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Five Basic Steps for Building a Paver Patio


Excavating Area and Leveling

Begin by measuring off area and marking edge of where patio or sidewalk will be built to proper dimensions desired. Next, begin excavating this area so that the site is free from sod, 6 inches deep of topsoil from ground level (possibley more if larger items will set on pavers) to allow base to be installed. After excavation is complete, you will want to have the bottom of excavated area to be level or sloped for proper drainage. The average patio or sidewalk has a 1" f all for every 10' run to ensure proper drainage away from a building or area.

Proper Base
and Proper

Begin filling in area that you just excavated with a base material which will be the foundation for your paver patio. The most commonly used base material is a 411' material, which is typically a crushed limestone mix. This material can be purchased by the ton or yard from your local landscape supply company. The base material should be installed in layers about 2" at a time and compacted with a plate compactor or tamper. This process makes the 411' base very stiff and uniform so that the pavers will not settle in the future and so that they will be level. By doing 2" at a time until the base is 6" thick, this ensure enough base material in the end and that the base is getting compacted enough to build your patio on. After you have your base set up, you will want to add an 1" of sand onto of the base. This layer needs to be perfectly level so that the pavers that are applied next will be also level. Use 1" metal round bars to screen sand to this proper dimensions.
Proper Laying
Start off this process by going to a landscape company who specializes in selling hardscape. A preferred product is Unilock, which sells pavers and retaining wall blocks and accessaries. Begin by selecting the type of paver you want (you can choose multiple colors) and then select the pattern you want to lay the pavers in. The company you go to can help you figure out the right amount of material you'll need. Start off by laying out an area that is work able, no more than 6' wide and 10' long. Make sure to leave room for your soldier row if adding one. Laying out the entire patio/ sidewalk before you start making cuts. After you have completed laying out the patio, start making cuts to fit bricks into proper places by using a brick saw. After the cuts are made, you will want to install the soldier row (a border of brick set on the perimeter of the patio to give definition to the patio).
Adding Edge to the Perimeter of the Project
After you have laid all of your pavers and made all of the appropriate cuts, you will want to add paver edging. Paver edging is straight pieces of plastic, 8' long, that holds the edge of the patio together. The edge should be placed on base material, not sand, closest to the edge of the pavers as possible. Essentially, you are making a box to contain the pavers in. Use 12" spikes to hold edge in place, spacing every 2 feet per spike.
Backfilling with Sand
After the edge has been laid, you will need to backfill around the edge of the patio, covering the edge also, with sand and topsoil. The patio needs to be backfilled with sand. You will want to sweep sand into any spaces between pavers and then tamp overtop of the bricks to insure proper leveling of pavers and to make the patio solid. Make sure you do not have any piles of sand onto of the pavers when you tamp, so that everything stays level. Now it is time to sit back and enjoy your new patio.


Paver Patios
Retaining Walls
Basic Steps
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