Paving on a non-linear slope condition...

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by westernmdlawn, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. westernmdlawn

    westernmdlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    I have always wondered if it is possible to install pavers on a slope which varies, in other words a non-linear and non-consistent progression from one end to the other as you change grade?

    I have not encountered this yet, but it seems like it would be a common thing to deal with. I am thinking of an example where a sidewalk is needed to get from the driveway to the front door of a home, over a lawn that has a few gentle rolling hills along the way. Also, the homeowner doe not want steps if at all possible.

    My thoughts are that when there is a concave situation there would be a gap at the bottom of the pavers, which you would not see, but also, the tops might pinch together tighter which could cause problems with interlock and with proper installation of joint sand. In the case where the grade causes a convex situation on the pavement, I would think that the gaps in the joints would be larger, and possible detract from the overall appearance of the paving system being used, depending on the patten and type.

    What are your thoughts? I wonder what ICPI has to say about this? I haven't looked in that direction yet.
  2. amscapes03

    amscapes03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 398

    Hmmmmm.....Well you know the proper why to deal with this is to use steps, as you mentioned. The second option (without steps) is to do some major grading to lose those gentle rolling hills. Drive home the fact that winter will be a nightmare when their "gentle little valleys" turn into ice rinks. Just curious, how long of a walkway is it?
  3. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    There is no problem with following the contour of the land with a path. Water is handled with a gentle crown or pitch off to the side. You would have to have some pretty small radii to see large gaps. Your largest problem is going to be addressing shifting, but that should not be a concern with a slope under 7-10%. Start at the bottom. I have no problem with a gentle rolling path, say a few changes over 100ft. I on the other hand think 5-6 changes over 40ft would look too much like an amusement park ride. Heres one with several elevation changes, less rolling and more multiple pitched. Getting side angles is very important I see people make curves all the time with wrong side angles. You walk them and you feel like your ankle wants to roll over, not the case here.

    grade slope 1.jpg
  4. xclusive

    xclusive LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,054

    Shovelracer are you using edge restraints in this particular picture?
  5. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    yep we use aluminum and they are there in the pic. Ive been installing for over 10 years with aluminum and never once had one come loose that I can think of. On the other hand I couldnt even count the amount of plastic style edges we have seen pop. I realize that the new edges are much better than what was done a few years back, but if it isnt broke dont fix it.

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