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    DIY paving: Part 1 - preparation

    Published on 16 January 2015, Friday, 4:25 AM

    There are certain aspects of paving that are best left to the professionals, but there are also many DIY paving projects that you can undertake yourself. A large paved area can be a source of great pride for the DIYer. Unfortunately the opposite is true too - a botched job can be pretty hard to live down.

    So how do you make sure you get the best finish possible with your paving? Here are some tips to help along the way.

    1) Get your materials

    You'll need your bricks or pavers, sand, gravel and dry cement. Make sure to measure out your area to pave and then round up by a small amount when calculating the amount of material you need.

    That way you can allow for compaction and any unforeseen factors. The last thing you want is to run out of material while your cement is wet!

    2) Get your tools ready

    Most of the tools you'll need for a great paving job are already in your garage or shed. Make sure you have a string line, level and tape measure. For getting everything just right you'll need a trowel, spade, rake, rubber mallet or hammer. Stop in at your local Kennards Hire for the big items like a compactor or brick saw.

    3) Prepare your road base

    Clear out the area to be paved. This means removing all plants, top soil and other debris. All that should be left is firm sub-grade, on which you can lay your road base.

    The base course, or road base, is a layer of granular material, such as gravel, and will determine the strength of your paving.

    An even spread of around 100 mm will be suitable for vehicle traffic. Remember when levelling this off to allow for water run off.

    4) Lay your base

    Your layer of bedding sand will determine how level your pavers are - so get this part right! Around 30 mm of damp concrete sand is the final layer before you lay your pavers.

    Use a screed board to make sure your sand is as level as possible. Only apply sand to the area you will pave in one session. Keep the rest stored under a tarp to maintain moisture levels until it is needed.

    Now that you have all of your tools and materials, as well as the base for a good paving project, it's time to take a break and crack a cold one. Make sure to check out the second part of this series for tips on laying your paving.

    Nathan Mills portrait image
    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.