Excavate the area to be paved to allow for the base layer (generally 100 - 150mm thick of road base), Bedding sand (generally 30mm thick of washed coarse river sand) and the paver thickness. Establish falls and level using a spirit level on the screed board. Spread the road base to an even thickness and compact using a mechanical plate compactor.
Add screed rails on road base and spread bedding sand roughly between and over the rails. The easiest way to screed the sand is to use two guides (screed rails) and a screed board (e.g. a flat peice of timber). Establish bedding tracks with the screeding board
Bed the screed rails into the bedding sand. Drag the screeding board in a sawing motion from side to side across the rails to create a firm, flat laying surface. Remove the rails, fill in the voids with bedding sand and trowel smooth.
Set string lines at right angles to establish paving lines. These will help keep the joints straight for that truly professional look.
Start laying along the longest straight edge of the designated area and lay whole pavers first. Leave 3 - 5mm between pavers to allow for jointing sand (unless the pavers have nibs)
Cut and position part-pavers if the job requires them. Edge restrainst prevent the pavers from moving. Make sure your measurements are correct for this part. Last thing you need is a cut paver that doesn't fit in the designated spot.
Sweep jointing sand over the finished dry paving, esuring that all joints are full. You can mis some cement powder with the jointing sand before sweeping to help the sand stay there.
Compact the surface, add more jointing sand, sweep off excess and repeat
Sand filling joints:
A. Pavers 50mm thick or greater
Surface can be plate compacted. Always remember to use a rubber mat or carpet beneath the plate compactor to prevent damage
B. Pavers 40mm thick of less
Surface to be hand compacted with a rubber mallet..
Time to kick back, have a drink and admire the finished product. Doing it yourself has saved you $$ .and a "I built that" story to add to your repertoire
Pictures supplied by National Masonary