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How to Prepare for a Paver Driveway

Pavers are a sturdy material that contractors may use for driveways, pathways, and outdoor kitchens. They are more robust structurally than concrete and can endure greater weight and strain than asphalt.

Paving stones drain water into the ground rapidly and are less muddy in wet conditions or dusty in dry ones. Furthermore, because pavers are adaptive, they will not fracture as readily as concrete.

On the other hand, Pavers fail for one primary reason: they don’t have a firm foundation. One of the most common errors committed while installing pavers is the lack of a solid base.

This post will show you why your base is the most crucial part of your driveway and how to set it up correctly. Installing pavers will be simple if you have a solid foundation.

What does the base layer do?
Think of your base layer as the foundation of your home. It stabilizes the entire project and gives it the support to last for decades. In pavers, the base includes the layers of aggregate that are directly under your paving stones. This gives your driveway stability, strength, and absorbent power.

The typical base for a paver driveway is 6 to 8 inches of compacted gravel above your dirt. If you’re building a driveway or parking lot for heavy trucks, you’ll need to double the thickness of your gravel layer.

To avoid your pavers from failing, we will now learn how to prepare your area for the best results.

How to prepare your driveway base
There are four simple steps to laying a structurally sound base: layout, grade, gravel, and sand. But before you start, you’ll need some tools and materials from a hardware store or hire your preferred Orlando paver installer, who will arrive with their gear.

If you do this on your own, you will need gear like a mallet, hand gloves, a good shovel, a rake, a tape measure, a string line, class 5 base material or gravel, sand, and a plastic or steel pipe.

After you have these materials and any others you need for your specific driveway installation, follow these steps:

Determine the correct spacing of your area

It would help if you planned your driveway or patio layout before you started to lay it. Use non-toxic marking spray paint to draw a line around the space to do this. Make sure that you use this type of paint. Then make sure there are no pipes or utility lines below the area. You can call your local utility company for an answer.

After making initial marks, you’ll want to expand the paint area by a few inches on all sides to provide adequate space for the pavers and edge restraint.

Make your corners

Next, it’s time to make square corners. You can use string lines and wood posts.

Grade the area for drainage

To regulate or redirect surface drainage, you’ll need to grade your property. Before you begin constructing your property, it’s critical to evaluate it and grade it. This will ensure water runoff drains away from your building rather than toward it. Select the height at which you want your completed work to be. To achieve this, grade your string lines to match how high you want them. Check that the strings slope away from any buildings so that water can drain properly.

Get rid of any organic materials like dirt and rocks or dead roots

Depending on how much traffic your driveway will get, you will need to dig the dirt and debris out to 9 to 15 inches below the finished grade. This will be enough to support the cars that drive on it. The deeper the base is dug, the more gravel you may add and compact it.

Put down your driveway fabric mat

Next, lay a driveway fabric mat on top of the soil, which will keep dirt and gravel from mixing.

This fabric also encourages proper compaction and settling. Many contractors overlook this step, which can lead to a driveway that doesn’t hold up over time.

Add your class five base material

After grading the area, you’ll need to lay 6 to 10 inches of class five base.

If you’re installing a driveway for your home, six inches may be enough for our Florida climate, but we rarely do this. At Orlando Pavers, we always do more than the minimum to assure our customers that they are investing in a lifetime product. For parking lots, we recommend at least 10 inches.

Make sure that the surface of your base layer is entirely flat to keep your layer of pavers even in the next step.

Compact Your Base

Next is time to make your base strong and use a plate compactor.

Pull a flat piece of wood over the compacted class five material to ensure no uneven areas. Use the plate compactor one more time over the entire region. Now it is time to add the paver stones.

Following these steps will result in the best preparation for your new driveway!