Making your own patio is a satisfying DIY activity, done alone or with friends or family—but the essential first step, after deciding where it will go, is to measure for your pavers. Getting the area and measurements correct will allow you to buy the right number of pavers, and neither fall short, nor be left with dozens of unused pavers at the end of the job. Measuring for patio pavers takes into account both the size of the chosen pavers, and the size of the patio area—so get out your measuring tape.

Determine the width of the joint-line between each paver. A ¼ inch is a typical width, and will be used for sample calculations.

Measure your pavers—for the sample calculation, pavers measuring 16 by 16 inches will be used.

Add half the joint-line measurement to the pavers, so each paver will be 16.125 by 16.125 inches, as the joint lines will combine to make the full ¼ inch when pavers are placed next to one another.

Measure the length and width of your patio area. For the sample calculation, a patio of 80 by 80 inches will be used.

Multiple the length of the pavers, by their width, to determine the area of each paver: 16.125 multiplied by 16.125 equals 260.5 square inches (260.015 to be exact, but always round up your calculations to make sure you don’t fall short).

Use the same method to find the area of the patio: 80 times 80 is equal to 6,400 square inches.

Divide the patio area by the combined paver and joint-line area to get the number of pavers needed to fill the space. For the sample calculation, 6,400 divided by 260.5 is equal to 24.5. Round this number up to 25, then add a further 10 to 15 per cent on top for waste pavers (pavers broken, damaged, cut) which puts the number of pavers to order at about 29 or 30.