Help me get started

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by ED'S LAWNCARE, Nov 16, 2008.


    ED'S LAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    In my biz I only do lawn service. Mostly mow, blow, and go sometimes a mulch job.
    Here is my question at my house I would like to install a paver walkway from my porch to my drive. The area now has holes all thru it because of my 13 dogs. Looks like trash.
    The size of the are is approx 200 sq. 10x20. I've had one estimate and the it was $2200. Probably not bad but I would like to try this myself. I don't expect miracles as this will be my first attempt (probably my last). Could some one give me the steps involved and please in lay mans terms?? Like I said this is new to me.

  2. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    Ed, go to your local homedepot. They have free classes that show you the proper procedures.
  3. doubleedge

    doubleedge LawnSite Senior Member
    from ND
    Messages: 911

    This looks like a good guide on building a paver walkway. I am not a hardscaper, however, and I have no idea how well it works. Maybe others could chime in here.
  4. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Ed, the ICPI guide is a great place to start. After you understand that, check your local paver suppliers to see what information and materials they have. If you follow the steps, you and a helper could create a nice walkway in a day or two.

    Before you dig or buy materials, come up with a good design that will not only serve the purpose, but do that for a long time and still look good. Walkways should be wide, able to allow two adults to walk side by side, a pathway allows one person to get through or across something.

    Get all the materials you will need on site, have all the tools rented or borrowed and find a helper with a strong back and a weak mind. Determine what type of soil you are dealing with and what your going to do with the excavation soil. That may give you a better idea about how deep you will need to dig, and how much base material you will need. The soil will also help you determine the best course of drainage. Any non-pervious surface creates a drainage issue. Whether it's a problem can be determined by your actions or improvements before hardscaping.

    In simple order;

    Design, excavate, compact, fabric, compact, base in lifts, compact, grade, compact, add water if necessary to eliminate dust & aid in base tightening, compact, concrete sand spread at 1" over entire base area(that can be installed in 1 day), do not compact or walk on sand unless installing a wetcast product or manufacturer says otherwise, lay out entire field of pavers, add border paver(if desired), mark and make cuts(not too tight, leave room for sand), install edging, compact the pavers, not wetcast(you may need a pad for the compactor or some sort of covering to avoid damaging the paver finish), You have begun the interlocking concrete paver process, sweep sand into the joints and compact, repeat until sand reaches chamfered edge or top of paver, sweep & compact, better option; sweep in a polymeric sand, which will lock tight, eliminate weeds & ants and be the best finish. the process is the same with sweeping & compacting, but you need a final cleaning sweep with a blower to leave to residue of the polysand on the pavers and add water, just a gentle mist a few times until soaked, but the pavers surface must be clean, otherwise you will have a slip resistant, gravel finish.

    By the time you are done, it won't cost much less than the $2200 to have someone install it, with materials, forgotten runs and food and beverage for the help, but you will have created a quality project.


    ED'S LAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    Thanks All,
    I looked into the icpi web site. Lots of good info. I'm going to wait until spring so I can do more research.
  6. btammo

    btammo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    Kirk you are thinking it will cost $2200 for materials on 200 sq ft patio? Not even close to that here....Even if he had to rent a bobcat, tamp and wet saw dont think he would be close to $2200.
  7. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    No, I don't believe materials will cost that much, but the intended savings on a job never performed before tend to evaporate. That's ok, as a new service maybe realized. Whenever I work with an installer unfamiliar with a new task, I explain that they may not make money on this first endeavor, but they will have learned something new that may lead to profits down the road.

  8. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    Wow, truer words have never been spoken. I did over $25k on my first 3 jobs, taking 2 months and losing about $2000. The amount I learned though is PLENTY of profit to cover those jobs. '09 will be so much more efficient and profitable, I can't wait.

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