How to Build a Patio: a DIY Stone Paver Patio Tutorial




About: Welcome, friends! My name is Faith Towers Provencher and I spend all day every day making things... and then I share those things with you! Here at Design Fixation, you'll learn how to make beautiful DIY hom...

Learn how to build your own patio using stone pavers! Here's a full step-by-step photo tutorial, as well as a fun time-lapse video of the whole process (available on my blog).


  • Stone pavers
  • Gravel paver base
  • Paver sand
  • Landscaping fabric
  • Landscape edging
  • Chalk
  • 10 foot long, 4 inch diameter PVC pipe
  • 10 foot long 2×4
  • String
  • Dowel rod


  • Wet cutting tile and stone saw
  • Tamper
  • Utility knife
  • Rubber mallet
  • Shovel
  • Bow garden rake (or any heavy duty rake)
  • Ruler
  • Level
  • Wide taping knife
  • Push broom
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Work gloves
  • Protective eyewear

Step 1: Begin Digging Your Patio Area.

Start by digging out the area where you’d like to place your stone paver patio. You’ll want to add 4 inches of gravel and 1 inch of sand, plus the depth of the pavers. Preparing the area is the most time consuming part of the process, so don’t get discouraged. Once you’ve dug down to the appropriate depth for the whole area, make sure it is level by laying a long 4 inch diameter PVC pipe across the area with a level on it. Flatten and compress the area using a tamper.

Step 2: Lay Out the Landscaping Fabric.

Next, add a layer of landscaping fabric on top of the dirt. This is important for two reasons: it will give your gravel a good solid base to sit on, and it will also prevent weeds from growing up into your patio. Roll it out and overlap each piece by a couple of inches.

Step 3: Trim the Edges of the Landscaping Fabric.

Use a utility knife to trim the edges to the correct shape.

Step 4: Lay the Gravel.

Begin dumping gravel on top of the landscape fabric. If you have a large area, you may want to have a truckload of gravel delivered. Make sure they dump it out right next to your patio, because that stuff is heavy! Continue adding gravel until you’ve reached your 4 inch depth. Smooth it out with a rake.

Step 5: Level the Gravel.

Check to see if the gravel is level by laying your level and PVC pipe across it in multiple directions. Shift it around with the rake if necessary. Tamp it down again.

Step 6: Lay the Sand.

Next, add a one inch layer of sand. Be sure to use sand that is specifically for stone paver patios. Use the shovel and rake to spread it evenly over the gravel.

Step 7: ​Level the Sand.

Smooth out the sand using a long 2×4 on its side. Check to see if it’s level.

Step 8: Tamp It Down.

Compress the sand using your tamper.

Step 9: Begin Laying the Pavers.

Now it’s finally time to lay the pavers in your stone paver patio! I found that smoothing out the area before you put the paver down is the key to getting it level the first time. A wide taping knife worked best for me.

Step 10: Adjust the Pavers.

Use a rubber mallet to make sure the paver fits snugly against its neighbors.

Step 11: Measure the Edges.

Once you’ve laid out all of the pavers in the middle of the patio, it’s time to cut the pavers for the edges. Measure the distance from the top of one paver to the edge of the patio and the distance from the bottom of that same paver to the edge of the patio and write down those measurements.

Then use those measurements to mark your paver using a piece of chalk.

Step 12: Cut the Pavers.

We borrowed a large wet saw from a friend. Make sure the one you use is made especially for stone or thick tile. Cut along that chalk line that you marked before and then put your paver in place. Repeat this process for the rest of the outside pavers.

Step 13: Mark the Edge With a Piece of String.

We wanted the edge of our patio to be a diagonal line, so we marked it by tying a string from one dowel rod to another and then took measurements to that point.

Step 14: Add Landscape Edging.

You’ll want to add landscape edging anywhere that the pavers butt up against grass. Some people turn the edging around the other way so that the scalloped edges sit underneath the grass, not the stone… but we decided to do it this way because it felt more stable with the stone weighing it down. Use a rubber mallet to hammer the pegs into the ground.

Step 15: Fill in the Cracks With Sand.

Last, fill the cracks between the pavers with sand. Pour a thin layer of it on the pavers and then use a push broom to sweep it around, allowing it to fall between the cracks of the pavers. And your patio is finished!

Step 16: More Info...

To check out a fun time-lapse video of the whole process as well as some additional information and photos, please visit my blog:

And here are some shocking before and after photos of our patio space:

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    6 Discussions


    12 days ago

    You must have been sent from the God's. I am just about to do this same job in my garden. You have answered nearly all the concerns and questions I had. It looks really good.

    Thank you

    1 reply

    12 days ago

    Good job. I picked up some tips for when I relay our brick patio. However, I noticed you do not use a mask while cutting the stone. Depending on the kind of stone Silicosis is a possible hazard even with a wet saw. Bad disease. Better safe than sorry.

    1 reply

    Reply 12 days ago

    That's a great point, thanks for sharing... next time we'll be sure to wear masks!


    18 days ago

    Instead of gravel, I would suggest crushed concrete. It is often cheaper than gravel and has jagged edges instead of the rounded edges that most gravel has. This makes the particles lock together to prevent settling. If it's a small area, you can even buy bags of concrete instead of gravel, and just pour it out and level it dry; just like you would with gravel. It will harden a bit over time from ground moisture and resist settling.

    1 reply