Crofton Landscapers – North Cowichan
We have built many patio’s in our landscapes over the years. Here’s some useful information on landscaping with paver ideas
Walkways, Patios, Stairs and Steps
Landscape ideas for people who love unique & outstanding results in their yards.
Whatever your desires, we provide and build it all.
Contact Us today to get your landscape installation started
Why have Pavers and Slabs in my landscape?
Pavers and HydraPressed Slabs are excellent choice for high traffic areas since they’re great for the high durability they have compared to concrete.
These is a system that comprises of many individual pieces that interlock together. This makes for a flexible system that is very durable and much less chance of cracking. If any repairs are required, due to daily wear and tear, repairs and replacement is relatively simple and cost effective. Pavers are ideal for areas such as driveways whereas HydraPressed Slabs are better suited for lighter traffic areas such as patios and pathways. Although some manufactures are now starting to offer larger slabs rated for vehicle traffic. Like pavers, HydraPressed slabs can be installed on a sand or mortar base, except they can also be installed on pedestal systems if required. You can also extend the life of your pavers by adding a concrete sealer every few years, which will protect your pavers from staining as well as enhancing colours by giving a ‘wetlook’ .
Benefits of using this product:
- Low Maintenance
- Variety of Brands, Styles, and Colours
- Gives a good Non Slip surface
Installation cost: $24.50+ (depending on product and installation method)
How to build your own landscape patio
Here I am going to cover a few simple steps on how to build a paving stone surface for your landscaping that you and your family can enjoy for many years to come.
Summer time means plenty of warm sunshine, barbecues, and being able to sit outside in the evening at the end of the day to enjoy a cool drink and good company. But, without a deck or paver area for your grill, a few chairs, and maybe a table, where is everyone going to sit?
Make a Landscape Plan
The first step is to have a plan of action. Not only do you have to decide how big you want your new seating area to be, but you will want to decide what materials you will be using for the final top layer.
Size: When I was trying to determine the size of my backyard patio, I factored in room for several chairs, a chaise lounge or two, a small table, and a fire pit. Always allow for more room than you think you might think, to ensure you have room for extra guests when the time comes.
Ideas: After you know the size, i think it’s best to have a look at what others have done.
Materials: There are a few great materials to choose from, when it comes to different types and styles of paving stone. Each of them have there own advantages and disadvantages based on looks, durability, and how much work you are willing to put into building your new area. You should also consider how you plan to use your patio and whether you plan to use it all year round.
Choosing the best location in your landscape
Now that you have an idea of what type of pavers (size, materials) you want to build with, the next step is choosing the best location for it. There are several things you should consider as you look for the perfect spot in your back yard to build.
How Much Shade Will You Get?
Unless you live in an area where the sun never shines or you have zero shade trees in your yard, try to pick an area that gets shade for at least part of the day. If you don’t have anywhere in your yard that gets shade, consider planting a few shade trees, shrubs, and plants to help out.
Does the Area Drain Well?
The last thing you want is a paving stone concept that spends a large part of the time sitting in standing water every time it rains. Be sure to pick a spot in your yard that drains well to ensure your patio remains high and dry.
What Kind of Slope Are You Working With?
A small amount of slope, say around 1/4 inch per foot is just fine, it will help the water to run off and away from your patio. If the area has more slope than this, you may wish to grade the top soil or build some form of retaining wall that will let you set the appropriate slope.
Issues with Digging
Start by looking at any trees and their root structure in the area you plan to use, avoid building directly under the trees. Be sure to contact your local utility companies and maybe Municipality of North Cowichan before you start digging. Most will send a surveyor out to mark water lines, gas line, underground power lines and anything else you might damage by digging at no cost.
Plan Your Route For Access
Most of the materials used to make a patio are very heavy by nature. Have a access route planned that will reduce the amount of manual labor needed to get them to the job site. The sand and gravel for the base will typically arrive in dump trucks that may be too heavy for your driveway or yard. If you are building a large paving stone patio, you may want to ask the supplier to deliver the materials in a smaller truck or palletized with a skid loader to help get them where you want them. This will be much better than having to haul everything one wheelbarrow load at a time.
Now that you know where you are going to build your patio and how big it is going to be, it’s time to make a working plan. Trace out the area you plan to use for your patio, including any trees, shrubs, buildings, walkways, and flower beds.
Then experiment by drawing in different sizes and shapes until you are happy with your design. Doing this will not only help to ensure you are happy with the final shape and size, but it will also let you experiment with different pavers and bricks to see which one will work best. It will also let you try out different patterns.
Building a Solid Base
Just like your house and garden shed, your new surface needs a good solid foundation. Remember while the only thing you see is the final layer of paving stone, it’s what’s hiding underneath, i.e. landscaping fabric, sand, and gravel, that is responsible for making it stable and holding it all together. If the place you are buying your paving stones does not carry gravel or sand, you can find several suppliers online.
