A paved terrace is a physically challenging task but rewards the do-it-yourselfer having an appealing, low maintenance and long-lasting outdoor space. Several 16-inch pavers are plain squares but a few are manufactured using interlocking tabs for simpler installation and added stability. The most significant part this project is accurately measuring a square design and providing a firm, solid foundation.
Prepare the Foundation
Measure the plot to your pavers, remembering the length and width should be in multiples of 16 inches. Mark the corners. Check to be sure the place is square, measuring diagonally and correcting if required. Hammer wooden stakes into the ground at the corners and run twine from stake to stake, creating your plot.
Measure the depth of your pavers, add 1 inch to get sand and include 4 to 6 inches for gravel. Excavate the region using a scoop to the entire thickness calculated.
Lay landscape fabric into the plot. Overlap the edges with 6 inches of stuff.
Pour a 4-inch layer of gravel on the fabric and smooth using a garden rake. Place a carpenter’s level above the gravel in various areas to be sure the gravel foundation settles into an even, level layer.
Water the gravel foundation gently with a garden hose and sprayer. Tamp the foundation using a hand tamper.
Cut several 1-inch PVC pipes the length of your plot and place them on the gravel, parallel with each other approximately 3 feet apart.
Dump sand on the gravel around, but not completely covering the PVC pipes. Put a long 2-by-4 board above the pipes and drag it down to screed over the pipes, smoothing the sand to create a level, 1-inch base. Remove the pipes and fill the seams with sand. Lightly tamp the sand, taking care to not disturb the smooth, level surface. Mist the sand gently with water.
Install the Pavers
Install plastic keeping edging across the plot using a hammer and spikes.
Put the first paver in a few of the corners. Add another paver into the left and right and two more toward the center of the plot. In case the pavers interlock, put them together accordingly. Put the pavers up against each other with under a one-eighth-inch gap between these two. Lightly tap the pavers with a rubber mallet to press them in the mud foundation.
Check for level, using a carpenter’s degree above the pavers. In case a paver sits too low, remove it and include extra sand. In case a paver sits too large, scoop out some of the underlying sand. Tap the pavers with the rubber mallet and await level again.
Continue installing the pavers in a triangular layout, one to the right and one to the left of the corner paver and a couple of pavers toward the center of the plot. Harness the scoop with the mallet and fix as necessary. Repeat beginning at each of the four corners.
Sprinkle a generous quantity of sand onto the pavers when all are installed. Brush the mud into the joints using a stiff broom and sweep away excess.
Mist the paver surface using a garden hose and allow the sand to settle into the joints. Add more mist and mud until all the joints are full of sand.