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Paver - Houston DIY Installation

Driveway and Patio Pavers Houston

Today our paver pros in Houston will share with you the step-by-step directions you need to follow when installing a patio paver in Houston, and if you decide after reading this article that you don't have the time, we would love to help. Emerson provided free estimates for driveway and patio pavers in Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, and the surrounding area.

Step 1: Location

Once you have chosen the correct type of paver for your Houston home, you will need to grade the area so water runs off the stone to prevent puddling that can impact the lifespan of your paver patio. Once the site has been graded, you want to create space to lay them using paint, sting line, or lumber. This will help you to know how many pavers you will need for your project. To do this, you will take your tape measure and measure the width and height of the area to determine the square footage. Now take that number and add 5% to allow the stone to curve and fit odd spaces. The square footage then needs to be multiplied by the paver coverage rate. You will find a construction calculator will be helpful when doing the math. This calculation will assist you, but ultimately the amount you need will be based on only the general shape and size of your paver patio. Houston’s average size of the patio is 49 square feet or a 7” X 7”, but again this is just the average. I suggest asking someone at your local hardware store or contacting the manufacturer for further assistance. You will want to know the height the pavers should reach and ensure it doesn’t exceed that height. Place your string line around the area to indicate the height level to follow. Also, you want the slab to slope downwards away from your house so that during the rainy season, water can drain. For every 4 feet, you should slope down one inch.

Step 2: Determine How Many Pavers Are Needed

Calculate the total depth of excavation needed. Do this by adding the inches required for the base (4 to 6 inches), the sand bedding (1 inch), and the paver’s thickness. This gives you the total depth needed to excavate. Next, dig out to the indicated depth and level, and compact the ground with a compacting machine. Once the excavation is completed, it is recommended to establish a movable border for rectangular areas with 2 x materials set at the correct height and slope.

Step # 3: Set Up

The base requires several inches of excavation. Before digging, you’ll want to ensure you won’t hit any underground utility equipment. Calling 811 to set up a time, generally within three days, so the utility companies can come to mark your lawn for where the excavation will be done. When your utilities are marked, it’s time to dig a base. The purpose of this digging is twofold. First, it exposes the area for the pavers to nestle in and clears any loose dirt. Soil can’t bear as much weight as hard, compacted ground. Removing this layer provides a stronger foundation for your paver patio foundation. Adding plant compact is one way to keep your soil from shifting and settling over time. The more compressed the soil is sturdier and long-lasting your patio will be. We also suggest removing other debris, such as weeds, grass, and rocks. This will make for an even surface to build upon.

Step 4: Dig Correctly

Depending on the soil you have will determine the depth you need to dig. Here is the standard ground Houston has:

• Sand

• Loam

• Clay

• Dark Gumbo Clay

Overwhelmingly, dark gumbo clay is the primary soil type within the Houston city limit, and it’s difficult to break up when dry and exhibits significant cohesion when wet. We also recommend incorporating a slight slope for water drainage to have proper runoff during the rainy season and keep water away from your home.

Best Foundation For Pavers In Houston

Once the excavation is finished, you will lay the base foundation for your project. The base is the topmost material pavers are installed into. Now you could apply the pavers directly onto compacted dirt, which can cause problems such as poor draining and weather warping. Instead, we recommend selecting a base that will secure your pavers so you can get the maximum life cycle from them (50 to 100 years)

Sand: Many people choose sand because it’s more accessible and easier to spread, but sand can create an unstable foundation. If the foundation is not level, it’s going to be noticeable. If you use sand as the base for your pavers, you must use it along with the crushed stone. The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute recommends washed concrete sand as the best base sand for pavers in Houston.

If you decide to install them on a sand base, there are several considerations you should make. First, sand can make or break your project, so using the recommended 1 inch is best. Adding too much sand will make the joints look uneven and give them a sloppy misaligned look.

