Transform your backyard with a paver patio

(BPT) – As the natural extension of a home’s interior, making sure the backyard is an attractive and functional exterior space for entertaining family and friends is important to many homeowners. Described by some as an outdoor room, it requires as much thought, creativity and commitment to design a backyard living area as it does the rest of a house. Following that logic, a paver patio is an ideal focal point for building a beautiful outdoor living area. It literally serves as a blank canvas for benches, fire pits, fireplaces, water fountains, grills and other outdoor features.

While other materials can be used to construct a patio, concrete pavers are strong, durable and extremely versatile. In fact, homeowners can choose from hundreds of styles, sizes, shapes, colors and textures from a single manufacturer like Pavestone. With such a wide array of options, pavers give homeowners the ability to coordinate the patio to match the look and feel of their home in an outdoor living space that will be the envy of neighbors.

Steps for installing a paver patio.

Wearing eye protection and work gloves is recommended for this project.

* Outline the size and shape of the patio on the ground with spray paint.

* Place wooden stakes about 1 foot outside the corners of the outline and run string between the stakes at the desired patio height, establishing a slope away from the house of 1 inch for every 8 feet to aid drainage.

* Excavate the area about 6 inches beyond the outline to allow for 4 inches of compacted base, 1 inch of bedding sand, and the pavers.

* Pour 4 inches of all-purpose gravel into the excavated area and pack with a tamper or plate compactor to create the base.

* Place two 1-inch-thick PVC pipe on the base as a screed guide, then pour paver sand and screed with a two-by-four.

* Lay the pavers one-by-one next to each other in the desired pattern, being sure not to slide any pavers across the sand. If uneven, tap with a rubber mallet.

* In the event partial pavers are needed in the patio, cut the pavers with a masonry saw to desired length or shape.

* Pour a concrete toe edge restraint around the patio perimeter using QUIKRETE Crack Resistant Concrete Mix.

* Pour a layer of paver sand across the completed patio, sweep the sand into the joints, and use a compacting machine to lock the pavers into place.

A polymeric jointing sand like PolySweep can be used instead of standard jointing sand to help prevent erosion, insects, weeds and other elements that can be harmful to the paver patio. For more information on properly installing a paver patio, including a step-by-step how-to project video, visit the QUIKRETE website or Facebook.