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HomeBuildHow To Level An Existing Paver Patio

How To Level An Existing Paver Patio

Brush Sand Between The Pavers To Prevent Movement

Add Patio Pavers To A Concrete Slab | Beyond The Basics

Set the pavers in place by using a push broom to sweep sand in between the cracks of the pavers. This will eliminate it was moving and shifting.


  • It is super accurate
  • Shows the degree of the slope which is great when trying to gradually slope a driveway or patio to allow water to stream away from entrances.
  • It has a power save mode which allows it to turn off when not in use.
  • The protective case is a life saver. I cant tell you how many times I dropped this level while working on this project. The case is darn near indestructible to my butter fingers Hahaha.


  • The display screen does not operate well under extreme sun. So when working in temperatures that exceed 90 degrees outside, I recommend not leaving this out in the sun. It will overheat and could damage the display screen.

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Building A Raised Patio Against A House

When building against a house, you want to ensure that you are not installing that patio directly against the house. Doing so will cause pressure from any movement in that patio to be placed on the foundation which will only lead to problems that you do not want to deal with. It is much better for you to spend on the extra materials and time to install the final side of a raised patio against the house with a minimum 1/2 gap between the retaining wall and the house that can be closed off with the wall cap so that gap is not visible while on the patio.

When built properly, a raised patio will create a functional space out of a sloped yard as well as add depth to a backyard. There is a lot that can be designed in a space that has a sloping yard when it comes to creating various levels. This is when raised patios become an exceptional tool to use in your design process.

Prep The Area By Setting A Reference Point

Using a spike and some string we placed the spice at the area that had the perfect elevation.

We then ran the string down the length of the tiles we wanted to level, ensuring that the string was level by using a binder clip with a mini level attached to it.

Running the string down the entire length of the pavers and patio area that we wanted to level provided a visual reference when applying the sand later in the process. This preparation step is a way of streamlining the leveling process.

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Building A Raised Patio: Construction With Pavers

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There are several aspects that need to be considered when constructing a raised patio that are outlined throughout this article. The specifications outlined here are for climates that experience freeze and thaw cycles. They are also best practices, but consulting the manufacturers installation guidelines based on the product you are installing is also recommended.

Put In Edge Restraints

Installing pavers over your existing patio is a great way ...

Edge restraints help hold the pavers in place. They are usually made of wood, metal, or plastic and are installed around the edge of the project with 12 spikes. For irregular-shaped patios, the edging may have to be cut to contour to the curves in the project.

The layer of sand under the pavers acts like glue.

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How To Lay Patio Pavers

Installing pavers takes about two days and requires proper prep work and base. Follow these general guidelines to get started and watch videos on YouTube to learn more.

  • Check whats underground Make sure there are no buried gas, water, or electrical lines by calling 811.
  • Prepare Ground Mark the area with stakes. Excavate 6 to 8for sand and gravelplus the depth of the pavers, plus an inch or two to keep it above the surrounding ground level. Slope the area away from the house slightly to help drainage. Tamp the dirt.
  • Lay Drainage Materials Lay porous landscape fabric weed barrier out past the edge. Secure it with spikes. Put down at least 4 of gravel and make it level. Tamp it down with a hand tamper or power tamper/plate compactor. Add 1 2 of sand. Level/screed and then compact it.
  • Lay Pavers Lay the pavers, tapping each one in with a rubber mallet. Check levels as you go. Cut pavers to fit corners with a chisel or wet saw. Dont cut any pavers smaller than 1/3 of their original size.
  • Install Edging Install edging of choice securelymetal, plastic, or wood. Aluminum is more durable.
  • Sand and Seal Cover with polymeric sand to fill joints and sweep it in. Add more sand in after a few days of settling and rain. Compact the patio, but place a towel, rubber/plastic mat, or piece of carpet or cardboard under the power tamper to do soto prevent damage to the pavers. Seal.
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    Remove Your Bedding Layer

    Next, remove the sand from your base. Leave a few inches of sand around the perimeter of the area for a point of reference.

    While you are removing the sand, be sure to scrape and moss and sand off of the exposed perimeter. That way, when you re-lay pavers, theyll form a tight seal. Once youre done, youll have the gravel layer left to work on.

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    Theres Space Between Your Pavers

    The once evenly spaced pavers now have unsightly gaps. But more than being an eyesore, this problem is also making the patio uneven throughout.

