Landscaping With Stone & Pavers

Overview

Pavers and stones are less expensive than laying cement for a patio or path. They also take less time and effort, and there's no worrying whether the cement will set properly. Once the pavers are set, they're ready to be used as a patio, path or edging right away, unlike cement, which takes three days to cure. Pavers and stones come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.

Patios and Paths

Step 1

Remove debris, stones and branches from the area to be paved. If it's a lawn, lay black plastic over it for two weeks. That will kill the grass, making it easier to remove.

Step 2

Dig out the area 3 inches deep if the pavers are 1 inch thick. If the pavers or stones are more than 1 inch, the depression should be as deep as the pavers plus 2 inches. Rake the area level, filling in low spots. Take an old wooden board and screed the dirt--running the board over the surface and pushing soil from the high spots into the low spots. You may need a helper to screed.

Step 3

Spread 2 inches of sand in the depression. Screed the sand again so the base is level.

Step 4

Lay the pavers or stones on top of the sand as close together as possible. There should be no gaps. Tamp the stones down with the rubber mallet as you go. Check that the stones are level with each other. Remove or add sand if necessary. Work from the back of the area to the front, laying one row of pavers or stones after the other.

Step 5

Fill in any gaps between the pavers and the edges of the depression with sand. Pour a few buckets of sand over the newly paved area and brush over the cracks between pavers to fill them in. Remove any excess.

Step 6

Wet down the pavers. This will wash any remaining sand down in between them. If necessary, spread more sand over the pavers and repeat the brushing.

Edging

Step 1

Dig a trench as deep as the paver or stone is high, minus 2 inches, and as wide If the paver is 4 inches high, the trench should be 2 inches deep.

Step 2

Lay the pavers in the trench so the ends touch. Check every 5 or 6 feet that the pavers are level with each other.

Step 3

Fill in any gaps between the pavers and the edges of the trench with soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Divide large areas into sections and pave each section.

Things You'll Need

  • Stones or pavers Shovel Sand Rake Wood board Level Rubber mallet Carpenter's level Bucket Broom

References

  • "Great Ideas for Your Garden"; Courtier et al; 2003
Keywords: laying pavers, laying stone patio, paver stone patio

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on GardenGuides.com, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.