A Successful Paver or Stone Hardscape Begins With a Solid Base

It is that time of year again when homeowners across the United States start home-improvement projects in their yard. From patios to a wall to firepits, plans to create beautiful areas have begun anew. Whether you want to add a new paver patio or a stone walkway through your backyard, the project’s success can rest upon how the base is constructed and the crushed aggregate you use. Here are a few things you should know about paving and stone hardscape surfaces – and why contractors are essential.

The Foundation

Digging down a few inches to create a foundation for your walkway or patio sounds like a complicated process, and it is. Depending on the type of ground you encounter, the tree roots disrupting your project, and the huge rocks you find, the process of removing even 6 inches of soil can be exhausting. You also need to make sure the ground is even so that no water will accumulate and weaken the base.

The Aggregate

Once the soil is removed, you add some of it back over the area and tamp it down solidly to form a level base. Then you will need to add approximately 4 inches of crushed aggregate rock. Level the rock area out with a rake and pound it gently down. The base must be level or the walkway will be uneven, but there should also be a slight tilt to let the water run quickly off.

The Stone

Placing the pavers or stones together tightly is the last step. Once you are done laying the stones, even the entire area out one last time. Then, very fine sand or limestone is brushed into the cracks between the stones to prevent shifting.

As you can see, hiring a contractor to prepare the area will save you time, money, and an aching back. With digging, moving crushed aggregate, and leveling the area, it can take a trained professional to make sure all the steps are done correctly.