How to Install Concrete Driveway Pavers
Installing concrete driveway pavers is an inexpensive and easy job if you plan, prepare, and measure before you begin working on your selected area.
Step 1 - Measure
Measure the area to include a 1 foot overlap at the edge of each side. Take into consideration the sloping away from buildings or structures to prevent water buildup at the base. Get an approximate cost and quantity of pavers from your supplier. Be sure to consider color, style, and shapes of pavers and how they will blend or be compatible with your landscaping and the architecture of your home.
Step 2 - Set the Base
If a driveway is going to support automobile traffic, dig a base foundation approximately 11 inches deep. Using gravel or crushed stone and a compactor (these can be rented for large jobs), compact a layer of gravel or crushed stone approximately 5 inches thick. Add water and another layer, compacting each until your base is 3½ inches from the level of the finished grade you want. Check to see that you have maintained a continued slope away from your structure at the rate of approximately ¼ inch for every foot of pavers. Constant use of a level will ensure a correct slope. Use either concrete, lumber, or PVC to hold the edges of your pavers. These are easily and quickly installed, will last, and may even give accent to your pavers. Lay a bed of sand approximately 1 inch deep and 12 inches wide. Spread the sand evenly to eliminate low spots. Two 2x2 sheets of plywood placed on top of the gravel will allow you to kneel on it while you work your way over the gravel.
Step 3 - Install Pavers
Begin laying pavers at the top of your slope, preferably in a corner. Working from left to right and work your way across the top, trying not to disturb the gravel sub-base. Keep all joint lines straight and, if necessary, use a chalked string snapped along the pavers to ensure straight lines. Use spacers of 1/8 inch and space them on all four sides of the pavers as you lay them in place. Once you reach the end of a row, cut the end pavers to fit the overall pattern. This should be done with a special diamond blade saw. Although it is not recommended, you can use a hammer and chisel to cut pavers, but unless you have more pavers than you need, this is not a good idea.
Step 4 - Finish
Use a straw or custodial sweeping broom to sweep the top of the pavers. Next, spread sand over the tops of the pavers and sweep it into the 1/8-inch cracks between the pavers. Carefully tamp down the pavers with the compactor and spread more sand between the cracks. Continue with this process until the cracks between the pavers are filled with a slight hollow. You may need to water this area and add more sand as the sand between the pavers continues to settle.