How to build a backyard paver patio all by yourself!

In my back yard, I have an old patio, thatjust isn't cutting it for what I want Part of the problem is that Moss and moldgrow on the patio frequently. The reason for this, is because there reallyisn't a slope to the patio, so when it rains, the water doesn't run off to the side Another issue is that weeds often grow inbetween the gaps in the pavers I would like to fix those issues, as wellas expand the patio outward, double the size of the original patio If I were to have a company professionallyinstall a patio of this size, we are looking at a project that would cost around $14,000And this is why I decided to build this myself.

Although the details don't need to be settledjust yet, one thing to think about is the types of pavers that you want to install You can visit a stone yard in person to lookat samples, but don't write off looking at the selection at you local big box store either In my case, I found that it was easier tofind the style of pavers that I wanted online, and look up a stone yard that carried them, Before I can get to work building a new patio,I need to start taking the old one apart, so after taking all the furniture off thepatio, I can begin lifting the old pavers.

I moved them all to my front yard, and give them away to who ever wanted them In the end there were about 100 pavers weighing40 lbs. each Now I can start to plan digging out the groundto make room for the new pavers. clearing this area won't be a small task,if I were to have a company dig this area for me, a quote I got was $2,000 just forthe digging. And in addition to clearing out the area withthe grass, the area that the old pavers were on will need some attention aswell, as we will need to add a slope, so water no longer pools up.

-One of the first things that will need tobe done before any digging is done, is to have the county come out and mark theutility lines in the work area With the utilities marked, I can begin digging, Before starting to dig, it is a good ideato do some planning so you know how much digging will be needed. In a traditional patio install, after theweed barrier, we would add 4 inches of gravel prior to placing down leveling sand, To make room for the 4 inches of gravel, itwill mean a lot more digging, and a lot more dirt to haul away, but there is an alternative.

Using a paver base panel, like these brockpads will replace the need to add a gravel sub base. But there is a trade off. I can get the gravelI need for this job for about $400. The paver panels to cover my planned workarea will cost about $1,000. In the end, I opted to pay the extra for paverpanels, to help save my back a bit on the shoveling, and dirt hauling,AND make things a bit easier logistically. Had I gone with the gravel, I would have neededto have order the gravel and the pavers at the same time, to prevent paying multipledeliveries.

This would mean that at the time of delivery,I would have pavers sitting in my driveway that would need to stay there until afterI place the gravel, compact it with a rented plate compacter,and then add and screed the leveling sand. I think that I would need to have to takesome time off work to make sure the driveway is not being blocked by pallets of paver stonesfor weeks on end. with the Paver panels, I can work on the weekends,and then have the stones delivered once I am ready to place them. Before I start placing any sub-base material,I am going to need to clear the patio area but one thing that slowed my digging down,was the massive amount of roots in the area.

I planned for paversRemoving the roots was no small task, I spent a full weekend doing nothing but removingroots from the area This pile of roots is to give you an ideahow much had to be pulled, and this pile isn't even all of the roots With the roots out of the way, it is timeto remove the grass from the future patio area I found that I could take the grass out thequickest by cutting into the ground with an edging tool into squares of turf Doing a couple foot length at a time, allthe way across the patio area.

And then coming back with a shovel to removethe sod squares Alright, I finished excavating the sod anddirt for the work area. The next step is gonna be trying to flatten,and level out and grade the dirt area before we put the sand on To help determine my slopes I planted severalstakes, using the distance from the house as the generalmarker to make sure everything was square Once I got my stakes measured out and placedwhere I want them, I can tie a string line to connect the stakes Using a line level, I can ensure that my stringis perfectly level,.

After I do this for all my stakes,I can use the measurements I recorded earlier with some simple math, to adjust the linesto include a slope, by hammer each stake down by the right amountso that water doesn't pool like it did on the old patio I will be dropping my slope at 1/8th inchper foot, but I will be doing it in 2 direction. Once I have the string lines set at the slopethat I want, I can work the land to be parallel to my string lines Alright, and what I've done is I got my slopepretty well established across 2 lines Going down from the house across here.

Then going down in the corner in that shade,to over here And then we can see the big chunk of dirtthat I need to excavate So that it lines up with the lines that Ihave already done across the sides Now I will begin to shovel off the dirt thatdoesn't line up with my slopes And relocate it to a different area Once I got the entire area to line up closewith the slopes that I set, I ran a tiller to loosen up the dirt After I tilled the whole area I made surethat the area was close to the slope I wanted with a board, and a levelthat I adjusted to my slope with a wood shim.

And made any ground corrections that I neededto make I then rented a plate compacter, and compactedthe work area down and flat Digging out the dirt, establishing my slopes,and compacting the ground was a process that took me multiple weekends to get to this point Before I start to put anything up againstthe side of the house, I figured this would be a good time to clean up, and touch up thepart of the house that the patio would lay against. Now, I'm ready to lay down my fabric weedbarrier This fabric not only helps to prevent weeds,but it keeps the sand in place and prevent.

It from washing away during a heavy storm I will need to lay overlapping layer overthe entirety of the work area. Try to tack down the fabric in place as soonas you can to prevent to wind from shifting it around too much Now that the weed barrier is in place, I canpick up my leveling sand, and prepare it for the work area. In a traditional patio install, after theweed barrier, we would add 4 inches of gravel prior to placing down leveling sand, But when using Paver base panels, after theweed barrier, we are ready to lay a thin 1/2inch.

