Personal protection is essential when working on a paver patio project. Make sure you have a good pair of earplugs or headphones to protect your hearing from any unexpected, high-volume sounds. A flat shovel is ideal for digging the base of the paver, as it will be much more time efficient and less tiring than using a garden shovel. To evenly distribute the gravel throughout the base of the paver, you'll need a good rake.
If you have more flexibility in the budget, opt for an aluminum landscape rake or a concrete installer, as these rakes are wider, stronger and will save you time and effort. A wheelbarrow is also necessary for any DIY paving project, as it's difficult to lift a lot of pavers at once. A regular 6-cubic-foot plastic wheelbarrow will do the job if that's what you have, but if you have more flexibility in the budget, try investing in a Miller Contractor Wellmade truck. These wheelbarrows are made of steel and can carry more weight per load than a regular plastic wheelbarrow.
A rubber mallet is also essential when installing paving stones, as it will be used to level the pavers and ensure that they are aligned with each other. If you want to use the best tools for your project, try a high-quality, plastic-faced, rubber-faced mallet of 28 oz. You'll also need three basic leveling tools to ensure your pavers end up even and smooth: a 2×4 wooden board, a standard 2-inch PVC pipe for your paving rails, and 2 square aluminum tubes. To start your paver patio project, begin by choosing an area for your yard and removing shrubs, stumps, and roots near your workplace.
Dig in approximately 6 inches of soil to make room for the base and pavers. Rake the ground level and tamp the soil to create a firm bed.
Lay gravel with a shovelto create a base for your cobblestone patio. Spread a 2-inch layer of crushed gravel evenly over landscape fabric and use an iron rake to smooth the coat.
Attach a level to a long, straight board to make sure your paver patio is level. Move the board over the gravel bed to check the surface level and adjust the contour of the bed as necessary so that the surface is as level as possible. To improve the look of your paver patio (without increasing the expense), consider mixing and matching different sizes of pavers. You can reduce costs by cutting some full-size paving stones in half instead of renting a commercial-grade brick cutter which can be heavy and difficult to move; look for a compact brick cutter intended for smaller projects or see if you can pay the rental provider to cut some pavers for you.
Lay the first line of pavers using either an edge of your house or walkway as guide or alternatively use mason line stretched between two stakes for precise lines; place them no more than ¼ inch apart and hit them with rubber mallet to put them in place; continue laying pavers until all patio space is filled up; if you've done some housing projects in past and can handle shoveling many pounds of dirt, gravel and sand over course of weekend then it's not too difficult installing concrete pavers yourself; clean area with hose further settling sand filling any voids that arise then flush area with hose second time finish cobblestone patio; rubber hammer alternative option softer pavers if worried about damaging them; wooden stakes ropes needed mark dimensions project before starting lay pavers.