which first??- path to door or surrounding edge of grass?

cottagecindyMarch 14, 2012

hi gang, I'm doing a project I have bit off more than can chew. so I need some advice.

the front yard will have bushes 3/4 way around obviously house on last side. the only opening to the yard will be the entrance where the paver path opens to the near bottom on the driveway with arbor over it. 3' depth perimeter all the way around the front yard will be the paver edge to the property line/driveway. the grass area is oval/circle, the path is at a curve from porch stoop to driveway opening.so 2 crescent grass areas shapes/sort of , of different sizes, 1 on each side of walk path.

so here's the question---

do i lay the pavers down first, then the edging border? I'm afraid the pavers once laid will not meet up with where the opening is, i know i will have to trim some pavers. but yes I'm sort of confused.

I had it all laid out (the border and redid the sprinkler system but now my landlord (yes he's suppling but I'm doing cuz I love these projects ! but anyway, he wants me to bury cinderblocks /rebar with concrete into ground then paver edging on top (of course a bit lower than grass line. yes the property has a wee bit of a slope in the last 3' --about a foot difference. the entire front yard is about 25' x 25'.

and of course i have to do it his way. he wants it solid, will not shift etc, and a perfectionist (and a general contractor that could do all this stuff ) but I'm getting a sweet deal out of it, experience, fun, and less rent!:)))

thank god it's raining for the next 7 days, so i have time to ponder. which order is the way to go? oh and i am pavering over the front stoop and along the sides of it also. and last but not least, the entire front yard is torn up and a mess,so i have to work on this as best as I can and quickly. (sorry if typos, i can't find my reading glasses lol!!!

any advice would be so much appreciated!

just curious...how much would it cost to hire someone to do this? in case i flake out...

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Sophie Wheeler

Paragraphs are your friend. Your post is hard to read because it lacks them. I'm hoping that I understood the gist of it all and that the following will be helpful.

You start with the thing that will need the most prep. All paver patios and paths will need a foundation dug for them. That will be a lot of dirt to get rid of and a lot of crushed rock to bring in and you don't want to be trying to miss any bed edging with the truck.

Lay everything out with spray paint first, then do the excavation. The gravel foundation should be larger than the paving area by at least 6"-12" to keep the patio and path properly drained. You'll be digging down about 6"-12" depending on your soil subtype. Finding some place for the dirt may be an issue unless you want to create a berm elsewhere in the yard. You may need a dumpster rental if you can't do the berm or find a neighbor who wants one. If this is a spot with drainage issues, you may want to install a perimeter drain tile leading to a drywell or storm sewer. Or you can build up the paver on a higher foundation than the surrounding soil. That will generally require a concrete slab though rather than just a gravel base.

Have the gravel delivered and rent the vibrating compactor. Once you've done several layers of the gravel all compacted down, and installed the geotextile membrane, then you can lay your pavers and lock them in with the mortar/sand mix. You will need to rent a wet saw designed for cutting pavers or else get real handy with scoring and snapping with a chisel and hammer.

A landscape construction company would typically charge between 2-4K (location and prep biggest cost factors) for a 10x10 concrete paver patio and 2'x 10' path to go with it. It's a LOT of hard labor!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 1:43PM
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Thanks hollysprings!

My backyard is a "dumping" ground for dirt (big piles) and the landlord will eventually pick it all up. So no rental for that - whew!

The oval edging between the grass and a soon to be planted hedge will a paver lined up around the oval. I will bury 6x16 cement cinderblocks with rebar laid across the tops for strength and steadiness, will fill the top holes of the cinderblock with cement. then lay the pavers on top with thin set. (I can pound off the corners of the cinderblock to make them "curvy"
*the ground is easy to dig since the weather has been wet, so I
think a 6" grub hoe will help besides a shovel, but of course no final
anything till the soil dries out.*

The paver walkway which is 3' wide x 25' long.. with a curve... I will dig 6 1/2" deep, 2" for bed gravel (I know what to buy, just can't think of the "exact" name right now. then 2" of the specific sand, then the pavers on that ---keeping in mind to watch the level , the slope, (drainage) and a wet saw to cut the pavers.
after those are installed, there is a sand you can sweep into them, making sure no sand left on top, then put water and they are set for good.

The paving of the porch and step, that's a little trickier, but I have to decide if I can pave the walkway first or should I do the step since they will be touching each other ??? My landlord will be helping with the porch.

I can hire a guy to help dig, or do it myself. I wish I had 2k+ but no money for that. I did rent a jackhammer and yanked up an old sidewalk (with the help of my friend) and that cement got hauled away.

the rock/sand will come in bags, we measured so I won't need a truck delivery.

I think I should in this order -- but correct me if wrong!!! (everything is already chalk/painted lines, grass gone)

1) dig the trench, put in blocks, rebar, fill with cement, thin set pavers on top, then make sure dirt is all filled in and tight and level .

2) dig the area where pavers will go and do all the prep work for that then lay them as mentioned above.

3) readjust the sprinklers (loosely done now)

4) re-sod the little areas (the 2 crescent shapes)

5) plant bushes, weed barrier and tan bark

but of course I skipped the porch/step. I don't know when I should do that. I know I need to do the side of the step since it is touching/sitting in the path area. so maybe that at the time of pathway,ok now as I type this, yes this must be done with path digging. duh.

so............is this the correct order ?? my main concern is the path will not end up at the exact spot where the paver edging is laid. and the trench edging with be deeper..... so now any extra advice ? thanks :))))))))))) !!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 2:32PM
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Sophie Wheeler

To get everything at the right level, use a water level. All a water level is is a simple clear plastic tubing like you can buy at any hardware store. Fill it with water, add a drop of food color to read it easier, and get the air bubbles out. Arrange it so the water in the tube is level with the top of the ultimate height of the porch steps if you want the path to butt into it at the same height. Use a small wood stake and some rubber bands to hold it tight. The water in the tube will be the same level on the other end. Manipulate the soil height (+ compaction layers) until you have the height you want. A slope of at least 1/4" per foot will keep water from pooling on the surface. That means that over a 10' patio, one side would be 2 1/2" lower than the other. Mark down 2 1/2" from the water line and you've got your slope.

Your paver patio on the "slab on the cheap" will still need a gravel base in order to drain properly or the freeze/thaw cycle will quickly crack it or heave it. THe denser the soil, the more gravel you need. A sandy soil can get by with about 6" of gravel, but a clay soil will need about 12". You're not talking bags of gravel here, you're talking a dump truck load. You can get a ton of gravel for less than a quarter of the cost of buying it in bags and it can be delivered all at once.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 6:16PM
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The tube trick is awesome. I will do that.
My buddy (landlord) was here today and I just said I am overwhelmed with this new way you want this done and since it is an old tiny cottage not exactly in "pristine" shape, I am going to forgo the pavers around the grass. Too formal. I will put in bender board instead to go between the grass and bushes.

So that shouldn't take too long no? how deep should I go into the ground with it? and I know to keep it below grass so able to mow,right? or higher and use an edger there by the bender board ? wood looks better than plastic? lasts longer? (never used the stuff before)

I just want to get this over, I am really looking forward to the walkway and covering the stoop and step!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 2:02AM
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