Paving stones can add beauty to walkways, driveways and backyard patios, providing that eye-catching finishing touch to a property while enhancing its curb appeal.
Even though the installation of pavers can be a labor-intensive process, with the right tools and tips, this can be a do-it-yourself project for homeowners with renovation experience. Consider these tricks and how-to tips courtesy of The Home Depot, DIY Network and Unilock.
Get your supplies
To begin a paver project, homeowners will need to stock up on some supplies they may not already have at home. Marking paint, mason line, wooden stakes, leveling sand, paver base, and more will be required. A manual tamper can be used. However, for larger areas, it can be worth the cost to rent a plate compactor.
Measure the area
The number of bags of sand, paver base and paving stones needed for the project depends on the size of the area. For example, according to the Home Depot, for 60 square feet, homeowners will need about 30 12 x 12-inch paver stones, 40 bags of paver base and 12 bags of paver leveling sand.
Spray or mark the area where the paving stones will be laid. Measure carefully so you can order exactly how many stones you will need. Have the materials delivered to reduce heavy lifting and trips to the store. Be sure to have all utility lines marked prior to excavation to avoid damage.
Prepare the base carefully
One of the most important aspects of paver installation involves preparing the base. If you cut corners in this process, the finished results can be sloppy, weeds can grow through and/or stones may loosen.
It’s essential to grade the area away from the house. That means that the highest point of the patio or walkway should be closest to the house and then the incline gradually flattens out as it moves away from the home. This allows proper water runoff. Mark the height on the stakes and adjust the mason line. Remember to slope the area away from your home with a drop-off of about one inch for every 8 feet.
The base of many DIY applications should be between four and six inches deep. Work incrementally, raking and tamping until the base is firm. Lightly wetting the material can help it solidify.
Sand helps inhibit weed growth and anchor the pavers together. Plastic lining will not be practical.
Use edge restraints and a string line to keep the design straight. Do not hammer the pavers together. Paver sand will need to be swept over and settled between the stones to help set them in place.
It helps to read tutorials and watch videos on paving stone installation prior to beginning the project. With practice, the installation will go more smoothly.