Paver Driveways: Installation and Maintenance

paver driveways

Written By Benjamin Eyth

Published on 13 Apr, 2024

Blogs | Pavers

Paver Driveways expand and contract during all the freezing, thawing, and scorching heat throughout the year. Standard concrete and asphalt often need help keeping up with these constant changes in temperature and moisture.


They lack the particular joints needed to handle the stress and end up cracking, which lets moisture in and can lead to more significant problems.


This is why driveway pavers are superior—they’re built for this challenge. Their design includes joints that help manage the pressure from weather changes, allowing them to maintain their integrity without cracking.


The foundation for pavers contains layers of sand and gravel, compacted to create a flexible base that moves slightly with the seasons but doesn’t crack under pressure.


Installing permeable paver driveways from trusted brands like Belgard, in particular, is the best way to build a driveway. In some applications these pavers let water drain through the gaps between them into a layer of crushed stone and then slowly into the soil.


This starkly contrasts typical driveways where runoff water collects oil and chemicals, contributing to pollution and flooding by overloading storm drains.


These permeable paver driveways come in many types — concrete and brick pavers — so you have more design freedom. They offer a way to personalize your space in a way that concrete can’t match.


Plus, pavers are relatively low-maintenance. If one gets damaged, you can easily replace it without redoing the entire driveway. It’s a simple fix that keeps everything looking good.


Should you install and maintain paver driveways yourself?


In theory, you could install and maintain a paver driveways yourself. But here’s a reality check to consider before deciding to install pavers on your own:


  • Skill and physical requirements – The work involves excavating soil, hauling materials, and precise paver placement. It can be strenuous and requires some construction experience and knowledge of how to lay pavers.


  • Time commitment – Installing paver driveways is a significant time investment. Depending on the size and complexity of your driveway, it could take days or even weeks to complete.


  • Tool rental—You’ll likely need to rent equipment like a plate compactor, wheelbarrow, and masonry saw, which will add to the cost.


  • Potential for mistakes—Improper installation can lead to serious problems down the line, such as uneven surfaces, drainage issues, and costly repairs.


How do you install pavers and maintain a permeable paver driveway?


Permeable paver driveways project might be too large for a DIY approach, so hiring a professional with experience in permeable pavers is advisable. But if you are confident that you can do the job properly, here are the steps to follow:


  • Test the soil and excavate.

First, ensure no underground utilities are in the way. Depending on the application, a percolation test may be conducted to check the soil’s water absorption rate. You should contact your local Cooperative Extension office to learn how to do this.

Remove any existing pavement and excavate according to the paver manufacturer’s recommendations.


  • Prepare the stone base layers.

Install the compacted stone or open-grade base material suitable to the project’s climate and installation application.


  • Screed the bedding layer.

Set up concrete or hard-plastic edging to prevent the pavers from moving. Lay two 1-inch-diameter steel pipes parallel on the compacted base and cover them with The selected bedding material.

Screeding over the pipes with a 2×4 board creates a flat bed. Remove the pipes, fill in the gaps, and continue this process.


  • Place the driveway pavers.

Begin at the driveway’s lowest point and place the pavers closely together, ensuring they’re snug against the edging. Use the sides of the pavers (which often have nibs) to maintain consistent drainage gaps. Keep the rows square and fill in the edges last.


  • Fill the joints.

After setting the pavers, sprinkle ¼-inch stone over them and use a wide push broom to sweep the stone into the gaps. Move the broom diagonally to avoid dislodging any rocks.


  • Tamp

Clean the surface, then compact the entire driveway diagonally with a plate compactor to secure the pavers in the bedding layer. Refill and compact any joints that settle more than others.


Call in the experts


Hiring professionals might be the better option for your paver driveway project if you need more clarification about your skills or want a quick and guaranteed result.


There are several advantages to bringing in professionals:


  • Expertise and experience – Paver professionals understand proper excavation techniques, base preparation for weight distribution, and laying patterns for stability and drainage. They can also advise on driveway paver selection based on your climate, traffic use, and desired aesthetics.


  • Quality craft – Professionals ensure a level and secure installation that prevents uneven settling, cracking, or shifting over time.


  • Efficiency – Professionals have the tools and experience to complete the job quickly, minimizing disruption to your daily routine.


  • Avoiding costly mistakes – Excavation, base preparation, or paver layout mistakes can be expensive to fix later. Professionals can identify and prevent potential problems upfront.


  • Warranty and guarantees – Many professional installers offer warranties on their work, giving you peace of mind that any issues will be addressed.


  • Maintenance expertise – Professionals can advise on proper cleaning, sealing, and repairs to extend the life of your paver driveway.


While the upfront cost may seem higher, professional installation often means a long-lasting, attractive driveway that adds value to your property.


Outdoor Cedar Structures is ready to help. We proudly use Belgard concrete pavers for driveways.

Properly installed Belgard driveway pavers create a beautiful and functional product that will last for years to come.

Ready to get started on your project? Call us at (509) 329-6054 to schedule a free design consultation.

Contact us today toschedule a design consultation