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PLANNING INSTALLATION
EXCAVATION
BASE PREPARATION
EDGE RESTRAINTS
BEDDING SAND
PAVER INSTALLATION
MARKING/CUTTING PAVERS
JOINT SAND
CLEANING PAVING
SEALING PAVERS
PICKING A CONTRACTOR
PAVER LIGHTING
TYPES OF PAVERS
COST BENEFITS



     

BASE PREPERATION

Introduction

Base preparation is vital for the long lasting attributes of your paved area. If preparing the base is not done correctly the laid pavers may shift out causing the joints to open and interlock along the perimeter to deteriorate. Over the next few paragraphs we will discuss techniques and vital information on preparing the base for your paver installation.

Tools and Materials

Basically the most common tools needed for preparing the base and installing pavers are; shovels, spades, a wheel barrow, a level, compaction equipment and a excavator. The base material needed when preparing the base is 3/4" minus crushed aggregate (or D.O.T spec base material). This material is easier to compact and will give a tight close knit surface.

Preparing the base

Base preparation should extend beyond the edge of the pavement to allow for a shoulder to support the base. The rule-of-thumb is the base extension equals base depth.

Recommended guideline for base depth:
  • Walkways 4"-8"
  • Driveways 6"-10"
  • Commercial/Heavy 18"-36"

Compaction

Once the sub-base has been excavated, it needs to be compacted. This first compaction will compact the loose material from the excavation. Each pass should overlap the previous one by about 4".

Now, compacting your base material in reasonable size lifts, 3-4 inches per lift, until you have reached your desired height. If you don’t properly compact and level your base, your pavers will show every dip and valley that you did not eliminate. If material is dry and dusty, use a garden hose to thoroughly wet it down (do not get too wet); this helps make the gravel faster to compact and easier to rake.

Starting around the outer perimeter, start with the plate compactor and again overlap each pass about 4” working towards the center. You should make at least two complete overlapping passes for each layer. Use your hard tooth garden rake to rake out any unevenness.

When finished with the base, it should be very smooth and flat. If you were to put a straight edge flat on the surface, there should be no more than 3/8” (1cm) gap anywhere along the straight edge and the base.

Once the base material is prepared it time to move on to installing your paver edge restraint.

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