For never-freeze climate places, do I really need 4" roadbase for patio pavers?
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and here we never freeze. I am building a paver patio in my backyard with walkways around the house totalling about 700 sq-ft. So far I have excavated 600 sq-ft of the job. I am digging 7" down to accomodate for 4" roadbase (3/4" minus) + 1" sand + 2" Belgard Catalina pavers. Thus I have a massive amount of dirt piling up in my driveway.
One of my neighbors who is a contractor himself, told me that I do not need the road base here in the Bay Area. He told me that he had done a few paver patio jobs in the area and he never use road base. He also said he had 500 sq-ft of paver patio in his backyard for 6 years and they never had any problems that way. The reason being that my soil is pure clay and it's pretty hard by itself plus we never freeze here. For the clay soil part, yes, once I dug down 3-4" from the surface, my soil is hard as a rock and it cost me and a day laborer 3 full days to get 600 sq-ft.
I believe I am doing the right thing (with the 4" road base) but since my contractor neighbor mention this, I need to ask for your advice.
I have yet another 100 sq-ft of pathway remaining and if the 4" road base isn't necessary then I can finish the digging part tomorrow. I am pretty tired right now after days of digging.