The Paver Patio

by philinshelton on April 4, 2009

in How To,Landscape projects

In this article I have the updates on last week's landscape project, including some photos and how-to information on building a paver patio. In last week's article New Granite Wall, we left off with Travis forming up, and then compacting the gravel base for the patio area. Click on the thumbnails to view a larger image.


Sand Screed

Sand Screed

Next, Travis adds a 1"-2" layer of sand for leveling and setting the pavers into.  Using the forms as a guide, he levels the sand by scraping it with a 2"x4".  In the center of the sand, he uses a sunken 2"x2" as a guide to keep the surface level. Any missed spots and touch up are smoothed with a hand trowel

Soldier Course

Soldier cours

Soldier course

The next step, is to set the edge, or soldier course.  On all of our patios, we use a soldier course as a restraining edge and to visually define the form of the patio. To emphasize the contrast we used different color and size pavers for the edge course and body of the patio

Main Patio Area

Laying pavers on a bias

Laying pavers on a bias

For this patio, we used a mixed size of pavers laid in a running bond pattern, on a 45 degree bias.  To do this, Travis lays out a few courses all the way across the patio, creating a platform he can work on without disturbing the sand.  He uses a 2"x2" as a guide to keep the rows straight.

Cutting In

Filling the gaps

Filling the "gaps"

Once the pavers are laid up to the soldier course, all of the "gaps" have to be fitted with a custom piece.  To do that, each paver has to be measured and cut. Travis uses a guillotine cutter, to snap the pavers into a perfectly fitting piece.

Sanding and Compacting

Compacting paver


After all the pavers are installed, we sweep in coarse sand, and run a compactor over the pavers to level and fully set them into the sand. After compacting, we sweep in fine sand to fill in the gaps and give the patio a finished look.Weather prevented the completion of this project, but I will be posting pics of the finished landscape in the future.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

pavers san francisco April 4, 2013 at 2:22 pm

You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think
I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely
broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

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