Layer of leveling sand just to make sure everythingis smooth It is ok if the dirt is not perfectly smoothprior to laying the leveling sand, because the sand will help make the surface smooth. But there shouldn't be any areas where morethan an inch of sand is used to make the area level, otherwise you will risk the sand beingsusceptible to washout in a storm In order to get the sand to be leveled atabout 1/2 inch, we will need to use some 1/2 inch pipes as guides to screed off of. And standard Rebar just happens to be cutat 1/2 inch thickness, making it a cheap way to get guides to screed at 1/2 an inch.

After laying down 2 parallel pieces of rebar,I will lay my 2 foot level (which has a quarter inch shim at the end to take account of the1/8 inch per foot slope I am building in) over top the rebar,and make sure it is sloped correctly. Then I can spread the sand over the area betweenthe rebar, and then screed it smooth Once we screed the length of the rebar, wecan slide it down, and continue the process. Remember to continue to make sure that youare leveled correctly, and adjust the rebar when needed. If I am off slightly, I will hammer the rebardown where it is too high.

We will continue the screeding process untilthe entire work are is screeded. Once finished with a row, we will move therebar over and continue our sand placement After we finish screeding all our sand, wecan begin laying down our paver base panels. Note the gaps in sand where the rebar was,we will fill those areas in once as we lay our paver base panels Placing the panels down is simple and straightforward, just place them down, and lay the interlocking overlaps over each other. Once we get close enough to our sand gaps,created from the rebar, we can manually fill them in with some spare sand and a trowel.

When laying down the paver base panels, oneof the things that we want to do is to alternate each new row with full and then half panels. Here, I am starting a new row, and startingit off with a panel that I am cutting in half. The reason I am doing this is so the cornersof each panel don't line up with each other, and insteadend on a straight edge. This helps to give the panels more strength And once we get to the edge of our work area,we can cut our final panels to fit in at the edge And now, we are ready to order our pavers,and have them placed.

The stone yard I ordered from even allowedme to order a 1/2 pallet of a common edging brick, in addition to the 3 pallets worthof the 4 piece paver combo from Nicolock After our pavers are delivered, we will wantto check out our stones to make sure that they were delivered correctly, and in goodcondition, and then we can get to work placing them. I was not able to have them delivered rightby the work area, so I will need to use a wheel barrowto transport them, load at a time. I start by laying down some of the edge brickson the perimeter before moving to the main.

4 piece pavers These pavers include 4 different sizes, whichwill allow me to lay the pavers in a random pattern, and should saveme from making too many cuts to stone It took us 2 days to layout the pavers overthe 18foot by 23 foot work area. Ok, as we can see, this project was mostlycut less, meaning I didn't have to make any cuts to the brickI just lined it up, so it ended approximately where I wanted to end it. But if we look close, there are a couple ofspots, where there is just no way, I am going to have to make some sort of a cutSo its not completely cut less, I'm going.

To have to make a few cuts to this edge brickOne there And a couple there just to make sure everythinglines up tight and gets in there. To prepare for the cuts that I will need tomake, I will first measure the gap that I need to fillThen take a spare brick, and draw a line at that measurement, so when cut, it will fitin the gap. To actually cut the brick, I used a wet/Drydiamond blade on an angle grinder. I found that it was slightly easier to cut,with a little bit of water on the brick The angle grinder blade was not long enoughto cut all the way through the brick. So I needed to cut the brick on all 4 sides,before propping the mostly cut brick on other.

Bricks, and finishing the “cut” by hittingthe brick with a rubber mallet I then used the angle grinder again to smoothout the rough area that broke off from the hammer blow After the brick was cut and smoothed, it couldbe dropped into place I did the same thing for the other 2 cutsthat were needed Now that our bricks and pavers are in place,I can hammer in the edge restraints so that nothing moves over time The edge restraint comes in 6 foot lengths,so when I have a piece that extends beyond the work area, I can cut it down to size.

After the edge restraint is fully nailed in,I can begin to pour in the polymeric joint sand. Although the box says it is to be used forgaps as small as 1/8th inch, online for the same product said to be used for gaps as smallas 1/16th inch And it ended up working out well After pouring the sand over top a sectionof pavers, we will want to work it into the gaps using a large shop broom After we have spread out our sand, we willwant to come back with a hand tamper to lightly vibrate the paversso that the sand is worked in deeper into.

The gaps. A plate compactor will be too powerful todo this when using paver base panels After vibrating down the sand, we can adda bit more And then vibrate it down again Once more time we will push the sand intothe gaps with a shop broom Before using a blower to blow away any excesssand. We want to make sure that there is no polysand left on the surface when we activate the sand The next step will involve getting our gardenhose set to a mist setting, and then misting.

Down about 200 square feet of the patioWhich in my case is about half the patio. continue wetting the area down for a full30 seconds, then wait for 30 seconds, and then finallywet it down for another 30 seconds After that, we can do the same thing to theother section of the patio. After you have wet down the whole patio area,use a blower to help push the excess water away And after that, we are done. Lets take a look at the cost breakdown ofthis project. I didn't include the cost of tools, otherthan the ones I needed to rent, but even if.

You neededto buy every single tool needed to do this job, you still would probably end up savingabout $10,000 Lets take a moment to compare before and after,to see how everything came out.

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