Paving the Way

DIY Paving

What You Will Need for your DIY Paving

  • River sand
  • Cement
  • Pavers – we used Cosmopolitan pavers in two sizes (600 x 300 mm and 300 x 300 mm) and in a concrete colour
  • Cobbles – we used Highveld cobbles in a concrete colour


Pick, spade, rake, stamper, level, angle grinder and cutting blade, rubber mallet and builder’s crayon

1. Carefully plan the area for your DIY paving and choose your pavers and pattern accordingly. Remember to plan correct drainage to direct run-off away from the house. Dry-lay a section of pavers in your planned pattern to check that you are happy with how it will look.

DIY paving

2. Prepare your area by clearing away any pots, ground cover or stones. Measure the depth of your pavers and add 25 mm to that measurement, for a layer of river sand. Now dig down to that depth to ensure that the top of the paver will be below any doorways. Build up or dig down to guide run-off away from the house.

DIY paving

3. Lay fine river sand to a depth of 25 mm and compact it with a stamp. Then use a flat piece of wood or straight edge to level it, checking it with a spirit level.

DIY paving

4. Start laying your pavers along the longest straight line, from a corner. By doing this you minimise the number of pavers you will need to cut. Don’t lay cut pavers in a focal point, either in front of a door or in the centre of the patio. Because we laid a double row of cobbles as a border, we laid the cobbles and pavers at the same time. Tap each paver and cobble in place as they are laid, using a spirit level to ensure they are level.

5. To cut edge pavers to size, lay them whole, removing the cobbles so they can lie flat, and draw a cutting line using a builder’s crayon and a straight edge. Using an angle grinder, cut the pavers in situ on the inside of your line. Replace the cobbles and tap them lightly into place.

DIY paving

6. After the laying of your DIY paving is complete, make a dry mixture of 6 parts river sand to 1 part cement and brush this into the gaps between the pavers. Then very lightly water your paving, using a very fine mist attachment on your hosepipe, wiping each paver clean with a sponge afterwards. Warning: if you use a hose without an attachment you will wash away the cement sand mixture before it has time to harden.

DIY paving
The Gardener