What type of base needed for paver stones?

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swindmill

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I've taken up part of my back yard in order to put in a patio. I'll be using some some sort of paver stone to make an 8x10 patio with a couple of walkways. Lowe's recommends 4" of base using the 'patio base' they sell, followed by 1" of sand. Is the 4" absolutely necessary or could I get away with 2" or 3"? Also, is there a less expensive option than what is sold as a patio base? It's almost $4 a bag and one bag covers 6 sq ft. at 1" depth. That obviously gets very expensive. Thanks for any help.
 

inspectorD

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Call your local stone yard and tell them you want 2 yards of stone process for a landscape walkway. They know what you need, and most deliver if you do not have a truck.
yes ,use 4 or more inches of COMPACTED :Dbase, keeps the patio from to much movement. If you lay it loose, it settles too much.

Google, installing a brick walkway...I'm sure there are videos.
Good luck.:welcome:
 

swindmill

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Is the 'stone process' what you recommend using as the base? And is 2 yards what is needed for 80 sq ft?
 

Bud Cline

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Depending on where you live different terms are used to identify what you need but inspectorD has you on the right track. Buy the stone from a bulk supplier not by the bag. Try calling a concrete company like Redi-Mix or whoever is in your area. If they won't sell it to you and deliver it they will know who can. Have them dump it in your driveway so you can move it as you need it. You'll be surprised how cheap it is. I would ask for 3/4" crushed limestone and see what they say. My calculator says about 1-1/2 yards would give you more than enough for 80 square feet four inches deep.:)

Same goes for the sand but one yard should fill the bill. Buy it bulk. Those guys at the home centers are nuts and they are there to take advantage of unsuspecting and inexperienced soles.:)
 

swindmill

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Thanks for the info. I'll seek out a supplier. One more question about the process: Can I go ahead and excavate the area and compact the stone process in place and then put the sand and pavers down at another time? In other words, will the stone process be OK exposed for a week or so before getting the patio down?
 

inspectorD

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It will be fine...and if it gets a little wet...it just settles in a little tighter. This is all good.
Have fun.:D
 

Bud Cline

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We haven't mentioned compacting the stone, then compacting the sand, then compacting the pavers. All can be done with a rented "plate vibrator".

If you install temporary forms (2X4's) around the perimeter you will have a plane surface on which to drag a screed board to assure your sand is plane.

You can fashion a screed board from a 2X4 by notching both ends to hang on the 2X4 forms. Adjust the notch size to allow for the proper depth of sand. Spread the stone then compact it. Spread the sand, dampen it, drag it with the screed, tamp it with the compactor, add more sand as necessary, drag it with the screed, etc, etc.

After installing the pavers, run the compactor over the pavers to settle them one last time. Sweep sand into the joints.:)
 

swindmill

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Let me make sure I understand...Before laying the sand, box the area in with 2x4's, then notch the ends of a 2x4 that will span the width of the box so that I can run it across the boxed area?

Should I use sand or that sand based grout?
 

Bud Cline

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Let me make sure I understand...Before laying the sand, box the area in with 2x4's, then notch the ends of a 2x4 that will span the width of the box so that I can run it across the boxed area?
Correct.:)

Should I use sand or that sand based grout?
NO GROUT BASED ANYTHING. Use sand. You want the flexibility the sand will offer. If the sand isn't a little damp then spray it a little to make it so.

Remember you are going to excavate for the gravel and the sand and the pavers. You want the gravel and sand below grade and contained by the edges of the dig. If you don't plan on using paver edging then excavate for the paver thickness also.

Then you'll have to do-the-math to determine how to notch the screed so that it hangs on the forms and creates the proper depth for the surface of the finished sand.:)

Screed the sand, tamp the sand, add any needed sand, screed the sand, tamp the sand, add more sand (if necessary), screed the sand, tamp the sand....

At some point your sand will be flat and smooth and you should be able to walk on it without too much disruption. At that point you are ready to place the pavers.

These things are really simple and actually a lot of fun. Don't forget your gloves.:)
 

itsreallyconc

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you only need 2T of mtl - here its about $10 per ton - trucking'll be your expense, not mtl !

pay attn to what the guys said & you'll be fine,,, NO shortcuts, either !
 

swindmill

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I plan on using paver edging, assuming that's the best way to keep surrounding mulch and/or gravel off the patio. I have found a sand/stone supplier nearby that seems to be what I'm looking for- - Turf, Stone and Landscape Products | Nugent Sand Company

All of this has raised another issue I have... The area I'm putting down the patio has a slight slope to it. I'd guess 4"-5" over the 10 foot area. The only way I know to deal with this is to put a small retaining wall on the low end and flatten it out using the dirt I dig up from the higher end. Is that correct, or are there more simple methods of doing this?
 

Bud Cline

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Now you are complicating matters!:)

A small retaining wall will likely need a footing. The required footing would be bigger (deeper) than the raised retaining wall portion.

Technically the foundation should be below the frost line but truthfully if it were me I would dig a hole about twenty inches deep and fill it to the grade with reinforced concrete. Then set some concrete bricks or wall bricks on top of the footing with mortar. That could look pretty good actually. If there is only one row of bricks above grade I would use ceramic tile thinset mortar instead of brick mortar to set the wall bricks.:)

Then again I might just live with the slope.:)
 

swindmill

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I think I might just live with the slope, but a small retaining wall could look good if I did it right. I wasn't sure if laying the patio on a sloped surface would make the process difficult.
 

Bud Cline

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The slope won't change the process any as long as you parallel the grade. Of course your picknick table will be a little crooked and your bowling balls will roll off into the grass!:)
 

mudmixer

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You could use small segmental retaining wall units (landscape block) for such a small wall. Concrete footings are NEVER suggested for these units even for 40' high walls.

The aesthetics of wall caused by the slope will depend on the slope change and length.

Dick
 
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