Does the thought of laying a new patio seem daunting? If so, you’re not alone. That’s why many people choose a professional landscaping company to do it for them. However, if you forget about concrete or mortar, and opt to use sand instead, laying patio pavers is not as difficult as you may first think.
Providing you take things nice and slowly, and step-by-step, you’ll be marvelling at a new patio in no time. Plus, the fact that you did it yourself will make it even more satisfying to use.
Here are the six basic steps you need to follow:
Step 1. Calculate the size of the area
Measure the length and the width of the area you want to pave. Multiply the two numbers together the get the total square footage of your proposed patio.
Your paver supplier should be able to provide you with the coverage rate for the type/size of paver you want, so you know how many to buy. It’s always sensible to buy a few extra to allow for any breakages during installation or in the future.
You’ll need both sand and gravel to complete your project. The area should be covered with around 4 inches of gravel and 1 inch of sand. Again, you can calculate how much need using the square footage you obtained earlier. For example, the volume measurement for the gravel is simply the square footage multiplied by 4 and the sand is the square footage multiplied by 1.
Step 2. Excavate the area
You’ll need to excavate the area, but before you do you’ll need to know how deep to go. We’ve already said 4 inches of gravel and 1 inch of sand, so the only other measurement you need is the depth of the paver. Add them all together and you’ll know how dig to deep.
Step 3. Install the edging
An edge restraint around the border of your area will prevent the pavers from spreading out as you lay them. Dig a 2-4 inch deep trench then place an inch of sand in it before installing the plastic, pre-cast concrete, metal or wood edging.
Step 4. Lay the base
Pour your gravel into the patio bed and then tamp it down with a plate compactor. Next add your layer of sand and compact that too. Use a rake to flatten the sand out and check the whole area to ensure it’s nice and level.
Step 5. Lay the pavers
Place each paver straight down and avoid the temptation to move it once you have laid it. Doing so will cause sand and gravel to get in between and you’ll ed up with a patio that isn’t flush.
Step 6. Finish with sand
To finish your patio you’ll need to sweep fine-grained sand over it with a yard brush. The sand will fall in between the gaps and knit everything together. This final step must be completed in the dry.