Maybe pavers aren’t the most glamorous things, but the things they build can be. People who live in expensive houses have patios, seating on the patios, flower planters, fire pits, paths to the house, paths through the gardens, and whole driveways (sometimes with gateposts) made of pavers. The more intricate the design of the pavers, the more glamorous the result.
You see pictures of these homes and their grounds and you naturally want to do the same for yours. If you go so far as driving to the big box store, then you’ll need to do more than choose pretty pavers in the form of bricks, stone, or flat pieces. Kick back and we’ll talk about pavers.
What Should I Start With First? This Is A Big Job That I Don’t Want To Mess Up
The first thing with which you should begin would be the ground on which you’re standing. Will the pavers go on a concrete base? Dirt? Red clay? Sand? A mixture of any of these? Determine first with what you’re going to be working, and then we’ll move to decide what you want to do with the area.
I Just Wanted A Patio To Use As An Outdoor Room. What Other Considerations Have I?
I mentioned the above driveways, patios, seating, planters on the patio, fire pits, and paths around your house. Have you thought of a pool deck with perhaps a rock scape or waterfall on the deck? Another consideration is using pavers to form waterscapes in a garden. You could also use pavers in concentric circles upon which small tables and chairs would sit in a garden.
You could build a structure in your outdoor room with counter space to prep food and counter space above a dishwasher, a surround for the fridge, a tall fireplace in which to locate the stove, a paver space around the barbecue grill, as well as a “kitchen island” complete with seating. The basis of all this would be your pavers, be it stone, brick, or other.
You could use pavers to form the walkway from the drive as well as using them to form the front steps and front porch. Pavers make a great surround for a mailbox, as mischief can’t be done to it. Retaining walls keep the soil in your yard from taking up residence in the road. Don’t want to cut grass anymore? Layer levels of paver structures around the house in which water scapes and plants can be used.
Those Are Good Ideas. I Want The Patio/Outdoor Room To Incorporate Some Of Them. Where Should I Start?
Snag a shovel and dig up some dirt. You’ll want a sample of this to take to the paver store. Now that you know for what the space will be used, it’s time to measure, and then we’ll do the math. If you don’t have any stakes, then lay out some rope, twine, or clothes-hanging line. Weigh it down and measure the area you want to use as a patio.
Some Weird Conversions Will Give You The Measurements Of Both The Area And The Pavers
The first consideration is the base upon which you’ll be building. Since you want a patio, people walking on it won’t be too heavy, so you’ll just need around four inches of base. A driveway with heavy cars, for example, would have required 12 inches of a base to hold all that weight.
Now, the weird part of it comes when you recognize that dirt is measured in cubic feet and pavers in square feet. Luckily, there are paver calculators online that do all the math for you, but we’ll give it a go here so you can understand how it’s done.
Okay, let’s say you measured 20 feet by 20 feet for your patio. The depth of the structure will be four inches. The total sand base you’ll need will be 5.43 cubic yards. The number of bricks you’ll need is 3,521. That configuration was done with a paver calculator. If you want to do the math yourself, here’s how:
- Sand base configuration: begin with the original measurement and divide the depth in inches to convert to feet.
- Now multiply the area by the depth and divide by 27 to convert it to cubic yards. Add an extra ten percent for the unexpected and waste.
- Paver configuration: Multiply the width and length in feet of the area.
- Multiply the length and width in inches of the pavers.
- Divide the pavers’ area by 144 to convert it to square feet.
- Divide the paving area by the pavers’ surface area.
- Add ten percent for the unexpected and waste.
These are simple enough calculations, but I, personally, would have used the calculator just to avoid any confusion.
Pavers Come In Different Shapes And Sizes. What About That?
Most homeowners go with the above-pictured pavers or a brick-like paver. Typically, pavers come in 0.2 sq. ft. for small stones, one sq. ft. for medium stones, and 1.71 sq. ft. for large stones. Uneven-shaped stones, round or odd-shaped stones must be measured against the area they’ll fit in to make sure you have enough of them. That’s why you want to add ten percent to your total stones bought.
If I Wanted To Make A Paver Driveway, How Many Pavers Would I Need?
Let’s say that you and your spouse each drive a car. The typical driveway would be 20 to 24 feet wide and the typical length would be 18 to 20 feet long. You’ll want more length and width for really big vans and work trucks.
So you’re going to multiply the length times the width of the area for the driveway. Then you’ll multiply the length times the width of the pavers. Now multiply the paver’s surface times 144 to get square feet. Then divide the paving area by the pavers’ surface area. Add ten percent for the unexpected and waste.
Okay, the calculator tells us that a driveway measuring 18 feet wide by 24 feet long and with 12 inches of the base would use 3,802 6 x 3-inch bricks added to the 17.60 cubic yards of the sand base.
How Many Pavers Would I Need For An Outdoor Kitchen?
Ten by ten or 100 square feet gives you enough space for a sink, some prep space, and maybe a stove. Twenty by twenty or 400 square feet gives you enough space for a dishwasher, sink, stove, fridge, maybe a wine fridge, barbecue grill, and anything else you want to include. Of course, the size of your yard will determine how large your outdoor kitchen will be, but let’s say you’ll have room for a 400-square-foot outdoor kitchen.
Using the calculator, we’re going to configure a 400-square-foot kitchen with a four-inch base and use 6 x 3-inch pavers. To get a slammin’ outdoor space, you’d need 5.43 cubic yards of a base with 3,521 pavers. Make sure you sketch a picture or cut one out of a magazine to show the professionals how you want your outdoor kitchen to look. They’ll know how much to order for the unexpected and waste.
How Many Pavers Will I Need FAQs
How Do I Calculate How Many Pavers I’ll Need For My Project?
I’ve detailed the formula for calculating your needs above. There are also calculators online into which you type the dimensions and they will give you exact numbers of pavers and base material. Always remember to add ten percent to the totals for the unexpected (such as broken pavers) and waste.
How Many Extra Pavers Should I Plan To Buy?
Divide the total area of the project by the total area of one single paver. That should give you the number of extras to buy. You could always use the ten percent advice, too.
How Do I Calculate Pavers Needed For A Circle?
Find the surface area of the paver. Multiply the length by the width in inches. Divide by 144 to get square feet. Measure the half circle. Divide the half circle area by the surface area of the single paver. That’s how many pavers you’ll need.
What Material Do You Put Under Pavers?
Sand. Layer the sand over the base such as dirt, pebbles, or concrete, to name a few. The sand gives the pavers a bed into which to fit. It also protects the sand joints from erosion.
Is Ordinary Dirt Or Gravel Best For The Base?
Remember that it’s about compaction. The pavers want to lie atop the best-compacted bed they can get. Either the dirt (it needs to be excavated, leveled, and compacted properly) or the gravel (it’s best to use road-grade gravel. It includes both fine aggregates as well as coarse for the best compaction,) must be of the utmost stability for the pavers to work well.