Steps to in­stalling your own paving

Lesotho Times - - Property -

“Leave it to a pro­fes­sional”, is usu­ally some­thing you’ve heard said be­fore. Most of the times it’s a fairly ac­cu­rate state­ment, but there are those times that you must ig­nore the naysayer and sol­dier on with your dream project.

In this case, it in­volves lay­ing down some paving on an area that you’ve been want­ing to cover for quite some time.

That small piece of dirt where grass doesn’t grow, or per­haps some paving has col­lapsed, and you want to up­lift it and re­lay it.

Ja­son Greer from Be­yond Paving shares ba­sic tips on how to com­plete your very own paving project…

Step 1 — Choos­ing the right paver There are a num­ber of pavers avail­able for var­i­ous ap­pli­ca­tions.

Flag­stones are gen­er­ally wet­cast pavers that can be moulded into a num­ber of shapes, ideal for gar­dens, pa­tios and pool sur­rounds.

Clay bricks like Coro­brick are gen­er­ally used for drive­ways, walk­ways and pool sur­rounds, al­though, in our opin­ion, this is some­what out of fash­ion.

Fi­nally, ce­ment bricks are the most ver­sa­tile and cover a va­ri­ety of ap­pli­ca­tions — from drive­ways, walk­ways, pa­tios to pool sur­rounds and more.

From a cost per­spec­tive, ce­ment bricks are the cheap­est, with flag­stones tip­ping the scale as the most ex­pen­sive.

Step 2 — Ground prepa­ra­tion Ground prepa­ra­tion is im­por­tant as any sort of un­prepped ground can re­sult in ‘pool­ing’, sag­ging paving and loose bricks.

First, loosely dig up the area where you want to lay the paving. This en­sures that you start with a fresh piece of ground and get rid of things such as stub­born tree roots, weeds, etc.

This also es­tab­lishes the depth you need to go ac­cord­ing to the height of the pavers you’re go­ing to use.

Per­haps the most im­por­tant el­e­ment of this ground prep, though, is to en­sure that your lev­els are cor­rect and that wa­ter flows away from your house, pool, etc.

Once this is done, you must com­pact the area, ei­ther us­ing a hand stam­per (if it’s a small area) or a plate com­pactor (easy to use and easy to hire from a tool shop). This en­sures a solid base and foun­da­tion for your pavers to sit on.

Step 3 — Lay­ing the base ma­te­ri­als De­pend­ing on what paver you’re lay­ing, it will de­ter­mine what base ma­te­rial you’ll use.

Flag­stones will need a bed of ce­ment about 10cm thick to rest on, while other paving will need a bed of river­sand, about 20cm, to rest on.

No need to mix ce­ment in with the river- sand. If the ground is com­pacted well enough and solid, then your pavers will sit firm with­out the need for ce­ment to be mixed in with the river­sand.

This also elim­i­nates any fu­ture has­sle should you need to up­lift those pavers.

Step 4 — Lay­ing the paving Once the base ma­te­rial has been laid and screeded with a long plank, (take care not to com­pact the base ma­te­rial) start lay­ing your paving.

There are a num­ber of pat­terns to choose from, in­clud­ing stretcher bond, her­ring bone, bas­ket weave and so on.

Her­ring­bone is per­haps the most widely used — and the most sta­ble. Start from one cor­ner of the area, work­ing your way down the one side.

Place some fish­ing gut or taught string along the in­tended path to en­sure you keep a straight line.

Place the pavers next to each other, as tight as pos­si­ble — this en­sures a solid fin­ish.

Be pre­pared to cut pavers to fit into the area. This can be done us­ing an an­gle grinder fit­ted with a di­a­mond blade (again, easy to hire from a tool shop).

Once all the paving has been laid, you’re ready to grout.

Keep in mind that if the edges of your paving are not up against a wall, you’ll have to lay the bound­ary pavers onto a bed of ce­ment to en­sure the pavers don’t move.

Step 5 — Grout­ing Grout­ing your av­er­age paving job re­quires a ‘dry grout’ which is a mix of plas­ter­sand and ce­ment (1 part ce­ment to 3 parts sand).

Sim­ply sweep the mix into all the joints, fill­ing them up. This will lock the pavers into place.

Step 6 — En­joy the fruits of your labour For a small job, the above guide should be more than enough to en­sure a happy re­sult. If you’re work­ing with a larger area, get a pro­fes­sional to tackle it. — Prop­erty24

Once the base ma­te­rial has been laid and screeded with a long plank, (take care not to com­pact the base ma­te­rial) start lay­ing your paving.

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