Plan it out on paper first to suit your area - try to use full slabs to avoid the need for excess cutting.
This becomes your laying guide.
Think about damp - if the patio is going near a house, it must be 150mm below the damp course.
A fall or gradient of 1:40 will be sufficient to drain water away from buildings, in to channel drains.
Example of a laying pattern from Pavestone.
Preparing the Site
This depends on what type of ground you're starting with and how heavy the traffic over the paving will be.
Dig an extra 100mm (approx. 140mm in total) to accomodate the foundations which should comprise of well-compacted MOT or Hardcore.
This depends on what type of ground you're starting with and how heavy the traffic over the paving will be. If you're unsure, consult professional.
Common garden patios - light pedestrian traffic and solid ground
Robust garden patios - heavy traffic e.g. mowers or planters and less stable ground
Making the Bedding Course
Bedding Sand Course
Spread sharp sand around the area, to a depth slightly higher than the finished depth (40mm).
Compact this with a vibrating plate compactor and then use screeding rails to achieve the required level.
Now you're ready for laying the paving.
Laying the Paving
Any required cutting can be done with a diamond saw or specialist cropper. Always take appropriate precautions when cutting.
Select slabs from different packs as-you-go to blend colours for the natural look.
Stack slabs close to where they will be laid.
Place paving slabs on to 25mm bed or mortar as per your pattern.
8-14mm joint width for common paving sizes. Check your pattern regularly.
Do not overload uncompacted paving slabs.
Finishing the Job
It may take a few passes to compact slabs to the desired level.
Filling the Joints
This can often be done even in wet conditions. Find out more about jointing compounds.
Sealing the Paving
Depending on the look you want to achieve, various sealers can be applied to provide an additional level of protection for the paving slabs.