How To Prep And Lay A Base
You can lay a structurally sound base in four simple steps: layout, grade, gravel, and sand. Before you jump in, youll need a few tools and materials to do it right. You can get many of these items at a Western Interlock facility in Oregon or Washington, a local hardware store, or landscape supplier.
- 1 square metal pipe bars or ¾ PVC pipe
- Plastic edge restraint
Pouring Your Own Concrete Pavers
Pouring your own concrete pavers can turn out to be a great solution, especially if youre looking to create a custom design for your patio or garden pathway. You can use custom molds which you can build yourself out of wood or you can get some predefined mold designs if you prefer a more standardized look. If you decide to follow the custom route, check out this great tutorial from overondover. It describes all the steps you need to take if you want to pour your own concrete pavers.
How To Lay Patio Pavers On Dirt
A simple paver patio adds usable living space to the garden. While a permanent installation requires excavating soil and a compacted base of gravel and sand to ensure a long-lasting, level patio, you may only need the space for a season or two. A temporary installation of patio pavers on dirt may suffice until you’re ready to install the hardscape in a long-range landscape plan.
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One: Determine The Size And Shape Of Your Patio
Your first step is to figure out where you want to place your patio and exactly how large you want it to be. We had this perfect area next to our shed where grass never grew, and we knew if we put a patio there it would make this corner of our yard usable again.
Because of the natural landscape of our yard, we had a pretty good outline already we wanted our patio to run the length of the shed widthwise, and from the shed over to the tree. Of course, the skys the limit when youre sizing out your patio just remember the bigger it is, the more work youll have to do!
Once youve determined the sizing, use your stakes and string to frame out the area where you want the patio to be. Youll use this to determine both the size and the depth of where you need to dig, so you want to take the time to ensure your lines are straight and level. You can use a straight line in your yard to measure off of to be sure the line is completely straight.
Place the stakes at each corner, then tie the string to the stakes to create an outline. Use the line level to make sure the strings are placed evenly.
Once youve framed out all four sides , add a line of string going diagonally across both sets of corners. This will help you level out the middle of the patio .
Once you have the space marked off, youre ready for the hard part: digging.
Put In Edge Restraints
Edge restraints help hold the pavers in place. They are usually made of wood, metal, or plastic and are installed around the edge of the project with 12 spikes. For irregular-shaped patios, the edging may have to be cut to contour to the curves in the project.
The layer of sand under the pavers acts like glue.
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Begin Digging Your Patio Area
Start by digging out the area where youd like to place your stone paver patio. Youll want to add 4 inches of gravel and 1 inch of sand, plus the depth of the pavers. Preparing the area is the most time consuming part of the process, so dont get discouraged. Once youve dug down to the appropriate depth for the whole area, make sure it is level by laying a long 4 inch diameter PVC pipe across the area with a level on it. Flatten and compress the area using a tamper.
Create Patio Pavers Using A Mold And Concrete Mix
Have you ever seen paver patios or garden paths that look like perfectly matching puzzle pieces? Its no coincidence that the pieces complement each other so well. The pavers or flagstones have either been chosen very carefully or theyve been created to fit a particular pattern right from the start. Some patio pavers and stepping stones are actually quite deceiving in this sense as theyre actually created using a mold and concrete mix. Curious how that works? Check out this mold from luxberra.
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How To Compact Gravel For Your Patio Base
Use a plate compactor to compact the gravel, creating a firm and long-lasting base for the patio.
Lay the Base
Once the patio layout is done, you’re ready to excavate the area. Dig deep enough to allow for the base material under the pavers.
Pavers vary in thickness. The rule of thumb is to dig to the thickness of the paver, plus another six inches for a solid base.
Our pavers are 2-1/2″ thick and we want them to be level with the ground. We need six inches of base material plus 2-1/2″ for the paver height, so we are digging 8-½” deep.
It’s a good idea to create a slight slope away from the house to encourage water runoff a 3″ slope over a 12′ patio should be fine.
Now it’s time to add the base material. First, fill the excavation with compactable gravel, to a depth of five inches, tamping it down as you go. Rake the top surface smooth and level with a steel rake . To check for high and low points and to make sure your area is level, place a long, straight 2×4 on edge across the area then place three-foot level on the 2×4, adjust the gravel as necessary .Use a plate compactor to compact the gravel, which will create a firm and long-lasting base for the patio . You can rent a plate compactor for as little as $50 a day. For best results work the compactor in a circular motion and go over all areas at least twice.
