Tuesday, August 9, 2016

DIY paver walkway

Patio or Walkway Design and Location Patio with Grill, Dining Set and Fire Pit. Before you begin your project, create a plan. Map out your existing landscape on graph paper, including major elements such as your home, existing walkways and trees. Consider sight lines from windows and doors and how your project will affect them. Add your project to the plan, and work toward a finished design accurate to 1 inch. When you plan your patio or walkway, your desired use will help determine the location: Build a patio near a pool or along the house as a place to entertain or just relax. Create a walkway and small patio near a garden for a quiet retreat. Construct an outdoor kitchen with a barbecue area near your house so you don't have to walk far for cooking supplies. There are some other practical considerations: Keep away from underground utilities and avoid areas near large trees — the roots will be difficult to deal with, and damaging them could harm the trees. Project shape and paver style, color and pattern are largely a matter of personal taste. They should reflect your style and complement your home and landscape. They should also fit the function of your project and the needs of the people who will use the patio or walkway. For example, tumbled-stone pavers provide a classic, timeworn look, while a smoother, more regular surface may work better for guests who use walkers or wheelchairs. Good to Know Complicated paver patterns usually require more paver cuts. Sizing the Patio or Walkway Patio Size Examples. Design a patio large enough to accommodate the furnishings you want. For example, if you plan to have meals on your patio, you need enough space to comfortably use a dining set. The chart indicates examples of estimated space requirements, factoring in space for the chairs to slide out and walking space around them. Add room for any other furnishings you want on your patio, such as additional furniture, planters or a fire pit. If you're creating a walkway, plan for a width of at least 2 feet to accommodate one person and at least 4 feet to allow two people to walk side-by-side. A wheelchair will need a pathway that's at least 3 feet wide and a 5-foot-wide turn around area. Caution Before beginning any excavation, check for underground utilities. Call the North America One Call Referral Service at 1-888-258-0808 (or just dial 811) for a national directory of utility companies. Patio or Walkway Materials Once you decide the size, shape and design of your patio or walkway, estimate the amount of materials you need. The examples here are estimates for a rectangular patio measuring 12 by 8 feet. Use the examples as guides and adjust them to fit your project. Your material needs may vary depending on your specific design. Before you buy materials or begin work, check local building codes and your homeowner's association regulations to see if there are any restrictions or requirements you need to follow. A permit may be mandatory in some areas. Good to Know Pavers can be heavy, and moving and placing them requires physical exertion. Avoid some of the effort by enlisting a helper and by having your materials delivered. Estimating the Patio or Walkway Materials Step 1 Calculate the total area of your project in square feet. This measurement determines the number of pavers and the amount of paver base and paver sand you need. (length of area in feet) x (width of area in feet) = area in square feet For example: 12 ft x 8 ft = 96 sq ft Good to Know If your design has an irregular shape, break it down into multiple sections. Calculate the area of each individual section and add these together. Step 2 Determine the square footage per piece of your pavers. You may find paver dimensions listed as "common" or "nominal" with a slightly smaller actual measurement. Use the actual dimensions of the paver when calculating this figure. These examples use pavers that are 7.7 inches long and 3.8 inches wide. (A square foot equals 144 square inches.) (length of paver in inches) x (width of paver in inches) ÷ 144 = square footage per piece 7.7 in x 3.8 in ÷ 144 = 0.20 sq ft Good to Know When you shop for pavers, look for planning guides that list the square footage per piece for various pavers — including those with irregular shapes — and that provide information to help you estimate your needs if you use a combination of pavers with different sizes. Step 3 Estimate the number of pavers you need. (area of project in square feet) ÷ (square footage per piece) = estimated minimum number of pavers 96 sq ft ÷ 0.20 sq ft = 480 pavers Good to Know Purchase 10 percent more pavers than your estimate. The excess should account for breakage, pavers that you need to cut and replacements for future repairs. Step 4 Determine the amount of paver base necessary. Paver base is gravel that creates a solid base and helps the area drain properly. The paver base for a patio or walkway should be 4 inches deep when compacted. The calculation below factors in compaction. (length of project in inches) x (width of project in inches) x [(depth of base material in inches) + (depth of base material in inches x 0.20)] ÷ 1728 = cubic feet of base material 144 in x 96 in x [4 in + (4 in x 0.20)] ÷ 1728 = 38.40 cu ft Step 5 Estimate the amount of paver sand you need. The sand holds the pavers in place and allows you to adjust them. The paver sand needs to be 1 inch deep. The calculation below accounts for sand filtering into the paver base and into the joints between the pavers. (area of project in square feet) ÷ 6 = cubic feet of paver sand 96 sq ft ÷ 6 = 16 cu ft Step 6 Calculate the perimeter of your project. This figure defines how much paver edge restraint you need. (length of side in feet) + (length of side in feet) + (length of side in feet) + (length of side in feet) = perimeter 12 ft + 8 ft + 12 ft + 8 ft = 40 ft Good to Know If you're installing a patio or walkway against a structure, you only need to include the open edges of the project in your perimeter calculations. You won't need paver edge restraints on the edges that are next to the structure. Step 7 Calculate the required quantity of paver edge restraints. You'll base this on the perimeter of the project and the edge restraints you choose. The example below uses paver edge restraints available in 6-foot sections. (perimeter of project in feet) ÷ (length in feet of an individual edge restraint section) = number of sections of edge restraint 40 ft ÷ 6 ft = 6.7 sections Preparing the Patio or Walkway Foundation Laying the Patio or Walkway Pavers Making Curves in Your Patio or Walkway Creating a Curve. While rectangular paver creations are the simplest to plan and install, you can go beyond straight lines and right angles. Use the tips below to incorporate curves into your project. Replace Corners with Curves Drive a stake inside a corner of your layout, equidistant from the two adjacent edges. Tie one end of a length of string to the stake and the other end to a can of marking paint to create a compass. Adjust the length of the string so the paint can arcs across the edges of the layout and creates the desired curve. Paint the curve onto the ground as a guide for excavation. Check the layout and make any needed adjustments. Create Random Curves Lay a garden hose on the ground in the desired shape. Cover the hose with sand. Remove the hose and use the resulting curve as an excavation guide. Finishing Your Patio or Walkway Lights along a Pathway. Complete your project with some touches that make the new space stand out: Fill in the Perimeter Cover the remaining excavation area with some of the sod you removed or add stone or mulch to separate the pavers from your lawn. Landscape with Mulch Install Edging Before placing the paver restraints, install edging stones to keep grass, plants or mulched beds separate from the patio or walkway. After adding the edging stones, install the paver edge restraints. Create a Border Using Edging Stones Add Plants Plants complement your outdoor space with natural color and beauty. Planting beds set off your creation from the rest of your landscape. Container plants require less prep work and can be mobile. Trellises add a vertical element to your plantings. Add a Planting Bed to Your Home Landscape Create a Container Garden Selecting and Growing Vining Plants Decorate Your Space Garden decor items such as bird feeders, arbors, fountains and wind chimes let you personalize your outdoor space. Bird Feeder Buying Guide Install Lighting Landscape lighting enhances the look of your space at night, lights dark walkways and extends the usefulness of your patio beyond the daylight hours. Lighting Ideas for Outdoor Living

