Sunday, July 12, 2015

How to Lay the Foundation for a Patio or Walkway

A well prepared foundation for your patio is crucial and the most important step. The patio base will include two layers: gravel and leveling sand. Before you begin make sure that you contact a professional to check for gas or electric lines. Start by digging the trench so you can lay the base. You will need a wheelbarrow, garden spade, shovel, gloves, nylon mason string, steaks, a line level, hammer and a plate compactor.

In our area we need to excavate about 7 inches of soil. Use your shovel and garden spade to dig up the sod. Set the sod aside and water so you can use it later once your pavers are down. If you have stairs, dig around and underneath so you can set pavers under the stairs. Dig the remaining sod out. As you dig, use a tape measure and level to make sure you are excavating the right depth and have an even surface. Once you are done digging, use the plate compactor to level and compact loose dirt.

Lay the landscape cloth inside the patio base. Next, fill 4" of base, compact the surface and lightly wet so it can clump together. Continue to run the compactor over the base until it is fully compacted and there is no loose dirt. To lay the sand you will need two one inch pieces of PVC pipe and one 2'x4'. Set the PVC pipe on top of the patio base. Next add about an inch of sand, so you that you almost cover the PVC pipe. Run the 2'x4' perpendicular to the PVC pipe to even out and level the sand. Remove the PVC pipe and fill the places where the pipes were with sand. Wet the sand just enough so that it doesn't clump. Finally make sure the sand is uniform, level and compacted and you are ready to install your pavers. Learn how to build your patio here:

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