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back yard paver patios and walkways

This is Part III of a project wherein my son and his wife, and I, transformed a rather pedestrian backyard into a really enviable park-like setting. Take a look, if you will, at the first two phases of the work, here and here, and we'll continue with the project. This part covers the rough sidewalk construction, with the subsequent expansion of the deck patio, and the walkways radiating from it, to the upper patio at the fence and the gate at the side of the residence.

The gallery will provide you a good overview of this part of the job.

Build Your Own Patio - Sidewalks(click thumbnails to view gallery)

The beginnings of the walkway to the fence patio.Progressing with one of the sidewalks.Here we have made the rough junction of the walkways.Another view ...The walkway going to the back patio.

We began this phase of the work by doing the rough layout of the paver walkways to the back, or fence, patio, and around the deck, to the fence gate at the side of the residence.

Safety: we used the circular saw extensively on this part of the work; hand, eye, and hearing protection are certainly called for.

The process:

We laid the pavers out and began by shifting them around to make the curves as gentle as possible. Notwithstanding our good efforts, several of the curves had a relatively short radius; we knew this would mean a lot of cuts, but given the site, and the direction in which the walkways had to go, it was inevitable.

Additionally, there would be a bunch of little cuts required, probably 1/3 of a paver each, but if we didn't make them, we'd have had lots of gaps in the curves, and that was just not going to happen. So, we commenced cutting, and cutting, and cutting .... You get the picture. It was well worth the effort.

We made every attempt to accurately follow the grade as the walkways proceeded up the hill and around the side of the home; in addition to religiously following the string line, we frequently verified the side-to-side pitch of the bricks, so as to minimize low spots, and to keep future water drainage moving to the side property lines.

One small problem surfaced in the form of palm tree roots, in the side walkway. In this case, we relocated (minimally) the route of the pavers to accommodate the surface roots -- difficulty resolved, without too much sweat.
The junctions of the walkways were particularly problematic. We could "interweave" the pavers at the junctions, but it just didn't look right; an additional downside was that there would have been a lot of small pieces as a result of the cuts we would have had to make. OK, problem solved, with little discussion -- butt them against each other! It looked very nice, we agreed.

We now had the pavers on the ground: so very happy about that. Join us next week, when we backtrack a bit and fill you in on some of the detail work involved in getting the pavers planted. You'll appreciate it when you do your first paver project.

See you then!

  • Diane Rixon

    Looking good, Bill! What a back-breaker! I'm really enjoying this series. :)

  • Bill Volk

    Diane -- thanks for the compliment. It was hard work, but the project turned out great, and any time you get to work with family is a big bonus.

  • 2 Comments / 1 Pages

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