Thursday, June 16, 2016

How to build Retaining Walls

We've been building a lot of retaining walls lately and figure maybe some people at home may want a do it yourself tutorial. So here it is from http://www.landscapersingreenvillesc.com How to Install Stairs Made Out of Pavers How to Build Stone Block Steps on a Hillside Things You'll Need Tape measure Level Spade Soil compactor Measure the distance from the ground straight up to your door threshold or porch opening. This measurement will help you determine the necessary height for your steps, and calculate the outward length of the stairs. Calculate the number of individual steps you will need to span the gap between the threshold and the ground. Multiply the height from the previous step by the intended height of each step. If you are working with blocks that measure 8-by-8-by-16 inches, divide the height by 8 inches. This makes a set of steps with risers measuring approximately 8 inches. Multiply the number of steps you need by 16 inches to determine the length of the stairs and how far out from the threshold you must excavate for the steps. Determine the width of the stairs based on how wide you need the steps so you feel comfortable and safe when you use them. Check the grade of the land with a level before you start excavating. Remove sod from all over the area, then remove additional soil from the high points inside the base of the steps. Check the level before you start digging so you can save time by removing high points as you remove the sod. Tamp the soil down inside the excavated site using a hand-held soil tamper. Check the level of the ground again, remove high points and tamp the ground again until you have a firm, perfectly level step site. Set the first course of block down next to the threshold or porch entrance. Lay the blocks so that the length extends straight out from the threshold. Set the blocks side-by-side the full width of the steps to create a single row of blocks with solid sides facing up. Set another course of blocks over the first layer. This time turn the block to set width-wise in front of the threshold or porch opening; staggering the blocks in this way strengthens the concrete block staircase. Continue adding layers and changing the direction the block face until the top of this first step measures 8 inches or less from the threshold. Build courses of block up to serve as the second step down in the block staircase. Set another row of block into place as you did in step 6, but set this row up against the front of the first step. Stagger the direction of the blocks to increase the strength of the steps. Continue placing blocks to build up each individual step of the stairway. Stop when you finish a row that requires only one row of block against the ground.