Creating a walkway or patio out of paving stones can add aesthetic appeal to a property. Pavers are less permanent than concrete and decking. As a result, it is easier to change the design later on if you want to give the space a new look. Homeowners who install their own pavers can save a considerable amount of money. Because installing paving stones can be labor-intensive, landscape contractors may charge a premium for installation. However, this is a project that can be tackled by the do-it-yourselfer.
1. Measure and plot out the area that will become the path or patio. The area of the space can be figured out by multiplying length times width. This will help you determine just how much material you will need.
2. Visit the home improvement store or a supplier of stone and other masonry supplies to determine the style and color of the paving stones you will use in the project. Some homeowners prefer to have the materials delivered to their home to save the hassle of extra heavy lifting and moving.
3. Using a shovel or a tiller, dig down and remove the grass to a depth of four to six inches from the area that will become the path or patio.
4. Fill in the area you dug out with a paver base material, using a tamper (either manual or power-driven) to tamp down the paver base until it is level and smooth.
5. Apply about one inch of paving sand to further level out the path or patio. This will be the material on which the paving stones are laid.
6. Begin laying the paving stones. Leave the appropriate distance between stones desired by your pattern. If the paving stones will not have any gap and serve as a continuous patio, leave only the smallest gap between them.
7. Spread more paving sand on top of the paving stones and, using a broom, sweep it over the stones and into the crevices between them to set the stones.
8. Create the rest of the garden design around the patio or pathway using gravel, plants and even edging material to finish the look. Over time you may need to sweep more paving sand over the stones to keep them secure.