A Challenging Project Thats Well Worth The Effort
If youre already familiar with what it takes to install a paver pathway then you should be able to use that knowledge when installing a patio as well, provided youre using the same technique. The project would be challenging but also rewarding. You can check out thediyvillage if youre curious to see how everything progresses and how the new pathway starts to take shape, little by little.
Using large paver bricks can be a practical decision as it means youll probably be able to install all of them quicker and that youll have an easier time creating a flat surface. Of course, that will influence the design and the structure of your new paver patio so be sure to take all the details into account before you make a purchase. Keep in mind that every DIY project is different. For example, the project featured on jhalvorson had to take into account the lack of grass in the shady areas of the patio and that meant a whole lot of mulch was needed.
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How To Build Steps With Pavers
The process of building patio paver steps should change based on what project you have in mind. That said, its important to note that there are two main ways for building patio paver steps: the fill method and the cut-in method.
For the fill method, you have to excavate the entire area of the stairway straight back, then place and compact a 6 thick gravel base as a level foundation. Place multiple courses of SRW units to build the steps as you go. If using the cut-in method, it is not necessary to excavate the entire area. Remove loose soil, place and compact a 6 thick base of gravel under every step. When building, the height, or rise, of each step must be consistent.
How To Build Steps With Pavers Lets Talk About Planning
Planning is the most important part of the process when it comes to the installation of stairs and steps.
First, youre going to need something you can use to draw on the floor, like chalk or spray paint. With that in hand, youre going to draw a sketch of the steps on the floor. This sketch will help you visualize the position of the stairs and will be a good guideline for the next step.
Now comes the math part. For that, youre going to need some metal stakes, string, a level line, and a measuring tape. For starters, place a metal stake at the highest point of your path and one at the lowest. Then tie one end of the string to the highest stake and the other end all the way on the lowest stake.
That will allow you to measure the height difference between the highest and lowest point of your terrain. Dont forget to use the level line on the string to make sure its leveled! If you divide the height difference by the height of the step block you plan to use, youll know the number of steps youre going to need.
Dont forget that the height of your step block is equal to the height of the retaining wall blocks youre going to use plus the height of the pavers youre going to place as steps afterward.
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Build A Patio Like A Pro So It Will Last For Years To Come
Its important to be prepared for all the hard work and effort required to build a paver patio but to not allow it to overwhelm you. If you follow all the steps and do everything right, this can be a very satisfying project, and what better time to do it than now? With that in mind, we think youre really going to enjoy this tutorial on which explains everything you need to know to be able to install pavers like a pro so you can build a patio that will last for years to come.
Create A Custom Paver Patio
One of the best things about DIY projects is that you can let your creativity go wild. Room For Tuesday shares how to install a custom paver patio, and you can simply adjust the instructions to fit the size and design of your garden. One of their top tips is to try this project in cooler temperatures or in the evening. Otherwise, youll find this project to be a lot more challenging and unenjoyable. Remember, though, you can save yourself thousands of dollars by tackling this project yourself, so its certainly worth the hard work.
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How To Mark Off Your Patio Area
Place a stake at the corners of the area for the patio and tie mason string to mark off the area.
Prep the Area
When considering where to build a patio, choose a flat, level area. Then have your local utility company come out and make sure the area is free of underground utilities.
Next measure the area, so you can order the right amount of materials. Our area is 11′ x 11′ square.
Once you have the materials, do a dry layout of your design . Do this in any level part of the yard. Play with the pattern and design, see what works and make sure you have enough materials.
At your patio location, measure the area and pound four stakes into each corner. We did ours 12′ square 11′ square plus 6″ on each side for edging .
Tie mason string to mark off the square . Measure diagonally across the stakes from opposite corners to make sure the patio area is square.
Use A Sledge Hammer To Remove Old Concrete Slabs
Before you get to plan and install your new and beautiful paver patio you might have to remove some concrete slabs first in order to make room and to be able to prepare the foundation for the new structure. The best way to remove old concrete slabs is, from our experience, with a sedge hammer. Its lighter than a jackhammer and a lot easier to operate as well. Its also very effective if youre dealing with a standard patio.
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Add The Sand Base Layer And Screed It
Your final bed is a layer of sand that acts as a soft place to set and adjust the pavers. First, roll out a layer of landscape fabric on top of the base gravel to prevent the sand from sifting through the gravel.