Gravel forms the semi-solid base for your new pavers. It helps to ensure that any water buildup can flow into the ground rather than building up. Depending on the type of soil you have in your backyard, you will require anywhere from 4 to 10 inches of gravel.
Sandy soils tend to require less gravel than soils loaded with clay or organic matter. Gravel is typically sold be the cubic yard or ton. One cubic yard of gravel will provide you with a 6-inch layer that covers 50 square feet once it has been compacted. One cubic yard of gravel typically weighs in at around 1.5 tons.
You will want a layer of “coarse washed sand” to cover the gravel to a depth of approximately 1 inch. This layer of sand is used for “setting bed” for the paving stone you plan to use for the surface layer. You can also use the sand to fill in any gaps between them and provide a smooth final surface.
Putting in a new concept takes a lot of effort and a relatively long list of tools to get the job done right. Here is a list of the tools you should have on hand:
- push broom
- level (both 4-foot and line-level styles)
- work gloves
- rubber mallet
- safety goggles
- small sledgehammer
- tape measure
- tamper (rent a powered version from your local equipment rental store)
As with any major project in your garden or yard, there is always going to be a list of supplies needed to get the job done. Here are the basics for you:
- garden string
- paving stones, bricks, or rocks
- landscaping fabric
- edging material
- gravel (pea gravel is best)
- landscape spikes
Digging Your Patio In
Now for the fun part, it’s time to mark out your new hardscape dimensions on the lawn and start digging. There are a couple of ways you can go about doing this, use spray paint to mark the borders, use a series of stakes and string, or even an extra-long landscaping hose or two. The nice part about using any of these to mark the border, is that they can be used to make virtually any shape.
You should also use a length of string running from end to end in the middle running down the slope you need for the water to drain. Remember, to drop of 1 inch for every ten feet in length if you want the water to drain properly.
Now for the real fun, dig a hole in the shape of your new area that is about 10 inches deep to make room for the landscaping fabric, road base, and sand, while leaving enough room for the final layer of bricks, stones, or pavers to sit just above the ground when set.
One last thought here, you are going to be digging out a heck of a lot of dirt, so have somewhere in your landscaping to dump it sorted out before you begin. Not sure what to do with it? Why not make a raised garden or fill a few planters instead of paying someone to haul it away?
Building the Foundation
The foundation of your new hard surface starts with tamping the soil down to form a smooth solid base. The best way to do this is to rent a gas-powered tamper. Not only will this make the job go faster, but it does a better job and you will find it easier to keep the necessary drainage slope.
Next, comes laying the landscaping fabric down to cover the entire “floor” area. If you use more than one piece, be sure to overlap by at least 6 inches to avoid bleed through.
Add your edging at this point, making sure that the top of the edging will sit just below the top of the final layer of your paver surface. Use aluminum edging if possible so that your string trimmer does not destroy it the first time you edge the lawn
Next, pour in the road base and level it with a rake to give a smooth surface that continues to maintain the drainage slope. I recommend using peagravel as it is big enough to allow for water drainage but small enough to be raked smooth. The layer of road base should be approximately six inches deep.
On top of this goes a layer of sand that will be thick enough to ensure the bricks, stones, or pavers you plan to use sit about 3/8th of an inch above the edging. This way when you run the tamper over the final layer it will sink down to where it will be flush with the edging.
Laying the Final Layer of Paving Stone
The final step in learning how to build a seating area involves laying the bricks, stones, or pavers you intend to be the finished result. There are several ways to mark out the pattern you plan to use, the most common of which involves using a number of stakes and a chalk line like you would use to mark sheetrock. The idea is to lay out the lines to match the pattern you drew out in your original paper plan. This could be a brick herringbone, paver checkerboard, or unique stone pattern. There are dozens of patterns to choose from online.
Finishing Touches to Your new surface
You should have saved some sand aside for the final step. Start by using your rented tamper to vibrate the bricks, etc. into place. Warning, (as I found out the hard way) if you are working with bricks or pavers that are less than 2 inches thick, DO NOT tamp them as they will crack and break!!!
The next phase involves spreading the sand over the top of the final layer and using a push broom to force it into the cracks. This will help to lock the surface in place and help keep weeds from growing in the cracks.
Finally, add any shrubs, planters, trees, or flowers around your new landscape, set out the chairs, light a fire in the fire pit and relax with a well-earned cold one. You certainly deserve it and your family will enjoy the fruits of your labors for many years to come.
Living with your new paver installation
Once you are finished it’s time to deck it out with furniture. To get the most out of it in all weather you might want to consider investing in a patio heater. These are great for giving you back your outdoor space when the weather cools down.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this, as much as I have enjoyed putting this information together for you. Remember it takes time, planning, and hard work to build a project that will last for many years to come, but once you and your family can sit out and relax on it, it will all be worthwhile.
If you have any questions, please contact us here.
Tag: Landscaping Crofton, Landscapers Crofton, Patio Crofton, Crofton Municipality of North Cowichan