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Assitance needed for paver project in planter pits

Assitance needed for paver project in planter pits


Old 07-08-16, 07:19 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 20
Assitance needed for paver project in planter pits

We are trying to fill in some 'planter' areas in our complex with pavers.

Attached is what they currently look like. I spoke about this project with someone who used to do contracting, but I don't 100% trust his landscaping credentials without some outside validation.

His suggestions:
1) Level the dirt
2) Place a layer of weed block roll over the dirt (we have a lot of weeds growing in now, looks like a jungle - will need to pull them out first).
3) Fill the pits up with playground sand to about 2" below the top level of the wall (or crushed limestone)
4) Place "tar paper" over this. Perforate the paper.
5) Place patio pavers on top of this, filling any gaps between with sand.

On face value it seems relatively reasonable, but I'm sure there are some tweaks to be done here.

As you can see from the attached, the planters are cement sided and this is in Chicago (so we will get lots of cold, snow, and ice). We want to make sure that however we fill in the pavers is resistant to this weather.

I'm especially unsure of the suggestion for the tar paper. I think it was partially suggested because we believe we might have a rodent problem currently underneath the ground in these pits. Additionally, it doesn't sit right with me that the pavers would go directly ontop of the paper, but should seemingly go on sand?

Finally, I'm not sure what we should use to "fill in the gaps" between. Is normal sand the best choice?

This solution sounds to me like it won't be very stable - i.e. if you walk on the pavers they will just shift all around, etc.

Can anyone confirm or correct this plan?

Thanks very much.
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Old 07-08-16, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 4,294
None of what he suggested is right.
How To Install Pavers: Belgard Paver Installation Guide
Old 07-08-16, 10:57 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 20

But for someone that has never done this before that 3 step tutorial is no where near enough to go on.

It also appears to be for an installation within a grass area, and not when where you need to be concerned about a cement encasement like these planters have. I don't believe you need to worry about contraction/expansion as much when you are just edging up against sod.

Additionally, this seems to be instructions to install a very specific set of pavers that uses a proprietary sand. We plan on doing two pits this size for $5-800 using standard square pavers.

It is also extremely difficult to make out anything they are describing. The second picture shows at least 4 layers of material: a dark something they applied directly over the dirt (unless they photoshopped the dirt grey for absolutely no reason - that clearly is not just a shadow), a layer of light brown something, a layer of grey textured something, and then the pavers.

I can assume one of those layers to be crush rocked of some type since they mention that, but they don't mention mention the other layers (maybe leveling sand)? In any case, while I appreciate the help - I clearly need some more granular instructions.

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