Dig Deep For Best Results
Before you prep your patio area, call your local utilities or 811 to have any plumbing, cable or electrical lines marked. Then dig down below the root level of vegetation in the area, a good six inches or so. For dry soil, try watering the area the night before you plan to dig to dampen and soften the area for easier digging.
Keep It Weed Free
Use landscaping cloth to create a barrier between the old soil and the new base of sand you'll be using. This will minimize the efforts of weeds and other unwanted vegetation to encroach upon your patio from underneath. Calculate the square footage of your patio space by multiplying the length by the width and add 10 percent.
Create the Base
Pack in the paver base and/or sand using a wacker plate compactor or tamper. You need a solid, level and smooth base upon which to lay pavers. Remember to repack each subsequent layer of material.
Plan For Drainage
While it's important to have a level patio, you need to make sure it does slope away from your home's foundation and toward an area that can either handle additional moisture or is an existing drainage area. Plan for a quarter inch drop in elevation for every two feet of distance.
Keep A Tight Edge
To help minimize the effect of movement of your pavers, be sure to plan for a good solid edge by using additional pavers, a solid cement lip, or metal or vinyl edging. In addition to stability, this will also help minimize creeping weeds.
Using a hard rake and/or shovel, level the area and make sure it follows the slope of the concrete pad. The ground should be tightly compacted using a hand tamper or plate compactor. The slope should be about 1/4″ per one foot of distance. It is helpful to pull a string line so you can check your slope. To run a string line, attach a string to a fixed point on the house side about 3” above the surface of the patio, and pull it tight toward the outside edge of your new patio area. Attach the other end to a landscape stake in the ground making sure the string it tight. Use a level and ruler to create the desired slope. For example, the patio should slop 2.5″ over a 10 foot distance (Diagram below). This will ensure that the patio moves water away from the house.The area should be as smooth as possible, making sure to get rid of high and low spots to within +/- 1/4″. This is now your compacted base.
Congratulations, the hard part is over!
Considering a patio project for your Delaware yard? Give us a shout we would be happy point you in the right direction!
Located in Wilmington