Summer DIY – Paver project (pt. 2)

In case you missed part 1 of our paver project you can get it here.

We left off on part one of our project by gathering all necessary supplies and figuring out the exact measurements for your project. Once you have checked with your utility company to verify that digging is safe, you are ready get your hands dirty and break ground.

Outline your area using the stakes and string. Using your shovel, remove any sod or dirt up to the height of the sand, stone and pavers combined. The area is ready for compacting. This can be done in different ways, the easiest being with a mechanical plate compactor. These are usually available for rent at local hardware stores or brick distributors. Using this or a hand tamper gets the surface level for the layer of crushed stone base to be laid.

You are now ready to install the base. Once the soil is compacted, place the crushed stone level within the excavation. Using your garden hose, slightly dampen the area. Using the hand tamper or compactor again, tamp the stone no more than 4” of depth. This prevents pavers from moving around in the future. Use your level to make sure that all dimensions of the stone are even and level all the way across the base.

A properly installed edge will benefit the life of your paver project dramatically. The first step to framing the borders is to install but not anchor your edging materials. There are different edging techniques that can be used. Most products purchased specifically for edging, rigid plastic or metal edgers, will come with manufactures recommendations for installation. If you make your own wood edging, anticipate needing a grounding spike every yard of the edging. One or two edges can remain unanchored until final paver installation to ensure a tight fit.

Before filling the area with the base sand, place the 2 1” pipes along the edge of the area to the desired height of the sand. Fill the area with sand and using the 2” x 4”, pull the board across the pipes and sand to ensure a uniform sand depth. After leveling the area, remove the pipes and fill with loose sand, leveling when needed.

Now you have a perfect base for your pavers to rest on. Next we will be ready to pick a pattern and start laying some bricks.

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