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How To Build Paver Steps To Patio

Lay And Compact The Base Layer Of Soil

How to build paver patio install with steps On Point Everything

Even though it sounds like it might be a good idea, you cant just lay pavers on dirt or sand. Doing so will allow the pavers to move and not allow for proper drainage. Its also likely that one side of each paver will sink and your patio will be really wonky.

To begin, check if the soil is compacted. If it isnt, which is likely, use the tamper tool to tamp down the soil. You can lightly mist the soil to help with this. 

Once your soil is compact, spread only half of the base layer on top, as youll do this in two layers.

If you pile on all 4 at once, its unlikely youll be able to compact it properly. Its best to lay half of the gravel and compact it first, then to add the second layer and then compact that.


Use the hoe to push and pull the base layer back and forth. If you find that as you get toward the top of the base layer that your gravel is too large, use the bow rake to pull the larger pieces out. 

Just lightly rake over the top. This will pull the large pieces into a pile which you can scoop up and toss to the side.

Once you have this layer evened out, use the tamper tool to compact it. To help with the tamping, you can spray a little bit of water on the top of each of the two layers. I used a hose with a sprayer head, on a mist setting.

Its important that the entire base layer is well compacted. If its not compacted tightly, the soil will shift and so will your pavers.

Measure Slope To Allow For Patio Drainage

So that your concrete paver patio drains away from your house, youll need to account for the slope of the space.


If your patio is on a hill or against a retaining wall, for instance, you will slope in two directions: away from the house and also away from the wall or the hill.

The angle of slope that allows for proper drainage for your patio is 1 per every 4 feet. For instance, my patio was 9 deep, so I created a slope of 2¼.

The way to mark the slope is to start at stakes that will be your low end. Take the strings youve tied onto those stakes and lower them by the number of inches required to meet the correct slope for your patio base on its depth. 

Next, use a marker to mark a line where you pulled the strings to . 

The new string locations now mark the height of the 4 base layer with the slope included.


I also found it helpful to mark the top of where the paver will be. Its important to note that depending on what your top base layer is made of, it may not actually add any height to your total. 

The paver dust I had compacted down to maybe about ¼. You may want to test yours to see because if yours doesnt compact like that, you may want to add it into your calculations.

If you are using the same pavers I used, these are just over 1½ thick. If your paver dust/sand compacts to almost nothing, you will want to make your last mark 1½ above the base layer mark just made. 

How To Install Stone Pavers

Use a mallet to hammer in the pavers to use as stepping stones. Fill in a small area, and then, check to see that they are even. Remember, you want a slight slope for drainage. Make any necessary adjustments with the rubber mallet.

Lay the Pavers

Watch video of this step.


With a firm, flat base prepared, you’re ready for the pavers. Start in the corner, setting each paver into the sand by tapping it lightly with a rubber mallet .

Using the set pavers as stepping stones. Fill in a small area then check with a level to make sure they are even. Remember, you want a slight slope for drainage. Make adjustments with the rubber mallet .

If a paver is too low, remove it, add sand and reset. Following the pattern you dry laid earlier, it won’t take much time to finish setting the pavers.

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Part 1 Of 4: Buying The Supplies

  • 1Measure the area where you want your patio. This allows you to determine how many pavers to buy, as well as how much of the other supplies you will need. You need to have a clear idea of what you want your patio to look like so you can ensure you buy enough materials. Measure the length and width of the area you want to cover. Multiply the length times the width. This will give you the square footage of your future patio.
  • If the shape of your patio is not square but you will use square pavers, you will need to estimate the square footage. Another option is to use pavers that are designed to be laid in round shapes. These type of pavers will require you to take different types of measurements to determine the amount of pavers needed.
  • If you are building stairs on your patio, you may need to subtract the square footage of the bottom stair and purchase some retaining blocks.
  • 2 Pavers come in a multitude of shapes, sizes, colors, and prices, so you have decisions to make. When determining which pavers to use, compare how much it will cost you to cover the whole patio area. Some pavers are sold by the square foot and some are sold as individual blocks. Small pavers may be cheaper individually but they could end up costing you more in the end to cover your square footage. They are also much more labor-intensive, which can cost you in terms of time and effort.
  • How Can I Find Reputable Professionals That Install Patio Pavers In Houston

    patio steps design ideas

    Whether your plan includes a comprehensive paving project in Independence Heights or anywhere else in the Greater Houston area, or youre looking to update the driveway at your home in the suburbs, you just need a helping hand from a trustworthy contractor that has the expertise to bring your vision to reality. 


