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  • Guilherme DeOliveira

How to Install a Paver Driveway

There are various options in the market today for your driveway project and needs. Concrete, pavers, asphalt or stamped concrete. Which one should you choose for your home?



Paver cost ranges from $3.50 to $5.50 a square foot; Installation from $12 to $23 a square foot

Skill Level

Installation for larger projects is not DIY friendly


Approximately, with an experienced crew, 3-4 days

Why Should You Choose Pavers Over Other Materials...

Pavers are a form of flexible pavement. In other words, it dissipates forces conically instead of point loads like concrete. Much like asphalt, it is able to displace the forces of a load throughout the pavement and down into the base. Rigid pavement under pressure cracks and crumbles and eventually fails. Pavers, if necessary, can be repurposed or reset without discoloration and problems of product failure

Steps on How to Install a Paver Driveway...

1. Planning

As it is for everything in life, It is good to plan ahead on a project like this. You'd have to choose materials, find nearest yard to dump debris, a paver and bulk materials supplier and the logistics to get your materials too and from your property. Another thing to consider would be acquiring permits or permission of the township to carry out your plan to improve your home's driveway and curb appeal

2. Excavation

Before putting a shovel to the ground, please get in touch with 811 or Call before you dig. They'll be able to mark out all utility lines running through your excavation. It is a free service that can potentially save thousands of dollars worth of property damage. Using an excavator or skid steer, dig approximately 12" to 15" from the desired height into the ground to prepare for a base installation. Excavation must mirror the slopes and pitches of the top finished layer to an accuracy of approximately 1/2". This is crucial for proper base drainage. Compact the subgrade using a plate tamper rated for a min of 5000 lbf. Use a jumping jack or hand tamper to tamp the edges

3. Base Preparation

Cover the excavated area with 9" to 12" of 3/4" crushed gravel compacted every 2" to 4" lifts. Make sure this gravel is angulated and sharp, No rounds, fines or flats for the sake of compaction. and base density. Tamp the base using a plate tamper. Remember to keep the base mirrored to the paver with accuracy up +1/4" to -3/8". As "cheap insurance", as we call it in the industry, add a geotextile fabric separating the base from the native soils to prevent settling and blending of both. This can either be a woven or non-woven

4. Bedding Layer

The bedding layer should consist of course sand or concrete sand. This sand is also known as ASTM C33. Lay down (2) 1" metal pipes as screed rails onto your base. The bedding layer should not be any thicker then 1" and any imperfections above that should be filled in with more base material. Use a screed to level and flatten the area to be paved until the entire area is covered, leveled and smooth. Ensure maximum precision and accuracy of +1/8" to -3/16". Do not pre-compact the area. Compaction should only be done on top of the paver layer

5. Placing the Paver

Start at the lowest point of the driveway and continue to place pavers upward to ensure interlock. Be sure to use the "click and drop" method. Spacer bars on the pavers automatically create gaps that will later on be filled with joining material. Use guide lines every 6' to ensure you are square with any relative point. Place all full pavers first and cuts should be done later afterwards to ensure efficiency and productivity

6. Edge Restraints

Edge restraints have one function. They hold your paver driveway in place. It prevents horizontal movement and displacement of the pavers while also maintaining optimum interlock. There are various edge restraints such as concrete, troweled on, plastic and metal. Make sure to use factory recommended edging for your application or climate. This information can be easily attained from local stone yards

7. Tamper

Before adding joining sand to your project, tamp down the pavers using a plater tamper and rubber pad. Start from the outer perimeter and work in to the driveway in a circular pattern. Afterwards, move through the paver driveway in a zig zag pattern tamping down the pavers

8. Joining Sand

The main rule for joining sand is that it has to be completely dry, It can not be moist nor wet but utterly dry. Most proffesional paver installers use bagged material or polymeric sand. This type of sand has a polymer additive that expands in the joints preventing weed growth and ensuring horizontal and centrifugal interlock. The material is swept in using a soft bristle push broom. Sweep the surface clean from any leftover material. Use a air blower to get all the fines and water down the surface using a hose

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