How to DIY Pave a Courtyard or Patio with Jason Hodges | Adbri Masonry

How to DIY Pave a Courtyard or Patio with Jason Hodges | Adbri Masonry


I love paving not for the fact that it’s
practical but the fact that it can actually pretty up your house and make
it look a million bucks whether it’s just steppers down the side of your
house a driveway a path or that entertaining area that you’ve always
wanted pavers can do the job for you now I can show you how to lay them and you can
do your own little project at home. First thing you’re going to do is work out
your little job I’m going to pave here going to come across the house four
meters and then out 3.6. To mark it out and to set it out you’ll need a string line,
some pegs, a tape measure, spray paint and a hammer. Now to start marking out I like
to go to the most important corner first and this one here out of all four is the
most important point. I’m going to work off the house because it’s relatively
straight, I’m still going as a string line there, and go forward from there.
Straight away looking at this concrete slab I can see that it’s not ninety
degrees to this wall so it’s important that you only work off one face and do
your maths from there. Now I know I said four meters but I’m
actually going to mark 4.1 over here, it gives you a bit of
breathing space it means your road base and your sand can go past your finished
paving side and you can cut it away later on and haunch it up. So 3.6 becomes 3.7 Now just with a couple old bricks
because they’re nice and heavy and not going to move I’m going to mark it out.
It doesn’t need to be super accurate because we’re not actually laying any
pavers there’s pretty much just like joining the dots and remember this is
well wide of our finished paver and it’s going to be mucked up with a spade in a
couple of seconds anyway. now I know the line that I’ve already marked out is
parallel to the house because I’ve measured out 3.7 here and 3.7 at the
other end and I’ve done a straight line with the string so how do I get the
sides right well I’m actually using the side of the house I’ve come off a
hundred mm and I found this point here and they look like they’re running in
the same direction now this is accurate enough for the excavation section
because I’ve got that 100mm to play with but it’s not accurate enough for
when it comes to laying the pavers a great little way to double-check that
you’re on the right path is to see if it’s square now measuring from opposite
corners what have we got five five zero zero and this is a good little tip
putting a brick in each corner makes this a one-man job
rather than having to get someone to give you a hand. Five five zero zero wish me
luck five five zero zero. Year 9 maths was
well worth it even though it took me three years. Once you’ve done your
marking out it’s on to excavating now you might be lucky and you don’t need to
take anything away for your finished heights of your paving job but here I’m
going to marry it into the concrete slab and of course I don’t want to go too
high up the side of the house and damage it so we need to go down and straight
away I can see that we’ve got these here I’m guessing Telstra and power but I’m
not an electrician and I don’t know and either would you so how do you guarantee
that you’re not going to damage any of these or even hurt yourself
it’s called dial before you dig. The number’s double one double zero and these
days they send your email from all your suppliers whether it be your power, your phone, your water or your gas they tell you roughly where they run on your
property. Problem is this is an old joint and things might have been added to it
since the day the place was built so it’s a safety blanket but it’s not a
guarantee so when it comes to digging I’m very very careful because I want to
see my next birthday what I do in a space like this rather than throwing a
spade in and chopping into the soil I’d use my foot and feel as I go that way
when I hit something I can stop the spade stopped at the moment I can
investigate. Nah, just a little pebble I can keep
going but that’s a really good tip is you can do this with confidence you know
that both those things are in conduit is go down and feel for them.
Nope all good. Where do you start excavating? Well I’m back to that corner
that I started measuring off as well because I can work off the height of the
slab now I know I need to go down a 170mm from this for
my finish height to be flush with that so you need to work out your finished
height and work down from there. 40 and 30 are 70. 100mm of road base, a hundred
and seventy mil I’ve got to go down. If I get this right through here I can work
that level all the way across my job. So the excavation is done, that’s the
hardest job in the whole thing the most physical now you might think why don’t I
just skip a little bit of the excavation and use less of the road base and sand
well you could but your job won’t last as long as if you do all the steps
properly we’re going to bring the road base in now spread it out about
100mm thick and then compact it with the whacker So what is road base, well commonly
people make the mistake that it’s just blue metal blue metals the big chunky
stuff that you see like this which is great for the back of a retaining wall
where you want to create drainage but trying to compact things that are all
the same size well it’s near impossible so if you look
at this it’s got big stuff little stuff stuff the size of a grain of sand which
means when you compact it together there’s a size particle to fill every
hole and that’s why it goes hard and flat I’ve got my 100mm of road base in and I’m ready to go with a Wacka but
there’s a couple of things you can do first to get a really good job what I’m
