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Old 07-06-2010, 11:15 PM   #1
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Sub base for Backyard Pavers!

I am preparing to install a section of pavers adjacent to my new home. The backyard currently has very limited landscape; the area where I am installing the pavers has been graded to provided a swale for drainage.

Originally I planned on over excavation and recompaction using a sand over gravel sub base, however, the existing conditions of the soil are such that it is mostly granite.

There are no french drains, etc. installed to drain from the backyard through the side walk to the street. If I don't install a drain I am concerned that the water will drain through the sand then gravel and sit on top of the granite.

Does anybody have any suggestions???



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Old 07-08-2010, 10:47 AM   #2
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wouldn't the pavers act as a drain themselves? If you use the existing slope or create your own to run away from the home, and use 3/4 crush gravel, compact, screening, compact, then lay your pavers and use polymeric sand as a flexible concrete sealer for the paver joints/cracks...
... Then your pavers become one large flexible slab but water will always run over & away if installed properly.


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Old 07-11-2010, 09:08 PM   #3
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Sub base for Backyard Pavers

Don't worry about the water draining through. Once it hits your sub-base it will continue to drain. The vast majority of the surface water will shed off the surface of your pavers. Always maintain positive pitch away from your structure. If you get a chance, I have published a complete install guide on paver installation, cover soils, base, bedding sand, installation and final compaction. You can view the articles at Here's a link for the soils article. you can look up the rest on site. Hope this helps. Any other questions, let me know. I've been doing this, my whole life.
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:35 PM   #4
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If you are using interlocking concrete pavers (interlocked because of the sand vibrated between the pavers), they should aways be set tight on a 1" thick concrete sand setting bed placed on top of the compacted base. Spread fine sand over the surface, sweep it into he joints and vibrate to make the surface smooth and parallel to the base graded for drainage. If necessary, apply and vibrates a second spreading of the fine sand. Polymeric sand is a selling tool with a limited life and is not used in real paving installations where tightness, durability and strength are necessary (like streets, airport taxiways or heavy duty ship unloading harbors).

Just use a compacted base (not dirt) that is sloped to reflect the final drainage pattern and then add the 1" setting bed..

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