Lay a path with paving blocks
If you need to add a paved area to your garden, here is a step-by-step project that will guide you through the process of laying paving bricks and finishing off.
Before you begin, acquaint yourself with how the blocks are to be laid. Practicing the pattern will make it easier when you actually get stuck in.
You will need enough smooth and sharp sand to cover the area to be paved, allowing a 5 cm thick bed of sharp sand and a 5 cm thick layer of smooth (paving) sand, as well as a thin layer of sand to cover the landscape fabric and fill gaps once the paving has been laid.
Your local Builders or hardware store should offer and deliver both types of sand, and there are merchants that specifically supply different types of sand. If in any doubt as to the sand you will need, ask for assistance.
After removing lawn and raking to remove small stones, use a plate compactor to go over the area several times. You can hire a plate compactor at hire stores by the day. Make sure to stock up on fuel and oil if you have a large area to cover.
Tighten a length of string along the edges of where the pavers will be laid. You can attach the string to wood stakes hammered into the ground.
GOOD TO KNOW:
You can buy a line level at your local Builders. Place this on the string line to keep the height of the paving bricks level as you work.
Lay down landscape fabric (optional but ideal if you want to prevent weeds from popping up through the pavers). Temporarily hold this down with a few bricks.
Split poles or raw logs are an easy alternative for adding edging to a paved area and many tree fellers will be able to offer you a selection of straight lengths, or buy treated split poles. The diameter of the logs will depend on the height of your block pavers.
Remove the bricks and place the landscape fabric so that it is anchored under the log border.
Cover the landscape fabric with a thin layer of smooth sand for firm bedding of your paver bricks. Use a straightedge or length of straight timber to level out the area. Run the compactor over the top to ensure the sand is well compacted.
Start laying bricks where it is easier to work outwards, or from a point where the pattern will be most visible.
Follow the pattern dictated by the shape of the bricks, or choose a design if using rectangular paving bricks or cobblestones. Leave the edges until last and cut these with an angle grinder or saw with masonry blade. Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself from chips.
Polymer sand or sand specifically for paving is best for sealing the paver joints. Check the weather before application - a sunny day with no chance of rain is the best time to apply the sand.
Sweep clean the pavers before applying the sand and then pour sand liberally over the paving blocks. Using a broom, push the sand in the pavers joints. You will need to do this several times to fill the joints with sand. Once the joints well filled, sweep away any excess sand.
Use a watering can and sprinkle water evenly over the surface. Should any unfilled areas appear, fill by sweeping more sand over the area.
Allow the pavers to settle overnight before walking on.