Installing Pavers without Stone Base

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Old 11-23-05, 10:37 AM
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Installing Pavers without Stone Base

I have a summer house at the beach, with a concrete driveway and walkway. Between the walkway and the driveway, we currently have loose stone over sand. I am planning to replace this with pavers.

Here's my question - since the house is at the beach on a firm sand base, I am considering installing the pavers on top of the sand without the stone base. We will occasionally pull cars onto the pavers once the job is complete, but since this is a beach house, it will only happen occasionally - probably 20 to 30 times during the summer. The house is not used during for the other 8-9 months of the year.

Here's what I'm planning to do - excavate the current area to the depth of the paver plus 1 inch. Rent a plate compactor and compact the sand base. Then add the proper 1 inch washed sand base for the pavers, install the pavers and use the plate compactor to lock in the pavers. I'll then spread washed sand over the pavers and use a broom to sweep in the cracks.

I know I'm at risk for having the pavers settle once I move cars over these - since I haven't used a stone base. However, I think this risk is minimized due to the fact that the underlying based is a firm sand base, drains well, and is subject to vehicle loads for only a small part of the year.

I'd appreciate any comments or advice you may have. Thanks!
 
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Old 11-23-05, 10:47 AM
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Installing Pavers without Stone Base

It should work, but you will eventually have some settlement depending on how often cars are on it. I assume you are trying to get around the problems of getting a gravel base for such a small job. Good base material (roadworthy) is not common near beaches. I assume you are near "The Shore".

You can make your paver installation better by using well anchored edging. Often people do not realize the structural impotance it has by keeping the pavers from spreading and losing the interlock provided by the sand that is vibrated in.

Any type of edging can be used - steel, aluminum, plastic, concrete. Make sure it is anchored. This can be a problem with sand. Sand is firm if it has some moisture and is confined.

Good luck.

Dick
 
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Old 11-23-05, 10:56 AM
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Installing Pavers without Stone Base

Dick,

Thanks for the feedback. Actually, I have a couple of sections that I'm doing. The sections that are most subject to the vehicle loads are surrounded on three sides by concrete (sidewalk, sidewalk, and driveway). The fourth side is the house itself. Therefore, there is no risk of the border having any give at all - the only real issue is the compression of the base material.

I presume that if I do have problems, then I'm facing a repair job to the pavers - pulling up the pavers in the depressed area, adding additional filler and then reinstalling the pavers and compacting again. While I certainly hope that I don't have to do this, I am thinking that this is unlikely for a few years at least.

Thanks again for your advice!
 
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