concrete pavers for patios, sidewalks, and driveways is becoming more and more
popular in the United States.
you start a paver project, call your utility company and have all the underground
pipes and wires marked.
One of the great things about pavers is that they come in a variety of shapes,
sizes and colors. This gives you many different options for your design.
First you need to stake out the area for your project. You can do this with stakes
You'll probably have grass that needs to be removed. You can do this pretty easily
with a sod cutter.
Then you need to dig down to a point where you want your base to start.
For this patio project, we dug down seven inches. That was to allow for a four
inch base, a layer of sand, and the pavers.
The digging process you use is called skimming. This is where you try not to disturb
the dirt at the bottom, but just skim the top. If you have loose dirt at the bottom,
it'll settle and you might end up with a dip in the patio.
For our patio we also sloped the base away from the house one inch for every
four feet. This will help drainage.
You can do this work by hand, but if you have a large area you might want to consider
having a subcontractor do the work with a Bobcat.
for the Base Material
your excavation is all flat and at the slope you want, you're ready for the base
Mark along side the house the height for the base material. Make sure this line
extends beyond the house so you can still see it when it gets covered up with
spreading out the main load of base material, it's a good idea to put down what's
called "geotextile fabric." This will help hold up the base and pavers if there's
any movement in the soil under the fabric.
The fabric should go up the side of the excavation and run a little bit up the
side of the house, this will help protect the siding.
the Base Material
base material we used was a crushed limestone called "class two." In some areas
it's called "three-quarter minus", AB3, Granular type 2, or 21A.
The base material needs to be moist. One way you can tell is to pick up a handful
and squeeze it. If it holds together in a solid clump, it's just right.
can get a compactor at a rental store, you need a 4 or 5-horsepower compactor.
Anything less won't do the job.
It works best to put down only half of the base material at a time, and compact
it after each layer. In our case, two three-inch layers compacted down to the
four inches of base we needed.
Keep the compactor running at full throttle. If you slow it down even a little,
you reduce the effect a lot. Let the machine pull itself forward, you shouldn't
have to push it to make it move.
First run the compactor around the edges of the area twice. Then start on the
low side and work across the grade, moving uphill. Then change directions 90 degrees
and start going up and down. Next, do a diagonal pass. Then repeat the whole process
If there are areas you can't reach with the big compactor, you'll have to compact
them by hand. One way is to use the end of a sledge hammer.
After compacting each layer check for flatness and for the proper grade. You'll
probably have to do some scraping, filling, and more compacting to fine tune everything.