How to Install Landscape Pavers
Planning Your Walkway or Patio
Putting in a brick, or paver walkway is something almost anyone can do with a little time and effort. For best results keep your plan simple. Once you get some experience you may even want to design a garden patio.
Straight lines tend to give a formal feel to gardens, while curvy lines are more informal and cottagey. Think about the style of your home and garden when you plant the shape of your walkway. Consider your existing garden area, and where the walkway will ultimately lead. Keep your budget in mind as well. The more material you need the more the project will ultimately cost.
In order to plan what you want you should search the internet, magazines, and even homes in your neighborhood for ideas. Look again at your own garden and make a rough sketch of how you want you walkway and patio to fit in.
How to Estimate Materials
The next step, after planning, is to estimate the amounts of materials you will need. In order to do this you will estimate the square feet of your walkway. The walkway should be between 32" and 36" wide. Measure your width and multiply it times your length to determine square footage.
If your walkway will be curved the easiest way to measure length is to use a length of rope to create the shape of the walkway. After you have the shape the way you like it straighten the rope out, measure it, and you will have your length.
Next, measure the edging by figuring the linear feet of the open edges of the patio or walkway.
Now you can buy pavers. The size of the pavers will determine the number you will need. Plan on adding 5% to the total number of pavers you need to cover any broken or chipped pavers, or problems that may occur.
You will also need gravel and cushioning sand for the base. You will need approximately a 4" depth of gravel with a 1" layer of sand over the top. Your home improvement store should be able to help you figure how much you will need, but here is the equation you will use for each:
- Gravel- Length x Width x Height = Volume Example: For a 10' X 10' patio with 4" of gravel, you will need (10 X 10 X .333)= 34 cubic feet or 1.25 cubic yards. (.333 is the same as 1/3 of a foot, or 4 inches.)
- Sand-You need 1" of sand above the gravel base but also must take into account the sand that will fall down into the gravel. Use the cubic yards that you came up with in the equation above and multiply that by .333. So in our pretend 10x10 patio we need .42 cu yards of sand. 1.25 x .333=.42.
Got that? Good.
Make A Stone Walkway in a Weekend
Create Your Patio or Walkway
Grade the area where your pavers will be, and build in the edging. Edging can be done in one of several ways, it is up to you and your budget how you do it. remember that the pathway should be graded approximately 7" below the level of the surrounding yard to allow for the gravel and cushioning sand, and the pavers.
- Plastic or metal edging: You will install plastic edging after you dig out the area but before you put down your cushioning materials. Lay the edging along the pathway or patio. Now, hammer the stakes through the bottom of the plastic strip to hold it down firmly.The edging stip should not be more thanone inch above the lawn level.
- Wood edging: Dig a trench along the pathway or patio that is deep enough so that the edging rests 1" to 2" above the level of the ground. Add sand to the trench to level the edging, and set the boards in place.
- Brick edging: Dig a trench along the pathway or the patio so that the edging rests 1" to 2" above the ground. Add sand to the trench to make the edging level. Set each brick in place. Check to make sure that the bricks are level with each other. Tap carefully with a rubber mallet to set them.
Now you can lay the base. Add the gravel evenly along the graded area. Use a rake to get it as even as possible. Now lay on the cushioning sand, using the rake again to keep it level and even.
Using a Mason's line or other guide, set the pavers by working form a corner outward. Tap them into place with a mallet. Check the level as you go with a carpenter's level.
Once your surface is finished pour more sand over the walkway or patio and sweep the sand into the areas between the bricks. Use as much as you need to fill the areas between the bricks with the sand.
Spray a fine mist of water over your new path or patio to help settle the sand. Allow it to dry and then repeat sweeping sand into the areas between the pavers until the joints are filled. Spray again and allow to dry.
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