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Building a beautiful environment

How to lay pavers in 4 simple steps

The question is not: do I want a backyard oasis?

The answer is a very obvious 'yes'.

The question is actually: "do I want to do it myself or hire a contractor"

THAT is the question.

If we want to do it ourselves, then we should know roughly, what is involved so you can have an idea what you're in store for.

Here are some steps:

Step #1: Hardscape paver installations add beauty, style, and function to any outdoor space while boosting curb appeal and property value. The first step to installing them involves sizing up the site, measuring it, and calculating how many pavers you will need. Determine the total area of your project in square feet, then determine how many pavers will be needed to fill that area. Always purchase 10% more pavers than you think you'll need to account for breakage, pavers that need to be cut, and replacement pavers for future repairs.

Step #2: Clear the intended site of debris, plants, and other items. Level the site as much as possible, and determine the amount of paver base needed. Paver base is comprised of loose gravel that should create a four-inch deep base when compacted. You may have to remove some sod and perhaps a thin layer of soil in your site to create a depression deep enough for the paver base. Install and compact (using a plate compactor) the base gravel, and take your time with this step. A strong, level, compacted base helps prevent paver cracking in the future. Once the base gravel is down, add sand to that and allow the sand to filter into the gravel.

Step #3: Begin laying pavers! Periodically check that the pavers are level, but if the hardscape fixture is being installed up against your home, ensure that the pavers gradually slope away from the home at about 1/4 of an inch per foot of pavers. Place the pavers in any pattern of your choosing, and be prepared to cut some pavers in half to ensure they fit the pattern. Once all of the pavers are down, add paver edging around the perimeter of the installation. The edging can be special paver stones intended for this purpose (secure these with concrete). Or you can use hard plastic edging secured into the ground with rebar stakes.

Step #4: Finally, spread a thin layer of sand or fine gravel over the entire paver area. Use a push broom to fill in the cracks between the pavers with sand or fine gravel. Run a plate compactor over the pavers (the same device you used to compact the gravel base layer). Add more sand/gravel, and broom the pavers off one last time. Now you have a beautifully installed, Do-It-Yourself hardscape paver installation!

That is the rough idea. To get an exact idea on how much material you need (sand, gravel, etc), just ask some of the helpful fellas at Home Depot, or whatever home improvement store you use.

And of course, if you start the project and are having a hard time, and want us to come in and take over, we'd be happy to help you out.

Just call us at: 908-725-7536
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  • Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute
  • National Concrete Masonry Association
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