How to Build a Patio on a Budget


Create a patio on a budget by supplying the labor for construction. Set a construction budget. Determine the size of the patio and preferred building materials before beginning construction. Compare prices from several vendors to find one that fits your budget and design style. Review all directions before beginning construction and consult with a professional for specific questions. These directions are for creating a brick or paving stone patio.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Wooden stakes
  • String
  • Shovel
  • 2-by-4 inch board
  • Level
  • Redwood lumber – 1-by-6 inch
  • Stakes
  • Hammer
  • Gravel
  • Tamper
  • Sand
  • Pavers
  • Rubber mallet
  • Brick set
  • Broom
  • Measure out the desired area of the patio. Mark each corner with a stake. Tie the string to one stake. Pull the string tightly to the next stake and wrap around the stake twice. Pull the string to the third and fourth stakes and wrap around the stake twice. Pull the string back to the first stake and tie it off. The string marks the outside perimeter of the patio.

  • Dig out the ground inside the marked area. The depth is determined by the thickness of the bricks. Add 4 inches (the depth of the underlying material) to the height of the bricks to determine the depth needed for the patio trench. Place the level on top of a 2x4 board and pull over the patio to verify the area is level along its entire surface.

  • Lay the redwood planks vertically along the edge of the patio. Insert a stake every 6 to 8 inches along the outside of the plank to hold it in place. Lay the level on each plank of redwood to verify it is level.

  • Spread a layer of gravel approximately 3 inches deep on the patio area and tamp it firm. Spread a layer of coarse sand over the gravel approximately ½ inch thick. Level the sand across the patio area.

  • Place the pavers gently on the layer of sand. Lay the first line of bricks from one side to the other with 1/8 inch between each brick around all sides. Verify each brick is level as it is laid down and that bricks are level with each other. Tap each brick gently to set in place. Continue to lay pavers until the patio is complete.

  • Cut the bricks to the desired size with a brickset when needed. Lay cut bricks last and gently tamp with the rubber mallet. Spread loose sand over the patio and sweep into the crevices between the pavers. Sweep sand across the pavers until all joints have been filled with sand.

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  • Photo Credit pool patio image by L. Shat from
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