Patio paver questions

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Old 08-14-16, 01:16 AM
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Patio paver questions

I'll be installing pavers this week. The patio meets up with the house so it needs to be on a slope. I have a couple questions.

1. I know to set my string line level and then drop it down on the far ends to make a slope away from the house. I also have been advised to dig the base out level and adjust the gravel base up or down to create slope when compacting. If that sounds correct, how can I use a level to check that the gravel base is all the same level depth if the base itself is on a slope?

2. Is it better to use concrete or paver restraints around the border?

Thanks for your time!
 
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Old 08-14-16, 04:38 AM
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how can I use a level to check that the gravel base is all the same level depth if the base itself is on a slope?
Several ways.

Eye it.

Use a string and make sure a the same distance is above the stone (about 2") or use a string level.

Use a long 2 x 4 with a level on it.

Is it better to use concrete or paver restraints around the border?
Concrete will last longer but the paver restraints are easier and more flexible. The boarder is meant to keep the leveling sand in place so it does not move away from the paver over time.
 
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Old 08-15-16, 01:50 AM
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I have pavers front yard and back yard of my house.

Originally Posted by Norm201
Use a long 2 x 4 with a level on it.
This is what we used when we did the job.

Originally Posted by Norm201
Concrete will last longer
This is what we used when we did the job.

I would like to share one more suggestion. When you pack the roadbase, rent the packing machine at Home Depot. The machine was amazing. It packed more than 1k square feet in less than 45 minutes. And we kept going over and over for hours, like a vacuum cleaner. And it packed much better than one of these: Ames 8 in. x 8 in. Steel Tamper-2233400 - The Home Depot

Because it vibrates and then pack. We also watered the area down the day before we pack.

The machine is heavy. Will take two people to put it on the truck and off of the truck.
 
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Old 08-15-16, 03:02 AM
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WRDIY thanks for the reply. I guess I'm confused on how to use a level on a 2x4 to check base height. Doesn't the fact that the base is sloped effect the level? Or is it ok to run perpendicular to the slope?

Also, for the base did you dig out your base at a slope before rock or all level and then build your slope with the packed gravel? I was advised both ways. One person said it's easier to build slope with extra rock, the other said rock base should be same thickness throughout entire project.
 
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Old 08-15-16, 04:19 AM
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Young, you can buy one of these cheap levelers from Harbor Freight or Walmart:
Search results for: 'leveler'

I attached a nine inch leveler to the thin side of a 6 feet 2x4.

Of course, the slope can be created at one of the three different layers:

Dirt
RoadBase
Sand

I had the same question as you when I went through it too. Is it the dirt layer or the roadbase layer? I am not an expert in this area and someone may correct me on this. For us, my brother and I created the slope at each layer to not compromise the physics and substances of the job. When we walk on it, we can't even tell there is a slope. It has been 7 years and it has maintained and drained well.

If I remember correctly, we dug about 7 inches (deep) near the wall of the house. It gradually went down to about 8-10 inches (deep) on the other side. When we packed the roadbase layer, we created a slight slope. When we did the sand layer, we adjusted the FINAL slope again. When you create "slight" slopes at each layer, as I have shared above, it does not thin any layer out so drastically.

I remembered being so impatient with my brother on this but I am so glad that he took his time on my house. That is the key word. Take your time and make sure the slope is correct. He was super meticulous on it and that was a great lesson that I learned from him. PATIENT! I remembered he took almost a week to get this part right because we had huge areas to cover.

How Much Base Material Do I Need for Walkways, Patios and Driveways?
Do-It-Yourself Brick Paver Installation Instructions - Enhance Companies
 
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Old 08-15-16, 04:39 AM
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When we were digging, we did use a string line.

Personally, pavers are awesome! They make the house looks so much nicer. Low maintenance (with the occasion of weed through the cracks during the rain season). Clean and use my electrical blower once every 2 months, rather than sweeping.
 
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Old 08-15-16, 05:07 AM
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If you need to level over a large area I tape my level to a straight 2x4 or half of an extension ladder. If you want level just tape the level to your straight edge. If you want to create a slope say 1/4" per foot then I shim under one end of the level. If your level is 4' long I put a 1" spacer under one end then your straight edge will have a 1/4" per foot slope when the level reads level.

I'm usually doing the digging with an excavator and front end loader. Precision when digging takes more time & labor so I just dig and aim for "close enough". Then I work with more care to establish the level and slope with the base layers. It can mean using a bit more stone if you've over dug but stone is cheap and easy to add more. If you do happen to over dig do not back fill with dirt, use stone. It is difficult and labor intensive to properly compact dirt and you don't want to have a soft spot under your new patio.
 
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Old 08-16-16, 02:41 AM
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Great tips guys I really appreciate it! The 1" shim idea is perfect for what I was trying to figure out in regards to slope. I read somewhere that you can hammer in spikes until they stick out of the ground 4" and fill gravel until it's flush for a rough start point on laying the road base, I might try that too.
Thanks
 
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