass, trees, and a fence. We are so excited that we finally made it to the “add a patio” part of our to-do list! Here is how we built a DIY paver patio off the back of our house.
Here is the space we were working with. The back of our house is less than pretty.
I measured, then marked off the area we wanted for the patio using stakes, string, and spray paint.
Due to the size and the compact clay soil we have, we opted to rent a sod cutter to speed up the process. We were able to roll it up and wheel it away in the wheelbarrow. A lucky neighbor was able to fill in a bare area in their backyard with the pieces of sod.
Using a square shovel, we dug down far enough for all the layers (gravel, sand, and pavers).
We laid the bags of paver base in the patio hole to make sure we had enough and so it would be easier to spread.
Then all we had to do was slit open the bag and dump it in that spot. It made the raking process go much faster since it as already pretty evenly distributed.
After we raked it, we rented a rented a plate compactor to compacted it down.
Who ever came up with this next step is a genius. When I saw it on the Home Depot’s how-to video I knew I wanted to use the same technique. We laid down ¾ inch conduit about 8 feet apart from each other down on the compacted paver base. Then we added the bags of leveling sand. Once we raked it so that it was evenly spread, we used a 10-foot 2×4 to level it. It was kind of like using a butter knife to level flour in a measuring cup. The metal conduit acted like the edges of the measuring cup and made sure the 2×4 didn’t sink down too far into the sand. When you are done, simply remove the conduit and carefully fill in the depression. We did half of the area at a time.
Now comes the fun part! Laying the concrete pavers went a lot faster than I thought. It still took a few hours because of the size of the patio, but it was fun and easy. These pavers are beautiful! We chose the RumbleStone Mini Concrete Pavers in Greystone. They are 3.5 inches by 7 inches and come in a variety of colors.
Initially I was thinking of doing a herringbone pattern, but when I was looking at the back of the house I realized it may compete with the brick pattern on the house. I also love basket weave and since the bottom of the house has a basket weave pattern I decided that would be our best option.
I had a rubber mallet with me in case I needed to tap them in place.
As it turned out, because of doing a simple border and a basket weave pattern, we ended up not having to cut a single paver. If we had needed to cut them, we would have used an angle grinder and diamond blade.
With the pavers all laid, it was time to fill in the gaps in between all the pavers with the joint sand.
I dumped one bucket of sand on the patio and swept it around to get it in the cracks.
Once it was evenly spread, my husband used the plate compactor again. It forced the joint sand to go deep down in the cracks. We added more joint sand and repeated the process until the joints were full of the polymer sand.
When the patio was done being installed, I added a flowerbed all around it and planted some dwarf boxwoods and candy tuft. I added some pavers in the upright position between the patio and the flowerbed to prevent dirt from constantly getting on the patio.
The patio looks just as beautiful at night thanks to these string lights. I am so happy we decided to go with pavers for our patio. It was a simple process and it looks beautiful!
Create a hardscaped area in your own backyard with the help of Home Depot. Find everything you need to create a paver patio at the Home Depot.