Preparing a Block Paving Base

In this project we’re going to take a plain section of lawn and turn it into a beautiful backyard block paving patio. We’ll take you through all the steps, but first, we need to prepare the site.

Planning the Project

It all starts with a plan. You can lay your project out on paper, or use a free design-it Depending on the size of your project, you may be able to dig the area by hand or you may wish to bring in heavy equipment. Either way, having a smooth and level base for the pavers and landscape blocks is the most important step to successful completion of the project. Lay out the area you’ll be excavating, making it about a foot larger than the area to be paved. Remove the sod and dig down about seven to nine inches to leave room for the sub-base, a layer of sand and the pavers. When digging, try not to disturb the soil underneath, a process known as skimming. This helps provide a firm base.

Preparing the Block Paving Sub Base

Stakes and strings marking the exact dimensions of the patio are set into place. Check for square and level. Plan to slope the patio slightly, especially if it s next to a building, to help provide proper drainage. A layer of crushed stone or aggregate is spread over the soil and compacted with a plate compactor. Small areas can be compacted with a hand tamper. A second layer of sub-base is spread over the first and checked for level. Fill in any low spots. Compact again. The finished sub-base should be about three inches below the finished level of the pavers.

Creating the Block Paving Base

Before any block paving can be set into place, a bed of sand must be prepared. Use 1-inch conduit, pipe or similar material, and lay them 6 to 8 feet apart. Spread sand between the pipes, know n as screed rails . Take a 2 by 4 board and drag it across the rails, spreading and smoothing the sand as you go. Fill in any low spots. Slide the rails back as you go and fill the indentations in with sand. Trowel them smooth as you go. Don t walk on, compact or disturb the sand after you’ve finished screeding. You’re now ready to start laying the paving blocks. To stay up-to-date on all of our how-to projects, visit here often!

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