Instructions on how to install pavers

Concrete or brick pavers can not only provide your home or yard with extra character and pizzazz, but are also versatile, long-lasting and easily customisable to your desired look. With a bit of planning they’re also easy to install yourself, making them an economical choice for gardens, pathways or driveways. Below I will outline the steps for using pavers to create your own unique pathway or driveway;

Planning

It is essential to ensure you plan your paving to ensure adequate drainage and avoid any extra work. Firstly think about where you would like your pathway or driveway and use graph paper to make a scaled drawing of the area, then drawing in your desired design.

It is important to plan adequate drainage to prevent flooding and water damage to your property. To do this, ensure that the path / driveway slopes away from your house at a rate of 1 inch for every 5 to 8 feet.

Once you determine the size and shape of the project, you will need to decide how many pavers you need. If your design is fairly straight and without many curves, simply estimate the square footage of the space and add 5 percent. If you have a lot of curves or a paver border, add 10 percent.

When you are certain on the size and shape of your design, outline the project area using either string or garden hose. Ensure that any corners are at 90° using a framing square. Finally, drive in stakes to hold the outline in place.

Excavating

When deciding what depth you should excavate to, it is important to consider the usage of your project. If it will only be used for pedestrian traffic then the depth of the base material (usually processed gravel) need only be about 4 to 6 inches. However, if the paving is around a pool area or is intended for vehicle usage, then a depth of 6 to 8 inches will be required. An extra 2 inches should also be allowed for a sand bed. To avoid water pooling, it is important that your pavers sit 1 inch above ground level.

Laying the Base

After excavation, compact the soil with a plate compactor. After this fill the area to the required depth with base material. It is important to make the base firm with constant compacting and addition of water. Once it is firm, spread sand over the base and screed until it is 2 inches deep.

Laying the Pavers

Starting in one of your 90° corners gently fit your pavers together in your desired pattern. You will almost certainly need to cut some pavers to fit the edges. Do not try to curve them to fit the edging as it is important that the pavers remain in straight rows.

Periodically stop to check that your pavers are level and use a string to check each row for straightness.

Once all the pavers are installed, use a plate compactor to ensure they are all snuggly fitted into the sand. Finally pour dry sand onto the pavers and sweep it into the cracks until they are completely filled. This will fix the pavers in place.