Paver patio installation is a fun and challenging do-it-yourself project. Expect to spend at least a weekend working on the project, and maybe more time, depending on the size of the patio. Pavers, and 18-inch pavers in particular, add an elegant look and feel to a patio due to their larger size than the standard pavers. Complete this project yourself and you may be able to save a significant amount of money compared to the cost of hiring a contractor to do it for you.
Dial "811" before starting any job. This is a free service that will come to your home and mark off any underground utility wires.
Measure the length and width of your desired patio dimensions. Pound a wood stake in the ground at each of the four borders and tie a string around the outside of the stakes to denote your building area.
Dig a hole within the area you marked off that is 6 inches deep into the ground.
Set a 2-by-4 on the ground and set a level on top. The level should be sloping away just slightly from your home or garage, which prevents flooding and drainage problems.
Pour a 2-inch layer of gravel and spread it evenly across the bottom of the building area.
Compact the crushed gravel using a hand tamper.
Add another 2-inch layer of gravel and repeat the compacting step.
Add a 2-inch layer of sand atop the gravel and drag a 2-by-4 along the sand until it forms an even layer all the way across.
Set the 18-inch pavers atop the sand one by one, starting in any corner you choose. Leave no more than 1/8 inch of space between each of the pavers. Tap each paver into place with the rubber mallet.
Pour sand into the spaces between the 18-inch tiles. Use a broom to spread the sand around thoroughly. Make sure all spaces have been filled.
Rinse the sand off the surface off the tiles and allow the tiles to set and dry for several hours before using.