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HomeBuildHow To Level Patio Pavers

How To Level Patio Pavers

Prepare The Patio Area

How to Fix Uneven Patio Pavers

Laying pavers is a DIY project that takes about one weekend to complete. When you’re building a patio, you’ll make layers using these materials:

  • A 6-inch layer of gravel for the paver base
  • A 1-inch layer of sand
  • DIY patio pavers
  • Paver sand

Use a tape measure to find the square footage of the area where you’ll lay the patio. That will help you figure out how many stone patio pavers and how much paver base and paver sand you’ll need. For example, for an area that measures 60 square feet, youll need about 60 12-inch x 12-inch paver stones.

You’ll be using 4 inches of gravel, which is 1/3 of a yard, for a paver base. To figure out how many cubic feet of gravel you will need, multiply your square footage by 1/3. In this example, you’d need about 20 cubic feet of gravel, or 3/4 cubic yards. You may want more in case you spill some. You will also need a 1-inch thick layer of paver leveling sand. As a rule of thumb, you’ll need about 1/3 as much sand as gravel, measured in cubic volume.

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.

Lift The Sunken Pavers

Grab your flathead screwdriver and wedge the tip between the pavers. Little by little pry them up while making sure to be gentle so you wont damage them.

If youre struggling to lift the paver, grab the rubber mallet and tap the surrounding ones to loosen them up a bit. Be careful as not to crack them.

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Screed Rails For Pavers

Screed bars or screed rails are what we use to be able to screed our bedding layer. We use a 3/4 inner diameter steel black pipe, the same used for oil and gas fittings. These typically come in 10 foot lengths at any hardware store and we have them cut to various sizes. The longer the better, but you will also need some shorter ones for projects like retaining walls or other applications.

These screeding bars follow the slope set by our string line. The string line is set in the initial excavation process to be able to measure down from and ensure that our excavation is at the proper depth throughout the project. This string line will likely need to be reset during your screeding step, but should still be at the same height as it was before if it represented top of paver. To re-establish this string line, you will start at the foundation and level a string line across the foundation from spike to spike to the level that will replicate the level of the pavers. This would have already been accounted for when preparing for your project, but ultimately you need to consider the threshold of your door and the steps down to top of pavement to be able to establish this string line level.

From there, you can then set your slope to the spikes at the end furthest from the foundation to replicate top of pavement. If you need further help with setting up a string line, click here.

How To Compact Pavers Without A Plate Compactor Simple Steps

Doing It Right: How To Lay a Level Brick Paver Patio ...

Before you lay pavers or your patio, the ground you will be using must be level, and the dirt underneath must be compact. If you dont have a plate compactor to compact pavers, use road rollers, vibratory paver rollers, or tamping rammers.

As a DIY-er, its just normal to try and find an alternative method to use to compact pavers other than plate compactor. While road rollers can do better than plate compactors, they are super expensive and need more space to move freely without breaking things. Rammers are great for compacting cohesive soil. Compared with a plate compactor, they can compact a deeper amount of soil since the force from its plate is more direct.

Apart from compacting soil, the vibratory paver rollers are highly recommendable for running it on top of pavers to join your polymeric sand material. But you need to know that every situation is different. So, its crucial to understand the type of soil and the job requirement when choosing a compact method to use.

Compacting the soil is the most significant step in preparing your paving project. If you fail to do so, the ground movement will wrap after a while, creating humps and hollows. Make sure you have a strong sub-base for a long-lasting, structurally sound pave installation to avoid any unwanted air gaps in your system. The sub-base needs to be compacted very well also, to prevent sunken or raised pavers down the road.

Keep on reading!

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How To Level The Ground For Pavers

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 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 242,207 times.

Available at most home improvement and supply stores, pavers are small, specialty stones that can transform any yard or garden into a work of art. Like all outdoor decor, pavers require some preparation to install properly, especially when it comes to making sure your ground is level. Though it may seem daunting at first, knowing the ins-and-outs of the process will help you tackle your paver project with poise.

