Limestone pavers create a classic, rustic looking patio. You can install these slabs yourself, using gravel and sand as a base. This project involves digging, lifting and hauling heavy material. It should take two days to properly complete the entire process.
1 - Planning Ahead
Check the weather to be sure you will have at least two days of good weather to complete all of the work. If possible, enlist the help of family or friends. There is a great deal of physical labor involved in moving and installing the limestone pavers. An extra person or two could make the job easier and get it done in less time. Be sure to gather all of the tools and materials you need before you begin to work.
2 - Preparing the Area
Decide on the best location for your limestone patio. Use wooden stakes and string to mark the patio border. Use a spade to cut out the border and remove the sod from the interior space. When laying your base and limestone pavers, there should be a slight slope that will allow water to flow off of the patio. Inspect the soil under the sod you have removed. If the soil is firm you will not have to remove anything more from the area. If the soil is moist, you will need to remove four more inches from the area. Gravel will then need to be placed in the area to provide a proper drainage system for your patio.
3 - Laying the Patio Base
Visit your local gardening or hardware store and purchase enough weed blocking fabric to cover the patio area. You will also need to purchase one cubic foot of sand for every four square feet of patio area. Lay the fabric over the ground inside the stakes, making sure to overlap all of the fabric as it is positioned. Cover the fabric with sand. Be sure the sand is smooth and level. Use a garden hose to wet the sand without moving it around. Allow the sand some time to dry and then wet it again. Continue the wetting process until the sand is completely compact. Allow the sand enough time to dry completely.
4 - Laying the Limestone Pavers
Before you begin laying the pavers, position them together on the lawn in a pattern that works. Be careful as you lift the pavers. They can be heavy, so use your legs to do the lifting. Leave about an inch of space between each paver. By doing this first, you are less likely to disturb the sand base when you place them later. Beginning at one end, position the pavers on the sand. As each paver is placed, step on it in moving to the next one. Be careful not to move the sand as you work. Continue until you have positioned all of the pavers. Fill the cracks with additional sand. Carefully wet the patio and allow it to dry completely.