    When you get in touch with us at PaveTec Concrete Pavers you can rely on our professional contractors that are versed in providing a variety of paving services. If your requirements involve paving driveways, parking lots, pools, roadways, sidewalks, then look no further. Our experts will also give you best advice on how to properly clean your pavement. Contact us today to set up an appointment and get a free estimate. 

    Our Services

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    Part 3 Of 4: Laying The Pavers

  • 1Lay the pavers in the pattern you desire. Start at one corner and keep the blocks as close to each other as possible. As you lay each paver down, tap it a bit with a rubber mallet so it is nicely seated in the sand.
  • Check your level as you work. The patio should keep the same level as you go along. If one paver is off, tap it with a rubber mallet to get it into place. If a paver is too low, don’t be afraid to pull it up, put some more sand under it, and put it back in place. It’s easier to get it right now instead of later. This is another point at which the level perimeter string may help you out. While you can use a level across the pavers themselves, measuring their distance away from the string will help keep everything aligned as well.
  • 2Cut paver blocks to fit around obstacles. If the patio needs to fit around trees or fencing, cut paver blocks using a saw with a diamond paver blade. These are available for rent from your local home improvement store and are a good investment if you have a lot of obstacles.
  • If you only have a bit of an obstacle in your way try creative fixes. If there is a spot that requires a small piece of paver, consider simply filling the space with pea gravel or a ground cover plant instead. This will save you time and energy that you will need for the rest of the project. You may also have a small piece of paver that was cut off, and you may be able to use it in these tight areas.
  • What Is The Best Material For Outdoor Stairs

    Pavers are, by far, the best material to use. They are incredibly versatile, cost-effective materials for building outdoor areas, and outdoor stairs are no different. The wide variety of shapes and colors allows you to be creative in your design and favors installation in any kind of space. Pavers can match your patios design, or even your garden, especially if you choose a more natural color.

    There are other options for stairs, like concrete, metallic, and wooden steps. Even though they are all very durable materials, you cant compare them with pavers longevity. 

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    Secure The Concrete Pavers In Place And Fill The Gaps

    Once you have finished each section and the pavers have all been laid, make sure none of the paver stones wobble. Youll want to check this before filling the joints.

    I had about five that had some wobble and just about every time, the culprit was a raised bit of larger gravel that had been pulled near the surface. The concrete paver stone was resting awkwardly on the raised gravel.

    The way to fix this is to gently remove the paver and check for the larger gravel that is raised. Remove it and fill in the hole with sand. Carefully place the paver back down into position. 

    If you dont see any gravel, then something in that spot isnt level. It could be that theres a bit of a bump, or just one edge needs a little more sand. Use the float to level it and place the paver back into place.

    With all the pavers set as you need them, you can start filling in the gaps. Use the square nosed shovel to scoop the sand or paver dust and place it into the joints, but only add about ½- ¾ of the paver dust/sand. 


    Try to distribute it evenly between them. You can use a hand spade and/or a broom to help with this.

    Now finish filling in the gaps with your decorative top layer. I used marble chips.

    Spread these evenly throughout, but be sure to leave them recessed about ¼ from the top so you dont end up with a big mess of overflowing joint filler.

    Those are all the steps! Now youll be ready to entertain on your new concrete paver patio!

    Welcome To The Landscaping Family

    How To Build A Paver Patio From Start To Finish (Step-By-Step)

    Remember, the devil is in the details. Take it one step at a time with your planning and youll be taking one step at a time in your new yard in no time! Contact Pioneer Landscape Centers at 525-4079 for more information about Belgards stone pavers, Borgerts slabs, and Pioneers world-class landscape supply inventory.

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    Add And Level Paver Sand

    Place your pre-cut 1 inch PVC pipes on top of your firmly tamped paver base. Carefully pour leveling sand in between the PVC pipes and on all sides in two to three feet increments.

    Then place your 2×4 on the PVC pipes and screed, or drag, the board across the pipes gently to level the paver sand. While you can access the area, gently lift out the PVC pipes, fill and level those voids with leveling sand, and replace the pipes along the path.

    Continue this process until the entire patio area is covered with paver leveling sand.

    Level The Ground For Your Paver Stones

    Take the four stakes and hit them into the ground 12 outside of your patio area using the rubber mallet. Hammer them in until they are at least a foot into the earth. They should be nice and tight and not move if you pull at them.

    Once theyre secure, measure each stake from the ground up to 4. Mark this. This will be your level line and also the top of your compacted base layer.