Lay Your Paving Stones

Now that you have a stable base, you can lay your pavers. Use the to place your pavers properly. Additionally, there are dozens of paver pattern options to select. Be sure to watch or read our tutorial on How to Lay a Paver Pattern, where we show you how to lay eight different patterns.

If you havent noticed, were on a mission to take the hard out of hardscaping. If this article was helpful, learn more hardscaping tips and tricks with our step-by-step tutorials at DIYwithWI.com.

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Add And Level The Paver Sand

Place a length of electrical conduit on top of the base. The conduit will form tracks to help guide you when you level the paver sand.

Pour the sand across and between the conduits, then drag a 2- x 4-foot board across the conduit to smooth and level the sand layer. Check it with a level.

Take out the conduit and fill the spaces with more paver sand. Level these areas before moving on. Continue this process until the entire patio area is covered with level paver sand.

Stay aware of your work area when you’re leveling. If you step into an already level area, you’ll have to rework that spot. Make sure you don’t work yourself into a corner.

How To Level The Ground For Patio Pavers

How to Repair Sinking Patio Pavers

Having a level ground provides a firm base when laying pavers for your patio. Leveling ground for a backyard chilling spot can be a labor-intensive project that may require more than one person to undertake successfully.

Large patio spaces might require specialized equipment and machinery. If you are working on a small surface, it is also possible to use a few garden tools available at your disposal.

Here are a few steps to consider when leveling the ground for patio pavers

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Mark The Project Area Dimensions:

If your project is square or rectangular, drive a spike into each corner and draw a string line or spray paint the lines between the spikes to mark where you will be digging. For an irregularly shaped project, simply mark the edges with spray paint or lay a garden hose along the outer edge to mark the area.

Place And Cut The Pavers

When it comes to laying the pavers, position them no more than 1/8 apart and tap into place with a rubber mallet. Nearly every backyard paver installation will require you to cut some of the pavers to get a perfect fit. You can do this with a masonry saw rented from your local home improvement store or trust this job to a landscaping contractor. If youre considering using a contractor, take a look at their detailed work and the types of cuts they made in their previous work to get an idea of their skill.

Keep in mind that even if your color scheme is monochromatic, the hue, lightness or darkness may differ slightly from pallet to pallet. Mix pavers from several pallets to ensure even shade distribution, so you wont see variations of hues. Dont wait to empty one pallet to open the next one.

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How To Build Steps With Pavers Lets Talk About Terrain

One of the most important aspects of any paver installation is the leveling of your terrain. To level a terrain means to form an even, smooth, leveled surface along an entire area.

This area can comprehend your entire project. But maybe, and this is very important, your project can be divided into different sections so that each of those sections can correspond to a different level.

Lets be real here, leveling costs a lot of materials. Sometimes, if you have enough slope, instead of making a single patio, you can create small ones with steps between them. That can not only save you some money but add personality and uniqueness to your design.

So you are working with one of two scenarios: you either have enough slope on your terrain or dont.

If you have a slope, good. Just include it on your design and youre good to go. Were going to teach how to plan for it in no time. And if you dont have enough slope but still want some steps, dont worry. You can create an artificial slope, and were also going to teach how to plan for that.

Maintaining Your Backyard Pavers

Leveling the Ground for your Paver Patio

You might spend more money in the short term installing a paver patio, but youll spend far less in the long run when it comes to patio maintenance.

There isnt much youll need to do to take care of your pavers, aside from occasional sweeping. A power washer can rid your patio of stains, although many paver manufacturers sell stain-resistant stones.

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You Have Poor Drainage

Water should easily move across or by your patio, but when it doesnt, youll have problems. Runoff and drainage issues can affect a variety of things on your landscape, including your patio.

You dont want water pooling up on your pavers, possibly causing problems with the foundation. To keep that from happening, make sure your pavers are slightly higher than the ground surface all of the way around.

Changing the grade around the patio orinstalling a nearby retaining wall can also help redirect the water, keeping it off of the pavers.

