Building a Patio or Walkway in Your Yard with Stone, Pavers, or Bricks

Dry-laying pavers, bricks, or stones on a bed of sand is a simple DIY project for any homeowner. The procedure for setting up is easy and forgiving. Large stones can be laid on top of compact soil without worrying about frost heave in certain regions. The stones can be held in place by sweeping sand in between them.

This article will review the fundamentals of laying a patio, walkway, or garden path using stones, pavers, or bricks. To avoid unnecessary words, I will refer to concrete pavers, bricks, and rocks as stone.

Placing flat stones directly on the ground is the most basic stone pavement. Loosen the soil until the stones are all evenly supported. The rocks become invisible as grass or ground cover grows between them. This strategy is most at home in unspoiled wilderness. Before laying the stone, ensure the compacted dirt has a half-inch layer of sand sprinkled to aid drainage.

Laying stone in compacted sand over crushed stone improves drainage and gives a more formal appearance or pattern. This extra effort results from a flatter, more uniform pavement with sand joints between the rocks rather than plants. The sand smoothes out the terrain’s imperfections. The stonework is akin to solving a riddle once the bed is in place. To acquire the smallest possible space between joints, you should experiment with various combinations of stones. Using bricks or pavers, the layout can be planned ahead of time.

Stones, pavers, or bricks, a tamper, gloves, landscape fabric, safety goggles, a tape measure, a rubber mallet, a string, plywood, wood stakes, a 48-inch level, a miniature sledgehammer, a pencil, a framing square, a brick hammer, a garden hose, a spade, a broom, sand, gravel, and kneepads.

PRINCIPLES: Making the bed is the most challenging part of laying a stone. If your stones are the same thickness, a layer of sand about two inches deep should do the trick. A thicker sand bed may be required if the thickness changes. Use landscaping cloth to limit the spread of weeds. At least four inches of gravel should be under the sand if the soil does not drain effectively. Using landscape cloth as a separator to prevent sand and gravel from mixing. A thicker gravel base may be necessary if you live in a cold environment with poor soil drainage.

Bring your measurements to the store when placing an order for supplies so the dealer can better assess your requirements. If you aren’t manufacturing your bricks, pavers, or stones out of concrete molds, you should buy 5-10% more than you need to account for breakage, cutting errors, and repairs.


The first step in creating a patio or walk is to lay out the area and define its boundaries with stakes. Outside corners should be marked a little past the intended border. Check the squareness of the corners with a framing square. Curves can be laid out using a garden hose to create free-form shapes. Now use a spade to score the ground all the way around the outline. Take out the stakes, thread, or hose once you’ve achieved the ground.

Second, dig a hole; your stones should be about an inch into the earth. This can be accomplished by digging to a depth equal to your stone’s thickness minus 1 inch. Then add 2 inches for the sand bed, and if you think you’ll need it, 4 inches for the gravel base. Remove all the weeds, tree stumps, and big rocks in the finishing zone. Put down the gravel now if you’re using it. Press it down using either your hands or a tamping tool.

Third, lay down a weed barrier by laying landscape fabric over the gravel or directly on the ground after excavating. To 6 inches of overlap is ideal. Weeds can’t grow through landscape fabric, but water can quickly get through it.

Screed or spread roughly 2 inches of normal construction sand over the top of the landscaping fabric. Press down and level the sand with a 2×4 in a straight line.

Place the stones in the sand, starting in one corner, and tamp them down with the rubber mallet. This completes step five. Ensure they are secure, level, and won’t shake when moved. Remove sand if necessary to strengthen the bedding. Place the straight sides facing the exterior and the irregular sides touching. Space the stones out by half an inch. Leave a quarter to half an inch of space between pavers or bricks if you’re using them. If you’re looking to save money by making your bricks or pavers, the angle of the sides required to facilitate demolding will give you the space when butted snugly against each other.

If you must kneel in the sand when laying stones, protect the ground by placing a plywood sheet underneath your knees. After you’ve set a few rocks down, you should kneel on one of them. To keep the pavement even, use a level that is 4 feet in length.

Stones may need to be cut or reshaped to ensure a proper fit. 6. To begin, set the stone on top of the existing ones and use a pencil or crayon to define the cutting line. Use a brick hammer to make precise, little cuts. Make deep incisions using a pitching chisel and hammer to score along the drawn line. Use the hammer to tap off the excess material carefully. If you have carefully planned the size of your project, you may not need to trim any pavers or bricks.

When all the stones are set, the next step is to shovel sand into the joints. Spray the area with water to compact the sand, then use a broom to fill the cracks. After a few days, when the sand has settled, you should re-fill the gaps.

Relax and take pride in your accomplishment.

Olde World Stone and Tile was established by John Panagos in 1992 to promote his manufacturing idea and system internationally. Because of his innovative spirit, he has risen to the top of the concrete products market for molds used to create stone and tile. Stone, tile, brick, and paver factories from the Old World can be found in many countries today. For this and other do-it-yourself guides, visit The Mold Store online or write to [email protected].

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