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Common Mistakes Made when Installing Driveway Pavers

Posted on Sep 3, 2013

If you’re looking to quickly and somewhat easily give the exterior of your home a whole new look, you’d be surprised at just how much it can do when you repave your driveway. It’s a project you can easily do yourself, and there are many different types of stones and pavers to choose from. Just like having a stained, cracked, and unkempt driveway can make the whole exterior of the home appear shoddy, a nice, new driveway can give the house a touch of elegance and even make it look a bit expensive.

But before you start on the process, you should know about these few common mistakes that beginners often make when installing their own pavers, so read on to learn how to avoid them.

Increasing Driveway Size

Since you’re repaving your driveway anyway, you might think: Why not make it twice the size? However, this could cause you to have to pave on unlevel ground, which is a bit tricky. You could also grossly underestimate just how much this new task will cost, not figuring out until it’s too late that you’re in over your head financially. If you want to make your driveway bigger or wider, it might just be in your best interest to at least consult a professional to get their advice and opinion so you don’t end up with a driveway that’s half-finished or looks more uneven than before.

Choosing Pavers

There are many different types of driveway pavers to choose from and they come in all sorts of materials. This means that some will definitely be more affordable than others. While you should most definitely start by setting a budget and sticking to it, bear in mind that some materials handle wear and tear better. It might be a good idea to splurge just a little bit more on a more durable – and perhaps, even, more nice-looking – material, that way you won’t have to repave your driveway for several more years. Conversely, always shop around – don’t think that just because a paver is more expensive, it’s better. It might just be in limited availability to a certain supplier, and it could cost much less elsewhere. Usually, gravel is the cheapest and while it looks nice and can be topped with a finish, it isn’t ideal for rainy climates or steep hills. Cobblestone and brick tend to be the most luxurious types of pavers.

Consider Slope

If you don’t ensure that your pavers are installed a bit higher than the ground around them, you’ll end up with water constantly pooling in your driveway, which puts more wear and tear on your pavement. In your planning process, drive a stake at the point closest to the house and another at the opposite end of the driveway. Attach each end of a string to the stakes and hang a line level from them. When it is level, move the string on the stake farthest from the house down on the stake 1/8 inch per foot of the driveway’s length. This will help you to form a good slope and keep the pavement at a workable height.

Aside from these few issues, installing your own driveway pavers are fairly easy and a great way to save money. Plus, it’s always fun to learn how to do a new project on your own.

Tim Raines is a landscaping professional with over 27 year of experience in the field. In his free time, Tim enjoys blogging about different home DIYs, landscaping tips, and landscaping design ideas.

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