Brick or concrete paving stones are ideal wherever a durable outdoor surface is required. From driveways and paths to patios and flowerbed surrounds, installing pavers is an effective way to enhance both the value and the attractiveness of your home.

It’s All in the Planning…

  • Plan the design of the area to be paved by making a scale drawing on graph paper.
  • Calculate the number of pavers you’ll need by determining the square footage of the area and adding an extra 5% to cover any pavers that have to be cut to size. You’ll also need to order base material – generally sharp crushed stone – and sand for the bedding layer and filling joints.
  • Lay out your plan on the ground using string and stakes. Use these string lines to also ensure your paving has adequate slope for rainwater runoff.
  • Excavate your site to a depth that will accommodate your base material plus bedding sand plus the thickness of the pavers. Remember to measure your depth from your guidelines, not from the surface of the ground. Also remember, when you install pavers, to excavate 30cm beyond the boundaries of the area to be paved in order to leave room for the installation of edge restraints.

Lay a Strong Foundation

  • Lay your base material. For paver installation you should do this in layers of no more than 5cm at a time, using a plate compactor to thoroughly tamp the material at each step. Ensure that the finished surface is smooth, firm and has no dips or bulges. Take frequent readings from your guide strings. Areas that receive only foot traffic need about 15cm of base material. Pavers installed as driveways will require double this amount.
  • Install edge restraints. Made of metal or plastic, these will secure the pavers and reduce the possibility of them shifting over time. Fix in place with 30cm spikes.
  • Spread your bedding sand. This sand is what will hold your installed pavers in place and should be no more than 3.75cm deep. Use a screeding beam to ensure that it is smooth and of an even depth.

Get Those Stones Down

  • Lay your paving stones. Start at a 90 degree corner and work outwards. Place each paver straight down against the next, do not disturb the sand by twisting or shunting it into place. Use a guide string to check that each row is straight. Monitor regularly to ensure that the pavers are level. When all the pavers have been installed use a plate compactor to tamp them firmly into the sand.
  • Fill the joints between pavers by tipping sand liberally over the paved area and sweeping it into the cracks until they are completely full. Ensure the sand is dry or it will not move freely to the full depth of the pavers.
  • The final step when installing pavers is to seal them using an appropriate sealing product. This will extend the life of the stones, help keep the joint sand in place, prevent weed growth and water erosion, and ensure many trouble-free years of service from your paving.

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