  • Recycled Concrete Aggregate: Often referred to as RCA, it is an alternative to crushed stone with environmental benefits. This is made by breaking down existing concrete into gravel. The process has a smaller carbon output and takes less energy than mining virgin aggregate (crushed stone), making it a sustainable option. The downside to RCA is that it’s less reliable than crushed stone, so to ensure your pavers in Houston have the proper foundation, you need to speak with the provider about the quality of their materials.

  • Stone Dust: Stone dust is a base material that you should avoid if you can due to several reasons. The main problem with stone dust is its delicate texture that can’t be appropriately compacted, leading to shifting and sinking. The water storage compromises the base’s ability to bear and distribute loads. Instead, opt for a material with a little more durability to keep the pavers safe and prevent them from shifting.

  • Crushed Stone: A crushed stone paver base is made of small stone pieces that have been broken and screened for uniformity. According to the Minerals Education Coalition, common rock types processed into crushed stone include limestone, dolomite, granite, and trap rock. Stone aggregate comes in various sizes, but most experts recommend 3/4-inch gravel for paver bases. Crushed stone makes a solid paver base because it allows water drainage and is easy to work with.

Our paver Pros in Houston use a quarry-processed dense-grade aggregate, the best aggregate for paver patios. The quarry process is a combination of 3/4-inch crushed stone and stone dust. This mixture binds well and increases durability, making it one of the best materials for maximum strength and cohesion.

With our mixture, we distribute it evenly over the area, dividing it into three smaller layers, then compacting it between each layer for best results. Whatever you choose to use, make sure it’s level, sloped, and graded with your established height.

Step 7 Create A Sand Bed

Once you have created a base, you want to take electrical conduit the length of your floor to form “tracks” that will guide you in leveling the paver or polymeric sand. Polymeric sand is more durable and is excellent for locking paver joints or filling in gaps. Polymeric sand also gives you a better appearance and comes in a few color options. Once you have your sand, pour it between the electrical conduits, then drag a 2- x 4-foot board across it to smooth and level the sand layer. Make sure to use your level to make sure it’s flat. Then remove the conduit and continue to fill in the space with more sand; level each area- rinse and repeat until it’s the desired height.

Step 8: Placement

Now we will install the flagstone or limestone paver for your Houston patio according to your desired formation. Cut your stones with a masonry or circular saw, then fill in the gaps along the side. A masonry saw is the quickest way to get a clean cut. Make sure to wear protective equipment like gloves and safety glasses while cutting.

Step 9: Edge restraints

Edging creates a boundary for your paver patio and is essential to maintaining them unless laid against a hard surface such as a wall or fixed curb. Edges improve the overall structural integrity of your pavers and enhance their looks.

Without edges, they are going to move and spread. This is often caused by harsh weather, driving, walking, and ground movement. Once a few pavers begin to move or extend, this will create a snowball effect. Once this happens, tiles can start to crack or sink, leaving gaps for weeds and moss to grow. Our paver pros in Houston recommend using concrete as it’s resistant to moisture and more robust than plastic, metal, or wood. Unfortunately, a perfect edge restraint doesn’t exist because it will depend solely on the base you use and proper installation. If you have issues with the edges, then most likely, it’s the result of improper installation.

  • Plastic edge restraints are installed with landscape nails or spikes driven into the sub-base and used mainly in non-vehicular applications.

  • Metal: This is more costly than plastic but more structurally sound. Metal is best used for straight runs rather than curved sections.

  • Concrete: Our choice for an edge is because they’re more robust and water resistant; concrete edging can be laid to any shape and is inexpensive to use.

Step 10: Finishing Touches

Take the time to secure your pavers into the sand bed using a plate compactor to give you an even surface, then fill in the area using polymeric sand.

For Driveway, or Patio Paver In Houston, Call US

If you would like to learn about all the options for pavers available in Houston or speak with a professional regarding your specific project, then contact Emerson Home Exterior Enhancements at (281) 545-7740. There is no cost or obligation to receive an on-site quote. Our paver pros serve Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, and the surrounding area.

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