Jul 27, 2011

Patio Building: Laying Pavers

It was finally time to start laying the pavers and we were very excited about everything coming together.  It was a ton of hard work and we were exhausted at this point (the excessive July heat wave really wasn’t helping).  First we tried laying down the plastic edging that holds everything in because it seemed easier to keep the pavers in place from the start.  However, the edging was slightly curved from the supplier and the curve was obviously messing up our lines early on, so we pulled it up and decided to do it at the end instead (we’ve read instructions and it can be done before or after).

Starting in the corner against the house, we began carefully laying the pavers.  Each paver was laid firmly against the other and we gently tapped each one into the sand with a rubber mallet.  The pavers were laid out in a 2-1 herringbone pattern.  We had to take a lot of care to make sure that everything was perfectly even and all the same height.  When a paver was too high, we used more force with the mallet.  When a paver was too low, we pulled it up and added extra sand underneath.  We constantly checked everything with a level to make sure everything was the same height.

Due to our sand shortage issue, we did the pavers in two parts.  We did the largest section first that we had sand for.  And once we picked up the remaining sand bags and put that down, we did the pavers around the cement slab and the smaller left section of the patio.

Even though we made a straight edged patio, there were still certain sections that required cutting (like around the edges).  We saved these pieces for last.   Instead of renting a pricey industrial saw to cut the pavers, we had heard it was possible to use a wet tile saw.  One can either make slow progress with multiple cuts on each block or risk fingers and hand by removing the safety apparatus.  Of course we would never recommend doing any modifications to a wet tile saw that would endanger the user... 

Once we got the final pieces in, we were ecstatic.  Elated.  We couldn't believe how far we’d come and how long it took.  Of course we still weren’t quite done yet, but we could finally see what the finished product was going to look like.

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