Paving Building Tips

1. Make a plan

Think about where you want your path, driveway, or patio, and then use graph paper to make a scaled drawing of the immediate area. Be sure to think about allowing adequate drainage if you want it to be safe and durable and consider making patterns or unusual shapes.

2. Order your materials

Austral Masonry provides a lot of paving product choices. You can find a variety of sizes, shapes, and colours here on this site. Find a style that is to your liking and visit an Austral Masonry Design centre near you (online ordering is coming soon!). Remember to allow a bit more than you actually need to allow for cutting and breakage. Also make sure you use the right paver for your application. Some pavers may not be suitable for driveways for example.

3. Outline the project area

Use string or garden hose to outline your project. Drive stakes to hold the outline in place and to make clean corners.

4. Scope your slope

To avoid water pooling on your pavers, they should be slightly above the surface of the surrounding ground at all points. Thus, when planning the slope, begin what will be the highest point (typically the point at the bottom of the front door or otherwise closest to the house). wikiHOW provides excellent advice on measuring and calculating your slope: http://www.wikihow.com/Install-Pavers

5. Excavate the installation area

The sum of the depth of the base, the sand, and the pavers will be how deep you need to excavate your project area. Find out how to calculate your excavation area: http://www.wikihow.com/Install-Pavers

6. Lay the base

The base material is usually coarse, crushed stone with sharp irregular edges. It’s essential that the base be well-compacted. Repeat this process until you have a base of the correct depth.

7. Install the edge restraints

Edge restraints will help hold the shape of your project over the years. Place these restraints, usually made of plastic, aluminium, or steel, around the perimeter of the project and secure them into the ground with spikes.

8. Put down a layer of sand

The sand is the material that holds your pavers in place. Use coarse sand and screed it smooth to a uniform depth of at least 2.54 cm, but no more that 3.81 cm.

9. Lay the pavers

The easy part. Begin laying pavers at a 90-degree corner and work out from there, keeping your pavers in straight lines. Place the pavers straight down in the sand-don’t slide or kick them into place, which will disturb the sand. Leave a 1.58 mm to 3.175 mm gap between pavers. Check to make sure the pavers are flat, and use a string to check each row for straightness. Cut pavers to fit the edges. Don’t try to curve your pavers to fit the edging. Instead, lay all the whole pavers you can in each row and then go back and cut pavers to the correct sizes to fit the edge. Use a masonry saw or a guillotine-style splitter to make good, clean cuts.

10. Compact the pavers

Use a plate compactor to tamp the pavers into the sand. Once all the pavers are installed, run the plate compactor over them to ensure they are snuggly pressed into the sand. Always place a piece of carpet or rubber over the surface of the compactor to ensure you do not damage the pavers.

12. Sweep sand into the joints

Fill the joints between pavers with clean fine sand. Pour it onto the pavers and sweep it into the cracks until they are completely filled. This sand “locks” the pavers in place.

11. Seal your pavers

For added durability and lower maintenance, seal the pavers with an appropriate sealing product.

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