- builder's square
- spade or sod cutter
- builder's trowel
- brick jointer
- hand rammer or plate compactor
- bubble level
- pavers or slabs
- sharp sand
- ready-mix mortar
- rubber mallet or club hammer
- stiff brush
Step 1: Mark Off Paved Area
Use pegs to mark off the paved area. Set them at the height of the finished surface, and join with string. Use a builder’s square to check corner angles are 90 degrees.
Step 2: Remove Turf
Use a spade to remove turf, or rent a turf cutter for large areas (reuse turf or compost it). Dig out the soil to 6 inches deep, plus the thickness of the paving.
Step 3: Tamp Down Foundation
Use a hand rammer or powered compactor to tamp down the foundation area. Adjust the marker pegs to ensure the finished surface has a slight gradient for drainage.
Step 4: Spread Layer of Gravel
Spread a 4-inch-deep layer of gravel over the area, and rake the area level (ensuring you retain the slope). Then tamp firm with a hand rammer or plate compactor.
Step 5: Level the Gravel
Level out the grave with sand where necessary. Lay the first pavers along the perimeter string, placing each on five trowelfuls of wet mortar.
Step 6: Tamp Down Pavers
Use a rubber mallet or the handle of a club hammer to tamp down pavers. Insert spacers to ensure evenly-sized joints, and support the outer slabs.
Step 7: Remove Spacers
Once the pavers are firm (after a couple days), it is safe to remove the spacers. Brush dry ready-mix mortar into the joints between them. The mortar will harden over a few days.
Step 8: Accomplish a Neater Finish
Use a builder’s trowel to push wet mortar into the gaps, then smooth the surface with a brick jointer. Avoid staining the surface of the pavers.
Step 9: Cut Pavers
To finish the patio you may need to cut some pavers to size or shape, using a stone saw. First measure and mark out the cut you need to make, and lay the paver on a deep layer of sand. Holding the stone saw firmly, draw the blade along the desired cut until complete. For your own safety, wear goggles, gloves, ear plugs and a dust mask when cutting.
Grab your DIY tools—it’s time to learn how to build a brick fire pit.