Monday, February 11, 2013

Installing Turf Block Pavers

I park one of our two cars in the back yard.  There's no driveway, I just drive it up over the curb, across the grass street strip, over the sidewalk, and through a gate.  Classy, I know.  I only drive the car about once a week, and it's only a temporary thing until I get a new garage built or something.  I've been temporarily doing this since 2007...

The part where I drive across the grass strip has worn into a couple of muddy ruts, so I looked into some paving options.  Poured concrete would have been the easiest and cheapest, but turf block / grass block is less obtrusive, easily removable, and doesn't create runoff.
The blocks are 18" x 24" x 3-1/2", and I got them at Mutual Materials in Clackamas for about $8 each if I remember right.  I laid them out and scored the ground to mark the locations, and excavated down about 7" from a levelling board I laid across the area.  Then I laid down several inches of 3/4"-minus crushed rock, and packed it down with a hand tamper until it was 3-1/2" below my board.  A little 1/4"-minus on top gave me a layer to set the stones into.

The stones had to be cut to make a clean fit in the 7' long strip.  I cut them with a $20 "turbo" diamond blade in an old 7-14" circular saw I keep for this kind of rough work.  Trying to cut masonry with something other than a chisel was a new thing for me, and aside from being a dusty mess, it was a piece of cake.  Advice from a newbie to anyone trying this:  cut the top / show face of the masonry first, about half way through, and then flip the stone and finish the cut from the back.  The last bit always breaks off, and you don't want that to be a corner on the top.  And just go slow.  Let the saw find it's own happy cutting speed, and don't push on it.

Cutting the pavers with a diamond blade in a circular saw is easy

I filled the holes in the pavers with compost and soil, and I'm going to plant sedum in them.  It will take the summer heat and drought better than grass.
Finished Turfblock Strips