Wind Strings Around Them At Ground Level And Tie Them Tightly

How to level ground for pavers without digging. For pavers to drain, ground should be level but with a slope of 1 inch to every 4 feet of length, to facilitate drainage. Other options to level ground for a pool. The following guidelines will help ensure your project is exactly what you have imagined.

Once you’ve found a good spot to add your pavers, measure it so you know how many pavers you’ll need. Few lawns provide a completely level place for you to install a patio or walkway made out of landscape pavers. It will be hard to get the bricks, pavers or patio stones to stay level with out a border to keep them from moving.

You cant expect your pavers to be level now if the space was never properly leveled to begin with. Gravel is not a good medium for leveling.and it would be like setting a stepping stone on marbles. How to lay pavers without digging.

As of now, your project area is beginning to take shape with a solid prepared base. Here is a list of a few alternatives: Get a garden hose the length of the distance of the ground you want to level.

But if the ground is very uneven. Fortunately there are some excellent ways of installing footings for a pergola that are strong, stable and durable without the need to dig, mix and pour cement. How to level the ground for pool installation without digging tools you need to establish pool location.

They would move all the time. You can do it that way. How to install pavers on unlevel ground.

Paving Stone Ideas (With images

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Preparations For Building A Patio On A Slope

Building a patio is an easy home improvement project. Building one on a slope is made possible by building a level base. It may seem like a daunting task, however, it can be done in just a few simple steps. Here are the steps you will need to follow in order to level the area.

Step 1 Preparing for the Construction

Before you begin, be sure to check the weather forecast. You will a need a couple of days of good weather to prepare the area for the patio installation, this is more crucial if you use mortar in the retaining wall installation process. Also, be sure you have all of the necessary tools before you begin. This project will go much faster if you have everything you need before you begin and do not have to stop working to locate needed equipment.

Step 2 Excavating the Area

Use a spade and shovel to excavate six inches into the soil. Begin digging out the soil at the lowest part of the slope. You will need to dig more soil from the highest part of the slope so that the entire area will be level. Use a level to ensure that the area is flat and even.

Step 3 Building a Retaining Wall

Step 4 Laying the Sand

How To Prevent Sinking In Pavers

Patio pavers installation

Like any building project, the proper arrangement of the paved area is of utmost importance. If you still havent paved the area, and youre thinking of doing it, make sure your pavers are laid on a bed of compacted gravel or coarse sand.

***Do you have an experience of fixing sunken pavers?Wed love to hear more!

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How To Prep And Lay A Base

You can lay a structurally sound base in four simple steps: layout, grade, gravel, and sand. Before you jump in, youll need a few tools and materials to do it right. You can get many of these items at a Western Interlock facility in Oregon or Washington, a local hardware store, or landscape supplier.


  • 1 square metal pipe bars or ¾ PVC pipe
  • Plastic edge restraint

How To Install A Custom Paver Patio

To kick off the second day of Backyard Week, Im bringing you everything you need to know about installing a paver patio the good, the bad- and the ugly. Trust me when I say you can save a TON of money by doing this yourself. Its an easy project once youre prepped and ready. Click through for a detailed tutorial

Ill preface this post by saying this project is a lot of work, but its not difficult work. Id also recommend tackling this in cooler temperatures or of an evening. We basically worked through 100+ degree weather and it was a bit miserable at times. So why would anyone want to attempt a DIY paver patio? You could save an upwards of $10,000 $30,000 depending on the size. Im not even joking. I tried to hire certain things out and it just wasnt in the cards for our timeline or budget.

Paver patios look amazing and are super functional for seating, entertaining, and hanging out in the yard. Heres everything youll need to get started. Hover over the images for the specific product links

Next, mark the size and begin to dig out the area. We marked the area using 2 x 4 boards, but you can also use chalk or paint. Depending on the height of your pavers, youll want to dig 3-5 inches deep. Basically the end goal is for the pavers to sit flush with the grass / ground.

Step 5 // Add the paver sand and level. Next, add multiple bags of paver sand, raking it out as you go. Youll want to add as many bags as it takes for the surface to be level.

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