Having read a recent post about dry laid flagstone versus pavers, I wanted to share a series of photos showing the

Outdoor Ideas 10.16.15

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proper installation of pavers. I took these photos documenting each step of the process of installing a paver walkway.

Pavers are actually quite easy to install and really only require one tool to be rented, a plate compactor. The heavy work is in excavating the area to about 6 and 1/2 inches below grade and moving the dirt. Then you build up the base with crusherun/crush&run which is a crushed stone. Build it up in 2 layers running the compactor over the area. A homeowner can use a 4 foot level and a 2x4 board to help get the crushed stone base to a proper pitch and close to even. Remember that the base should extend about 6" beyond the last paver.

The exact level surface is then done using 3/4" iron pipes. You will need at least 2 pipes. Lay the pipes across the base and check with a level to see if you have the proper grade. Use a little sand to adjust the pipes. With the pipes set, you begin shoveling the sand into the area and with a straight board, you screed (drag) the sand. You are left with a perfectly level surface of sand. As you move along, remove the pipes and fill the gaps with sand. Remember to not walk on the sand once it is screeded.

For a larger patio, we usually work in sections laying pavers as we go so that we can then work off of the already laid pavers. The

  • Excavation completed for new paver walkway. All extra dirt was hauled off.
  • Building up and compacting the crusherun base.
  • Beginning to screed the sand bedding layer.
  • One person can screed the sand on a narrow walkway.
  • The pipes are moved and then fill in the gap with sand.
  • A finished look at the perfectly smooth layer of sand, ready to lay the pavers down.
  • Finished walkway after installing pavers, compacting and wetting down the polymeric sand.
  • I have added pics showing pavers being laid on the screeded sand bed. You can see the string line set up to keep things running straight. Don't try this without a string, it will become a nightmare to straighten later.
  • Here you can see where the sand was screeded and the pipes slid down. Since you can only fill what you can reach, it is easiest to fill as you lay pavers. You can see 2 strings set up as guides.
  • This was a different project. As we were finishing the grading around the patio, you can still see the heavy plastic edging with spikes.
  • Southern Trillium LLC
    Southern Trillium LLC Stone Mountain, GA
    @Sea Wall. The reason for the pipes is because the outside diameter is nearly exactly 1", and this gives us the 1" layer of bedding sand needed. When we have strange elevations or slopes to make, we will use pvc and carefully flex them to what we need.
  • Argo Electrical Services
    Argo Electrical Services Gainesville, GA
    Very Nice...
  • Sea Wall Masonry
    Sea Wall Masonry Westbrook, ME
    I have laid many walkways and everyone has their theories. First I like the pipe idea, but I usuall use 2x4s and then replace them with retainers and before the base is put down I use geocloth because I live in Maine. Leroy White owner of Sea Wall
  • Debby Boyle
    Debby Boyle Necedah, WI
    I have laid over 6000 pavers. Not a bad job to do if the weather is right!!
  • Beverly T
    Beverly T Dallas, GA
    Is this expensive to do? What about for a patio about 20 x 45?
  • Southern Trillium LLC
    Southern Trillium LLC Stone Mountain, GA
    Rain S brings up good points. A paver driveway does look much nicer, but be aware that it also will cost more than typical concrete. You also sometimes have issues if wanting to change from concrete to pavers if you have large mature trees nearby,
  • Rain S
    Rain S Bellingham, WA
    @Julia yes you could do a driveway with pavers, it adds higher resale value to a home as opposed to asphalt or cement.

    Ensure you are using pavers that are rated for driveway

  • Julie Frey
    Julie Frey Hopkins, MN
    Could you do a whole drive-way this way? Our driveway is in desperate need of a redo!!
  • Charlie Smily
    a spent 15 years on the site's, ye ken as much as ye can durrin' aw that time,,lik' a Jack o' aw trades an' aw tricks
  • Nest Home Improvement
    Proof that the prep work is key to the finished product.
  • Rosemary N
    Rosemary N Klamath Falls, OR
    This sounds straightforward -- but a whole lot of work!! I'm not sure my senior-citizen back could take it.
  • TRD Designs Ltd.
    TRD Designs Ltd. Katonah, NY
    Nice work. We have not installed pavers on a stonedust bed for a few years now. All of the designs that involve pavers have permeable pavers. That process is a little different. We use 8-10"s of 3.4" gravel, compacted, no bedding sand or stonedust.
  • Building Moxie
    Building Moxie Baltimore, MD
    I love any post that includes the word "screeded" ... this is a project I will be tackling myself soon. very timely and thanks for the contribution.
  • Deck and Patio Company "Outdoor Living Experts"
    Deck and Patio Company "O... Huntington Station, NY
    Excellent text book instructions for a properly installed paver walkway Southern Trillium LLC . In New York this is rarely done. We do it this way of course, because
  • Cynthia B
    Cynthia B Sebastian, FL
    You make it look effortless!
Southern Trillium LLC

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