using here is just a straight edge that’s on a pole now don’t expect every
homeowner to have one of these and you shouldn’t go and buy one or hire one
because if it’s just a little job you’re doing around the house the back of your
hard rake will do exactly the same job for you it just might take a second or
two longer now if you look at this road base it’s a bit dry and dusty so when I
hit it with the whacker it might be a bit of light and fluffy. If I give it a
light hose it can set even harder than just going over it with a whacker you
don’t want it too wet so the whacker goes swimming and gets sunk you just want
it damp so that it compacts nice and hard Now the next step is the sand and even
the way you tip it out of the Barrow is important as you go forward the nose
goes into your road base if I was just to pull that out I lift up all the road
base and mix it into my sand. So if I do it gently take it off the ground
I barely disturb my footing as for the sand how do you get your heights, well
this is where you need a little bit of patience a little bit of finesse and a
little bit of skill I move the sand around by hand and push it towards the
edges a bit too much there at the moment so I could push that into the middle now
how do I get my finished height of a paver perfectly flush with any existing
height you’re working in this case that existing concrete slab well I can’t
think of a better way than actually using one of your pavers I got a decent
paver I broke it into four and I can use it around the job to get it right. By
running it along over the sand there’s not enough in there there silly boy. I can get exactly the right height a
little bit more in there you can see that my paver is flush with
the concrete I haven’t had to pick up a tape measure
and put it down I can just run that across there and that’s a perfect bed to
start my paving what do you do where you don’t have a surface like that well I’ve
run a string line off the concrete and picked a height at the end of my job
I’ve got fall of one in a hundred what does that mean well over a meter it
falls one centimeter over ten meters it falls ten centimeters and if you look at
that on a bubble they call it line fall. you can see here that the bubble is
touching the line so I know that it’s falling that way this little pad here is
perfect if I continue moving the sand down picking those two pads they’re up
to touch the streamline I’ll have a nice flat level surface that falls perfectly
around the corner because we’re not putting any drainage in here that’s
really important remember I said the word finesse well
this is when you need it you take your time slow down and get this sand on the
one plane how do you do it well I showed you the pads I’ve done that all the way
along two edges then I’ve put this screed in here and I’ve made a little
Valley coming off the height that I had near the concrete if I check this and
I’ve got line fall again I know that that is running perfectly level with
this here falling one and a hundred I can continue that along there and get
that line all the way to the end of my paving perfect and make a little channel
now a pro paver would go straight over the top without digging into either of
those channels and remove the excess sand for a beginner and I still like to
do up to speed is get some bar you can use tube or anything you’ve got lying
around the house as long as it’s relatively flat lay it over the top the
negative with tube is you need to dig your trench for it and the positive with
this is you can take it away and you don’t have to fill in it again all I
need to do now is tap them down drag my screed this is a professional one but if
you don’t have one you can use your level just be gentle with it or any
piece of timber provided that it’s dead straight. If it’s your first time doing it
I’d recommend knee pads they get very sore very quick now the fun stuff we get to actually
pave what I’m doing first is setting up a string line so I can lay my first header
course. Now as a pro I’d run off a string line every day of the week but a
common mistake for DIYers is the pavers start touching the string line as
you start touching the string line you start pushing it out and you’re paving
gets a little bit crooked so a good little cheap way is to set up a brick
now we’re laying 400 mm pavers and I’m going to allow a bit of room for those
conduits down the other end so I’ve gone 460 off the house set the brick up
here and in a couple other places and then you can take away the string line
and use your straight edge to but your pavers up to the straight edge isn’t
going to bend on you if you move it you’re going to see it and you can push
it back and you’ll end up with a perfectly straight header course. So the
string is gone and it’s replaced with this hard edge now where my first paver’s
going to go, has three bricks sitting at the moment. But what you can
do – hello mate, don’t you walk on the sand. You stay there, it’s a spectator sport – I can bring it on this side so now it
definitely can’t move back same goes here I can bring it this side and I can put my pavers in as hard as I
like because that’s not going to move now when you’re laying pavers you’d
normally have to have a screwdriver or a tape measure and you need to try and get
3mm gaps between all your pavers so they don’t butt up to each other and
rub over time and chip. One of the best things about these Adbri Quadros
is they’ve got lugs or nibs on the side so when you lay them they butt up,
but they’re below the surface if they rub it doesn’t matter but you end up
with perfect gaps every time. First one’s always the hardest
and again I’m staying in this corner because it’s the corner you’re going to
see the most When it comes to laying pavers I like to
tap each one individually as I put them down sometimes I might use my foot but
