Paver Patio - How to ensure level base - Advice Needed from Expert DIY

Old 05-24-15, 04:02 PM
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Paver Patio - How to ensure level base - Advice Needed from Expert DIY

I am on patio #2 for my spring projects. the first was a 15' circle patio with a fire pit. given it was my first time ever doing a paver patio I did ok but do have one dip in the patio that is noticeable when it rains.

I am now doing a larger 15' x 24 ' patio and this one runs right up to the side of my house so I need to be darn sure it has a slope away from the house but I also do not want any unevenness.

Looking to see if anyone has suggestions on steps I can take ensure the base has the correct slope yet level across, etc...
Old 05-24-15, 07:17 PM
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Big subject and a lot of info on the Web about this, but here is the short version...

First, establish level references. One way to do this is to use stakes and lumber to establish a level reference all around (and outside of) the excavation area. Pound the stakes in and then attach furring strips or 1x2 lumber to stakes using a level or laser to establish a reference all around the excavation. The exact height isn't important as long as the tops of the horizontal boards are all the same height and level. Then you can stretch strings across any two points on the 1x2s reaching across the hole to check depth anywhere you need.

Figure out how much slope you need (1/4 inch per foot is good, but not always doable, especially on big patios, but at least 1/8 inch per foot). As you put in the paver base, stretch strings across the references and measure down at various points to set up the slope you need. Keep checking as you compact the various lifts and layers. The first few layers don't have to be perfect, just close, but try to get the final layer right on.

When you have the paver base all compacted (wet it down before and while you are compacting it), and you've checked against the references in many spots to make sure the slope is right, then get a helper and use a long, straight board or a string stretched across the surface to search for high or low spots. Small bumps or dips aren't a problem as the sand will compensate, but I try to shave or fill any areas off by more than 1/4 or 3/8 inch.

I use 1" conduit laid on the top of the compacted base to provide a reference for the depth of paver sand, using a board as a screed to level the sand with the tops of the conduit. Pull the conduit up and fill in the gaps as you go.

Once you've laid and compacted the pavers, but before you've filled the spaces between the pavers with sand, use the string trick to look for humps or dips. You may be able to fix humps with a few mallet whacks, but fix dips by pulling up pavers and adding more sand. Always re-compact after doing so.

Good luck!

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