    Several things can cause extra space between the pavers, such as edging issues, a faulty base or a lack of compaction. Find the source of the problem to figure out the next course of action.

    Step : Spread Paver Sand Over Concrete

    How to Make a Patio from Concrete Pavers

    We had some trial & error in this step. We accidentally bought this paver base sand, which we assumed was what we should be using based on the description. We poured out a bunch of bags and stomped it down, attempting to create a solid base over our concrete.

    We spread the finer paver sand on top of it, and started laying pavers. After getting through many rows, we tested them and realized they were wobbly. The paver base was too rocky, so we removed all of it and started from scratch.

    This time, we skipped the paver base and used JUST sand. The finer sand was so much easier to work with and gave the pavers a soft but firm surface to sit on. We poured about 3/4 of leveling paver sand on top of the old concrete and spread it to level out any minor surface imperfections.

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    How Do You Flatten A Sloped Garden

    Place excess soil aside and flatten out the remaining soil until the terrace is level. Place a bubble level on top of the soil to ensure that it is completely level. If you plan to build additional terraces for your garden, you can use the excess soil from the first terrace to flatten out the next one.

    How To Repair Sinking Patio Pavers

    Sunken pavers are quite the tripping hazard and can leave you with large, unsightly puddles of water. Unfortunately, pavers sink from time-to-time, most commonly because of uneven soil drainage. There is hope, however! To fix sunken pavers, follow the six-step process weve outlined below.

    Sunken pavers are quite the tripping hazard and can leave you with large, unsightly puddles of water. Unfortunately, pavers sink from time-to-time, most commonly because of uneven soil drainage. There is hope, however! To fix sunken pavers, follow the six-step process weve outlined below.

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    How To Repair A Paver Patio: Framing

    Before you start this project, check the weather forecast. To allow the prep work time to settle, you will most likely need a few days with no rain to complete this project. Unfortunately for us, Hurricane Hermine decided to make an appearance before we had finished our patio, which is why I included a weather warning.

    Step 1: If you are enlarging your patio, pull up the entire patio instead of just repairing the weak spots. Start by removing the pavers out of the patio, and set them aside.

    If you have a pry bar, you will find it helps tremendously with paver removal. If you dont happen to have a pry bar laying around, a sturdy flat screwdriver will get them loose enough to pick them up.

    Move them far enough away that you will have plenty of room to work, but you can get close enough to get them back in place quickly.

    As you can see, the pavers will not come up clean, so use a garden hose to spray them clean so that they will be ready to use once you finish your patio foundation work. It wont hurt to have a wire brush handy for any stubborn ones.

    Step 2: Remove the old patio framework. Try a reciprocating saw to cut the screws so that you can get the old frame apart easily. The reciprocating saw will cut through 3 screws with no trouble. After cutting the screws, remove each side of the frame one by one.

    Drawing the line on the 4X4 allows you to double-check your measurements one more time before cutting to ensure you will end up with the correct size frame.

    How To Install Pavers Over A Concrete Patio Without Mortar

    Backyard Multi Level Paver Patio &  Steps

    I have a small poured concrete patio, and that Id like to cover with brick pavers. Can I do this without using mortar?

    According to several paver manufacturers, paving blocks can be installed on top of concrete without mortar if you first lay down a 1/2 to 1 bed of coarse sand. The process is nearly identical to laying a paver patio over ground.

    However, this type of installation should be done with caution, since drainage, settling, and cracking can be a problem. Keep these tips in mind when laying pavers over a concrete patio:

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    Company Overhead + Materials Operations And Labor

    Company overhead + materials, operations, and Labor $15,366.84
    Company overhead + materials, operations, and labor $15.37/sq ft

    If you come across any paver installer with an estimate that is less than $15.3 per square foot, you should raise concern. Anything more than $15.3 per square foot and you should be confident in the installation being completed correctly with the highest quality materials. There will also be a team of highly skilled paver installers, a professional paver designer, a dedicated construction manager, and a solid company behind your project, if you dont skimp on price.

    After all materials, operations, labor, and overhead are accounted for, the only leftover cost is company profit.

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    Avoid Costly Mistakes With A Detailed Paver Patio Plan

    Without a carefully thought out paver patio plan a do-it-yourselfer asks for trouble. There are dozens of resources telling you how easy it is to install concrete pavers in Madison WI. But do they provide enough information on what it takes in advance to make it look easy?

