Brick Paver Installation & Edging

Staging of material

Most paver projects will vary depending on access, site conditions, project size and of course, the weather. These situations can have an overall impact on your project from a timing stand point. Careful consideration should be taken to determine the time to start the paver installation. Always try to minimize or avoid any traffic on the prepared areas.

The foreman or project manager should always have the materials (sand / pavers) distributed around the project site for easy and efficient installations. Paver pallets/bundles should be placed in a manner not to interfere with the paver installation. The proper pallet/bundle placement can make the actual project installation easier and quicker by reducing the overall labor of handling the material.

Brick paver patterns

Pavers can be placed in many different patterns depending on their shape. Each paver shape will generally have several different hatch patterns that are provided by the manufacturer.

The laying pattern and shape of the paver is very critical to the performance of the application. Contractors need to take into consideration the traffic weight loads on their paver projects. 90 or 45 degree herringbone patterns are recommended in all street and driveway applications, as these patterns will provide the maximum load support needed and will resist creeping from the turning of tires and starting or braking of vehicular traffic. In most applications worldwide, it has been shown that pavers laid in a herringbone pattern have performed adequately.

Pavers that are 60 mm (2 – 3/8 in) thickness are suitable for pedestrian applications. Pavers that are going to be used in commercial or industrial applications should be 80 mm (3 – 1/8 in) in thickness.

Reference/starting point for brick paver installation

There are a number of conditions that determine the starting point of a paver project.

When starting to install pavers it is best to snap a true straight chalk line on the surface of the bedding sand or pull a true straight string line above the surface of the bedding sand at the finished elevation of the pavers. This will help as a guide for maintaining straight joint lines and will also allow the installer to make adjustments in the alignment of the pavers.

Buildings and concrete curbing are generally not straight and should not be used for establishing straight joint lines. The use of string lines is essential to determine the true straightness of the edge as well. As the paver installation progresses, the string lines will help minimize the need for small trim pieces.

Joint width between pavers should be between 1/16 and 3/16 in (2 and 5 mm ). There are some pavers with spacer bars on their sides. These will maintain a minimum joint width and allow the bedding and jointing sand to enter between each paver. Pavers with spacer bars are generally not laid in snug against each other since a string line will provide consistent joint spacing.

Installation of brick pavers

One of the most widely used methods for the installation of pavers is hand installation of each paver. It is best to install a single row of pavers along one of the true straight lines that you have pulled or above the bedding sand. This will give you a straight and true line off which to work. Once this row is established, you can continue to work outward into the field with the rest of the pavers. Always make sure to periodically check your joint lines to make sure they are true and straight. If not, adjustments to the pavers can be made as you continue installing. Pavers should be installed hand tight. The best method is to place a paver against another one and let it slide down into the bedding sand. Do not kick or tap the pavers into place as this can throw your lines out of true straightness.

When installing pavers on a steep grade, they should be installed at the base of the grade going uphill. This will prevent the pavers from creeping as they are being laid.

On large commercial and industrial applications, hand laying pavers would not be cost effective due to the labor intensity. The best way for installing pavers on large projects is to install them mechanically. The use of a mechanical laying machine can install approximately 6000 – 7000 sq ft a day. There are a couple items a contractor should consider before installing pavers mechanically:

1.) Mechanical installers are only capable of installing pavers in certain patterns.

2.) The contractor must make sure that the manufacturer is capable of manufacturing and bundling pavers in the desired pattern on the pallets for easy mechanical installation.

3.) Contractors may encounter a color blending situation coming off the bundles of pavers. Poor color blending could result in a patchy looking installation. Most manufacturers are consistent with color blending on each bundle of pavers, but it is the contractor’s responsibility to ensure proper blending in the field.

Cutting procedures for brick pavers

Contractors typically have two ways of cutting pavers. Pavers are cut either by 1). A double bladed guillotine or by 2). A gas powered cut off saw or brick saw which is equipped with a diamond blade. The diamond blade cut-off saw or brick saw will provide a much cleaner and more accurate cut. Most brick saws will have a hose attachment on them which will allow the operator to cut the pavers wet. When cutting pavers wet, it will help minimize dust and will prolong the diamond blades life as well. The operator of the brick saw should always cut the pavers away from the surface of the paver field when cutting wet, due to the fact that the pavers will create a slurry that will stain the paver surface. Pavers that are cut should not fit tight, sufficient spacing should be available for jointing sand.

The brick saw operator should always wear the proper protection that is needed for operating a saw, such as eye, ear, respiratory and hand protection ).

