Day two of our backyard makeover was spent almost entirely on prep work and foundation. Without the perfect foundation, the pavers could not be correctly laid — this may be the most crucial step of all! Don’t miss it.
This series is put together in partnership with Belgard, the premier outdoor living and Precision Pavers, the best paver installation company in Dallas, Texas. I’m very grateful for both of these companies and their support!
Psst…in case you need a refresher: we undertook a massive backyard makeover and I’m sharing all the details! If you need to catch up, here’s what we’ve talked about so far:
- How to Choose Pavers – Belgard has so many incredible options when it comes to color, style, and finish. Here’s how to narrow it down to the perfect fit for your home.
- Patio Makeover: Day One – Here’s where the magic really started happening! Bob from Precision Pavers came up with a fantastic plan for our backyard and the crew started the demo work. It was pretty incredible to see!
How to Prep Your Yard for Pavers
Okay, guys, I have a confession. I consider myself to be a fairly advanced DIYer and whenever I saw paved patios I thought, “Hey, I could totally do that on my own!”.
If there’s a day that convinced me otherwise, it was this one! Day two of the paver installation process showed me just how much work it was to prep the ground alone!
Let’s put it this way – it took a professional crew of four from Precision Pavers a solid sixteen hours spread over two days to do the prep work before a single paver was laid. This is definitely not a DIY job!
Video: Day Two of Our Patio Installation
Here’s a quick video showing what the Precision Pavers team did on day two. Spoiler alert – my favorite part is the fireplace (all the heart eyes!) – but more on this below!
How to Prep the Ground for Pavers
As you can see from the video, prepping the ground for pavers is not a quick, easy thing. There are multiple steps to take and each one is crucial!
The owner of Precision Pavers Dallas, Bob, has been working in the paving industry since 1984! He’s earned just about every major award possible in the industry and is a Belgard Master Craftsman, which is a big deal in the paver world.
I’m mentioning all of the above because if Bob’s doing it…it’s the right way to get it done. I didn’t make up these steps – these are from an actual pavers expert! 🙂
- Grade the land away from the home (this one done on day one).
- Add a thick layer of paver base.
- Compact the base.
- Add a layer of sand.
As you can tell – it isn’t exactly a quick or easy job!
Frequently Asked Questions About Laying Pavers
These are a few of the questions I’ve seen pop up about installing patio pavers, so I wanted to take a minute to address them. If you have other questions, please drop them I’m the comments and I’ll get the answer for you! 🙂
Can you lay pavers on the grass?
Technically you could of course, but you definitely shouldn’t. If you toss down some pavers on the grass, they will be uneven and shift or sink over time (probably within days).
Why are my pavers sinking?
If your pavers are sinking, it’s because they were not properly installed. Unfortunately, a lot of contractors cut corners and skip some of the above steps. For example, the paver base may not be properly compacted, or they may have left out sand.
Belgard Fireplace Installation
Okay, let’s talk about this fireplace. I still look out our kitchen window every day and have to pinch myself – I can’t believe I really have an outdoor fireplace!
Fireplace Options at Belgard
Belgard has 3 different fireplace options to choose from. You can’t go wrong with any of these—they are all gorgeous.
- Bordeaux: This fireplace from Belgard is made with stacked stone with smooth cast stone accents. This is probably the most simple option available.
- Bristol: This is the one we got and it happens to be my favorite of the three. It’s made with a combination of textured and tumbled block and has a rustic, natural look that I really love.
- Brighton: If you have a smaller space, this is a great option! It has the same pretty tumbled stone as the Bristol, but is smaller in size and has more simple accents.
Installing the Belgard Fireplace
The cool thing about Belgard fireplaces is they come pre-assembled. That way they are guaranteed to be perfect! If you remember from the previous day, the crew had already laid a thick concrete foundation to hold the fireplace on.
The fireplace arrived in two separate parts. As you can imagine, it’s insanely heavy and has to be forklifted into place. I was holding my breath the entire time! It was such an exciting moment when it all came together.
I cannot say enough about this fireplace — it is our favorite spot outside. It’s gotten a ton of use already and I can’t wait to decorate it for the holidays!
Patio Makeover Day Two: Wrap Up
That’s a wrap for day two! Be sure to come back for day three when the actual pavers start getting put down.
In the meantime – what questions do you have about working with pavers or paver installation?