Shortcuts To Laying a Paver Walkway

20140311-210403.jpgLaying pavers can be time consuming and expensive. I've learned a few shortcuts over the last two weekends while laying our new paver walkway.

1. Paver Sand Looks Strangely Identical to All Purpose General Sand

When we bought the first 67 pavers at Lowes, I grabbed a couple bags of "Paver Sand" thinking it'd  make the process faster and the pavers more level and stable. I was right!But two bags of sand only covered enough ground for about 8 pavers (side by side, so about 4 ft by 2 ft). Instead of driving all the way back over the hill in to the nearest Lowes (all of 10 minutes), I saved some time and went to our town's True Value Home Hardware where I found bags of playground sand ($5 per 50 lb bag) and bags of general purpose sand ($3.75 per 50 lb bag). The guy in the store assured me it "should probably work almost just like paver sand..."Convinced by the price, I bought 5 bags and headed home.Turns out, sand is sand. At least enough for me. Laying these pavers was about 10 times easier than the paver patio we did last summer in the backyard (without any sand - just using the existing dirt).

2. The Perfect Sand Leveling Tool...

... is a 2 x 4 piece of lumber. Seriously. I found a spare piece in my garage that measured just under 2 feet (I think it was 22 inches) - which actually worked perfectly for evening out two rows at the same time. Dragging the 2x4 lightly over the sand made laying two pavers side by side a piece of cake.

3. The Fine-Tuning, Final Leveling Secret

Jump. Yup. Just like the 2x4, I found this "secret" was something I already had - my body weight. Once each paver was set at about 1/8" above the rest, I'd stand on the paver, feel the edges that needed lowering and jump, aiming my heels at the edge or corner that was too high.This leveled the paver and eliminated most of the paver waver (I just made that up). You know, before a paver really settles, it tries to pinch your feet with the paver next to it by rocking back and forth? Not if you pound it into the sand with your heels!20140311-210414.jpgHave you laid a paver patio or walkway? Please leave a comment with any tips or tricks that might save me a few hours on my next paver project.