Outside Paver Project

Coming from Southern Alberta pavers is not something we’ve ever worked with. They are not snow and winter weather friendly. When you need to move snow over several months the last thing you want is a surface with a lot of grooves and can be easily pulled up with a shovel. I’m sure some people have installed pavers in the snowy north country but it wasn’t something I was familiar with. I can see them working under a covered patio but as a driveway that would be a nightmare.

When we purchased our current home it came with a paver driveway. I think it looks great but it isn’t my husbands favorite. He thinks it’s too dirty and has a tendency to settle over time. He is a fan of the boring but practical concrete drive.

Our son who lives just a few minutes from us has a concrete drive but was wanting to install pavers on either side to widen it a little. Then create a paver path around the side of the house with a pad to sit the garbage and recycle cans on. They also had a space in the back that they wanted pavers. Creating a path from their back porch to the grass area.

Hauling and Unloading

Our son has a way of finding a great deal. He ‘knew a guy’ who ‘knew a guy’ that could get them a great deal on the pavers. The catch was they needed to pick them up or pay almost as much for delivery as the initial cost. Luckily Monte and his brother who had a truck and trailer were willing to pick them up for our son.

They were super heavy but we were able to get them to his house. The next trick was getting them unloaded. That would have been super easy if they had a fork lift but we didn’t so it was paver by paver. They were smart and stacked some in the front and some in the back so they weren’t moving them twice.

paver installation

The prep work

Like a lot of renovations the prep work can take almost as much time as the installation. I wish we could skip over this part but it also sets the foundation and makes the final steps so much easier. They had landscaping rock in all the spaces that needed to be moved. They decided to rake the rock away then load it in a wheel barrel and dump it in a pile where it would be out of the way for awhile. After the rock was moved it was leveling and tamping the ground. Creating a firm and level foundation for the pavers.

Notice the super cute grand daughter helping and exploring.

Sand was also purchased because that is what you set the pavers on. It is imperative to get the initial ground level and firm before adding the sand. Ours sons buddy had installed pavers while going to collage stopped over to lend a hand and help them get going. He brought 2 long metal poles that helped level the sand so get a flat surface. The metal poles were a life saver. They made the job so much easier. Lay them down, shovel on some sand and use a long board to slide across the poles. This gets your sand perfectly level. You then remove the poles and start laying the pavers.

Paver installation

Pavers really don’t take a lot of time to lay. There is a little cutting but if you are installing straight lines and corners you can really get a lot done in a short amount of time. They decided on the basket weave pattern which was quick and easy to figure out.

paver installation

The first side of the driveway was a little easier because it had a definite starting and stopping point. The opposite side they turned a couple corners and went to the back yard creating the garbage and recycle pad. It wasn’t incredible tough just took a little more figuring.

paver project
installing pavers

After the pavers were done by the driveway they installed a strip of plastic edging to help keep the pavers secure. They just need to haul back the rock. Not only does it look more finished it also helps secure the pavers.

Back Paver Pad

The back pad also went in fairly quickly. They followed the same process as the driveway. Creating a firm surface so the pavers will stay level. Then adding the sand and using the metal pipes to get it nice and level.

installing pavers

They wanted the pavers to be the same height as the pad and curbing. It wasn’t terribly hard to figure out

installing pavers

They were able to install this paver pad in an evening after work. They had done the beginning prep work earlier so all they had to do that evening was add the sand and pavers. Pavers go down quick once you get started. I love the finished look and it gives a nice place to walk to the grass. Our sweet little grand daughter didn’t like walking across the rocks in her bare feet. She now loves to run from the back deck to the grass without shoes.

outdoor pavers
install pavers

They did have a few pavers left over after the project was finished. Because he purchased them directly from the supplier he had to buy full pallets but was able to sell the remaining pavers really quickly.


paver project
paver installation

Monte and I love helping our kids with projects around their home’s. It is so rewarding to work together. Creating is such a beautiful thing. There is so much pride in working together and admiring the finished projects. We cherish our time working and creating together.

Being parents and grandparents is incredibly rewarding. We couldn’t be more proud of each of our sons and the amazing men they have become. They have incredible wives whom we love and are so thankful to have in our family. I look forward to many more projects to make and create charm and beauty in our home and theirs.