A paver driveway apron adds serious curb appeal but won’t break the bank or steal your spare time for weeks on end. Follow these simple steps and you’ll smile each time you drive over your beautiful handiwork:
Step 1 – Planning and Layout
Graph your paver design and proposed apron. Make design decisions now so that when you lay the pavers you’ll already know the look that you want. This will save time.
For new work, where the apron does not exist, use a hose or wood or even spray paint to form the driveway apron outline. This will help you visualize how it will look and ease putting your plan to paper. Ask your supplier if he’ll allow you to use his inventory to try a few layout designs. Physically seeing a design is like trying a new wall color by painting a small section: you know what you like when you see it.
Step 2 – Calculate the Pavers
Measure the width and length of the apron. If your apron will be angled—wider at the street end as most are—calculate based on the widest width to allow for waste. Multiply the length times the widest width to obtain the area’s square footage. Your supplier will be able to assist you with the number of pavers, base material, bedding and joint sand necessary to fill that area.
Step 3 – Excavation
Remove the existing apron (if any) by cutting 2 foot by 2 foot squares with a concrete saw and then breaking the squares with a sledge hammer.
Mark the height the pavers should not exceed with a string stretched between two stakes. Your apron should slope downward, away from your drive and toward the street to allow water to flow from the drive to the gutter. The slope should not be less than 1 inch for every 4 feet of driveway apron and match your existing drive (if any). Use stakes and tightly stretched string to indicate the slope as you did for height at the top of the apron.
Calculate the total depth necessary to excavate by adding the depth of the base, bedding sand and pavers then remove the necessary fill.
After excavation compact the soil.
Step 4 – Base Material
Spread the base material in three layers. Compact each layer.
Step 5 – Edge Restraints
Install the edge restraints. Skipping this step will cause the pavers to move and separate—increasing maintenance and decreasing curb appeal.
Step 6 – Bedding Sand
Shovel the course bedding sand over the base material then level with a board to 1 1/2 inches thick.
Step 7 – Lay the Pavers
Install the pavers to the design you graphed.
Step 8 – Sand Joints
Broom a fine grained sand between the paver joints so that each joint is completely filled. Remove excess sand and insure the tops of the pavers are swept clean and ready for the sealant.
Step 9 – Sealant
Seal the pavers with a sand binding sealant.