A stone patio provides an aesthetically pleasing, outdoor living area that is both sturdy and stable when built properly. Patio stones that are 24 inches by 24 inches are some of the largest outdoor pavers available for constructing a stone patio. However, building a stone or block patio follows the same process regardless of the size of the stones used. The key to remember is that 24-inch square blocks are relatively heavy and you should use team lifting practices when moving the blocks around.
Draw the outline for the patio on the ground with marking paint.
Dig the area to a depth of 4 inches with a slight slope down and away from the house. Holding a string tight flush with the ground near the house and leveled with a string level to show you how much of a drop occurs in the slope of the ground. The slope should fall approximately 1 inch for every 20 feet of length for drainage.
Compact the subsurface with a hand tamper, which is a long metal pole with a wide, square base and two handles on the side, by slamming the tamper into the ground around the surface of the hole. Mechanical tampers are available for rent from hardware stores and can accomplish the task quickly.
Pour out 1 inch of crushed gravel along the surface of the ground. Tamp the gravel flat with the tamper. Repeat with 1 inch of cement sand on top of the crushed gravel. The gravel and sand help to promote proper drainage of the area.
Lay out the 24-inch square pavers starting with a corner adjacent to a vertical wall or surface. Press the second paver into place by holding it against the edge of the first and dropping the second into place. Do not slide the paver along the sand or you will trap sand between the two pavers.
Place a level on top of the two pavers to verify that you are leveled side to side with a slight down angle away from the house.
Repeat steps 5 and 6 for all the remaining pavers, checking the level of each one as you go. Cut any partial pavers as needed with a masonry wet saw, available for rent from most hardware stores.