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New Paver Patio on clay

I have never done anything like this before and need to know how to start, what and how much base I need, how to integrate small retaining walls for plant beds and so on.  Most of the excess dirt has been removed and now we are leveling it and choosing the pavers.  What are some common mistakes?

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Posted 2011-06-20T18:27:40+0000  by yogigirl yogigirl


 I am new to this site too! We watched a video on that gave us some basic advice on how to design, get pavers, and how to plan for a gentle slope in the patio.

 We, too, are planning to put pavers in our garden. We do not know how to put two small rose bushes with the patio pavers around it. Any advice? We know we need to add gravel, sand, and compact down the material. But how do you do that with plants that will go around the pavers? Please give me a site or video to watch for more info.


Posted 2011-06-20T18:50:03+0000  by annlet

 Welcome to The Home Depot community  from "Coach Dave",


  • Pavers (there are many to choose from)
  • Paver base (the gravel base under the pavers)
  • Paver sand (goes in between close fitting pavers)
  • Tape measure (useful always)
  • Shovel (always buy the best you can afford)
  • Safety gloves (a must have to avoid blisters and splinters)
  • Tamper (if you have a large area The Home Depot rents compactors)
  • Level (if your  doing a flat area)
  • Push broom  or garden hose
  • Paver edging (for walkways)



Measure the space you want to pave. Remember, length times the width is your total square footage. The square footage determines how many pavers you’ll need.


1) You will need a base of paver gravel about 4 inches deep. You will need about 16 bags for the recommended 4 inches depth for every 20 square feet.



 2)  Choose your paver type. They come in a variety of colors and styles. A word of advice: always buy more pavers/bricks than you need.  You never know if plans will change and having some around will assure you can replace damaged ones with the same color.



3) Next, prepare the area by digging out any unwanted vegetation and debris.  Clear out about 4 to 6 inches of soil to make room for the base and pavers.



4) Now put down the paver base about 4 inches deep, and level it with a tamper. If you don’t have a tamper, you can even out the surface by watering with a garden hose. 



5)  You’re almost done! Install your pavers by positioning them to your plan.  If you decide on a specific pattern make sure to use the measuring tape to keep your design consistent. 



6) When you have your pavers done, you can put down edging if you have a walkway design. The final step is to spread a shallow layer of sand over the pavers and work it in between each paver with a push broom or water it in with a garden hose.  





Finally, it's usually a good idea to build up the largest to smallest raised planters before moving on to the other parts of your project. 



Make a plan so you have an idea about budget, size, sprinklers, and plant placement. Remember, you don't have to finish in one day.


Happy Gardening,


Posted 2011-06-20T19:09:59+0000  by Dave_HD_OC

Thanks Coach Dave!

 I love the simple direction on how to put down the pavers. One more question....

if we are planning to put a couple of large plants between the pavers, do you still fill that area with paver sand, gravel? I would think you would not do that. We need your advice! Thanks again.

Posted 2011-06-21T13:06:29+0000  by annlet

Howdy Annlet,



I'm glad the ideas were easy to understand about putting down pavers.  My goal is to spark your imagination and let  you achieve the yard you want. 


In regards to the large plants, the best plan of action would be to plant them as usual, then put the gravel afterwards to make sure the spacing allows for root growth.






The ground will hold the gravel  pretty well if you make sure to use a tamper to keep things from shifting.

As you can see by this example, pavers and plants can live in harmony.



Posted 2011-06-23T18:27:50+0000  by Dave_HD_OC
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