you end up leaving a mark sometimes I use my hand but that gets pretty sore
quickly so a little mallet like this and a white
one is perfect just to make sure that everything’s sitting right the reason
why it’s white it doesn’t scuff so there’s less cleaning when you’re
finished. There’s lots of little tips and tricks
that can make the job easier for you just like stacking the pavers like this off-centered each one means when I
come to get it I’ve got a nice handle on both sides and then again for the next
one now I know this isn’t my prettiest angle but I’m going to show you how to
lay a paver you don’t go like this and drop it in you put your fingers at the
top of it you find the corner and you lay it down that way you don’t disturb
any of the sand and muck up your next paver now you can lay the header course coming
out this way one of the most important things you’ve got to get right is to
make sure that you’re exactly 90 degrees on this corner there’s three ways I like
to do it first one just lay a paver blind make sure the joints line up and
the gap is even because of those lugs you’ve got your 3mm straight away
and it should be close to 90 degrees now to double-check grab a builder square
they cost you about 10-15 bucks and check this corner if everything is
touching all those lugs are touching then you’re pretty sure that it’s square
but if you want to be the most accurate you should do a 3 4 5 triangle it sounds
scarier than it is if I just use 4 pavers and three pavers that way I know
that they’re 400 each so the distance is 1600 mm
that is my 4, my 1200 over there’s my 3 so for this to be square it should
be two metres. I’m out by about 5mm so I need to kick these out well that’s the hard part of paving done I’ve got the header going in two directions
it’s pretty much just fill in the blanks now and then we can finish the job off
as you can see I’ve taken the planks away cuz from now on I can walk on the
new pavers. Don’t run on them or jump up and down because they’re still a
little bit loose but if you walk comfortably on them you’ll keep your
sand nice and clean now I’m laying the first of the inlay as you can see it’s
only half of one of these payments because we’re doing stretcher bond so
it’s quite a simple cut with the wet saw or a brick saw but you start off with a
half and then lay fulls for the rest of the line, start off with a full and then
lay fulls for the rest of the line, half full and so on it’ll end up looking
exactly like brickwork but you’d see on the side of a house It’s nearly time to
crack a cold one and celebrate on your new patio but not quite yet you need to
fill the gaps with a sand now I’m using a gap set here which is nice and solid
and I find it does suppress a few weeds long term but you can use a washed beach
sand if you’ve got to order it you can just ask for sharp clean sand couple of
bags should do a job like this and the drier the sand and the drier the paver
the easier it is to move it around now don’t be disappointed if you sweep
it into every crack and you come out tomorrow morning and you see that it’s
fallen through and it’s left some marks like this you keep a little bit to the
side and keep topping it up for a couple of days you’ll fill every joint and you
won’t have a paver wobbling ever. Pavers down they look magnificent except for
the last header course on this edge now I’m going to show you two different ways
you can haunch, the first one is you leave that last course out and throw some mud
in there and tap them down and lay it on top and when I say mud it’s obviously a
sand and cement mix it’s three parts of the same sand that I was paving on and
one part cement that’s pretty strong and I’ve made it pretty stiff you can see
it’s not runny if it was soft and runny when I lay the paver it would just swim
on me and by swim I mean move so going
underneath the paver like that keying it in and then doing an angle on the side
of it is the strongest and best way to do it the quickest and easiest way to do
it is to lay the paver then come along with the same mix and throw the mud up
next to it and just try and push a little bit underneath of course I’m
going to tidy that up with the trowel so you can go under and on the side or just
on the side like this so as you can see it’s sitting on about
150mm of mud, I clean up the edges, aiming for 45 degrees but it’s going to be covered by
either a garden bed or lawn, you’re never going to see it that’s where you
get the kids to write their names in it the second way you end up with a bigger
haunch because it’s got to do more you don’t have that bit underneath helping
you anchor it in. Still aim for 45 but you end up with a lot more mortar in
the ground and if you’re laying a lawn and you wanted to be fantastic you’re
going to find that your grass dries out a little bit more doing it this way
because there’s less soil for it I can’t help myself I’ve been doing it for 20
odd years Lucky last job, we’re going to compact the pavers down embed them in
place but if I use the plate compactor without this piece of carpet there
hard surface on hard surface I’d end up breaking pavers so I’ve got a piece of
carpet I’ve attached it to the front with a couple of zip ties on each side I’m
going to protect my ears because I’ve only got one pair and fire this bad boy
up for the very last time now because I use the pave lock it’s
important that I just give the whole job I wash down when I finish get rid of any
extra residue you don’t want it and job done
I’ve been paving for over 20 years and still when I see a finished job I get, you know,
hair on the back of my neck standing up thinking what a great little
project that was and I’m sure if you’re tackling it for the first time or doing
something at home it’s an even better sensation

