Concrete pavers can be a versatile feature in your landscape. Not only do they serve a function but they are easy to install and are durable. Pavers come in a wide variety of shapes, styles and colors to complement your home and outside landscaping. They can be used in walkways, patios and garden areas. They provide a stable area to walk on and for outdoor furniture, while keeping the area natural and easy to maintain.
Draw a rough draft of the area where you want to lay the pavers. Calculate the area and add 5 percent for waste. Multiply the length and width of the area in feet and multiply the two numbers to get the square footage. Use this number to calculate the number of pavers you need.
Place stakes around the perimeter of the project, approximately 2 feet apart from one another. This will provide an outline of where you need to dig for placement of the stones. The stones should be placed at a slight slope away from any buildings.
Dig to a depth of 7 to 9 inches for patios and approximately 12 inches wider than the area that you want to pave. Remove all large stones and other debris. This will provide you with enough area to place the base, sand and pavers.
Level the area with a plate compactor or a hand tamper. This will prevent your pavers from shifting due to loose dirt.
Add a layer of gravel or crushed stone at a depth of approximately 5 inches. Use the tamper on top of the gravel. Wet the gravel slightly to help compact it so that you do not leave an indention in the gravel. Continue adding gravel until you have a depth of 6 inches or until there are 3 inches to the top of the grade. The grade should be three-sixteenths of an inch per foot, to ensure for proper drainage. Place a two-by-four on top of the grade and use a level on top of the wood to measure the slope.
Install the edge restraints along the outside perimeter of the pavers. Place the restraints on the outside edge of the area you have excavated. The restraints should be pushed tight against the edge. This will prevent the pavers from shifting.
Apply a 1-1/2 inch layer of coarse sand as a final layer before adding the concrete pavers. Rake over the entire area of sand to make sure it is smooth and perfectly level.
Lay your pavers on top of the sand in the appropriate design. Cut any concrete pavers using a masonry saw to fit the design. Mark them first with chalk or a marking crayon to give a guide for the cut. The pavers should fit tightly together. Use a height string across the tops of the pavers to ensure they are level.
Pour masonry sand on top of the stones and gently sweep it into the cracks to seal the stones together. Use a tamper to gently press the sand.
Sweep your stones to remove any loose sand.