There are so many ideal ways to not only increase the value of your home but add to the eye appeal as well. Fences, gates, stone walls, exterior lighting, decks, new driveway and also patios and walkways using pavers. Erecting a walkway using pavers is a fairly easy process that with some time and dedication and proper planning and designing can be a great sense of accomplishment for you and add to the beauty of your home as well.
The first thing you will need to do is draw a picture of the layout, design work and dimensions for your patio or walkway. Is the walkway going to be a strait shot from fro front door to driveway? Will it have a radius curve or series of them, contain a step or multiple steps. encompass a tree or flower garden or end up at a deck or patio opening? This question has to be addressed before getting started. Once this step been handled, then the calculation of materials needed, tools needed and time involved can be determined. It can be as simple as using a few hand tools such as a hoe or shovel and one or two people to a larger job incorporating a skid steer or backhoe/small excavator complete with dump truck for top soil/sod removal and a few extra helpers/qualified operators. This can become a pricey investment depending on how large a job, intricate and labor intensive the job is, so be aware of this before getting started.
OK, so you have a plan and diagram of your new project and all the necessary materials and equipment, it is time to get the supplies and tools. If it is a large job requiring big pieces of equipment, then you will have to schedule a day to rent it and hire an operator and truck driver unless you can run it confidently and safely.
****VERY IMPORTANT! You are going to want to schedule a CBYD(call before you dig) call before you get started for liability and safety reasons. This is nothing more than a notification procedure where the utility companies are notified that work below ground surface will be taking place. Utility companies will then send out a technician to paint or flag out where their services enter your yard from the source underground. It is a free service and could possibly save your life, being held liable or sued and from property damage as well. The CBYD phone number is 1-800-922-4455 or 811. You will receive a ticket number and should keep it in a safe place. The call should be made at least two days in advance! Their website is also very informative and offers homeowner help and other pertinent info to help keep you safe and in the right. (CBYD.com)!
For the sake of time with getting involved in a larger more complex project, I will provide the necessary steps for creating a walkway or patio that DOES NOT require heavy duty equipment, where nothing more than a shovel and few other hand tools should suffice.
You will need to provide a spade shovel, rake, string, grade stakes, tape measure, line level or laser equivalent, broom, stone dust and sand, something to compact the base, a hammer/saw and type of pavers/brick you plan on using for the walk or patio. This pavers can be made out of granite, brick, slate, clay, flagstone or bluestone to name a few. When you calculate the amount of pavers needed for the job(length x width x depth= cubic meters) add 5% to the number to compensate for human error and for cutting the pavers. Do you plan on creating a design with interlocking pavers or a basic pattern? This can be more costly and more time consuming having to strategically cut some of the pavers to fit like pieces of a puzzle.
Time to get started… If you have an existing walk or patio, time to remove this if a new walk or patio is going to replace the existing one. If this will be erected on virgin ground(never dug before) then set up grade stake and string a line to outline the walk or patio to your specifications. Then dig out the grass and top soil to a depth of 4″-5″. This allows for the hight of the pavers and gravel/sand to be placed beneath for drainage and proper base material.
Once this done, compact the dug out area and then add the sand/gravel to the walk area. At least 2″ of base should be added to reduce the likelihood of the pavers sinking or becoming out of alignment due to clay, frost, moisture or ledge. Smooth out the sandy gravel using a rake or even a 2 x 4 piece of wood that is wide enough to extend beyond the two outside edges of the walkway. For a larger area such as a patio, a rake will suffice.
You are now ready to lay the pavers. If you are going to make a pattern with the pavers, make sure to carryout the same pattern and spacing throughout unless you plan on varying this. Nothing worse than laying the pavers and then realizing you didn’t follow the same grid/pattern and spacing arrangement! The technical aspect of the project now comes into play. As you are placing the pavers in the walk area you will need to use some finesse and tap the pavers down and allow for proper spacing. If you need to cut or split the pavers using a saw/ hammer respectfully, careful measuring of the pavers is important for spacing and neatness. As you are laying the pavers, leave a small spacing between pavers. This will allow for the shifting of the ground and will be filled in with stone dust or sand. Using a line level or laser level check to ensure that the pavers are level. If they are not tap them lightly with your hammer/rubber mallet being critical not to crack or chip the paver when performing this step.
Once all the pavers have been laid and are set to your liking, take some of the extra sand and place it on the walkway. With a broom you will sweep the sand to fill in all the spacing between pavers. Again, this will aid in reducing the likeliness of the pavers moving and settling.
You are basically done now with just a simple punch list being left to fulfill. This will consist of cleaning up the extra pavers, sand and top soil, back filling the edges of the walk or patio with sod, stone, solar or electric lighting, fencing, flowers or plant edging if applicable.
So there you have it, a nice addition to your home to increase the value and beauty of your humble abode.