Step 1 Lay Out and Excavate the Patio
Lay out the patio with batterboards and mason’s line. Remove the sod, dig out 8 inches of soil, and compact the exposed surface. Spread gravel on the surface in 2-inch layers, compacting each layer and adding gravel for a bed 4 inches deep.
Install a second set of layout lines on stakes. Position the stakes outside the first set of lines, offset from the first set by the width of the forms you’ll use. Level the lines with a line level or water level.