The key to building a long-lasting and attractive patio lies in the proper preparation of the patio base and foundation. Having uneven ground to work with is a common problem and is also a relatively simple obstacle to overcome. Follow these simple steps below to build your own patio on a plot of uneven ground.
Using the planned dimensions for your patio, mark out the patio's perimeter on the ground using wooden stakes driven every few feet and string tied tightly in between them.
Use a shovel and pick to excavate the soil in the patio area down to a uniform depth of 5 inches, plus the depth of patio pavers you will be using. Use a rake to make the excavated area level. Compact the soil firmly using a hand tamper or plate compactor. Measure and check for level and depth by driving additional stakes at the corners and the center of the patio area, running string pulled taut between them and using a line level hung on the string.
Add edge restraint along the perimeter of the patio area by driving landscaping stakes through the edging into the soil. Add 4 inches of finely crushed gravel to the excavated patio area and level again with the rake, stakes, string and line level. You have now fixed the uneven ground and created a level base on which to build your patio.
Begin on one corner of the patio base and lay out the two PVC pipes about 6 feet apart and parallel to one another as shown in the photo.
Add slightly more than a 1-inch layer of masonry sand between the pipes. Level the sand in the area between the pipes to a smooth, 1-inch depth by screeding the sand with the 2x4 piece of lumber. This is done by grasping the 2x4 in the middle, resting its ends on the PVC pipe and pulling towards you. If any low spots are revealed after doing this, add more sand there and screed again.
Start in the corner in which you have the screeded sand and lay the first patio paver by pressing it firmly against the sides of the edge restraint and then lowering it onto the base of sand. Lay the rest of the pavers using the same technique, using either the edge restraint or previous laid patio pavers as guides.
Once you have laid pavers over all the area with the screeded sand, move the PVC pipes to the next portion of the patio you will be working on and repeat steps 5 and 6 until all the pavers have been laid.
Add a 1/4-inch layer of sand on top of the pavers and using a broom, sweep the sand back and forth over the pavers, working it into the cracks. Make two or three passes over the sand and pavers with a plate compactor to compress the sand firmly in the cracks. Sweep off the excess sand and you are finished.