Paving Stones – Step by Step (Part Two)

The sixth step to cutting small pieces to fit edges. The easy part of laying down full pavers is finished, time to cut all the smaller pieces to fit into the gaps. Some cuts will be straight, curved and maybe even some completely odd shapes – just depends on the design. When cutting a curve with a circular disc, angle the disc around the curve. The problem with this method is you can’t get the blade very deep into the cut, but as long as you score the top layer then the sand will cover any imperfections below that.

Once the curve was cut I made lots of straight cuts inside that line, from above and below, and used a hammer and chisel to chip the pieces out. This was a very slow process but worth the extra time.

After that I had to make a curved cut around the old drain. To cut the required shape I traced a line onto a piece of cardboard. I then cut that shape out and transferred it onto a paver. It took some time lining up the template because it spanned 3 pavers but all my initial cuts were a bit shy so I could creep up to the line after test fitting it.

The seventh step to sweep dry sand into gaps. After all the cuts are finished, you are very close to being done. Sweep dry sand into all the joints – the sand is there to keep gaps between the pavers but also to slide into any gaps underneath the pavers.

The eight step is to finish sweeping in sand and vibrate. Before sweeping in more sand, use a compactor to really set the paving stones in place. Make sure you protect the pavers before compacting, like using an old rug or a small piece of carpet attached to the compactor. Also make sure to brace the edges of your pavers with two by fours or steel bars to prevent them from getting pushed outwards as the inner pavers move. Sweep in more sand and continue to use the compactor until the sand stops disappearing then lightly spray the surface with water.

The ninth step is to haunch the edges using concrete and rebar. After a couple days, remove the timber or bars, to start on the haunching. Using rebar makes a big difference as it binds the concrete in one long stretch and reduces the chance of it cracking. Pour a layer of concrete then add the rebar to it, this ensures that the steel is encased in concrete so it won’t rust. If rebar rusts while in concrete, it’ll crack it. Spread another layer over the rebar and slop it down, away from the pavers – this will help any water to run off into the yard.

There you have it, all the steps needed to place your paving stones so you can now prepare for everything. All the materials you need and more importantly, all the time you need to be able to complete your project.

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