Want to make your yard more attractive, functional and accessible for entertaining? Add hardscaping like walkways and patios — it’s simple to do with paver base! 

    Dividing your yard into designated areas helps your friends and family to know where to go and better enjoy the outdoors. 

    For instance, a dedicated space for a barbecue grill prevents smoke from bothering guests in a seating area. Separating a fire pit from the main patio creates a secluded romantic space.

    Creating these designated spaces isn’t difficult or expensive when you use paver base. This material is visually pleasing and outperforms gravel because of its size. Keep reading to learn more.

    This post is sponsored by Pavestone.

    What Is Paver Base?

    Paver base is a crushed gravel mixture that often provides a solid foundation for interlocking pavers. However, this mixture needs no other building materials and works well on its own as an outdoor surface. 

    Homeowners like that paver base is less permanent than concrete because if you change your mind about the layout of your walkways, you won’t need a jackhammer to remove or reconfigure it.

    Once compacted, paver base locks together to form a solid surface. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    The size of the aggregate usually ranges from three-quarters of an inch down to dust, so the material locks together when compressed, unlike larger stones such as gravel.

    You can purchase Pavestone paver base by bag or in bulk. Crushed limestone is the most commonly used stone for this application, but the product’s material and color may vary by region.

    Materials You’ll Need

    • Pavestone paver base (Amount depends on project size. See Pavestone’s materials calculator before purchasing.)
    • Fiber cement siding
    • 1-by-4 treated wood board (for stakes)
    • Circular saw
    • Drill
    • Coated deck screws
    • Marking paint
    • Shovel
    • Tamp 
    Pavestone paver base is available for purchase by the bag or in bulk. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    1. Create the Forms

    To use paver base as a stand-alone outdoor surface, you’ll need to create forms to contain it.

    Since these forms will remain in the landscape, we’re using fiber cement siding — it’s flexible, durable and withstands the elements.

    Cut 8-inch lap siding boards in half to create 4-inch form boards.

    Fiber cement board is durable, flexible and you can mold it to fit a round area. (3 Echoes Content Studio)
    Make sure the marking paint you use is non-toxic, so it won’t contaminate soil. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    2. Outline Area

    Use non-toxic marking paint to outline the space you want to create. Dig a small trench 2 to 4 inches deep along each line.

    Today’s Homeowner Tips

    Before you dig into your yard, always call 811 — the national “call before you dig” number — to ensure that any work won’t disrupt buried utility lines.

    3. Insert the Form Boards

    Insert the form boards into these trenches and stake every few feet to hold them in place and keep them vertical.

    Use a treated 1-by-4 for the stakes and drive them down into the soil on the inside of the forms, so they’re not visible when the project is complete.

    The stakes should be an inch or two below the top of the forms before you attach them to the fiber cement with coated deck screws.

    The stakes hold the forms’ shape. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    4. Compact the Soil

    Depending on the terrain, you may need to excavate a little — or a lot — of dirt from within the forms.

    Compact the soil within the forms using a tamp before you begin spreading the paver base out in the space. The goal is to fill the forms to the top so that the only part of them that is visible is the narrow top edge.

    After you compact the base with the tamp, you may need to add more material to keep the surface at this level.

    Tamping the paver base contains it within the forms and keeps it level. (3 Echoes Content Studio)
    A bow rake works well for spreading the paver base. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    5. Lay the Paver Base

    Once the soil inside the forms is at the appropriate height, spread the paver base until it reaches the tops of the forms. The finished outdoor surface will be hard, stable and won’t spread into the landscape because it’s packed tightly together.

    Watch the video above for details, and find more ways to improve your home with pavers at Pavestone.com

    Further Reading

    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Danny Lipford

    Danny Lipford


    Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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