Building a patio in your yard, garden or attached to your home does not have to rob your bank account. In fact, doing the work yourself helps cut down the cost and is a simple project for any homeowner. Your children can even help with this do-it-yourself project. Patio pavers do not come cheap, though, and buying enough for your patio space may cut into your wallet. Remedy this expense by making your own patio pavers with concrete and pizza boxes.
Gather used pizza boxes of various sizes to use to make patio pavers of different measurements. Use only thick cardboard boxes from carry-out restaurants instead of thin, flimsy cardboard used in frozen pizza packaging. Clean the food particles out of the bottom of the pizza boxes to prevent bumps on the finished patio pavers.
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Mix a batch of ready-mix concrete with water inside a wheelbarrow. Add only the amount of water prescribed on the package of concrete mix and stir the two ingredients with a shovel to produce a cake-batter consistency.
Scoop the concrete into each pizza box, using a shovel. Lift and drop each box to remove any bubbles from inside the concrete. Allow the concrete to dry and harden overnight and then remove the handmade pavers from the pizza box molds. You may have to rip the boxes off the concrete; this is why you want to collect a lot of pizza boxes beforehand.
Excavate the patio site, using a spade. Remove the sod from the area first and test the ground for levelness with a level. Remove additional soil from high points to produce a perfectly level spot.
Tamp the soil down in the area to compact the ground and produce a firm foundation. Check the levelness and add more soil to low spots after tamping. Repeat tamping and adding soil until the area is level all over.
Fill the excavated area with crushed stone. Tamp down the layer of stone with the soil tamper until the stones stop shifting under your weight as you walk across the patio site. Make the area perfectly level by adding more crushed stone to low spots and tamping again as necessary.
Set the concrete pavers into place, starting in one corner of the patio site. Leave a 1/2-inch gap between all pavers and work outward in all directions from the corner, creating any paving pattern you desire from pavers of the same size or various sizes.
Dump masonry sand onto the patio surface after you have installed all pavers. Use a broom to sweep the sand into the gaps to complete the patio.
Use concrete stain to paint the concrete pavers into your choice of colors to match the exterior decor of your home or business.
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