How Landscapers Near Me in Sun Prairie, WI, Can Create a Proper Foundation
A great patio space that you will enjoy for many years starts with a good foundation. A solid foundation means your pavers won’t shift or crack, water will drain properly, and the transition between your patio and your yard remains structurally sound. As you search for “landscapers near me” as you look to make improvements to your Sun Prairie, WI, landscape, keep the importance of a proper foundation in mind.
We’ve all seen patios that are cracked, buckling or crumbling. Not only are such poorly installed patios an eyesore, they also necessitate costly repairs, which could have been avoided by paying more attention to the foundation.
Soil Conditions and Terrain
Soil has a tendency to move downhill if it is not contained along a slope. If your property is sloped, if you have poor-draining soil, or if your backyard has standing surface water, you will need to address this downward movement before any other work begins. This can mean excavating, grading, building retaining walls, and drainage work.
Even on a flat site, excavation is still necessary to dig a foundation deep enough to support the patio or other hardscape feature. Again, soil conditions matter. If the subsoil is backfill (e.g. as a result of your home’s own foundation being excavated and re-deposited) you will need to have this soil compacted.
Laying the Foundation
After all of the site prep has been completed and the foundation has been excavated to the proper depth—factoring in the depth of the aggregate, bedding sand, and pavers—the next step is adding the aggregate base layer.
The aggregate base layer supports the weight of the hardscape, helps water drain away from it, and prevents the pavers from shifting. If you have clay soil, a geotextile underlayment could prevent the aggregate from slowly working its way into the soil. In colder climates with a severe freeze/thaw cycle, you may need additional aggregate: at least 4 to 6 inches for patios and 8 to 12 inches for driveways.
The aggregate is then raked, leveled, and sloped slightly away from the house to allow for runoff. Next, the aggregate is compacted. If the aggregate layer is more than 6 inches deep, this process may need to be repeated in layers to ensure proper compaction.
Then 1 inch of bedding material goes on top of the aggregate layer. This is the sand that the pavers will sit on top of. The bedding material is important for drainage and to prevent pavers from shifting. Only then does paver installation begin. Extra care must also be taken during this process to ensure that the edges of your hardscape are secure so that they push in to the hardscape instead of pulling away from it and breaking off.
The precise work involved and carefully chosen materials are well worth the investment when it’s done right. Complete outdoor kitchens are the primary reason many people are choosing paver patios over decks these days. While it’s fun to dream about enjoyable times entertaining and relaxing on your patio or pulling up to your new paver driveway, the site prep cannot be rushed. As the old saying goes, if you want something to last, start with a solid foundation.