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Build Better DIY - How to Make Pavers

Here's the scenario: You have a great front lanai, but you're tracking cinder into the house. One way to prevent such a mess is by building cement pavers. Watch the episode “Pavers” on Build Better with HPM for the step-by-step process.

The first thing you will need to do before you head to HPM to get your supplies is to measure the space to determine how many bags of Quickrete you are going to need. In this example, we are going to build (6) pavers that measure 20” x 20” a piece. To determine how much cement you will need to purchase just follow the formula below, or to make it easy, just ask an associate at HPM and they can help you determine the correct amount.

Here is the supply list you will need:

  • Concrete Mix

  • 2×4 Lumber

  • Mesh Wire

  • Buckets

  • Deck Screws

And the list of tools to have on hand to finish the job:

  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Digging Tools
  • Wire Cutter
  • Measuring Tools
  • Power Mixer or Wheel Barrel

Now that you have your supply list, head on over to HPM and pick up whatever you currently do not have on hand.

STEP 1: Build the boxes

To make the 20” x 20” pavers you will need to build each box with (2) 20” sides and (2) at 23” - this will give you a perfectly square box. We recommend using screws to make it easier to pull off (This way you are not banging away with a hammer and potentially chipping the concrete).

STEP 2: Lay out the pavers to see where to dig & level the ground

We recommend laying them out first so you know what area to level. Use a garden hoe or shovel to outline the area. Be sure to level the ground perpendicular to the house with a slight fade down in elevation away from the house to allow proper drainage. It’s best to set the forms with the screws facing out the drill can easily unscrew them.

STEP 3: Mixing the concrete and pouring

There are a couple of ways to mix the concrete. One is with a power drill, paddle and some buckets, while the other is the good 'ole fashion way with a shovel/garden hoe and wheelbarrow. You’ll notice an arrow on the bags of Quikrete - that is where you will tear the package open. The goal is to create a moist mixture that can stand alone at about 1/2” on its own. Remember, it’s always better to have more water than not enough. Once the mixture is ready, lay down your mesh wire and begin filling the concrete. Be sure to adjust the metal wiring so it is positioned in the middle of the wet concrete. In order to release some of the water and air in the mixture, use a rake to tap down on the wooden border a few times.

STEP 4: Let dry

Let the cement dry for at least 12-24 hours. For the East side of the island, we recommend at least 24 hours because of the amount of moisture in the air.

STEP 5: Take off the forms

Tap the forms with your hammer to help release the forms from the concrete. Then, unscrew the sides and lift the forms. You can rub the hammer along the cement edges so they are not as sharp and ragged.


STEP 6: Fill in with gravel, decorative rock, or wood chips
Congratulations! You just built yourself some pavers...no more tracking those pesky cinders into the house. For more DIY projects from HPM, subscribe to our newsletter here.


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