Mark the location of a patio column with two sets of string and stakes. Use a carpenter’s square to ensure the outside corners of the string lines meet at right angles.
Dig a trench one and one-half times the length of the concrete pavers you are using for the project, using a shovel. Align the outside corner of the trench with the string markers. Make the trench four to five inches deep.
Add three inches of crushed gravel to the bottom of the trench. Compact it with a hand tamper. Check that the surface of the gravel is level side to side and front to back with a carpenter’s level.
Set the first four pavers at right angles to each other to create a square. Place them firmly into the gravel. Check the levelness of the four pavers. Add or remove gravel, as necessary, to make them level.
Place the next four pavers on top of the first row, or course. Arrange the pavers so that all of the joints are staggered between the two courses. Check that the walls of the column remain straight up and down, or plumb, by placing the carpenter’s level against the sides of the column.
Lay the third row of blocks on top of the second, staggering the joints. Run a bead of masonry glue along the top of the third row of pavers. Set the fourth row of blocks on top of the masonry cement. Remember to stagger joints for this course as well. Continue to check that the column is level on top and plumb on its sides.
Continue placing pavers to erect the column. Place masonry glue between the sixth and seventh and seventh and eighth course. Glue the top of the eighth course and set a square capstone on top of it to finish the column.