Sunday DIY: Pave away

By Greig Morgan

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Turn a spare corner into off-street parking for mates? Easy as, says Greig Morgan.

An extra parking area is a bonus when it comes to hosting friends during the World Cup. Pavers are easy to lay, it's just a matter of getting the ground preparation right. Photo / Michelle Hyslop
An extra parking area is a bonus when it comes to hosting friends during the World Cup. Pavers are easy to lay, it's just a matter of getting the ground preparation right. Photo / Michelle Hyslop

Gone are the days when the quarter-acre section was the norm. You and your mates would play rugby, cricket or soccer, pretending to be one of your favourite sporting legends in the backyard until it got dark. Then as you got older, you couldn't wait to get your driver's licence, then came your first car - and there was heaps of room for everyone's cars. Now, houses may be bigger, but many have minimal parking space for cars. Here's how to turn a spare corner into another parking space so your friends can get their cars off the road and know they're safe.

Step 1

Set out a string line to the finished height that you want your paving to be level at. Allow for water run-off - at least a 15mm fall for every metre. Excavate soil to the required depth or to solid ground, allowing for at least 150-200mm of base course (Gap 40), 20mm of base sand and the thickness of the paver.

Step 2

Fill in area with base course. Rake, screed, shape and compact using a plate compactor. It is important to get the base right by measuring from the string lines.

Step 3

Lay your 25mm bars (runners) on compacted hard fill to help with screeding your base sand. As with any finished product, it will only be as good as the preparation. When bars are removed, fill with sand.

Step 4

Once you have chosen the paving pattern, start placing pavers from a corner, straight edge or string line. Check your line and levels regularly. Lay down plywood or similar to spread the weight as you walk on your paving.

Step 5

Overlay your paving so it's easy to cut in. Mark a border to frame your new paving area and cut to your mark. Remove offcuts and lay in your border.

Step 6

Using quick concrete or similar, haunch in the outer pavers, starting about halfway down the paver on a 45-degree angle.

Step 7

Sweep in the joint sand, then run a plate compactor over the paved area. Then sweep over more sand and repeat the process.

Anyone can lay pavers, just ensure you get your ground preparation right.

Tools

Spade, shovel, rake, wheelbarrow
Tape measure
Level, string line & stakes
Screed bar & 25mm bar as runners to screed the sand on
Plate compactor
Hand grinder with diamond tip blade
Safetyware
Broom
Trowel

Materials

Suitable pavers for driveways
Gap 40
Paving sand (course sand)
Joint sand or pave lock
Quick concrete (for haunching)

- Herald on Sunday

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