Preparing to lay pavers

Posted: July 2, 2010 by DIY Big Boss in Bricks / Blocks / Pavers / Other, Soil / Rocks / Stones / Fill / Bark
Tags: , ,

This image is from the Revolutionary Gardens blog. By looking closely you can see where the base dips from bad base preparation.

Laying pavers should be fairly simple, but it is easy to skip the first steps to the process, which is the preparation.  Not paying adequate attention to your preparation will cause problems down the track.

The problems

The three biggest issues are:

  1. Poor design,
  2. Laying on the incorrect surface or underprepared surface, and
  3. Not allowing for proper run off.

Each of these will require that you will basically need to pull up and relay your pavers, which is expensive and a waste of time.  Instead get it right first time.

Revolutionary Gardens in Northern Virginia has a great blog where they point out some of the disastrous paving jobs they have discovered, which is an entertaining read!  The image I have used here is from their blog showing what a bad base will do to your end job.

Getting it right

Here are our top six tips to a great preparation.  Let us know if you have any additional ones.

  1. Start with a design, this is especially important when working with a pattern.
  2. Measure the area and calculate how much paving you will need. Look into the DIY Bargain Bin Bricks, Blocks, Pavers and Other section for discounted pavers.  Ensure that there is enough for your job.
  3. Clear the area, so that you clearly know where your paving is going to go.  Mark it out.
  4. Dig out the area to be paved.  Ensure it is deep enough for your paver and your compacted under layers.
  5. Compact your soil and then compact your base layer. The DIY Bargain Bin also supplies the items for your base layer so check out our Soil / Rocks / Stones / Fill / Bark section.
  6. Ensure that your ground is even with a slight slope away from any building or structure.

A fantastic comprehensive guide to laying pavers can be found on the Boral website. It is full of good images and instructions to get it right first time.

Be sure to let us know how your paving goes.


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