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Proper Outdoor Living Construction Part 1 : PATIO PAVERS

Paver patios, driveways and parkways are only as good as the aggregate base they are built on. And the construction of the aggregate base depends on the conditions of the soil below it. Most people are surprised to discover that even Ancient Rome was aware of this when constructing their road way systems 2000 years ago. Although the materials have changed over time the basic system is still the same; we still excavate the area, prepare the sub-base, add large aggregates, then progressively smaller ones so the stone cobbles sit tightly together. Then as a finishing touch add an edge restraint to contain the stones.

The Roman’s were even aware of the destructive nature of standing water and made sure rainwater flowed to the edges of the road and then away from the structure all together. Isn’t that wild?

Thanks to Institutions today like ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute) we have better understanding of the science behind Ancient Rome’s methods, and the landscape construction industry has clear guidelines for all the different applications that concrete pavers can be used in.

Using the proper installation techniques for paver patios, driveways, pool decks and other features in a residential setting is just as important as a commercial setting. All too often we see pavers in a patio begin to slide away from each other after 1-3 years because of improper base installation or the wrong edge restraint is used. Although sometime sliding and sinking can happen even when a patio is installed correctly it’s usually minor and the results of something unforeseen happening- sudden erosion from nearby construction, leaking irrigation or water line, and even a natural spring. Then let's not forget about burrowing animals.

At Living Spaces we believe the details matter both in the design and estimating phase of a project INCLUDING the installation so we partner with contractors who are well trained in the most up to date techniques of hardscape installation. We’ll be releasing more blogs this winter with information on these topics so please make sure to check back in with us for Part 2!


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