    Before you buy the decorator pavers draw yourself a blueprint of what you hope to accomplish. The more detail the better include measurements. Here is a sample of the pre-installation concerns to manage:

    • Elevations the slope and contour of your property influences the design of your patio. More importantly, it has a direct impact on drainage from the hardscape and the entire yard. Installing a large patio changes the existing drainage. Elevation changes impact water movement. Done wrong runoff can be serious, often leading to water in the basement, etc.
    • Excavation how much of your existing yard gets dug up to create a level spot for a patio?
    • Compaction there are two forms of compaction how will using heavy equipment in the yard compact your soil, and how do you get the sub-grade material firm enough to keep pavers from shifting. The first you have to avoid and the second is a must.
    • Barrier layer what do you use as a barrier to week growth? Geo-textile fabrics come in various weights. Whats best for your project?
    • Final grading before you bring in the base materials your site has to be graded. Another key element in proper drainage.

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    The Area Was Never Level

    You cant expect your pavers to be level now if the space was never properly leveled to begin with. Simply removing the grass and excavating the area isnt enough to prepare the space for pavers. You need to make sure the space is level.

    You can do that by placing stakes in the ground and connecting them with string. Then, put a level on the string to see if its level, adjusting as needed. Once the strings are level and the ground has been excavated below them, you can add the base and make sure its in line with the strings.

    Common Diy Mistakes Using Concrete Pavers

    Installing Patio Pavers Over Existing Concrete

    The lack of knowledge and experience is compounded by homeowners attempting a major project like a patio without the proper tools. Most homeowners dont know how many tools and how much time it takes. Since concrete pavers have become popular professional installers have seen the same mistakes over and over. The ones they correct most often include:

    • Drainage issues rain and snow are facts of life in Wisconsin. Getting these elements off the patio and away from the house is critical. Without proper drainage water pools on the patio. In winter its ice, the rest of the year its a nuisance. Creating just enough slope is crucial. A slope away from the house of about ¼-inch per foot of patio is a rule of thumb. Creating and measuring the right slope takes training. Using a standard homeowner-style level works, but the pros use a level thats 5- or 6-feet long.

    Drainage throughout the property changes when a significant amount of ground changes. Paying attention to how water moves all over the yard is important as part of your paver patio plan.

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    Thats It Time To Celebrate

    Kick back and bask in the beauty that is your new brickwork. We were really happy with how ours turned out. Dont be afraid to try it yourself, the payoff is worth it. It made a huge difference in the way our front porch looks.

    Are you ready to tackle a project like this? Did you try it? Let us know!

    Can You Build A Patio On A Slope

    Yes, you can and the best part is that its not too expensive to build a patio on a slope.

    All you need are some basic tools such as shovels, wheelbarrows, levelers, or pry bars. A popular material for patios is concrete pavers which are easy to install but will require heavy machinery if your slope is steep.

    If this sounds like something you want to do yourself then here are some tips:

    • Determine whether your garden has enough space for new paving stones otherwise just add them in an existing area of the garden where there isnt any landscaping yet
    • Make sure the soil slopes away from buildings and driveways so water wont pool underneath
    • Choose a slope that has been prepped for paving stones and mark out your patio area, using stakes or hose pipes.
    • This will ensure you have enough room for all of the necessary steps in this process also keep in mind that these measurements need to be taken from the ground up so if there is an existing walkway then subtract it from your measurement.
    • Your new patio should extend at least one foot on every side beyond where you want paved stones laid down .

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    Level Sand With A Trowel And A Straight Piece Of Wood

    Level the sand using a trowel and the straight end of a piece of wood. We are using a 2×2 scrap wood because it happens to be the exact same thickness as the pavers we are leveling.

    Running the piece of wood back and forth allows you to evenly distribute the sand in the area. Also with this board being the same thickness, it provided a guide for how much sand should be applied. When the height of the board reached the string we had in place we knew we were on target with the right amount of leveling sand.

    This is where using a level is critical. Using the Empire 16 in. True Blue Digital Box Level we were able to gauge how level the ground was and measure the degree of the slope as we extended down the patio. The True Blue Digital Box Level has an audio indicator that would beep as we approached a level surface.

    This tool makes make this task seamless and quick.


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