How to level ground for pavers. Good paving is like good chalkboard art. In both cases, people don’t notice the work that went into creating their silky smooth surfaces or colorful masterpieces. It’s because these things simply seem too natural to give them much thought.
People tend to judge a chalk path or paved patio by its color, design, and creativity without once complimenting you on how flat the surface area is.
Flat paving can be tricky but if you keep at it – applying your patience bit by bit – then at some point your viewers will stop saying that it’s lopsided because they won’t think it’s lopsided anymore.
How to level ground for pavers
Take the sand mold to a base level. Set the core upon a leveled surface, if necessary, and fill it ¾ full with damp sand. Spray it with water from a hose until it reaches the right consistency, then smooth it out using a rake.
Add more damp sand to fill up to your desired depth, smooth as before, and even it out again with the rake. Finally, use a pole sander to even out any bumps or dips in the surface until you’ve reached your desired status complete.
Plan the area where you want pavers
You can use rope, spray paint, or a garden hose to outline your project. Each of these has its own pros and cons.
Creating a leveling reference
You’ll need to dig holes for your post nails. Pound them about 12 inches deep at the corners of your home base. You will use the strings to create your levels.
Adding the slope to the strings
The string is used to mark the height at which your pavers will be in the future. Because they were not evenly distributed, to begin with, want to make sure that when they are dug and placed, they will be level.
You can line up our string with the dugout lines, for example, which makes it easier for us. You’ll also want to level our strings at this point, so use a carpenter’s level to get everything as level as possible.
Though you aren’t quite ready to dig yet, make sure you have something in place that will allow for drainage before you dig. Creating 1 inch of slope for every 4 feet of length in the direction you want water to flow off your patio area is one way to do so.
The lines on a tape measure are easily visible, so you can check if your slope is level with a bubble level or whatever you have handy. It shouldn’t always be exactly in the center, but slightly off, like so.
Digging begins now
An important part of any sidewalk construction project is the digging of a trench along the line that will be covered by your new walkway.
You should dig two trenches if you plan on using a concrete footer and drainage pipe to support the sidewalk rather than just concrete. You will want to remove at least 6 inches of dirt, but more like 10 inches to 11 inches, just in case.
For example, if your total walking surface will be 12″ deep, then you need to find out how much soil needs to be removed so that you can arrive at an accurate measurement or estimate of how much gravel and/or stone dust needs to be added.
Using a string line with stakes as guides, outline where you plan on digging the area for your new sidewalk. Use this outline as a “yardstick” from which to measure depth.
Use a post hole digger or power auger if digging manually. Pack down the soil thoroughly with a plate compactor after digging it out
Adding crushed gravel
Put stakes on the line of your project that represent the height where you want to add a certain amount of gravel. Remember all measurements should be taken from the string and then down because we want our gravel to be only 4 inches high.
Put stakes 7 feet apart from each other and start placing the gravel on top of those stakes until they’re right at 4 inches high.
Use a string to mark off 6” of sand throughout the area you are filling and restack it, making sure that it is at the same level as your reference strings.
Next, use stakes shipped in your pavers’ kits to determine where you will have to drill down into the grass so that your pavers can spread into their final resting places.
With your stakes firmly in place, we recommend packing sand into each of these holes with any sort of soft material, such as bubble wrap.
The idea here is that when you pour water over it, later on, your pavers and the ground below will stay much drier. Finally, lay out all of your paver stones in between the strings from earlier and start stacking.