DIY Guide – How to Lay Pavers and Paving

DIY (Do It Yourself) Guide – Laying Paving

How to Lay Pavers – A comprehensive guide

pavingPavers can often be seen laid on pathways offering a smooth but hard surface. They make fantastic landscaping ideas around the home, the patio, the driveway, the pool deck, the walkway but some at some area that can be transformed with pavers offering a very nice aesthetic look and ease of use. Pavers are not only hard blocks of stones but can be found in many different varieties. The material used for paving includes concrete, bricks and stones. The material is often manufactured in different size and shapes and with a variety of colours. Some pavers have hexagonal shapes allowing them to interlock. The shape can also be modified to take the form of the curves making the landscape. Laying pavers is not very difficult but requires following certain techniques. It can be done as a DIY home improvement job but the work can be a bit strenuous.

Steps for laying pavers

To start, the foundation for laying pavers, the first step is to have an inspection conducted for any underground pipes or

  • The excavation – Depending on the area that is being excavated, the depth can range between six to twelve inches or between ten to twelve if the area is to be used as a pathway for vehicles; in general, the excavation should be such as to accommodate sand and the pavers. An engineer should be consulted to determine the amount of sand required for the base which often depends on the quality of the soil and its capacity to retain water, expand or saturate.
  • Compacting the soil – The next step is to compact the soil. This is best done with a compactor and depends on the type of soil. If the soil in the area is clay, the best result is obtained by using a roller or a rammer but if the soil is sandy, a vibraplate often provide good results
  • Installing a geotextile fabric – If the area where the paving is to be installed has moisture or the soil expands, the initial soil needs to be kept separated with the base soil by installing a geotextile fabric
  • Placing the base soil –The base soil should be placed gradually in lifts no more than four inches at a time and compacted each time. Soil used for the base should be granular and easily compactable. The soil should be spread evenly on the surface.
  • The edge restraints – these are important as they play a role of interlocking the concrete pavers and also provide lateral resistance and continuity. The restraints are placed on the base soil secured using steel pipes which keeps them in place. A setting layer of base soil is than placed that is about half an inch thick. The setting layer used most commonly is concrete soil granite stone dust or coarse washed concrete sand.
  • Installing the pavers – Depending on the pattern that is considered, the pavers should accordingly be placed. As the pavers are placed, a small space is left between them which is normally filled with sand to hold them firmly in place.
  • Compacting – Once the pavers are in place, the final step is to spread sand over which will infiltrate into the space between the pavers. A compactor is then used to even out the surface.
  • Sealing – It is possible apply sealing to protect the pavers especially the colours but sealing must occasionally be reapplied.

Cutting pavers

When in the process of laying paving, corners and other surfaces in the area will require that the pavers be cut so that they fit to shape. You may also have a specific design which you would like the pavers to have. Cutting pavers can be done with either a hammer with a chisel, a block splitter or a power saw.  Obviously, with the advancement of technology, manually cutting habits is extremely rare and most frequently the power saw is used. The use of a power saw varies. Unless you are manufacturing pavers where special power saw such as the bench or table saw are used, for DIY projects, a hand held power saw is often a very reliable tool.

Type of paving choice

lay pavingThere is a wide variety of paving choice that can be used. with the technology, new paving material is often introduced but as mentioned. Concrete is often very durable and can be painted and sealed to protect against the elements. It is the easiest to install. Stones offer much more of a challenge for paving but the steps are similar as mentioned. Stones can be found as sandstone, limestone, or bluestone. Stone pavers have irregular shapes. Bricks in the contrary like concrete pavers are easy to install and come in irregular shapes.

Granite is quite popular as a paving choice and often used for landscaping buildings and other commercial area. Flagstone when used and place without cutting to shape are the most demanding. When your choice of pavers is flagstone, you should always make certain to personally choose the limestone. They make a great paving choice and can often be placed to provide sort of a rustic character.

Whatever the choice of paving that you choose, properly place they can provide elegance and keep the whole area looking nice and tidy.

Paving pattern and maintenance

Paving is often undertaken for many reasons. It not only makes the landscape look clean and tidy but also offers style and character as well as elegance.  There are many designs that can be made and it consists one of the most important element in paving. Some very popular patter choices are herringbone, parquet, running bond, brick bond, block paving, or irregular paving.

Maintenance is quite easy pavers being quite strong and durable material when installed properly. To protect the paving sealants can be used. For having satisfying results, the sealants should be applied on an annual basis. Cleaning chemicals can also be used on tough dirt and other stains. Occasionally sweeping and mopping should be enough to keep pavers looking nice.

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