Diy paving slabs

Written by denise brown
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Diy paving slabs
Create a patio or walkway with paving slabs. (paving stones image by robert mobley from Fotolia.com)

Using paving slabs for a patio, walkway or drive can help you create a unique look for your landscape. Pavers come in a large variety of colours, shapes and styles. You can choose basic flat, square shapes to create your hardscape or you can pick natural paving stones with uneven surfaces. Either way you will have a durable, attractive pathway.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • String
  • Stakes
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Paving stones
  • Plate compactor
  • Spirit level
  • Broom
  • Mortar mix
  • Spacers

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Instructions

    Preparing the Base

  1. 1

    Use string tied to stakes to mark where you plan to install your paving slabs. For best results, make sure the corners are square.

  2. 2

    Dig out the sod covering the new project area. Measure the depth of your paving stones plus the base you are planning to lay. This is how deep you need to dig. Take special care to remove any roots from the area as well as large stones and other debris. When you finish digging, the area should be level. Include enough slope for drainage. The general ratio for pavers is 1:80.

  3. 3

    Spread 2 to 4 inches of pea-sized gravel over the entire area with a rake. Use a plate compactor to level and compact the gravel. You can rent this machine at a local rental agency.

  4. 4

    Spread 2 to 4 inches of pea-sized gravel over the entire area with a rake. Use a plate compactor to level and compact the gravel. You can rent this machine at a local rental agency.

  5. 5

    Cover the gravel layer with 1 to 2 inches of sand. Run the plate compactor over the sand as well. Make sure the entire area is level and that you maintain your slope.

    Setting the Pavers

  1. 1

    Choose to set your paving slabs with mortar or without. To set them dry simply position the paving stones as you wish. Cover with sand and work the sand into the crevices with a broom. Run the compactor again over the stones to settle the sand and stones into the base layer of sand. Refill the spaces as needed with sand.

  2. 2

    Mix mortar to set the paving slabs permanently. Put a layer of mortar on the ground where you plan to start laying the stones.

  3. 3

    Use a trowel to "butter" the back of the stone. Position the paver on the ground and make sure the stone is level. You can put enough mortar on the back of the stone so that it oozes up the sides to fill gaps. Another option is to run additional mortar between the paving stones once they are all in position. If you choose the second option, you should put spacers between stones to keep the distance between them uniform.

  4. 4

    Continue placing the stones until they are all set. You can use a chisel and hammer to break any paving stones that are an odd size.

  5. 5

    Fill any gaps between the stones with additional mortar. Wipe off any excess.

Tips and warnings

  • To prevent weeds from growing between the paving slabs, you can place a layer of landscaping fabric on the ground beneath the base materials.
  • Call your local utilities before you do any digging so you don't dig up any utility lines. Also be sure to have building permits in hand before you start.

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