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Putting in Pavers, need suggestions

Need suggestion

From:  FieldsPh
Sent:  04-13-2012 06:36 PM I posted this on the community and i respectfully ask for inputs. Doing the pavers walkway first. Should i level the pavers with the existing concrete infront of the door? how much do i dig since i dont have any sod or grass? Thank you! Chris

Re: Need suggestion

Sent:  04-17-2012 02:06 PM

Hi FieldsPh,


Thank you for your question.  When doing pavers, there are a number of steps you will need to follow in make your project a success.  Whether you decide to keep the pavers level with the front door slab is mostly cosmetic and beauty is in the eyes of the beholder here.  Unless there is a drainage issue and you need the pavers to be lower than the concrete by the front door.  If you do need to dig out the area for the pavers, keep these suggestions in mind:


  1.  You will need to have at least 1-2 inches of a sandy pack base in insure a level area for your pavers.  Depending on the thickness of your pavers, you will need to excavate the thickness of the paver as well.
  2. Use a tamper or a mechanized compactor to complete this part of the project.
  3. Once the pack base has been applied and area has been compacted, it is time to lay down your weed mat also known as Landscape Fabric.  The weed mat will help to prevent weed seeds from forming a tap root.  
  4. Your next step will be to lay down your pavers.  The pattern you chose will depend on the size of the pavers.  The smaller brick type pavers will give you the most opportunity for patterns.  With 12X12 or 16X16 pavers, your pattern choice will be limited due to the size of each unit.
  5. Once your pavers have  been placed, use the joint lock for pavers and sweep this into seams of your newly laid pavers.  A push broom works the best for this task.
  6. Gently wash the locking sand into the seams.  Be  careful not to use too heavy of a spray of water so that you do not wash out the locking sand from the seams.  


Here are some tools that will come in handy for your project:


Garden Spade 47 inch.jpgSquare Point Shovel Long Handle.jpgWeed mat Landscape fabric.jpg

Fabric Staples 10 pack.jpgFabric-sod staples 75 pack.jpgSoil tamper.jpgVibrating Compactor.jpg

The sod cutter will make short work of removing that top 1-2

inchs of sod!

Sod_cutter classen_.jpg


Be sure to check with your local Home Depot Tool Rental for tools that will make your project easier.  Your project could look like this when it is complete:


Pavers PavementStone.jpg


Be sure to take pictures of your project and share them witht he rest of the community.


This has been another of,

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Posted 2012-04-17T18:11:29+0000  by Rick_HD_OC Rick_HD_OC

Re: Need suggestion

From:  FieldsPh
Sent:  04-18-2012 02:43 AM
Thank you very much for the reply! I have not decided on what kind of paver to have. My neighbor is doing a red brick i think, so i need to get a different one. I wanted to have it leveled with the concrete pad in front of the door but the problem that i have is that there is a "steep" slant that go towards the drain near the fence by the trash can. There is a drain by the fence and another one going inside the yard, which both drains outside. Is it ok to raise that part with more paver base while maintaining the slope away from the house? I was also thinking of putting pebbles instead of sod in the middle from the back drain to the fence drain. And also outside of that fence; where the drain comes out of the front yard. Thanks again! Chris

Hi again FieldsPh,


You can raise your paver base as long as you compensate by raising the drain as well.  You can cut your pavers to custom fit around a raised drain cover.  I think the custom fit drain would be more aesthetically pleasing and would not be in the way when you are moving around your new patio. 



The pebble idea sounds good but I would use the Mexican Beach Pebbles rather than the smaller pea pebbles or even the Pond Pebbles. 


Mexican Beach Pebbles.jpgPond Pebbles aka All Purpose drainage stone.jpg


The Mexican Beach Pebbles are larger and are more likely to stay in place.  If there is a regular flow of water thru your pebbles, you will have to deal with the calcium build up as the water evaporates.  This will leave a sort of white film on your stones unless you regularly clean them.  If you would like to use plants in that area, you can use something like Curly Rush (aka Corkscrew Rush) just as an example. 


Curly Rush aka Corkscrew Rush.jpgCurly Rush.jpg


You can even use this plant along with your Mexican Beach Pebbles.  It will add more character to your back yard too.  Be sure to take pictures of your project as you go along and share them with the rest of the Community.  Thank you again for your question.


This has been another of,

Posted 2012-04-20T18:11:22+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
Is it ok to use a hand tamper for this kind of project instead of a plate compactor?
Posted 2012-04-27T04:38:21+0000  by FieldsPh
What i meant to say is, would i achieve the same amount of compacted soil and gravel for foundation with a hand compactor?
Posted 2012-04-27T04:42:51+0000  by FieldsPh

Hi FieldsPH,


Yes you can use a hand tamper, but for larger areas it is better to use a mechanical plate vibrator.  Once you have the paves laid down and the locking sand applied, the plate vibrator will aid in working the sand down between the seams and help to settle the pavers into their new home.  I would use the plate vibrator on the finishing work like vibrating the pavers and sand as the last step.  Be sure to use a broom to distribute the sand over all the pavers before using the plate vibrator.  The hand tamper would be a much more delicate job when using it on the pavers to settle them in with the sand though and you run the risk of cracking the pavers.


8 X 8 inch Tamper.jpgThe Hand Tamper

VSVibrating Compactor.jpgThe Plate Vibrator


One important thing when using either tool.  Be sure that the soil and pavers are level before using either tool on the actual pavers.  If any paver is not flush with the ground, the final compacting action could crack the pavers.  This is more critical with the larger 12 X 12 pavers and up.


Have fun with your project!


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Posted 2012-04-27T17:15:48+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
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