Edging types

Edge restraints play a major role in the overall success of an interlocking pavement installation. Edging restraints eliminate lateral movement of the pavers and hold the pavers tightly together. Especially at the outer perimeter of the paver application, without an edging restraint, your project is guaranteed to fail over time.

There are several different edging restraints from which contractors can choose. Typically manufactured edge restraints are the most commonly used by contractors. Manufactured edging restraints can range from, plastic edging, steel and aluminum, timbers or precast concrete and stone. An edging type that is used primarily in commercial and industrial applications is poured-in-place concrete curbs. This edging restraint is typically installed by other contractors.

Edging installation

When installing your edge restraint, it should rest directly on top of the compacted gravel base. The compacted gravel base course should extend a minimum of 6in beyond the perimeter of the pavers. This will provide a proper foundation upon which the edging restraint can sit. Manufactured edging ( i.E. Plastic, steel or aluminum ) should be firmly anchored into the compacted gravel base( check with the manufacturer’s literature for the recommended spacing of the spikes). There are some edging restraints that will extend deeper into the gravel base or beyond the base course ( i.E. Timbers or poured-in-place curbs ). Edging restraints should never be placed directly on top of the bedding sand. This could result in the migration of the bedding sand and eventual lateral movement of the pavers. If there is a possibility of losing bedding sand between the pavers and the edge restraint, then geo textile fabric is recommended. When a gap between the pavers and the edging exceeds 3/8″ (10mm), then the space should be filled with cut pavers. All edging applications should be properly back filled after they are installed to help provide additional stability.

Compaction of brick pavers

After installation, the pavers need to be compacted. The entire area that is to be compacted should be swept clean of any foreign objects and debris that can cause scratching or scuffing on the surface of the pavers.

It is important to have a compactor that can exert between 3000lbs. And 5000 lbs. Of centrifugal compaction force. In addition, it is important that the first compaction takes place before any jointing sand has been applied to the pavers. If jointing sand is applied to the pavers before compaction takes place, this can cause a bridging problem and will not allow the joints to be completely filled with jointing sand. This can also prevent the pavers from being properly set into the bedding sand.

When compacting the pavers, it is recommended that you make at least two passes in different directions across the pavers. This will allow the pavers to be properly set in the bedding sand and will force the bedding sand up into the joints from the bottom of the pavers.

The compaction of the pavers is very critical to the final performance of the pavers. Failure to do proper compaction can result in deformations and pavement failure over time.

The Ins and Outs of Metal Fabrication

We have so much amazing material surrounding us that we take its greatness for granted. Have you ever closely examined the steel buildings that are now our churches, schools, and fire departments? Because these gigantic steel girders blend into their surroundings, they are often overlooked.

We are surrounded by objects made out of metal every day. Automobiles, buildings, sculptures – all contain metal in some form. Metal fabrication is an essential part of each person’s life. Steel and iron are reliable and a lot more secure than wood.

This article is for those of you who may not be very familiar with metal. In this article we will show you how metal is formed as well as show you the steps it takes for fabrication.

To start with, what does metal fabrication involve?

In simple terms, converting metal shapes into a finished product is known as metal fabrication. Small metal mixing bowls and giant metal cement mixing machines must all be fabricated. Metal fabrication is a category that includes metal forming, cutting, bending, welding, and finishing.

What are the different types of metal fabrication?

The three basic categories of metal fabricating are structural, industrial, and commercial. The process of manufacturing bridging and building components is known as structural fabrication. The manufacturing of processing equipment and support equipment for industrial use falls under the definition of industrial fabrication. The major chunk of metal items bought by consumers is produced by commercial metal fabrication.

What are the steps that are followed when the metal is cut?

Metal may be cut in two ways. One way is when sharp blades are rubbed up on the metal. Sometimes, though, the metal is just completely cut out. The process of applying a large amount of pressure on a small area until the metal breaks or fractures is known as shearing. It is much like a giant pair of scissors, and the process is always the same. Removal of metal, however, can be done using varying methods including abrasives, electric arc, laser beams, or torches. These are all widely used processes for cutting metal. In the field of fabrication, abrasive wheels and cutting torches predominate because they are relatively easy to use and portable. Stationary equipment (e.g. water jet beds, plasma tables, and laser cutters) aren’t used as much, yet they give amazing results with precise tolerances.

In order to get the skills required for metal fabrication, where would you go?

Certified learning centers and on the job training are the two types of metal fabrication instruction that are most common. Either way, a person must possess sufficient knowledge of the necessary skills before they can obtain work in the fabrication industry. The skills of the metal working industry are maintained and promoted by several agencies including the American Welding Society, the American Institute of Steel Construction, and the American Petroleum Institute.

