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Thread: Best way to dig down a small amount to lay large pavers?

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    Best way to dig down a small amount to lay large pavers?

    Going to make a short (perhaps 10 feet long) 3' wide walkway from the deck to the pool with some 12-16" wide pavers from HD or Lowes etc.

    I obviously need to dig down to make a nice flat level surface but I don't need to go too far down with it. Is there a simple way to do this as I would think going at it with a shovel would be like doing surgery with a meat clever (not pretty).

    Just looking for your ideas.

    Thanks

    Greg
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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to dig down a small amount to lay large pavers?

    how about renting a sod cutter?
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    Re: Best way to dig down a small amount to lay large pavers?

    or a roto-tiller?
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    Re: Best way to dig down a small amount to lay large pavers?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    or a roto-tiller?
    That was my first thought!!
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Best way to dig down a small amount to lay large pavers?

    I would rent a roto-tiller like duraleigh mentioned. Go a few inches deep, shovel out the dirt then put a layer of sand down to make a nice level compacted surface for the pavers.
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    Re: Best way to dig down a small amount to lay large pavers?

    with child labor of course !!!!lol ......i would use a sod cutter !
    'If you can read this, thank a teacher -and, since it's in English, thank a soldier'

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to dig down a small amount to lay large pavers?

    If the ground isn't too hard (packed clay) and we're only talking like 3 inches or so, and if there is grass you want to save there, I would chop all the way around it with a sharp drain spade type shovel. Then just get close to parallel to ground with that same shovel and poke/slide it under the grass squares you have already chopped out. Drain spade---------the other handy man's secret weapon.
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    Re: Best way to dig down a small amount to lay large pavers?

    If frost is an issue where you live, you will need a good base. If you don't get rid of the top soil
    you will get heaving from the frost.
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    Re: Best way to dig down a small amount to lay large pavers?

    Quote Originally Posted by haybird
    If frost is an issue where you live, you will need a good base. If you don't get rid of the top soil
    you will get heaving from the frost.
    What haybird said.

    You need to dig, with a shovel, down at least 8 inches, preferably a foot. Then you need to add enough processed gravel to bring that back up to about 4 inches below grade. Pack the absolute dickins out of it with a hand held compactor. I mean really pack it. Then, get some 1x4's and some stakes. Form up the walk a little bigger than the 10 x4 (you said 3 feet wide, but it would look better 4 feet wide). Make sure the forms are level side to side and put about a little fall in the 10 foot length to drain water.

    Get some stone dust and level it off in the forms, about 4 inches thick. Pack it down and then screed it off with a 2x4 and pack it again. Lay the pavers on the stone dust. Get some edging and stakes to hold the walk then pack in loom (loam for you non New englanders), then seed or sod back. Thats the proper way to lay a paver walk.
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    Re: Best way to dig down a small amount to lay large pavers?

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Never really thought about the tiller or sod cutter.

    Greg
    27' x 52" Round Lomart Sandstone AGP
    ~ 18,000 Gallons
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter 300lb
    Hayward 1HP Matrix 2 Speed pump
    2" Plumbing - 50 Foot run buried 18" Deep - Widemouth skimmer and 1 return with eyeball
    Compupool CPSC24

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    Re: Best way to dig down a small amount to lay large pavers?

    While a tiller or sod cutter will do a great job removing the grass, I really cant stress enough that to do this job properly where the walk will look good, have no heaves, etc, you really must follow the directions I gave you. You really cant just lay pavers on top of the ground with a little sand underneath. It will not last and will not look very good.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Best way to dig down a small amount to lay large pavers?

    Well I actually had the pool installer use the bobcat to dig it down for me, it will need cleaning up & leveling as he only got the heavy work done. I didn't go to the extreme you gave me but I did have him go down about 6" and will fill in and level from there.
    27' x 52" Round Lomart Sandstone AGP
    ~ 18,000 Gallons
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter 300lb
    Hayward 1HP Matrix 2 Speed pump
    2" Plumbing - 50 Foot run buried 18" Deep - Widemouth skimmer and 1 return with eyeball
    Compupool CPSC24

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    Re: Best way to dig down a small amount to lay large pavers?

    I went the tiller route a few weeks back when doing my own pavers. Home Depot rents a nice big one for $42/4 hours.
    Clearwater, Florida

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