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How To Lay Patio Pavers On Dirt: Step By Step Guide

Are you looking to makeover your backyard or garden?

Wait a sec, is your backyard full of grass, mud, and everything else? We got a quick fix for you.

The best approach is to install pavers on dirt.

So, what exactly are pavers, and why go for them?

These are units of concrete or brick that you can lay down together to form a compact and usable ground surface.

Patio pavers come in handy to ensure your garden has plenty of functional living space.

Gardeners prefer using pavers because they are cheap and locally available.

There are installation steps you want to follow, such as ensuring a flat ground surface.

Installing pavers on dirt offers you more of a temporary solution for a season or two as you work on the long-term plan of excavating soil and adding gravel for a more compacted base.

We take you through a step-by-step process of laying brick pavers on dirt to make your garden more usable and pleasing to look at. 

Patio-pavers

Source | https://davislandscapeky.com/

9-Step Guide to Installing Pavers on Dirt 

When installing pavers in your yard, you want to stick to a method to ensure you are not missing out on any key steps. 

List of Materials Required

  • Pavers 
  • Stakes 
  • Tape measure 
  • Shovel 
  • Work gloves 
  • Safety glasses 
  • Dirt/Fill dirt 
  • Rubber mallet 
  • Spade 
  • Stone dust
  • Hand compactor/ Tamper 
  • Bubble level 
  • Wood/Metal restraints 

So if you are equipped and ready, here is how to lay patio pavers on dirt. 

1. Identify And Measure Your Worksite 

Start with identifying and laying out the area you want to lay pavers on. There should be enough space for them.

You wouldn’t want to waste your time and money only to find out the area to be too small and impractical.

You want to draw out a laying plan and note the square footage by measuring the marked area with a measuring tape.

This will helps you know how many pavers you will need for the work.

2. Gauge Your Slope’s Direction

To lay pavers at the ideal height, you will need to gauge your slope. You can do this using stakes and strings; mark the highest and the lowest areas.

The slab should always slope downwards away from the house for efficient water drainage. You should mark the stakes in relation to the decline of the slope.

Tie the strings tightly to the stake.

This helps show you the height level you should follow and give you the general direction of your gradient. 

3. Excavation 

The area you want to lay your pavers should be free of grass and any unwanted material such as rocks. To ensure you get this right, dig the area you want to spread the pavers using a spade.

You should dig deep enough to get rid of the grass and its root system. Any roots left behind later germinate into grass grow between the pavers.

Instead of disposing of the grass, you could transplant them to a different area within your yard. The excavated area should also be deep enough to accommodate dirt and the height of your pavers. 

4. Level The Paver Base With Dirt 

Measuring-area-for-laying-pavers

Source | https://www.gilbertpaver.com/

When laying your patio pavers, you will want to ensure they align perfectly, which is only possible on leveled land. Pavers can become a trip hazard if they rise above the surrounding landscape.

You want to be sure about the source of your dirt. Ideally, purchase it from a reputable local supplier.

Dirt from other sources such as your yard may contain topsoil, which will tamper with the paver’s site level.

Topsoil contains organic matter, which changes its volume over time, interfering with your site’s level.

However, we strongly advise against the use of dirt if doing a permanent installation of pavers.

The best material to lay in the excavated area when doing a permanent installation would be gravel.

Crushed gravel, for example, has less moisture and makes compacting easy.

5. Compact The Dirt 

Regardless of the material you are using, spread it evenly and use a hand compactor or tamper to go over the area several times.

The compacted material should be leveled and sloped as per the requirement.

You need to stabilize the ground well for your pavers. The more the pounding force during tampering, the more stable your land becomes.

A tool to help determine or verify the soil level is the bubble level. 

6. Set Geotextile Fabric Over The Soil 

Geotextile-fabric-beneath-pavers

Source | https://theconstructor.org/

Your next step would be to set pieces of geotextile fabric over your dirt to help firm up the base and prevent weeds from growing within the pavers.

Geotextile fabric is also handy in improving drainage. Use spikes to secure the edges of the material to prevent them from showing up.

7. Add Wood/Metal Edge Restraints 

Edge-restraints

Source | https://www.diynetwork.com/

Arrange wood or metal edge restraints around the inner edges of the compacted soil or dirt. Use 9-12 inch nail spikes to fasten the restraints via the edging holes into the ground.  

8. Lay Patio Pavers 

Leveling-patio-pavers

Source | https://www.lowes.com/

Begin laying the patio pavers from the border and move across. Use a rubber mallet to embed the bricks into the dirt and secure them in place.

Lay the pavers according to your pattern of choice. Fix any irregular spaces using a hammer and a cold chisel to shape them to size. Proceed until the entire area gets filled with patio pavers.  

9. Fill The Joints 

Filling-joints-using-sand

Source | https://www.diynetwork.com/

Your final step is to pour stone dust over the patio pavers and sweep in between the crevices. Subsequently, moisten the patio pavers and repeat the exercise.

You could also use sand to fill up the crevices. If you opt for sand, ensure to use the fine-grained one. It compacts better and also helps to fill up the joints much faster. 

Wrap Up 

Installing patio pavers on dirt is a cakewalk provided proper planning, measurement, and implementation is done.

To get started, ensure you have all the materials for the job readily available.

Follow the easy DIY guide outlined above and give your yard an aesthetic and pleasing look with added functionality.

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