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Got my new pallet forks last week. Which is good timing because Lowe's just brought ten pallets of paver bricks. I'm planning to create a patio in the back yard and would appreciate your thoughts on doing it. I think my biggest concern is getting the grade right - I want the water to drain correctly and not puddle or run back toward my house. I expect the patio to be about 30 X 40 or so. Any advice?

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Got my new pallet forks last week. Which is good timing because Lowe's just brought ten pallets of paver bricks. I'm planning to create a patio in the back yard and would appreciate your thoughts on doing it. I think my biggest concern is getting the grade right - I want the water to drain correctly and not puddle or run back toward my house. I expect the patio to be about 30 X 40 or so. Any advice?

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Biggest thing is get the base layer right. Smooth, packed, and slopes correctly. I believe it’s 1/4” per foot but don’t quote me on that. Nothing is worse than busting your butt to do the work and having it sink and heave the following spring. Been there done that. I’d recommend some sort of edger. Bricks turned on there side work good but can use the plastic edging as well. Lock everything together with paver locking sand swept into the gaps. 30x 40 is a big undertaking. Take your time, measure twice, dig once.


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There are lots of YouTube videos to reference for this type of job. Pick one and use it, or you can go to the paver manufacturer's website and they generally have some brief installation videos for the homeowner. I put down pavers for my front walk last year. A fairly simple job but....patience is key. Having a good base material really helps. I would consider renting a small roller or something piece of equipment that creates level pads. It will really speed up the job and remove a lot of manual labor. Of course it is an expense so....figure out what you want to hurt the least, your back or your wallet! :lol:

My only advice is to use that tractor to position those pavers as close to the job site as possible. You will eat up a lot of time retrieving a brick in order to set it. You will definitely use the JD to bring your base dirt unless you're blessed with sand or clay sand type of dirt and do a rough level to it. Good luck with the project and post up pictures. I need to do my back yard walk/patio sometime myself. Hopefully it is this year but it's not at the top of the honey do list yet...:laugh:
 

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Nice!

Can't help with construction, but how much does one of those paver pallets weigh?
I'm not sure. I asked the Lowe's driver and he didn't know either. He said, "a lot...". Said he was "overweight" at 44k gross for the entire load which included four pallets of cinder blocks and a couple of riding lawnmowers in addition to my pavers and his forklift. His load shifted while coming up our steep hill. Had to restack all the ones that spilled on his truck bed. Only broke a few.

Most standard retail pallet jacks (like Lowe's uses) are rated at 4k - 5k so I'd expect it weighs less than that. I searched a few paver company websites and the heaviest pallet I saw was about 2800. I haven't picked one up yet. We'll see.

ejchron
 

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My only advice is to use that tractor to position those pavers as close to the job site as possible. You will eat up a lot of time retrieving a brick in order to set it. You will definitely use the JD to bring your base dirt unless you're blessed with sand or clay sand type of dirt and do a rough level to it. Good luck with the project and post up pictures. I need to do my back yard walk/patio sometime myself. Hopefully it is this year but it's not at the top of the honey do list yet...:laugh:
I'm no expert on this, but that's never stopped me from chiming in on a subject before.... :laugh:

When picking your pavers off the pallets, pick them randomly so you're mixing up the pallets in case you have different production batches (ie - color variations) on the different pallets. In other words, don't empty pallet 1 and then move on to pallet 2. Pick some from P-1, then from P-2, then from P-3.... then back to P-1....
 

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You should not have any problem moving those with your tractor as long as you have enough rear ballast.

As others have said, find information from paver manufacturers of videos from professionals on how to do a brick patio.
The base is the most important part. Do not use to much sand.
I did a small patio & walkway at our rental house. I used packed crushed stone to build the base to within 1" of the final grade. Then used sand for the final 1".
 

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we did 800 sq ft patio 5 years ago here, with walls around 2 sides , other 2 were the house and garage.
started with base material of crusher run, 12" thick or so, compacted in layers. i only had a string
level to use, and needed water to go to 2 outlets in the walls (walkways) i think i did 1/4" on 4' or 8'
pitch,
the top inch was stone dust laid over 1" pipes and screeded off, then we laid the pavers, ours were different
as there were 5 sizes/shapes to go in a pattern, took a little while to get it down but once we did it
went quickly.
the pallets i had delivered were 3200 lbs or so, same for the wall block and caps. we did incorporate
some low voltage lighting into the wall, it's our escape in summertime and we really enjoy the space.
as mentioned, take your time in the grading part.

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Nice!

Can't help with construction, but how much does one of those paver pallets weigh?
Brick paver weight is 150 pounds per cubic foot. Measure the volume of the pavers stacked on the pallet and you should be able to roughly calculate the weight.

Pavers weigh more per cubic foor than sand (100#), concrete (140#), building bricks (120#), cement (100#), or dry packed dirt (95#) which is why I chose pavers to fill my ballast box.
 

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Most standard retail pallet jacks (like Lowe's uses) are rated at 4k - 5k so I'd expect it weighs less than that. I searched a few paver company websites and the heaviest pallet I saw was about 2800. I haven't picked one up yet. We'll see.

ejchron
Construction materials may hew to a different standard since much heavier equipment is available to handle them.

Many warehouses will not accept 2 ton pallets and 1 ton (long ton - 1000KG, 2204LBS) are the norm for safety reasons in a warehouse with conventional fork trucks and pallet racks. If the materials allow for stacking, that allows you to safely transport two pallets (4408LBS total) stacked one on top of the other at ground level.