99 thoughts on “How to DIY Pave a Courtyard or Patio with Jason Hodges | Adbri Masonry

  1. You skipped the part between the pavers and the house. I'm assuming you cemented or put retainer edging on that backside to lock the pavers in?

  2. Bravo mate! – Really loved all your pointers for leveling – and the great end cap 3psand+1pcement to anchor in the edges – excellent! Thanks – your are definitely a PRO!

  3. Thanks so much for this video – you are a fantastic teacher , I followed all the instructions and ended up with a great result. The carpet trick was a great addition.

  4. Adbril did you level the soy first and compact don't forget the steel bar's a touch of concrete and sand in the end lay the patio brick and sprink a cement sand ….

  5. Been doing this for 20+ years myself in the Netherlands and we do it pretty much the same.

    Great explanation, great vid, thanks, great fun to see a fellow gardener from across the world do it.

  6. You have got alot of bad habits the list is endless I would never employ you at my company. You don't have much idea about prep work. Your job would last less than a week and it would sink. Your rubbish man

  7. Nice vid .moving to a new house and have a blank page when it comes to the garden yours was one of the most informative videos I’ve come across whilst looking for Ideas .well definitely be giving it a go

  8. I thought you need to make bedding sand 1 cm higher than existing level to account for pavers compacting? In this video you do it dead level, I am about to start an extent ion of paving myself and I am confused Wether to allow for 1cm extra or not? I am worried the sand won't compact the extra amount and I end up with a lip

  9. Good video showing everything I need some paving done and you make it look so easy to do but I havnt got the compactor thing and it's only you doing it.

