Paving Your Austin Backyard

Here is a great example of someone paving their backyard.

The before picture

The before picture
The plan for years was to pave the backyard, but there were many obstacles in the way. The catalyst in this case was a Nissan Navara ute.

Cleaning debris

Cleaning debris
Mostly there were grasses and weeds which needed to be stripped.

Trench dug

Trench dug
We needed something for the paved area to drain into, rather than simply letting the neighbors worry about our runoff. After locating the existing stormwater pipe, we dug a trench along the fence which would eventually become our drainage system.

Brick edging being laid

Brick edging being laid
We laid a slotted agi pipe in the bottom of the trench and connected it to the stormwater drainage. The bricks will form an edge for the trench and keep the free draining aggregate in place.

Trench filled with bluestone

Trench filled with bluestone
Once the bricks were laid we could backfill the right side and fill the drainage trench with free-draining bluestone aggregate.

Screeding stone

Screeding stone
We ran a screed along the backyard, using the brick-line as one guide for the screed and some steel pipe we had recycled from a previous project as a second guide.

Screeding sand

Screeding sand
After compacting the stone (actually several weeks passed) we were able to screed a finer sand to reach the finished level.

Still screeding sand

Still screeding sand
For good measure, we ran a compactor over the sand and then screeded one last time.

Paving begins!

Paving begins!
We had one stringline that we were laying to which was over the bricks. Trying to keep everything as square as possible despite the variation in the paver sizes.

Easy part done

Easy part done
This part of the paving was very quick, only taking about an hour between the three of us.

Edges filled

Edges filled
Cutting pavers to size with an angle grinder and filling in the gaps was more time consuming. There was also some mortar made up to fill in very narrow gaps, colour matched to the pavers with some black oxide.

Sweeping sand

Sweeping sand
We started with a white sand, then we put that through the cement mixer with some black oxide so that it matched the colour of the pavers.

The finished product =D

The finished product =D
After sweeping sand into all the cracks, the job is done. We saved some of the excess sand and we’re still filling in any cracks that open up. There were also some pavers which rocked slightly when stood on, so we pulled these up and cleared their foundation before laying them back down. Now we’re just waiting for next summer so that we can break in our new back yard.
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