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Paving The Way To A New Patio

To show off your outdoor furniture and grill, you need an attractive and suitable surface, says Danny Lipford, host of "Today's Homeowner" who visits The Early Show to demonstrate how to lay a patio with bricks.

Patio pavers are brick or concrete masonry pieces used to make a patio floor or walkway. They come in different sizes, shapes and colors. They range in size from 12-by-12s to 16-by-16s, to irregular shapes. Larger pavers and some of those with irregular shapes are designed to cover large areas. The smaller ones are generally used to create a walkway. As no particular paver is any better than the others, the type you choose is a matter of taste.

The estimated cost is about $600 for the sand and pavers to make a 12 foot by 12 foot patio, which is the average size.

The installation for all of these pavers is basically the same.

Here are Lipford’s steps:

Ground Preparation

First, prepare the ground by removing all plant matter within the area. It's not a bad idea to spray with a weed killer to prevent grasses and weeds from growing up into the pavers later. Rake the ground fairly level and slope the ground approximately one-quarter inch per foot in the direction you want to direct any rainwater. Pack the ground after leveling with a hand tamp or allow the rain to do the work.


One way to contain your pavers is to create a border, using treated 1x4 or 2x4 pieces. Redwood, cedar or cypress also can be used. Assemble this form using stakes on the outside that will be covered by sod or landscaping. Spread 1 to 3 inches of course sand in the patio area and use a "screed board" or "leveling board " to smooth the sand out.

Laying the Pavers

After that, start laying your pavers. Most pavers have a small ridge on the side that allows a 1/8-inch gap between each paver. After installing all the pavers in any number of patterns - basketweave, running bond, or herringbone - simply spread sand over the top of the pavers and sweep into all the cracks to set the pavers in place.

Lipford will demonstrate each of these steps. There are several advantages to using pavers for a patio:

  • It is easy to change the size of your patio later.
  • It's a great do-it-yourself project.
  • It's good for drainage.
  • It adds value to your home and works with any style home.
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