  10. Hi Jason! I’m here in the USA and I’m watching this way after you made but I just want to tell you “thank you!” So much for your wonderful professional and informative video! How I wish I had pursued masonry when I was young! I used to watch my dad and we girls helped. Now I’m 66 and still strong and still love masonry in my heart. My hubby is using a walker and needs hip surgery and we need some pavers along side our drive. We are in a mobile home and can’t really afford to repair the drive way at this stage. I will be doing it myself and probably will have my very smart, young and strong daughter help me. Thanx so much! You are an excellent, easy to comprehend teacher. You should consider being a professional tradesman instructor! I also am a fan of Vince Gill, the country music musician and wonderful singer. You look exactly like him… except I believe he is taller (6’2”). Lol! Can you sing like him? 😂. Thanx I am liking and subscribing, and looking forward to all your tutorials. Have you done a brick laying tutorial? Thanx so much. 😉👍😍

  11. I really appreciated all of your tips that only come with your experience. For example, putting a piece of carpet on the bottom of the compactor to prevent cracking the new pavers. Great stuff!

  12. That was such an impressive show, Jason. Loved the way you displayed patience & knowledge to achieve perfection. I hope I can learn it all one day.
    Job Well Done !
    Thank You !!

  13. Pipe search………..bury 8 small bones around the suspected pipe area……..grab a chair and a beer, then watch the dog dig the whole area up. Good doggy………otherwise, that was a brilliant, step by step video which unlike others, has given me confidence to actually have a go, Thanks Jason, greetings and best wishes from England.

  14. Thanks so much, this was a great presentation! A few questions – what became of the gap between the wall and the pavers? Did you fill that with sand or mortar, or leave it as it was? Also, was the gap between the concrete walkway and the pavers the same as the gap between each paver or larger? What was that filled with?

  15. Thanks for this video- I'm a novice and this helps me immensely. I'm just interested. I've seen this stuff in the US called "paver base" and wondered what you think of it?

  16. Thank for your tips! Do alot of paver patios and always looking for a new way to do it , thanks for sharing your experience!

  17. That was really great to watch. You know your stuff. I appreciate all your little hints and tricks of the trade, you sure didn't have to mention any of them. Really kind of you. TYVM. Make sure you use a dust mask next time for pouring sand. I'd hate to see collapse on one of your vids! ^^

  18. Thanks for the really helpful video, Jason. So much good information, little tips and pointers that make such a huge difference to the amateurs final outcome. It made my small paving project come out sooo much better than it would have, and meant it came in at a price I can afford at present too. Really grateful for your help.

    Love Danny too! Cheers from Te Puke NZ

  19. Doesn't the sand settle and make the pavers unever over time since it's not compacted? I know it gets compacted at the end but I still feel it won't settle evenly haha. Great video by the way. I'm just trying to understand a bit more.

  20. I've just run out of Ballast and only have builders sand left over… this was a really helpful video to find – Thanks very much !!

  21. That was a fantastic video! Thank you so much! Really needed to see how to keep the grade level while laying down the bed and sand. Thank you!

  22. How did the header course go with the compactor or did you put the header course down a couple mm…do you have to use a compactor or can you get away with not compacting the pavers… wouldn't usually ask but you know your shit

  23. Thanks for all the helpful tips and hints mate, just finished a block path 1.5×5.5m, saved myself a fortune and I know nothing has been skimped on

  24. Great video, Adbri! Can you please tell which paver you are using in this video? I want to put the same pavers and would like to purchase a bunch. Thanks!

  25. Since my home is in San Berdardino, California I wonder if I need road base???, because my patio is very rocky (in top of mountain basically) and is difficult to excavate too deep.

  26. Not a bad video but alot of mistakes. First of all you are going to have water problems they should never be level always pitch away from house at slight angle so water doesn't settle I stopped watching after seeing mistakes. If your going to do a diy projects at least watch a pro.

  27. THANKYOU for this.Brilliant.wish me luck as about to lay my first patio in our garden this week.🙏😊your video has been hugely valuable as a teaching guide.cheers mate!from Nikki le pomme!(Cambridge UK)blighty

  28. Excellent advice, feel free to read our educational homecare blog and get valuable information about your driveway: https://limitlessgoldenconstruction.com/driveway-width/

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