How to build a cobblestone patio

When you decide to build a patio in your yard or garden, you have many design options and building materials to choose from. To create a traditional, rustic patio space, you may consider building your patio from cobblestone. You can purchase cobblestone pavers or collect used stones from an old road, patio or walkway to create a truly rustic element for the outside area of your home. To maintain the authenticity of the cobblestone patio, you must dry-lay the stones, which also helps to shorten the installation time.

Excavate an area for the cobblestone patio. Use a spade to remove the sod and another two inches of soil from the area, digging down to a total depth between three and five-inches. Place the sod and soil in a wheelbarrow to ease transportation to another location.

Check the area with a level to ascertain the high and low points of the excavation site. Spade out more soil in the high points. Continue to check the area until you have a perfectly level site in the total length and width necessary for your patio.

Compact the soil inside the site to create a firm foundation for the cobblestone patio. To do this, you must repeatedly pound the wide, flat end of a manual soil tamper against the ground until the ground no longer compresses under your feet.

Apply a two-inch layer of crushed stone to the patio site. Smooth the stone down and use the level to create a perfectly level stone layer. Once levelled, use the soil tamper to compact the crushed stone in the same method described above, stopping only when the ground stops giving under your weight.

Start installing the cobblestone pavers into the patio site. If you install a rectangular or square patio, you may start in a corner, but for circular or oval patios you may want to start in the centre of the patio site. To set the paver into place, simply lay the paver on top of the crushed stone layer. Set the level on top of the paver and use a rubber mallet to tap different areas on the paver until the cobblestone lies perfectly level.

Repeat this levelling process for each cobblestone paver you place. Work outwards from the first paver, in all directions. Leave gaps between all cobblestones that measure between a quarter-inch and a half-inch.

Apply masonry sand into the gaps between the cobblestones. Wait until after you have installed all pavers and then dump the sand onto the middle of the patio site. Use an ordinary or hand-held straw or nylon broom to sweep the sand into the gaps.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Level
  • Manual soil tamper
  • Crushed stone
  • Cobblestone pavers
  • Rubber mallet
  • Masonry sand
  • Broom
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About the Author

Penny Porter is a full-time professional writer and a contributor to "Kraze" magazine. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in journalism at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky.