Don’t Be Afraid to Dig Deep
In order to set the patio pavers, you have to dig out some of the existing dirt or grass. Before getting started, contact your local utility companies and have the lines marked. Most services will do this free of charge. Once the lines are marked, you can safely dig. Be sure to dig about six inches deep to get below the root level of current vegetation. If your soil is dry, water it the evening before you start work. This will soften the dirt, making it easier to dig.
Create a Weed Barrier
Nothing is more frustrating than to have your beautiful area marred by weeds. To prevent weeds from coming up through the cracks, lay down some landscaping cloth before placing the sand base. The cloth forms a barrier between the soil and the new sand, helping to keep out unwanted weeds. In order to know how much landscaping cloth you need, calculate the square footage and add ten percent.
Pack in the Sand
Once you have laid your cloth, it is time to add the sand base. Before you add the pavers, you should use a tamper or plate compactor in order to pack in the sand. You want it smooth, solid, and level. Run the packer over the surface in between each layer of sand before you start.
Do Not Forget the Drainage
While you want a level area, you need to make sure that you have a slight slope to drain rainwater away from your home’s foundation. You should angle it so that the water flows to an area that can absorb additional water or to a drainage area you have already established. The drop does not have to be significant, only about a quarter inch for each two feet.
Settling and weather can cause your pavers to move slightly. In order to keep this from happening, you should have a solid edge to help keep them in place. Some use additional pavers while others go for a solid cement edge. You can also put up vinyl or metal edging to add stability.