A popular landscaping project these days is installing paving stone driveways and walkways. They look very clean, while also being distinctively different and natural feeling. Doing such an installation is no mean feat, though, particularly if you already have a driveway or other walkways, as they first have to be torn up. Fortunately, your team at San Diego Landscape Design is here to help with some tips on making this landscaping dream a reality.
Get Exact Measurements
Anyone who has ever done a landscaping or construction product will attest to the old adage “measure twice, cut one.” You don’t want to guess at the area that you want to cover. There are lots of ways to get a clear picture of exactly how much space you have to work with. Perhaps the most accurate is to make a scale drawing. It takes some time and effort, but it’s time and effort better spent with pencil and paper than with undoing work that you’ve already done on your property. Measuring tapes, rope and even your garden hose can be helpful tools in nailing down the precise size and shape of the area you want to cover.
Don’t Short Yourself
On a project like paver installation, you’ll need to excavate an area a little wider than what you actually plan to cover. Take this into account in your plans. Once the installation is done, you’ll go back and take care of the extra area you excavated. Most professionals will suggest that the extra space you excavate be equal to the distance to the depth of the base. On a similar note, you’ll need to carefully asses how deep that base should be. There’s no hard and fast rule; you’ll need to consider things like the soil condition, location on the property.
Many people doing DIY installations make the mistakes of simply pouring in their base materials and then compacting all of it. With any depth of material 6” or more, this can cause problems later down the road. The correct procedure is to lay about half of the base material, maybe a little more, and compact that, then fill up the rest.
Check Your Work
Because it’s a long, tiring process, many people are tempted to call it done as soon as they’ve laid their last paving stone and start the final compaction. All to often, this leads to regret as they clean up after only to find odd distributions of color, shape or quality. The best practice once you’ve laid all your stones is to clean up as much dust and debris as possible and examine your work. At that point, it’s still quite manageable to rearrange or replace stones as needed.