Putting It Down Set the first timber in the trench at the left end of the patio. Align the outer edge of the 6 X 6 with the batterboard string. Bore a 1/2-inch-diameter hole through the timber 6 inches from the end, treat it with wood preservative and drive in a 12-inch-long piece of 1/2-inch-diameter reinforcing bar (photo 7). Rebar, available at home centers, costs around $3 per 8-foot length. Next, install the 6 X 6 timber along the right end of the patio, pinning it to the ground with rebar. Then set the long timber that forms the front edge of the patio (photo 8). After checking that the half-lap corner joints fit tightly together, secure them with 4-inch-long TimberLok Fasteners (photo 9). They're stronger and easier to install than landscaping spikes. Cover the patio area with landscaping fabric; this prevents weeds from growing up between the pavers. Dump in 3 in. of crushed granite. Rake out the granite, sprinkle it with water and thoroughly compact the entire area. Make a grading tool, or screed, by face-nailing a 1x6 to a 2x4, keeping the top edges flush to create a 2-inch overhanging lip. Cut the 1x6 to fit inside the timbers but leave the 2x4 longer so it rides on top of the timber border. Lay the screed across the 6x6s and pull it forward to smooth out the granite layer 2 inches lower than the top of the timbers (photo 10). Compact the surface, add another inch or so of crushed granite and compact it again. Screed the area one final time. It's now ready for the pavers. Start setting pavers in a corner of the patio near the house. To create the basket-weave pattern, set the pavers in alternating right-angle pairs: Set two pavers parallel with the house followed by two pavers perpendicular to it. Use a rubber mallet to pound the pavers flush with the top of the border (photo 11). If a pavers chips, flip it over. If you crack one in half, replace it. Once all the pavers are set, cover them with a layer of fine-grain play sand ($2.50 for a 50-lb. bag). Then sweep with a broom back and forth across the surface to drive the sand down between the pavers (photo 12). Sometimes, cement or a cement/sand mixture is swept into the cracks and then wet down. But because the border here is solid, the base is well-tamped and the pavers are set firmly in the base and close together, fine sand works just as well. Finally, use a paint roller or garden sprayer to apply clear masonry sealer to the pavers. This will make them less porous, less likely to stain, and more resistant to weather.
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