Monday, December 28, 2009

Installing a Brick Paver Patio

Most Do-It-Yourself Homeowners think that installing a brick paver patio or walkway is easy.  They don't realize the steps that we as professional installers go through to ensure that their patio installation is perfect when it is finished.  In this post, I will explore setting the grade for you brick paver patio and excavating the area for you brick paver patio.

First, we mark out the area with marking paint, adding 1 foot all the way around the outside of the patio.  If the patio is square and measures 10' x 12', your marked out area should be 11' x 13.'  Yes, this will mean you are excavating a lot more soil out of the area and using more base material, but this will help make your brick paver patio more stable around the edge.

When you are excavating your patio, you should be excavating a minimum of 9" deep depending on the height of the brick pavers you have selected.  You should measure down 9" from the finished level of where you want the brick pavers to be.  The reason we excavate to a 9" depth is so that we can install a consistent 6" of base material, as well as a 1" leveling or bedding layer for the brick pavers.  We prefer a 6" depth of Crushed Concrete (equilvalent to 23A) or 23A Crushed Limestone Gravel, depending on what is available in your area.  We are now installing every patio and walkway in our area with the crushed concrete and having excellent results.

Going back to our example patio, we would excavate approximately 3.33 cubic yards of existing soil.  We would compact that area with a vibratory plate compactor (3) times, every time in a different direction.  Next we would lay out a qulaity underlayment material that is manufactured as a woven matrix.  This allows water to drain through, as well as keeps the base material from mixing with the underlying existing soil.  It will also help the patio from sinking if there is a soft spot.  When you are excavating your patio it is also recommended to watch for soft, spongy spots for these can cause your patio to move or sink in those areas.  Because of our clay soil content in Michigan this is a very common thing.  The final success of your patio is all based on the success of how you constructed and installed the base material.

1 comment:

  1. I bought amy house last fall and it has a paver patio off the back. It is really spongy when walking on it. Do I need to remove the whole patio and re-do the base. My backyard has a drain and my neighbors yards and mine slope towards it. If the pitch is off could that cause drainage to be running under my patio therefore causing the sponginess?