How to Prep for Pavers

Installing walkways, patios or courtyards made of pavers is labor-intensive work. Putting a small amount of additional time into properly preparing the foundation layers which may support the pavers ensures the finished surface remains stable for years to come. A fantastic base must consist of a layer of gravel, landscape fabric and sand, all graded to slope away from buildings. Once installed properly, these materials will offer a water permeable, immovable foundation which will not require re-installation.

Mark the perimeter of the area you want to pave using spray paint. Notify all local utility companies and await them to locate and mark any buried wires, pipes or wires before digging.

Dig up any plants growing in the marked website with a shovel. Cut the existing sod into strips using a sod cutter. Roll the sod strips and move them in the area. Discard the sod, grass side down, in a compost pile.

Measure the thickness of your pavers in inches. Add the dimension to 4 inches of aggregate base and one inch of mud to find out how deeply you want to dig. For example, if your pavers are 3 inches thick then add 3 and 4 and 1 to get 8; the top 8 inches of dirt will require removal to guarantee the pavers sit in the proper level.

Dig down to a calculated thickness with a shovel. Remove all dirt in the marked area which resides above this stage. Pour the dirt onto a compost pile.

Remove any rocks or other debris at the bottom of the trench. Rake the soil’s surface to slope it away from any neighboring buildings in a rate of 1 inch for each 8 feet. Check the grade by setting a 12-inch long two-by-four board at the bottom of the trench. Position the board so that it runs lengthwise across the trench. Lift the end of the board situated at the lower stage of this slope one-eighth inch above the ground. Place a flat on the board. If the board is flat, then the grade is accurate. Repeat this procedure down the whole length of the trench.

Install landscape edging across the trench’s inside perimeter. Rank the edging so that its horizontal side presses against the trench’s walls along with its leading border is sloping inch above ground level. Secure the edging in place by forcing edging bets through its bottom tabs using a rubber mallet.

Spread a 2-inch layer of three-quarter-inch gravel at the bottom of the trench using a rake. Catch a plate compactor forth and back over the gravel to tamp it down. Repeat this procedure to make a 4-inch layer of compacted gravel throughout the area. Check the grade of this gravel in the exact same manner as before. Add or remove gravel as required to correct the grade.

Lay a piece of landscape material on top of the gravel. Pull the edges of the material to remove any wrinkles from the surface.

Spread a 1-inch layer of coarse sand on top of the landscape material using a rake. Pull a board across the mud to smooth its surface. Check the grade of this mud to ensure it has not changed.

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