Newbie paver installer

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Alan, Sep 4, 2001.

  1. Alan

    Alan Member
    Messages: 1,185

    OK,, I did a search and didn't get the stuff I was looking for, so here's my request.

    I'm about to bid my first paver install. No idea yet just what style will be used, that is yet to be decided, but I need to confirm what I know about installing them or get corrections to the mis-information I have.

    First off, the job will be somewhere around 5' wide by 40' long, laid in an S curve with the ends at 90 deg to each other, starting at a porch step and ending at the driveway. The walk will be cutting across the corner of the right angle formed by the front of the house and the driveway. I hope that all makes sense.

    Soil is fairly clean sand.

    My plan is to remove the new turf and topsoil, along with underlying sand to a depth of 12-15". Fill with 10" +/- of 3/4" plant mix. I'm not sure how universal that term is, but "plant mix" around here is crushed stone of varying sizes mixed with sand and/or rock fines. Compact the bejesus out of the plant mix and top that with rock fines to a depth adequate to bring the grade to slightly less than 2" below finished grade

    Lay out the curves and install edging to hold the pavers in place. Establish a center line, or lines parallel to the center line, depending on the curves involved. Start laying pavers from center out to keep both side cuts equal.

    Run a compactor on top of the installed pavers to set them flush to each other and firmly into the base material. Should I have a sand pad on top of the pavers when I run the compactor over them?

    Dump fine sand on top of the pavers and sweep it across the surface to fill the gaps between pavers and pavers/edging.

    Up to this point I have done one area about four feet square with a drain in the middle so there was no real grading involved, everything had to slope to the drain and there wasn't room enough to get fancy, I hammered each paver in as they were set.

    Any input on how many hours it should take to set edging and pavers would be welcomed. Getting the base in is something I can deal with the times myself, but the pavers are totally new to me.
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I'll answer your question first, then give you some other instructions....

    How long to lay brick, put in edge restraint and sweep in sand and compact? 200 sqft? You don't mention cutting brick so I will assume there is none. It would take us about 2-3 hours on site.

    But you mention some other things that concern me. 12-15" of stone is overkill. In fact, unless you are very diligent about compacting in small lifts and have good compaction equipment, you may end up with a base that's less stable than putting it on soil. 6-8" of base is plenty.

    Next, if you've done your base prep correctly, you should not need to be hammering each brick in place. In fact, no matter what, you shouldn't be hammering each brick in place. You should be able to put one eye about 2 inches off the ground and see a perfectly flat (though not level) base. Run a search on the words 'patio base' - there's info there I think will help you.
  3. Alan

    Alan Member
    Messages: 1,185

    Stonehenge, thank you for your input. Your 2-3 hours time frame, is that man hours or crew hours? If it's crew hours, how big is the crew?

    As for hammering each paver into place, as I said in my original post, that was an area roughly four feet square with a 20" drain in the middle and everything pitched to it. The only thing level was the line around the perimeter. No way to use a plate afterwards and no way to determine if any single paver was high/low other than set the perimeter and then use a straightedge off the drain and the perimeter row and set each paver to that elevation and pitch. How else could that be accomplished except by setting each paver individually?
  4. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Alan, when the area to be paved is flat, like a walkway, how do you prep it?
  5. Alan

    Alan Member
    Messages: 1,185

    I'm not trying to be a smart a$$ here, but everything I know, or think I know, about paver install is right there in my original post.

    I will cut down on the depth of my stone base, I was operating under the assumption that more was better. I am assuming I will need to cut some, as this will be an S curve of at present undetermined radius.

    The only thing I forgot to mention was that I will screed the last course of fines to get a flat, (not necessarily level) base to set the pavers on.

    I'm still in the dark about your times, man hours or crew hours?

    While I've only done 20 ft of pavers, I've got a bunch of landscape block walls and more years than I care to remember in construction overall. I don't see the base as being much of a challenge, but I hate to try to pull numbers out of the air for laying the pavers.
  6. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Alan excavate your base 1' wider than the walk, this will hold the edging you need, use concrete sand not masons sand it's too fine. Pricing you should be around $12 per sq ft. Figure you need about 15% more brick than the 200 sq ft you are installing for waste. patteren will affect price and amount of waste.
  7. Alan

    Alan Member
    Messages: 1,185

    Paul, am I correct in assuming that $12 figure includes all prep, base and pavers?

    I had planned on extra width to accomodate the edging and thank you for the numbers on overage to accomodate cutting and waste. I was a little light in that area, I was going with 10%.
  8. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Doing a curved walk may mean lots of cuts depending on the pattern and the radius involved. Also, when laying the pavers, let them run wild, cut and then put in the edging. At least allow yourself the freedom of one open edge. Are you putting in a soldier course on each side? Just a hint: Try not to lay this one in Herringbone pattern. You'll be hating life if you do. And it isn't great, visually, for this application. Also, are these pavers a simple holland stone shape? Did one of these using the key-shape early on---I still cringe at the man-hours used to get it done. Due to the curves, you may want to bid this a little higher than Paul suggested. Also, ditto what Paul said about your setting bed. Definitely use concrete sand for that.
    Good Luck!
  9. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Alan for us $12 includes base and prep, edging is extra. but 200 sq ft only takes my crew a few hrs. Oh just a not e Lanelle is right this is for holland stone only, pattern pavers will cost a lot more waste will go up alot.
  10. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Alan - I didn't think you were being a smartie, I was just trying to get more info from you so that I could better answer your question.

    Do you set screed rails and screed the base several times? Opinions are going to vary here on that, in that I don't like using sand as a bedding course and Paul does, and that will change when you set screed rails and how many times you screed.

    For that drain area, there should have been some short pipe/rails set, and the area screeded, and if not compacted with a plate, at least with a hand tamper. Then the brick would be set right on that base with no hammering needed.

    And when laying the pavers on a flat base prep, they should be flush with eachother prior to compaction, the compaction just helps seat them in the base and settle the joint sand. If there are even minor elevation changes from brick to brick, either the brick mfg did a poor job or more time needs to be spent in base prep.

    The hour figure I gave you was for a crew of 3.

    15% is a good figure for waste, I like to go even higher for walkways - I can always save or return the extra brick, and that's preferred to having to run out and get 10 more brick because you ran short.

    And we do tack a bit more $$ onto the price of a walk, just because you're using more edge restraint than you would a patio or drive (per sq ft).

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