Through successive installation of quality paver driveways we have established ourselves as paver driveway experts. We have developed and mastered techniques and methods exclusive to the installation of paver driveways that eliminate, sinking, border failure and separation common to many paver driveways. Many customers have a legitimate fear that an investment into a paver driveway will ultimately be wasted upon a driveway whose bricks sink, borders fail and dis-levels itself into a wavy uneven mess. The inherent problem is that many contractors install paver driveways skipping the critical steps nessacary to install it properly and avoiding the real work it takes to produce a proper quality driveway in light of producing a fvorable price tag to unsuspecting customers. What first looks like a neatly laid series of pavers constituting a paver driveway quickly gives way to the poor workmanship and basis upon which it was laid.
A paver driveway for all intents and purposes is a series of brick pavers laid dry upon an aggregate (gravel) and leveling base, contained by a locking border system. When installed properly is is a permanent alternative to concrete which is prone to cracking and asphalt which is subject to weathering and requires substantial maintenance and or the repaving of such every few years. Paver driveways when done properly are beautiful and add substantial value to the home and exterior astetciics. However most paver driveways are not done properly and many customers throw good money on top of bad not with little to no technical understanding as to why or where they went wrong.
Paver driveways require a specific amount of excavation, typically 8-10" below grade. A general rule of thumb is one 15 yd roll off container of excavated material for every five hundred square feet of driveway. A 1000 square foot driveway should fill two 15 yd containers when properly excavated. The area should be backfilled with "clean gravel" which allows for proper drainage under the pavers.The existence of water under the pavers and the hydrostatic conditions caused by the lack of drainage is at the heart of problems with defective paver driveways.Very few paver driveways installed by other contractors are installed to these specifications.
Ultimately driveways which are not excavated and backfilled properly will fail. The evidence is seen in the sinking bricks, shifting borders and the presence of moss and mildew.
Many paver driveways are improperly installed on sand as a leveing base wich is the wrong application. It quickly becomes obvious as piles of sand mount up in the street or corners of the driveway storm after storm.
Some contractors and homeowners alike ruin their finished product with the use of adhesive sand believeing the joints should be or apperaed "filled" like a mortar joint. The joints of pavers do not require to be filled for the driveway to have integrity as it is a dry laid system. A small amount of the leveling base is swept in to prevent pavers from "rocking" back in forth in place. Adhesive sand is a tricky product and has a minimal application in paver installation under specific circumstances. In most cases it is not needed and can cake up in the corners of the joints and ruin the aesthetics of a beveled paver.
Paver driveways should NEVER be laid with plastic borders. The border constitutes the ultimate integrity of the dry laid system. The plastic border was a bad design to begin with offered by paver manufacturers with little insight or empirical knowledge. Plastic borders today as when pavers were first introduced have a limited capacity and at best have questionable suitability as an application at most for a simple walkway. A driveway requires a masonry system, preferably Belgian Block set in cement, or existing surrounding masonry structures that work to permanently lock in the pavers. Any factor that will cause or contribute to the separation of the pavers will ultimately lead to the the displacement of the paver driveway as an integrable system.
Of course as with any other paver application the design ,layout and pattern of the driveway are critical to installing a driveway that has long lasting appeal. Many contractors, not being experts at paver installation, lack the simple knowledge that Belgian Block is aavilable in different colors. failure to match the paver family and color with the relative color Belgian Block results in an unsightly clash of grey belgian block and red or brown pavers. As evidenced in the photos our paver driveways are installed with the matching family of Belgian Block, rose colored belgian block for red pavers (not shown) and buff colored Belgian Block for tan pavers and grey for grey.
In addition, the Belgian Block can be set at different heights depending on the application and circumstance. Knowing when and how to set the height, contour and grade of the Belgian Block is a matter of expertise. As beautiful as paver driveways can be they can quickly become a disaster when choosing a contractor who has little to no experience with paver driveways and when the selection of that driveway comes from air brushed pictures of the manufacturers brochure rather than a portfolio of completed work. To see some examples of what some paver experiments can look like click here.
Many of our installation patterns are similar as our design, layout and pattern proved to be very popular items from our portfolio among prospective clients. We are proud of our success with paver driveways that have stood the test of time and look forward to upholding that tradition.