How to Lay Driveway Pavers

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How to Lay Driveway Pavers
Use pavers made of bricks, stone or concrete to make your driveway complement your home and landscape. (border hedges. image by mdb from Fotolia.com)

Paver driveways cost a bit more than other types of driveway paving methods, but this type of driveway allows you to create an attractive pavement for your home or business. Laying driveway pavers requires a lot of prep work and several days or weeks of installation time. Speed the process by renting work equipment and having family and friends assist. By doing the work yourself, you can save hundreds to thousands of dollars on planning, preparing and installation.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Spray paint
  • Backhoe or gardening spade
  • Mechanical compactor
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Rubber mallet
  • Striking tool or brick saw
  • Joint expansion tools
  • Broom

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Spray-paint your lawn to mark an outline for the driveway. These lines will guide you as you excavate the area.

  2. 2

    Excavate a wide, shallow trench inside the spray paint lines to a depth of 8 inches, using a backhoe or a garden spade. However, using a spade for this excavation process consumes a lot of time and may result in unnecessary strain on your back.

  3. 3

    Run a mechanical compactor over the driveway area, allowing the machine to vibrate and compress the soil to create a firm surface for installing the pavers.

  4. 4

    Fill the driveway area with two 2-inch layers of medium to fine gravel. Apply only one layer at a time and compact each layer with the mechanical compactor. These gravel layers promote proper drainage for your driveway and refill the trench before you lay the pavers into place.

  5. 5

    Place a 2-inch layer of sand inside the driveway site over the two gravel layers. Again, compact this with the mechanical compactor to create a firm surface.

  6. 6

    Measure the length and width of the space and locate the centre of the driveway. Starting the installation process in the centre prevents you from having to shorten the lengths of pavers on one side of the driveway, resulting in a sloppy and unprofessional appearance.

  7. 7

    Set the first driveway paver into place in the central location of the driveway. Set a level across the top of the paver and use a rubber mallet to tap on the top of the paver and adjust the paver to level or a slightly sloped angle that matches the grade of the land surrounding your driveway.

  8. 8

    Work outward in all directions, setting pavers into place inside the driveway area. Use expansion joint tools to evenly space all pavers an equal distance apart. Set the pavers a minimum of 1/4 inch apart to allow room for the pavers to shift under the weight of vehicle traffic without cracking or breaking due to the lack of expansion space. Continue installing pavers until you reach the edges of the driveway.

  9. 9

    Place pavers into the edges of the driveway if they will fit without requiring trimming down to size. To trim pavers down to fit into the edges, use a striking tool or brick saw to cut the pavers to the size and shape as necessary to fill the spaces.

  10. 10

    Empty small loads of sand onto the surface to fill the small joints or gaps between the pavers. Sweep the driveway surface to push sand into the gaps and then sweep the excess sand off the driveway and back into a storage container to use to refill the gaps later, if necessary.

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