Al
 

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Many years ago, I put in a patio the size you are describing made from road bricks and also provided a road paving brick perimeter of 12' all the way around a 20' x 40' in ground swimming pool.

In the project I did, I was using actual road bricks which had been scooped out of the city streets and dumped in the Asphalt Batch Plant's back 40 to serve as filler. So I had to dig the bricks out of a pile of debris and use a masonry hammer to chip off the concrete and asphalt stuck to each brick after digging them out of the pile, load them on a trailer, take them to the site and then install them. I was young and full of energy then and had more time and effort than money so I had to "salvage" all the bricks I used......:laugh:

It's now been over 30 years and the entire project remains in use to this day. I think the project keys were;

1. Exceptional ground preparation. As others have said, watch videos which resemble your project area. Also, do a layout on paper and design any special features or "fancy designs" you may want to implement. It saves time when you are actually out in the sun laying bricks.

2. Mark's advice about mixing the bricks up is very good......Otherwise, you could end up with blotchy colors that don't appear random if you pull one brick off the pile after another.

3. I have tried the bricks on the edge for the perimeter and I would advise against that. Not only does it create a tripping hazard as the ground freezes and thaw and heaves and settles, the bricks on the edge can't properly secure any radius or curved area. I would DEFINITELY use the specifically designed brick edge that is either heavy flexible plastic or there are some I have seen made with metal, which go under the outer row of bricks. Plus with the edge you can create radius curves and corners and they are great looking design issues to have in your patio.

I actually used the product linked below the last time I did a brick sidewalk which has curves in it and it worked very well. But I found it's best to have the top edge slightly below the actual top of the brick, otherwise you end up bending and crushing that top edge if it's taller than the brick and it looks terrible in the long run.

https://www.sealcoating.com/products/permaloc-2-landscape-edge-sidewall-aluminum-edge?variant=277685400&gclid=Cj0KCQjwttbWBRDyARIsAN8zhbKBx7hhUpg2_GPGvCgOIlZVjnm1_QzHXZwt5t7xbXmqw9oR6MbrPesaArZFEALw_wcB

4. Get really good knee pads which fit well and are comfortable and wear them.

5. - Consider installing exterior sub surface use PVC under the patio just in case you need to ever get a utility cable, underground sprinkler line, electrical wire, you name it. Put a push on cap on each end of the PVC tube when you put it in the ground so that should you need to use it, all you would need to do is dig up each end of the PVC tube and remove the cap and you could push whatever through the PVC line, instead of going around or through the finished patio.

When my driveway apron area was torn out to facilitate the installation of city water, I put two of these 3" PVC tubes under the concrete, extended out about 2' on each side of the driveway to it's easy to find and not dig too close to the concrete, so if needed, I could get a line under the driveway without the cost of horizontal boring or tearing up the concrete. Now, over the years, twice that tube has been used along with the one I placed under the front sidewalk to get the new cable from the utility box to the house.

I came home one day when the guy was installing a new cable for Comcast and he had it laid on the ground from the box at the road, all the way along the side of the driveway, around the back yard landscaped areas, around the house and back to the front to the connection box. When I told him about the PVC tube, the line went from being 600' long to 90 feet long to reach it's destination.......Not to mention having to tear up the yard to bury 600' of cable.

You might not ever need the tube, but if you should, you will be very glad you have it. It's inexpensive to put in and have "Just in Case"........

6. Find thin, yet tough work gloves as you need more dexterity with your fingers to do this easily, efficiently and correctly. The real thick leather work gloves are harder to handle the bricks and pack them tightly in my opinion. I found some specialty work gloves that are some type of woven super strong fabric and they are wonderful. Try different ones and you will see what I mean.

7. Stage the bricks so you spend the least time retrieving them. One of the best ways to stage them is with a brick tool.

8. Buy a brick carrier like this....................https://www.homedepot.com/p/Kraft-Tool-Co-Heavy-Duty-Adjustable-Black-Tubular-Brick-Tongs-BC384/302608871?cm_mmc=Shopping|THD|G|0|G-BASE-PLA-AllProducts|&gclid=Cj0KCQjwttbWBRDyARIsAN8zhbKGxmv16PI83vS3yJuRAAbOBMsxaGmKQ3HeUrfBlcpc6ZtT7PS2CqwaAgJOEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CJ_W5a7BwdoCFQwYAQodjU8I9w

It's much more efficient to carry the bricks like this than one at a time.......Plus you are less likely to drop them on your foot if you are carrying them correctly.

9. - Wear steel toed work boots as someone will drop a brick on their foot. It's bound to happen.

10. - I would also consider installing a drain in the center of your patio. Not only does it give you the chance to create a cool design around the drain, its also important to shed the water from such a large flat surface..........In real heavy downpours, that surface will create a lot of water to shed and having a drain helps make sure you are sending the water where you want it.

11. Plan this patio out with brick staging and pile placement to minimize the number of times you handle each brick. You want to get where you are pulling them off the pallet with the brick carry tool and staging them and then picking them up and placing them in the patio. The planned efficiency makes the project go smoothly and it's also encouraging to see results of your hard work as this is a time consuming and labor intensive project.

12. - If you can get someone to deliver the bricks to you and stage them as you are laying the bricks, it goes much faster than getting up and down to retrieve your own. After awhile swap off and trade jobs to avoid the burnout and your back getting so sore you will need the pallet forks to help you get up at the end of the day......:laugh:

Make sure to post pictures.....:bigthumb:
 
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