To maintain a perfect 1-inch depth for the sand, lay down the two lengths of PVC pipe parallel to each other and about 6 feet apart. Pour sand between the pipes, covering them. Lay the scrap two-by-four across the tops of the PVC pipes, then screed it toward you in a gentle raking motion. The sand will move to the side and over the top of the screed board. Continue moving the PVC pipes and screeding until the entire area is finished. Finish by tamping down the sand, working backward so that you cover up your footprints.
Materials For Your Concrete Paver Patio
Project specific supplies:
- Landscape fabric for clay soil-*see note
*Some Important Notes About Your Project Materials
A 16 x16 paver is actually 15 ¾ x 15 ¾ and just over 1 ½ thick . This is important to know when it comes to sketching out your design so it fits the space well.
If you are using larger pavers and installing the patio yourself, you may want to take weight into consideration. I used 16×16 pavers, which weighed 36 lbs each! I could carry only one at a time, so this made the project more time consuming.
Instead, you can opt for the 12 x 12 pavers. Or if you have a little four-wheeled wagon and dont have a hill to go up to, that will make things much easier!
When it comes to base layer and top layer materials, a landscape supply company in your area will know the best base material for your patio pavers.
For instance, if you live in an area that has a high amount of clay in the soil, plan on using extra gravel in your base layer. Clay has draining issues and larger gravel will help with this.
In my area, the base layer material is known as crusher run. A crusher run has granite dust and coarse and fine angular aggregate and the gravel is about ½-4 in size.
For my top level, I used paver dust, but in your area, sand may be recommended. Again, trust the guidance of your local supplier.
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Two: Dig Out The Area Of The Patio
To determine how deep you need to dig, take the height of your pavers , and add 1-2 inches for sand PLUS about 3 inches of paver base.
Heres a quick note: depending on the area you live in and how much use your patio will get, you may be able to skip the paver base. I absolutely do not recommend this if youre doing a full paver patio, if you live in an area that gets hard freezes regularly, or if this will be the main patio in your yard and therefore see a ton of traffic. BUT, since our area almost never freezes, our soil drains really well, and this patio will only see light use, we felt good about doing the sand only. My dad has done a ton of landscaping projects like this over the years, and he gave me the advice to skip it, so Ill just blame him if it falls apart.
Im kidding. Mostly.
The digging is definitely the most back-breaking part of the entire process, and youll want to quit at least a hundred times. Just put on a good podcast, tune out the world, and keep on digging.
You may notice that we hadnt placed the string yet in the above photo. We didnt want to work around it , so we dug out the main area, then laid it to get the edges and determine the spots where we needed to dig deeper. This is a perfectly fine order to work in too, if you find that easier!
Heres a quick rundown of how youll use the string border youve put up:
What Is The Base
The base is another word for foundation. In hardscape, your base includes the layers of aggregate directly under your paving stones that give your hardscape stability, strength, and permeable power.
The traditional base for a paver patio is 46 of compacted gravel above your dirt. If youre installing a driveway or road intended for vehicular traffic, youll need to double the thickness of your gravel layer.
Lets take a closer look at what goes under your pavers and how to lay a base that wont fail.
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Use A Sod Cutter Or Picks To Remove Sod From The Patio Area
Investigate your choices for brick paver patios, and get inspiration from great pictures from hgtv.com learn about your options for brick paver patios and explore design ideas for your outdoor living space. You’ve decided to build or rem. Pavers have a variety of uses in landscaping projects because they’re specifically designed for ground applications. A beautiful outdoor landscaped br. A patio can be created with many materials, but it’s hard to beat one made from pavers for ease of installation and low maintenance. Use this simple guide to find out how much brick pavers cost and where to find the colors and styles you love. Build concrete pavers for patio to help create the ultimate backyard space. It’s a fairly simple project, but it does require a lot of elbow grease. A beautiful patio, perfect for outdoor entertaining. Use a sod cutter or picks to remove sod from the patio area. Here’s how to build a paver patio that invites you to enjoy the outdoors. They’re also great for people who want to put a limit on the amount of money they spend. Learn to create concrete pavers for patio at tlc home.
Pavers have a variety of uses in landscaping projects because they’re specifically designed for ground applications. The very word conjures up visions of. They’re also great for people who want to put a limit on the amount of money they spend.