how to extreme

Top Tips for Paver Patios

Construction How-To, Landscaping, Outdoor Living, Patios March 10, 2015 Sonia


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Tom Matthews

The time-honored look of brick paver patios is as popular today as ever. For homeowners in search of a backyard retreat for relaxing and entertaining, installing a paver patio makes an excellent do-it-yourself project to enhance the backyard and increase the value of the home. EHT offers a few building tips from the patio pros.

Use Clay Pavers

For patios, sidewalks and any walking surface, clay pavers represent the best value for the money because they’re manufactured with the intention to be pavers rather than intended for vertical applications.

For patios, clay pavers are more durable than face bricks, able to withstand up to 13,000 lbs. per square-inch of pressure.

For patios, clay pavers are more durable than face bricks, able to withstand up to 13,000 lbs. per square-inch of pressure.

Years ago, clay pavers were made at the end of a “batch” of face bricks—the bricks that are used to build the walls of homes and businesses. As a result, they were fired in a kiln the same length of time as the face bricks. And while face bricks do a fine job of holding up a wall when they are expertly laid by an experienced bricklayer, they are not engineered to support vehicular traffic.

Clay pavers that are meant to be pavers are more durable than face bricks (they withstand up to 13,000 lbs. per square-inch of pressure, which is greater than concrete). They’re colorfast, they do well in extreme heat and freezing cold, and they are a consistent size, which makes installation easier.

Carefully plan the patio's size and shape according to your lifestyle needs and how many bricks you want to cut.

Carefully plan the patio’s size and shape according to your lifestyle needs and how many bricks you want to cut.

Dig deep enough for the thickness of the pavers plus a minimum of 4 inches for crushed rock and an inch of sand to use a leveling bed.

Dig deep enough for the thickness of the pavers plus a minimum of 4 inches for crushed rock and an inch of sand to use a leveling bed.

Plan Size & Layout According to Use

Gather all the furniture and amenities that you will regularly want on your patio—grill, table and chairs, fire pit, etc.—and arrange everything in a logical and user-friendly location. You can then use a rope or spray paint to outline the patio area to give you a visual estimate of its size requirements.

In some cases underground utilities and other obstacles will determine the design of the patio. This patio surface was built to retain access to a water meter.

In some cases underground utilities and other obstacles will determine the design of the patio. This patio surface was built to retain access to a water meter.

Locate Underground Utilities

Before breaking ground on your patio, call 811, the national “Call Before You Dig” number, designated by the FCC to protect American homeowners and professional excavators from the injuries, expenses and penalties caused by digging-related accidents that result in damages to underground utilities.

Sometimes, the design of the patio will depend on what’s already there. Keep in mind where the utilities are located and determine a safe way to get materials in and out of the construction site.

The subsoil and the gravel bed should be thoroughly compacted prior to installing the pavers.

The subsoil and the gravel bed should be thoroughly compacted prior to installing the pavers.

Choose your Base

A paver patio can be built with two methods of constructing the sub-base. A patio with a rigid base has pavers that are mortared in place. A patio with a flexible base is built with sub-layers of compacted gravel and sand.

Make sure to build the patio with a consistent slope to drain water away from the home.

Make sure to build the patio with a consistent slope to drain water away from the home.