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Old 06-02-2015, 11:05 PM   #1
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How build a paver pathway above ground level?


I'd like to build a paver pathway from my patio to a nearby gate. It's a run of about 15 feet. The issue is, the ground level is about 7-8 inches lower than I need the surface of the pavers to be. In other words, due to various excavation projects in my backyard, there's a large step down off my patio to ground level, and then when you get to the gate it's a large step back up. I don't want the step down / step up; I want it to be a level surface from the patio, across the new pathway, to the gate. So I need to build my path above ground level. And then once the path is in place I'll plant some shrubs on either side and add some topsoil and mulch to even the grade out.

But my issue is, I can't figure out how to support the edges of the pathway to secure the pavers. All of the guides I've seen about building paver pathways have been focused on digging and then using ground material as a natural edging to support the edges of your pavers, but I'm not going to have that. I'm building up, not digging down. Obviously I need to frame the edges of the path and the gravel base but I'm not sure how. Any ideas?

Jason
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:17 AM   #2
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Idea 1: Fill in the grade.

Idea2: A wooden retaining wall. on both sides of pathway.

Idea 3: A concrete retaining wall, similar to a foundation system.
on both sides of pathway.


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Old 06-03-2015, 12:57 PM   #3
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Thanks Ed. Option 1 isn't an option. I've thought about option 2. Should I be concerned about the wood rotting over time? I'm also not sure about how I feel about having visible wood on either side of the path once this is complete. But I guess I could fit the wood so it maybe only comes half way or so up the sides of the pavers and then my topsoil / mulch could cover the rest.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:28 PM   #4
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I don't think it's really going to work. Putting down pavers works like this. Excavate about 7 inches into solid ground . Put in 6 inches of crushed base material. Pack that down with a power tamper to a depth of about 3.5 to 4 inches Cover with landscape fabric . Cover with sand install the side retainers , scree the sand to a smooth level surface, lay in the pavers cover with sand and fill the cracks . Power tamp the pavers to lock them together . If the cracks between still aren't full of sand , repeat until they are. Your elevated berm is going to have to solid and be well settled to with stand the tamping . If you live an area with hard freezes, the first winter will heave it all over the place . Here is another idea that might work . Build a gravel walk and set decorative stepping stones in the gravel.

Retaining walls if solid enough might work. Even retaining walls if not built properly are problematic .
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:42 PM   #5
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6x6 or 8x8 PT timbers will take a while to rot away, That might be an alternative, you might get lucky and find some long enough to span the entire distance, but if not use a half-lap joint and a rod driven DEEP into the ground as an anchoring pin.

As an alternative to PT, there is Cedar, Redwood, but they cost much more.

After you get the edging set, then you can use pavers as intended, Gravel, tamped, sand, tamped, then pavers.


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Old 06-03-2015, 03:00 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. Interesting that you mentioned gravel because that thought crossed my mind too. If I couldn't figure out how to build a paver path that was above the existing grade, my next thought was to build a gravel path with fieldstones.
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Old 06-03-2015, 04:07 PM   #7
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Used railroad ties will do it ( 7'X9" x8' ) ...Menards sells them.
Anchor them in with rebar stakes.
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Old 06-05-2015, 01:26 AM   #8
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Just a thought...
How about a deck path. 4 x 4 layed long ways with treads
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:15 AM   #9
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Don't know if you are still thinking about this, but this is what I did. I have an elevated paver patio. Built the border out of Country Manor large pavers from Lowes. They are 6" high and you could build up two high if need be. Each block weighs 80 pounds and they aren't going any where.
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