A driveway, sidewalk, or patio looks amazing when it has been paved. Using concrete to pave these and other parts of a home is a very popular way to make your home look incredible. In fact, if done right, this can increase the value of your home and give it amazing curb appeal. Just as with any outdoor improvement, before you do anything, contact your local utility company to make sure you know where any underground wires and pipes are and that they be marked.
The next step is to choose the design you want to use. For example, when it comes to pavers, you can actually choose from different styles, textures, sizes, colors, and shapes. Once you have chosen the paver you like for your project, you want to mark the area for your project. The best way to accomplish this is with stakes and string. If there is any grass in the area, that will need to be pulled up. An easy way to do this is by using a sod cutter, which can often be rented from a local equipment rental company.
If you are pouring a patio, let us say you have chosen to dig down into the dirt eight inches. This would give you a five-inch base, then a layer of sand, and finally the pavers. This digging process is actually called �skimming�, which is a process in which you try not to disturb the dirt at the bottom of the eight inches. In other words, you are just skimming the dirt off the top. This means you will have loose dirt at the bottom, which will settle. Be sure that the patio will slope at the base away from the house one inch for every four feet. This will help when it rains or snows so the water drains away from the house.
When the dirt is flat and the slope is done, you can now work with the base material. You want to mark along the house at the appropriate height. Be sure the line you have marked extends beyond the house so you can see it after the base material is down. Before you put the main load down, you should buy geotextile fabric, which helps hold the base and pavers should the soil move. This fabric should go up the excavation and then run down the side of the house just a little. This will help protect the house or siding.
An excellent option for base material is what is known as �Class Two�, which is crushed limestone. You might find it called �Three Quarter Minus, 21A, Granular Type 2, or AB3. Regardless of the name, it is excellent and will need to be moist when buying it. Once a level layer of the material is down, you can begin creating the edge restraints. When the restraints are in place and secure, you need to put down about two cubic yards of sand so you have a one-inch level of bedding.
Next, you need to find the center of the patio using the plumb method and then start putting down the pavers. You can choose the design you like best but one that is very nice is the �Soldier Course�. After the pavers are down, you will press them down to make the patio even and to force some of the sand you laid to come up through the joints. This is what helps to give the patio strength. Using a regular house broom, you can spread the sand that comes up with a broom. Then run a compactor over the pavers and spread out even more sand until all of the joints are completely filled. Once that is complete, the last step is to seal the pavers, which will protect them from stain but it also helps to bring out the color. In most cases, the sealing process will need to be done about every two to three years. Once the sealer is dry, you can enjoy your new patio.