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How to Measure the Slope for a Paver Patio

By Emily Patterson ; Updated September 21, 2017
tape measure 1 image by Martin Grice from Fotolia.com

Slope is needed for a paver patio to provide proper drainage of rainwater away from structures. If rainwater flows toward structures, such as a house, it can seep into the foundation causing moisture problems, such as dampness in a basement or crawl space. Measure slope for a paver patio so water will drain away from structures and into an area that will not be damaged by runoff during rains. Measure slope after soil has been excavated for the paver patio.

Step 1

Insert a stake at both the top and bottom of the patio. Use a hammer to pound in the stakes so they are good and stable. Consider the bottom of the area where water from the paver patio will drain.

Step 2

Tie a string around each stake. The string needs to be tight.

Step 3

Slip a line level on the string and adjust the string so it is level between the stakes. To do this, move the string up or down as needed.

Step 4

Determine the amount of slope needed for the size of the paver patio. The slope should be at least 1 inch for each 8 feet of patio. For example a 12-foot patio will need 1½ inches of slope; a 16-foot patio will need 2 inches of slope.

Step 5

Measure the calculated amount of slope down from the string tied to the stake at the drainage end of the patio. Mark this location on the stake with a pencil.

Step 6

Move the string down to the mark made on the stake.


Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Stakes
  • String
  • Line level
  • Pencil


  • For larger patios, use additional stakes to make it easier to maintain slope while installing the pavers.


  • Make sure that the stakes are not being driven into underground electric, water or gas lines.

About the Author


Emily Patterson has been creating content for websites since 1996. She specializes in home improvement, natural body care and natural cleaning articles. Patterson holds a computing certificate from Penn State University.