paver projects using a wet saw

Paver projects are easier with the right tools

Do-it-yourself paver projects can be a simple rectangular patio or a winding pathway to a spacious fire circle down a hill. Luke DiVenti chose the latter.

In a previous post, we showed how DiVenti had started with a fairly straight walkway from his driveway to the backyard—which helped solve a rainwater runoff problem—but also connected his deck with a grilling area. Then, with English Edge Full Range pavers that he got from our Paver Days event, DeVenti got fancy.

Pine Hall Brick English Edge pavers

Pine Hall Brick English Edge, with spacer nibs, is on of the most east-to-set pavers, because there’s a nice gap created by the spacers. Easier on the fingers!

 

intricate cuts in paver project

DiVenti had to be pretty precise with this cuts. Using a chalk marker he placed whole bricks over the space and marked the shape with a straight edge. It’s a little like cutting floor tiles.


The original project now connects to a longer pathway that undulates down a hill to a elliptical patio with fire pit in the center. With this many curves and merging elements, you’re going to need to cut a lot of pavers at a lot of different angles.

Flexible edging for curved paver path

Flexible plastic edging is necessary to create the kind of curves you want for a path. Landscape spikes secure it to the ground.

 

DeVenti, who works for an outdoor power equipment company, wisely rented a masonry wet saw from his local home improvement center. You CAN cut pavers fairly easily with a four-inch chisel and a few good hammer strikes. But for a big job like this, with a lot of angles, you need a saw.

Paver project tools

Renting a wet saw is “worth every penny,” according to DiVenti. Most big box home improvement stores have them.

 

On a hot Saturday in July, DiVenti was chilling out with his project, like a big jigsaw puzzle. He takes a lot of pride in his project and was in no hurry. So for him, planning and measuring the brick cuts was relaxing. And having an efficient tool made the work efficient.

DeVenti followed the instructions from the Paver Days patio seminar, installing flexible edging to allow his “soldier course” to follow the curve of the path.

paver project measuring cuts

DiVenti took his time, enjoying a quiet Saturday morning, making cuts of all sizes.

 

Refining a beautiful curve in a paver project

Before and after: DiVenti’s curved pathway took a little TLC and patience, but the results are artistically beautiful.

“I had it all in my head,” said DiVenti, “but my wife said, no, you need to put this on paper, so I drew up plans.”

That was good advice because it helped DiVenti buy his the right amount of gravel, edging and pavers. But he still had latitude to improvise a bit.

Looking closely at the pathway and the patio you can see how intricate you can get with cut pavers. At one point, DiVenti had to make an adjustment in laying the patio and the thin cut pavers worked out beautifully. The “correction” looks like art!

 

correcting gaps in paver projects

DiVenti had to make a correction in the patio space, but the results were artistic and looked planned!

 

correcting gaps

DiVenti is looking forward to enjoying fires with friends, food and wine. But he also plans to keep expanding his paver space outside.

Paver projects are a good way to improve property values. In most municipalities there’s no building permit necessary and it’s a project that can ebb and flow with your schedule.

Left turn!

The soon-to-be-finished masterpiece of Luke DiVenti.

DiVenti likes the practical paver aesthetic.

“It looks good in any weather and any light of the day,” said DiVenti. “And even when it’s not swept it looks great!”

 

Where the circle meets the soldier course

Lots of cuts, coming up!

 

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