If you're looking for a project to do which allows you to enjoy your backyard, but you don't want to go to the expense and effort of building a deck, a paver patio can be the solution. Paver stones are stones made of concrete that are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Paver stones are extremely durable and are installed with a straightforward, albeit labor-intensive, process. This is a project which you can complete in just one weekend.
Measure and mark the dimensions of the patio on the grass by spray painting the ground around the perimeter of the patio.
Excavate the ground inside the spray-painted area. The hole must be deep enough to contain 4 inches of crushed stone, 1 inch of sand and the height of the paver stones, so if the stones are 2 inches high, you need to dig 7 inches deep. Slope the ground in the bottom of the hole at a slight angle away from the house. This helps drain water away from your home's foundation.
Lay landscaping fabric over the dirt inside the hole to prevent weeds from growing between the pavers.
Pour a 2-inch layer of crushed stone over the landscaping fabric. Spray it down with water to reduce dust, then rake it smooth and tamp it down. Add another 2 inches of stone on top, using the same process.
Add a 1-inch layer of sand over the crushed stone. Smooth the surface of the sand by dragging a 2-by-4 board across the top (this is called screeding). Add more sand to any low spots that have been exposed by the screeding process, and screed the surface again.
Install edge restraints around the perimeter of the hole. These are essentially rails that prevent the pavers from becoming dislodged and shifting. Read the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer for the edge restraints you have, but usually they're installed by placing the restraints against the side of the hole and driving metal stakes through holes in the restraints and into the ground.
Set the paver stones on top of the sand in the desired pattern. Offset the stones in each row by staggering them to strengthen the patio. An easy way to do this is to cut a paver stone in half and use it as the end stone in every other row. Make any needed cuts with a wet saw.
Continue installing the pavers until the patio is complete.
Run a mechanical compactor over the paver stones.
Apply fine-grain sand over the pavers by tossing it with your hands. Brush the sand into the gaps between the pavers with a broom, making multiple passes to fill the gaps as much as possible.
Clear off any debris, such as paper, leaves or twigs, from the surface of the patio.
Cover the patio with a sand-binding sealant, following the instructions on the packaging.