September 9, 2016

10 Step Guide to Installing a Paver Patio

Are you looking to create usable space outside but may not know the steps?  Check out this 10 step guide to installing a paver patio!

1.  Planning and Layout – First you want to layout the area you wish to put the patio taking into account distances, curves, corners, and future plantings.

2.  Calculating Pavers needed – Measure the width and length of the area you wish to pave to get a square footage.  You should add a 5% overage for any odd spaces or to fit curves.  If you know you will be cutting a lot of pavers due to the space, you should use a 10% overage instead.

3.  Excavation – Figure height that the pavers should reach.  Now you can calculate the depth of excavation needed by adding together the 4-6 inches of gravel base, 1 inch for bedding sand, and the height of the pavers.  Dig out the calculated depth and compact the ground with a compacting machine.

4.  Base Material – Next you want to lay the base material which is typically ¾” minus gravel.  You can use a layer of geogrid or geofabric between the base material and the soil below if you want to add additional stability.

5.  Edge Restraints – These keep your pavers from moving due to high traffic areas or harsh weather.  The edge restraints are essential for the long term of your pavers and can be made out of plastic, pre-cast concrete, metal, or wood.

6.  Sand Bedding – Lay down 1 inch diameter PVC pipe across the base material.  You may need to have multiple PVC pipe if your space is wider than your screed.  Spread the sand layer between 1 and 1.5 inches thick.  Using a 2 x 4 or other straight material, screed the material so that you get a nice uniform layer of sand, 1 inch thick.

7.  Laying Pavers – Lay the pavers in the pattern and design that you planned for.  Some pavers have spacers between them for the design.  If you need to cut pavers, use a diamond saw or mechanical splitter and safety glasses.  Once all the pavers are laid, use a plate compactor to help set the pavers into the sand bed.

8.  Sand Joints – This step involves sweeping sand over the surface to fill the joints and lock the pavers into place.  You should use a fine grained sand rather than a coarse one so that the sand can compact much easier and fill up the joints quicker.

9.  Sealing – Clean and sweep the newly paved area in order to remove all materials and debris.  Seal the area with a sand binding sealant so that the joint sand will not disappear which will also prevent weeds to grow in the joints.  Sealing your pavers helps prevent stains and allows you to clean off any stains with much greater ease.

10.  Maintenance – Regular cleaning and sweeping of the pavers is recommended.  Re-sealing your pavers may be necessary to maintain color and appearance.  It is not recommended to power wash due to the potential to dislodge the joint sand.

 Now that you have the fill list from start to finish, you can make the final decision on a DIY project or finding a contractor to install the pavers for you!  GOODLUCK!

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