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 chosen pattern will dictate any cutting. For a few cuts, a grinding wheel on a circular saw will suffice. For lots of cuts or cutting curves on a patio, a large gas powered cut-off saw with a grinding wheel or diamond wheel is necessary. We also use a large sliding table tile saw to custom cut some pavers.
Once the pavers are all laid, install the edging strips. Then, run the compactor over the pavers to bed the pavers in the sand. You will have a perfectly level and smooth paver patio/walk. It does not require setting each paver individually. While compacting, you will sweep regular sand or polymeric sand into the joints. If polymeric sand, follow the manufacturer instructions on sweeping, compacting, and wetting.
See the following photos for the process. As an example of how fast pavers can be installed, 3 of us installed the paver walkway seen in the photos in one day. We followed the same path of an existing paver walkway that was improperly installed. The one day included all excavation and all installation and clean-up.
I'm a handyman carpenter and over the years I have done a lot of restoration work on houses and occasionally furniture. I've done a little bit of everything. That includes siding in it's
various forms. But until tackling 'the giant', they've always been straight jobs.
This is my own house, and I took my time to build the giant. I started in the fall of 2011 and any I'd add to it time I had free and it was over 40 degrees. Fortunately it was a warm winter and I finished in the early spring of 2012. You will see from the before picture that this was a surface in need of a creative solution. The house was built in 1907 and the enclosed stairway was added some time later by someone who gave no thought to integrating the design with the rest if the house. Putting clapboards on to match the rest of the house would not really have made it look like it belonged. I had seen several examples of cedar siding art over the years that gave me the idea to do something different. On my website I've created a gallery to show other people's works as well.
I decided to tackle the project in 2 stages. First I created a sampler of traditional shingle patterns so I could get my head around this project. That's the vertical rectangle on the left side of the wall. That left me with a trapezoid shape. The second stage was finding something that worked in that shape. I sketched a number of ideas, but the one that worked best was to make it look like a stairway (surprise surprise). Not sure why I thought of a giant, but once I did, it amused me enough to want to create it.
I'm not an artist, but I have studied enough to know what I had to do. I worked with a graphic program to create perspective with vanishing points. In this case one plane is parallel to the viewer: the "wall" in back of the giant (on his left) and the near edge of the stairs. The stair treads and risers as well as the wall that has the arched door has a vanishing point to the left of the house.
Once I had a design I liked, I overlaid a grid on it and blew up and printed up each section. I nailed a story board to the left and used a roofing square to transfer my design on to the wall as I went. This is a bit tricky since each layer you add covers the layout design and you get to draw it again and again.
I would not recommend a project like this if you have never shingled before. It can be very confusing and you have to remember that the most important aspect is not how it looks, but that it sheds water properly. On several occasions, I'd reach a point where I realized there was insufficient overlap and had to redo a row. Two or three times I was able to work around this by sliding a piece of aluminum in place.
I'd be willing to bet that when most people draw a picture they visualize it from the top down. If you're like me, you'll find creating picture in shingles as very unnerving, because the only way you can do a project of this nature is from the bottom up. Just take a deep breath and try again and don't let it intimidate you. I wanted to go slow, so I did all the cuts with a utility knife, a small hand saw, and a coping saw. Of course power tools would go faster, but what really took the most time was thinking each step through. After I finished the project, I found examples of people who cut their pieces in the shop pinning them to a board and then bringing their lay out board to the site.
For a project of this size and scale, I highly recommend using scaffolding. Also it helped a lot to have my wife standing back and overseeing the process. Besides the fact she has a much better artistic eye than I do, I didn't want to climb up and down from the scaffolding to inspect my work, and she caught many a mistake that was more visible from 20 feet away than from 2 feet away.
I got more positive comments from my friends about this work than anything else I've done, but the best part is seeing it every day from my workshop.
You can find other examples of siding art along with helpful links at the website I created to showcase the giant at
I have a small project, a 5x6 bathroom tile job, that I had scheduled for my vacation in August. This guy is a late starter, so when he hadn't showed up by 10:15 am., I called him. He
said his back was out a few weeks before that and now he was 2 weeks behind. So we rescheduled for Sept. 12 & 14th. Wednesday rolled around and he actually called me this time to say he was going to be late. He then called around noon to say he couldn't come at all and he would do the whole job Friday. Sooooo, Friday is today. At 10:15, still no word, so I called him. Another emergency.
Do I give him another chance? They did my kitchen backsplash a few years ago, the ceramic tile in my foyers last summer and the laminate floor in July. I am tired of using up my vacation days waiting around. I currently have some calls out for estimates from new people in the newspaper. But I am scared! lol
I have to stick around because I have a cat who doesn't like being cooped up in her bedroom all day, and I am not fond of strangers in the house when I am not home.
Commented on Sep 18, 2012
Don't trust a stranger.........I'd try "Angie's List"