DIY Paving Guide:Pave the way to the perfect outdoor area

Pavers are the perfect solution to almost any outdoor floor-surface requirements, and these days, the options are pretty much endless. Today’s home-owners are spoilt for choice, with a huge range of looks and styles, textures and feels, as well as levels of durability.

When it comes to the overall feel of the project ­– not to mention longevity – one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is what size paver to use, and there are a number of factors that need to be considered to help you make the right choice.

Where once your options may have been limited to a fairly typical square paver (around 120mm x 114mm x 65mm), a slightly larger square or a basic rectangle, there is no standard size paver on today’s market. Squares and rectangles remain popular but there are irregular forms and patterns to play with, too, from triangles and shells to hexagons. All available in different sizes.

Size can also be determined by the style of your project. Is your look very modern? Then large-format pavers would be ideal. Want the cottage garden look? Consider small-scale cobblestones or traditional brick shapes.

It’s also essential to consider where the pavers will be laid. Will they be exposed to human traffic only or will they be in a driveway? In the case of the latter, they’ll need to be at least 50mm thick and smaller in scale.

Another consideration is the how often the area will be used and how often the pavers will be seen. If you’re laying pavers in a highly visible area which is used frequently, you’ll need a high-quality, durable paver, which may reduce the size options. Likewise, if you’re paving around a pool area, you’ll need to ensure that the pavers won’t be slippery and can deal with pool chemical spills.

The size and shape of the area to be paved is also an important consideration. If you have a small space, large-format pavers can make the area appear bigger. And vice versa for larger spaces.

If the area you want to pave is an irregular shape, and you want to DIY, remember that means you’ll probably need to cut pavers – and you’ll need a brick saw to do that. Smaller pavers may reduce the number of cuts you might need to make, so take that into consideration, too.

Of course, when it comes to style, how you lay the pavers will also make a big impact, and also help determine the paver size.

Large, open space areas may lend themselves to large, square pavers that create a streamlined indoor/outdoor look, especially in conjunction with similarly large indoor tiles. Alternatively, you can lay small rectangular bricks in popular patterns such as herringbone, basket weave or stack bond.

You might also choose varied sizes to create an antique cobbled look, or irregular and randomly cut pieces for a more rustic feel.

Whatever size you opt for, pavers are a fantastic way to transform your outdoor spaces and, with the right know-how, are ideal for DIY.

Want to learn more? Take a look at acclaimed landscape gardener Matt Leacy’s project in our Your Outdoor Home video series.

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