Like any other field, the initial stage of metal fabrication is design, the conception of an idea that will eventually lead to the finished product. When required, engineers will check that the materials used are of the strength that is needed. The fabrication facility orders materials after receiving the plans. Depending on your design plan, materials will be cut, shaped, and welded together to make the product. Workers inspect each product before it leaves the plant to make certain it has been properly made for its purpose.

Now you know all you need to know about metal working.

The “Bridge Job” Strategy – Making Money While You’re in Career Transition

If you’re out of work now, what part-time or flexible work can you do to fill the gap until you land the job you want? If you’re fully-employed but concerned about losing your job, what sort of opportunities could you pursue to earn additional income, should the need arise? The “Bridge Job Strategy” is a pragmatic approach to carry you through a difficult employment or financial period. Here are some interim options, where you can find work and earn money while continuing to search for the job you really want:

Part-time or temporary job (retail stores, restaurants, business services, administrative, etc.). Try to find a position in a field you genuinely like. If you enjoy shopping or love the products of a particular store, consider working in retail. If you have a passion for cooking or are knowledgeable about food, you might want to be a prep chef at a favorite restaurant. If you have connections at business service organizations and can add value to their operations, try working at a company where your managerial contributions would be valued. Contact several temp agencies, or go visit businesses in which you have an interest.

Teaching or substitute teaching (public or private schools, colleges and universities, technical or vocational programs, etc.). The education that helped get you started in your career is still valuable. If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, you’ve no doubt gained skills to enhance your credibility. These qualifications are often valued by schools and colleges. Experienced professionals are sought after to teach classes and bring a real-world perspective to their students. Contact the administration office of your local school system or the employment office of universities and vocational programs in your area.

Consulting or contract assignments (business operations, computer/technology, creative/advertising, etc). Even before the economy and job market went sour, the work world had changed. A growing percentage of the workforce had already moved into flexible assignments as consultants or contractors. If you have a background in one of the fields that naturally lend themselves to this work style, try to get consulting or contract work. It can be interesting, challenging work, and it can also be lucrative. In some cases, these consulting or contract assignments turn into full-time job offers, after the company gets to know you. Contact outsourcing and contract employment firms in the fields that interest you.

Work for family or friends (retail stores, services, small manufacturing operations, and every other type of business). Do you have relatives or friends who own or run businesses? Would you be comfortable working with them? In tough times, it is important to put your pride aside and ask for help. But in this case, the help would be mutual. Your friend or relative would be the lucky recipient of your services, and you would be gainfully employed, working for someone you already know and like. Contact every friend, relative, or acquaintance who owns or runs a business, and ask about their needs and challenges.

Home-based work (administrative, sales, computer work, creative assignments, bookkeeping, personal services, etc.). With the advent of the Internet and computer technology, it is easier than ever to do real work from home. Some of this work can be enjoyable and lucrative. There is no longer a stigma about working from home, and in fact, you may find that the flexible, independent lifestyle suits you. From copy writing to doing proposals to preparing tax returns, there’s no limit to the options. Ask yourself what skills you have, and offer your services to appropriate companies and families in your area. Contact everyone in your network to offer your services, and ask for referrals after your work has been satisfactorily completed.

Odd jobs (handyman, construction, painting, sewing, moving and hauling, yard work, plowing, etc.). Are you handy around the house? Do you own special equipment or tools? Do you have trade skills that you could offer to other people in your town? There is always a need for reliable, professional help in these disciplines. If you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, you can earn good money providing these much-needed services to organizations and individuals.

One of my senior executive clients worked in a retail store for many months after he was laid-off. The money wasn’t great, but it was enough to help pay his family’s bills. Having this part-time job also gave my client a sense of pride, because he was doing what he could to provide for his family, and he was making a contribution in the world of work. He also enjoyed meeting new people and even doing a bit of networking with customers.

The retail job gave my client the flexibility he needed to continue searching for the job he really wanted. A key point to understand is that my client never confused the means with the ends. He kept his focus on finding the “real job,” and he eventually secured an excellent opportunity with more responsibility and higher compensation than he’d had at his last professional job.

In this case, my client’s positive attitude allowed him to reach his goal through a two-step plan. By taking a part-time, flexible job, he did what he needed to do to ultimately get the position he really wanted.

This fellow didn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed working in a position that was “beneath him.” He saw the “Bridge Job Strategy” as a practical necessity, and it worked very well for him. In fact, when he reflects back on his temporary job at the store, he smiles and describes it as a great learning experience!