5 Jun 2012

How to Pave a Driveway so it Lasts!

Posted by bcsands

Have you ever noticed (or worse, had) a paved driveway that looked great when it was first laid, and over time the gaps near the edges got wider, or it started to develop tyre indentations? Laying pavers properly means a whole lot of work nobody else will ever see. It may seem unrewarding, but the payoff is a driveway that still looks good after years of use.

For starters, always make sure that water flow and drainage have been addressed in your plans and are in place before the actual driveway is dug. Therefore if you need grating, a soak-well and ag pipe, install these first.

This is what it takes to build a driveway that lasts:-

  • Dig through the surface vegetation and root zone, down through the topsoil until you hit the sub-soil level. To reach down to this formation level you may need to hire a bobcat or other excavation equipment – or have a lot of good friends with shovels and a willing attitude!
  • Remove any roots and stumps. Don’t skimp on this step, because failing to remove the roots and stumps of any trees or large shrubs you had to chop out to build your driveway will cause the bricks above to sag when the vegetation rots in the future.
  • Once the whole formation level is dug down to the required depth, width and length, it’s time to put something back. After using up any rocks or clean fill on soft spots or holes, line the sub-base level with road-base.
  • The bedding layer of sand must be levelled, contoured and shaped so that the pavers can sit flat on top without dips or mounds. This is achieved by using a long piece of timber or metal and scraping it over and over the sand in different directions and angles, constantly checking with a string line and a level.
  • When laying the pavers in the pattern you have chosen, make sure that the angles of the first course are accurate or you will have problems with subsequent courses and you may have to re-lay them.
  • It is important to put a concrete edge along the edge of the pavers on a driveway as this will prevent them from moving even when vehicles regularly turn on it.

 

Basic Driveway Paving Patterns

Paving patterns are not simply decorative. They have been developed to be functional, attractive and strong. The most common patterns include:

  • Herringbone – laid at a 45o angle to the edge and interlocking at 90o to other pavers, this strong pattern is a real favourite for driveways
  • Stack Bond – this pattern is used for square pavers. It is also laid at a 45o angle to the edge, but butted up against each other, the edges form straight lines.
  • Stretcher Bond – Also a stacking system, but using rectangular pavers and placing them in straight lines half a brick up or down from the previous row.
  • Basket Weave – This is an attractive, easy to lay pattern that eliminates cutting of edge bricks and can be created using contrasting bricks in pairs.

 

Paving your own driveway so it lasts is certainly hard work, but you get the satisfaction of having done a great job and knowing it will take most vehicles easily.



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One Response to “How to Pave a Driveway so it Lasts!”

  1. Great work to all those building the driveways on their own! Its definitely my cup of tea, I fairly didn’t want to mess with lot of money for going wrong with the basics of building a driveway. I wanted to assure myself that there would be no problems of water clogging or the perfect slop, my driveway is bit weirdly places. So I had Affordable asphalt Paving done in my new home. And they did a fantastic job – glad I didn’t do it myself!

     

    Fiera

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