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Raising Patio Pavers

Follow these special techniques for removing sunken or dipped patio pavers and resetting them at the proper height. Make your patio perfectly smooth again.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Step 1: Remove the sunken pavers

After a few years, paver block patios and walkways often develop low spots. However, these areas can be brought back up to grade with a few bags of sand, a length of pipe and a screed board.

First, remove the pavers from the low area. If they're packed in tight, use a screwdriver to lever the first paver out, levering each end a little at a time and tapping on surrounding pavers until you can pull out the paver (Photo 1).

Step 2: Lay in a screed pipe

Make a screed board long enough to rest on the level pavers around it. Then notch the ends 1/8 in. less than the depth of the pavers. If the area is large or against the house or grass, set a screed pipe along one side and level it against the pavers you're matching. If you're trying to match a sloping walk, shim the level at the downhill end to match the slope (Photo 2).

Step 3: Add sand and level it

Fill the low area with coarse, all-purpose sand, then screed it level (Photo 3). Use a trowel like a spatula around the edges to scrape away any excess sand.

Step 4: Reset the pavers

Brush any old sand off the sides of the pavers, then set them back into place and drive them down until they're flush with the other pavers (Photo 4). Spread dry sand over the pavers, tamping and sweeping until the joints are completely full.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Flat-tip screwdriver
    • Level
    • Rubber mallet
    • Trowel

You'll also need a broom.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Straight steel pipe
    • Sand
    • 1x screed board

Comments from DIY Community Members

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November 22, 11:45 AM [GMT -5]

I have mortar between the stones, should I change any of the advice, besides replacing mortar?

July 18, 10:09 PM [GMT -5]

We were not thinking about the 1/8 inch less depth than the pavers, but it is a great tip to help us get a level set of bricks. We will be using it tomorrow and will let you know the result.

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Raising Patio Pavers

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