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Leveling Base Material for walkway

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by waltero, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. waltero

    waltero LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    I will be doing my first walkway next week and I had a couple of question about getting the base material level. I have a walkway that is about 50ft long,starting at the driveway it moves along the house with a set of step into the house roughtly in the middle and at the end it will curve to a second set of steps that go to the back deck. I will try to post a picture so all can see.

    I have purchased a Dewalt laser level, a Wacker Plate Compactor and a Stihl tS700. I currently own a Kubota 3130 with a loader and a Backhoe, so I believe that I have all of the big items that I will need and I have all the small tools too.

    My question is on how most people make sure that the base material is level and pitched correctly. the area between the steps is mostly level but between the driveway and the middle set of steps there may be a 12" +/- elevation change sloping down towards the driveway. Now this is probably a 30 foot run so it isn't that bad.

    I am looking to do the best job that I can and I understand that the work that is done before any pavers hit the ground is the work that really counts. What I was going to do is excavate about a 1' - 1.5' beyond the walkway and build some forms beyond my walkway area built out of grading stakes and lumber and then I will just level and grade the boards and I can use a 2x6 and screed the modified ???? I know I can use string also but thought that this might be more accurate and avoid the dips and high spots and it would give me a more consistant and level base. I can then add the edging and the sand.

    I am looking for your feedback as to how most people do it. If you have a better way to do this I will appriciate your help. thanks.

  2. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    I just use a laser and a rod , get the base as level as I can +/- 3/8". Use a piece of your 1" conduit that you will use as a screed form for your sand, and roll it around and see how level your base is. If you see dips under it, highlight with paint and fill in with cr6.
  3. alex516

    alex516 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    What DeWalt laserlevel did you end up getting?

    I've been thinking about getting one and wanted to know what model # you went with?

    THanks and good luck with the job.
  4. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 849

    Set 1x3 grade stakes at a level, which after excavating, will be the top of your gravel base.(Or what is used in your area). Do this using your laser level and or a string line and level. Keep in mind this will be the height after subtracting paver thickness and either 3/4" or 1" conduit. Set your stakes in a way which will allow u to slide the conduit perpendicular across the top of the stakes. (Example 10' conduit minimum of 4 stakes) With marking spray paint spray the top of your 1x3 stakes (easier to see) before packing in lifts your base flush with top of stakes. Now lay 2 pices of conduit on first set of stakes. Fill that area with concrete sand or equivelant and use 2x4 to screed it level. Slide conduit down as u go always making sure its resting on stake tops. Install pavers, brick edge (keeping it low enough),make cuts and sweep concrete sand (or equivelant) between pavers before plate packing.
    Cutting the pavers is much easier on a wet saw with sliding table.
    Hope that helps. Its late hope I didnt leave anything out if so let me know.
    Good luck!
  5. jreiff

    jreiff LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 402

    Can also put a couple of screws in each wood stake to help hold the conduit on the stake. Periodically check you sstakes that you have set to make sure they have not moved around after compacting. Try not to hit them with the compactor.
  6. XXL Hardscaper

    XXL Hardscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    I use screed rails and actually screed my final base. Then there are no voids or waves in the base when i screed my sand. No fancy lasers or transits here for paver work just good old 4' and 2' level. Time is money and I have no time for strings and stakes and all that crazy nonsense I see so many paver layers use.
  7. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 849

    Yes thats why we paint our stakes bright orange prior to compacting. Then we use a hand tamp around stakes and other areas we couldnt get compacted with machine.
  8. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    Use 2" EMT for final base lift and screed. EMT can be set with 4 or 6' levels and a grade bubble, or can be done with a transit or laser as well.

    I think this is what XXL is describing.
  9. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 849

    Hey Mark!
    Just wanted to say some kind of a string line and or transit and level would be needed if u are dropping the paver walk from a front stoop to a driveway for example. Right? We set our stakes on both ends when there is a slope like this and then hold a tight string on top of stakes and add stakes in between pounding them down under string til the string is riding the top of stake. This way your slope from stoop to driveway is uniform. Let me know if this is what u do?
  10. XXL Hardscaper

    XXL Hardscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    Right on Green Monster. When doing a walk way you have 2 fixed elevations . The steps to the porch and the drive way.No need for strings and lasers.

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