Pavers have been used for thousands of years to create patios, walkways and roads. Modern day paver techniques are changing constantly, using different materials and procedures. While following ICPI techniques and procedures, we can create amazing patios built to last.
ICPI is a North American trade association representing interlocking paver installation. Their techniques and procedures result in some of the most durable patios.
We often come across patios that were not installed correctly. Before you have a contractor install your patio, ensure they are qualified by asking some important question, such as "how thick is the base layer" and ask if they have any third party training. These questions will ensure your patio will be installed properly and last. If your contractor doesn't install the patio correctly, it could result in major issues and expense down the road. Ensure it's built right the first time.
We'll go over how we install patios, so you'll know you're getting a quality patio with no skipped steps. Each and every one of our patios follow these techniques, our staff are continually trained to ensure they're receiving the most up to date information.
This is a diagram of the different patio and walkway parts. Each part of the process is vital to build a proper patio that will last!
Our 14 Step Process to Paver Patio, Walkway & Driveway Installation
1 - Planning & Design
The first step in building your patio is the planning and design stage. We go through a list of options, such as:
Where should the patio go?
What will you be using it for?
How big should it be?
For a thorough list of questions and details to review, Click HERE
From the planning stage, we move onto a design. Each patio we install comes with a basic design so you'll know what you're getting. This design will show the shape, size and look of the patio to ensure it's what you want and suits your needs.
2 - Grade & Layout
Once the planning and design are finished, it's time to get started, we grade the area using a laser level and stakes to ensure the patio is installed at the proper elevation. We use paint to mark the outline of the patio to get ready for excavation.
3 - Excavate & Remove Soil
The next step, we excavate and remove the soil from the area, ensuring we go past the minimum depth. For a typical patio or walkway we account for the pavers, bedding sand and base, which ends up being a 9 to 12 inch deep hole. We use a minimum of 6 inches of base on the typical patio or walkway. Driveways and certain soil conditions may require we have a base of 10 to 12 inches or more.
4 - Amend & Compact Soil
Once the hole is dug and soil is hauled away, we amend the soil. This means we use limestone to ensure the soil has the correct consistency so we can compact it prior to the base installation. Once limestone is added, we compact the soil before the base process.
5 - Install Geotextile Underlayment
Geotextile underlayment is added to separate the soil from the base, this ensures the soil doesn't mix in with the base, which would lead to erosion and issues down the road. Geotextile is a fabric, often times similar to felt or garden bed weed barrier.
6 - Install & Compact Crushed Gravel (Base)
Next comes the base. The base layer varies from project to project, larger walkway slabs don't require a 6 inch base although we still recommend it, most patios and walkways range from a 6 to 12 inch base and driveways 12 to 18 inch base. We install the base layer, compacting it as we install it.
7 - Final Grading
Once the base is installed, we adjust the base surface to the final grade, we use levels, laser levels and string lines for this process. Once its graded to where it needs to be, we compact it again thoroughly to ensure it doesn't shift.
8 - Install Bedding Sand
The bedding sand is installed to grade, this layer makes a nice smooth layer for the pavers and makes it easy to level pavers as we go. We don't use a "play sand" for this process, using the wrong sand could lead to failure, leaving you with a warped patio within a few years. We often see contractors using crushed limestone for this process, although it still works, it makes for a tough surface to work with. We ensure this final layer allows for patio drainage so when it rains, the water goes where we want it to go.
9 - Lay Pavers
Laying the pavers is the next step, we install them to the specific pattern chosen by you. As we go, we ensure all pavers are level and snug together.
10 - Cut Patio Stones
This step is where we cut the perimeter for the border course and any inlays being installed, we typically use a concrete quick saw to cut pavers in place.
11 - Install Perimeter / Border Course and Inlays
We install the perimeter course with any inlays. These inlays and perimeters give the patio / walkway a unique look and really make the patio, walkway or driveway pop!
12 - Install Edging
Edging is installed with spikes, we typically use a plastic snap edging that holds the edges of the patio in place. We drive spikes into the edging, these spikes rust securing them in place so they don't pop out in the future.
13 - Install Polymeric Sand
Once everything is in place, we're almost finished! We use polymeric sand to fill in the gaps, this makes for a great looking patio and helps prevent weeds. The polymeric sand hardens as it dries, leaving you with a finish that doesn't allow dirt and debris to mix into the cracks, which reduces weeds and maintenance.
14 - Finishing Touches
To finish the patio, we clean up the edges, clean up the area, add soil, seed, sod or rock to finish the surrounding area. We then touch up access points with soil and seed as needed to ensure our machine tracks aren't leaving you with a ruined yard. We use sheets of plywood or plastic to reduce lawn damage.
That's it! Your Patio is Complete!
If desired, we can add a sealer to your patio, walkway or driveway. This typically takes place 6 months (or the next season) after installation. This helps reduce maintenance and adds a protective coating to prevent stains.
In the Winnipeg Area? To Request a Consultation For Your Patio Project
We Offer Complete Patio, Walkway and Driveway Installation & Maintenance
Q: Have you come across a patio that wasn't installed correctly? What happened? | Comment Below
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Noted Sources: ICPI