    Reminder- due my patio being boxed in on all four sides, my photos show the stakes placed inside the patio area.

    Make sure when you put the stakes into the ground, that they are at least a foot down. They should be nice and tight and not move if you pull at them.

    Measure from the ground, up the stake to 4 and mark this. This will be your level line and also the top of your compacted base layer.

    Take the nylon string and wrap it around the mark you made. How you tie the string is important, so take a moment and read this article that explains how to do this so that you  get the proper tension.

    Keep the string as one continuous string and repeat this for all four stakes, using the tying method linked above. When you return to the first stake, tie it off and cut the string from the spool.

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    Remove Grass Sod And Soil

    With your measurements complete and construction area prepped, you are ready to remove the grass and soil.

    Depending upon your soil type, you may be able to complete this step using hand powered landscaping tools and lots of elbow grease. If you have lots of rock hard clay, be prepared for a battle with Mother Nature.

    Using a sharpened garden spade, I recommend removing square foot sections of sod by outlining sections and lifting them individually into your wheel barrow in my case I also used a trustworthy Red Flyer wagon.

    PRO TIP: If you have unusually dry soil or, as in my case, find yourself dealing with rocky and dry clay, run a sprinkler for 30 minutes the evening prior to excavating the grass and soil. It will make it easier to loosen the sod.

    With all of the grass/sod removed, you are ready to remove an adequate amount of soil. Depending upon your local building requirements, you may have to remove up to 12 of soil to allow for adequate space for compacted paver base in the next step. Especially if you live in a cold climate, you will want to be sure to provide a base which more than adequately supports your patio.

    As your soil allows, you should aim to remove soil in a manner consistent with the desired grade of your planned patio.

    Contrary to popular belief, you do NOT want a perfectly flat and level paver patio.

    What Paver Patio Design Options Do I Have

    â¥3 Simplest Steps On : How to Build Paver Steps to Patio ...

    Designing a paver patio is one of the most fun parts of the entire project, in our opinion. But it can be a bit overwhelming.

    Here are our 3 favorite paver patio patterns:

    Essentially, you can modify these patterns or combine them in any way to make virtually any pattern your mind can create.

    For a first time DIY paver project, we recommend keeping it simple and going with a simple no-cut option.

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    Concrete And Block Method For Patio Steps

    Profile of garden steps built using concrete and pavers

    As you can see from the before; photograph below, our original step was intact. So we were able to use a breaker to break out the second and third steps, and then dig down behind the first to put in a concrete base for step number two. This continued all the way up to the top.

    Making garden steps from scratch and cutting in to earth

    If you are starting from scratch you will need to and building your steps into virgin earth, you will need to dig a 125mm deep footing under the bottom riser to support it. Ensure that this footing is level and hard before your continue.

    The footing under the first step or riser Image courtesy of diy.com

    Two concrete blocks are laid flat to form the shuttering or formwork for the concrete behind. The concrete is mixed as a 6-ballast 1-cement fairly dry mix.

    As its fairly dry the blocks can be laid on it almost immediately and the steps can continue in one. It would take a week if you had to wait for each step to dry before moving on to the next.

    In this example the blocks and concrete are laid wider than the opening that is needed. This allows the use of the extra width as a stepped foundation for the walls up either side.

    Laying blocks to form walls either side on extra width of step

    The treads were cut to size and laid from the same paving as the patio. Each tread overhangs the step below and slopes downwards towards the front about 6mm.

    How To Build Paver Steps To Patio

    • Pin

    Paversteps have a certain charm that can instantly add a welcoming vibe to yourpatio. These pavers can come in different shapes and sizes and can be made fromether stone, clay, or cement giving you enough options to choosefrom.  

    But having a professional to install paver steps for you can cost quite a fortune. Luckily, you can build paver steps on your own with this simple tutorial.

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    What Is The Best Material For Outdoor Steps

    Pavers are the best material to use, especially outdoors. Pavers can last for hundreds of years. Also, the wide variety of shapes and colors allows you to be creative in your design and favors installation in any space. Pavers match the design of your patio, or even your garden, especially if you choose a more natural color.

    Pavers are, by far, your best choice for patio steps. However, understanding what your alternatives are and why not to use them can help reinforce that decision.

    Lay The Base Material

    Laying Paver Patio Steps | PLUS Make a Hinged Wood Blind to Hide Utility Meters

    When you are sure that the ground is level and ready for use, itâs time to lay the base materials. Depending on the ground in the area, you may want to first put down landscaping material.

    Your base materials consist of crushed rock or lime-rock gravel. The idea behind this is to make the ground as firm and compact as possible. This secures your paver patio and increases its longevity.

    If you find that crushed rock or lime-rock gravel doesnât work, you can use gravel with some moisture in it.

    Spread your base layer evenly, and then use a plate compactor to make sure it is firm. If you are struggling with this step, you can always call a patio paver contractor like Seattle Outdoor Spaces. It is vital to do this properly, as this forms the base of your patio paver.

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    How To Build Patio Paver Steps

    Patio pavers versatility is one of their most attractive features. After all, you cant find any other paving material in such a wide variety of shapes, textures, and colors. All of these positive points allow you to use pavers in a wide variety of projects. 

    In todays article, we will be discussing another popular application, that being: how to build patio paver steps.

     You will understand how pavers durability puts them on a level above any other material. The least you expect from a construction project is that it will be durable to make the investment worthwhile, right? So lets go ahead and understand how pavers will fit right in on your project.

    Part 4 Of 4: Finishing The Surface

  • 1Fill the cracks with sand. Cover the entire paved patio with a thin layer of polymeric sand. Use a broom to sweep the sand back and forth until it fills all the spaces between the pavers. If you notice that there are still gaps in-between pavers, add more sand and sweep it into the cracks. This may take a few passes.
  • 2Compact the patio. Attach a thick towel or piece of cardboard to the base of the compactor and go over the entire patio. As you go, make sure that the patio is staying relatively level. You want the pavers to be set well into the sand and that as little settling as possible will take place in the future. Don’t be afraid to give a little force when compacting. While you don’t want to break your freshly set pavers, they can take a good amount of force from a compactor with a cushioning cover over it.
  • 3Finish off the edges of the patio. Fill in any areas along the patio edging with soil, gravel, grass, or ground cover. Basically you should fill the space at the edge of your patio with whatever material matches the rest of your yard.
  • 4Seal your pavers. While pavers will last a very long time without sealing, taking the time to seal your pavers every few years will make them look better, preventing staining and deterioration. Use a sealer that is recommended by your paver manufacturer. XResearch sourceAdvertisement
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    How To Build A Paver Patio

    This article was co-authored by Scott Johnson. Scott Johnson is the Owner and Lead Design Consultant for Concrete Creations, Inc., an award-winning landscape and design company based in the San Diego, California metro area. He has over 30 years of experience in the pool and landscape construction industry and specializes in large estate outdoor environment construction projects. His work has been featured in San Diego Home & Garden Magazine and on Pool Kings TV Show. He earned a BS degree in Construction Management with an emphasis in Architecture and CAD design from Northern Arizona University.There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 14,973 times.

    With the addition of a few rustic paver stones, you can transform a humdrum backyard into an enchanted wilderness escape. All you need is a basic plan for your new patio space and an eye-catching design for the stones themselves. Once the initial planning is out of the way, you can begin the process of excavating your lawn and installing the foundation layer-by-layer. When its all said and done, youll have an idyllic, professional-looking outdoor haven to show for your efforts.

    Where Do You Start When Laying A Paver Patio

    How To Build Patio Steps From Pavers

    You have already considered the benefits of pavement in comparison to a single concrete slab or asphalt. Whether you have decided to rely on your own devices or contacted a contractor, you cant go very far without a clear plan. Therefore, the first step is to make a map of your property and to locate areas you would like to cover. 

    Working with a professional  company, youd be much more likely to reach a satisfactory outcome, so they are likely to start drafting a customized plan according to your wishes. They will guide you through the process and tell you where it is best to start laying the groundwork.

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    How Do I Calculate Quantities Of Pavers Paver Base And Paver Sand

    Full transparency the materials calculation can be the most difficult part of building your paver patio. It is entirely possible to create your own calculations using a simple calculator and pen/paper, but youll be wasting a lot of effort.

    I fully recommended visiting your local Home Depot, Menards, Lowes, or other home improvement store to seek out their assistance when calculating quantities of pavers, paver base, and paver sand youll need for your project.

    Provide your store associate a drawing/blueprint of your intended design, and they will be able to help you calculate the number of cubic yards of paver base and leveling sand you require.

    Calculating the number of paver stones needed will depend heavily on your design. I recommend purchasing an additional 10% over your minimum calculated needs to protect yourself from extra trips when pavers inevitably break or have color inconsistencies.

    This will also come in handy if somebody spills a drink, BBQ grease, or sticky substance on your hard work down the road. Youll be able to simply use a flat head screwdriver to lift up the ruined paver, replace it with a new one, and call it a day.


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