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Adding Instant Curb Appeal in One Weekend: Part Two

Posted by: Erika Green on January 9, 2020

Photo Oct 07, 11 53 23 AM.jpg

This blog was written by Adam Beasley of Lazy Guy DIY, who recently partnered with The Home Depot Rental. Adam was itching to replace his tired sidewalk with beautiful pavers, and to do so, he needed a variety of tools, equipment, and materials. Check out how The Home Depot Rental was there for Adam throughout his DIY project – from start to finish.

I get to play with a ton of fun power tools daily, but ultimately, they are just that … consumer grade power tools. Where would I ever get to use professional grade equipment? The answer to that is The Home Depot Rental and believe it or not, it’s not that difficult (or scary) to use. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know I recently took on a curb appeal update replacing our tired sidewalk with beautiful pavers. To do that, I took a look at The Home Depot Rental website and put together a wish list of tools for the job. I showed you in a previous post how The Home Depot Rental helped me demo my existing sidewalk, now it’s time to walk through how I got the job done – with pictures to prove it! Let’s check it out!

Leveling Up

With the demo finished and after cleaning out any of the remaining debris, it was time to prep the surface for the pavers. 

  • Surface Prep - Because the pavers had a slightly wider footprint than the former sidewalk, I dug out the edges with a spade. I then evened out the bottom of the sidewalk void to about 5”-7” deep. 
  • Sandy Solution - I opened up and spread about a dozen bags of Pavestone Leveling Sand. I then fired up the Wacker Neuson Plate Compactor and took it for a ride (no you can’t sit on it) to level out and compact the sand I poured. The wide plate made short work of the smaller sidewalk. The only thing difficult about it was having to load it back in the truck bed by myself when I finished.

  • Calling An Audible - In normal circumstances, you would probably pour a few more bags of sand for a thicker base. We ended up trying out these foam pads by Paver Base that come in 20”x 36” panels that you lay the stone directly on top of.  With some creative cutting for the final few inches, we only needed about 15 panels which saved us another dozen bags of sand and provided a more reliable (and forgiving) base.

  • A Stones Throw - Because I already had a footprint, laying the pavers was as easy as setting them down in place. I wanted the cleanest seam starting at the city sidewalk so I started there and worked my way in. With this pattern it was easy to see if I was running off course, so I could take a rubber mallet and tap any wayward rows back into place.  This is the part where I recommend bringing a friend because having someone hand you the next stone makes a world of difference. 

With the straight run down, I went back and added the side flare that kicks out an extra few pavers as the path comes to our front step. For this effect, I used the 7” x 7” square pavers and the Paver Saw. If you can operate a miter saw, you can just as easily use the paver saw. 

Hook it up with a hose and a power source and after two to three small passes you’ll have perfectly cut pavers. I cut my square blocks into triangles, but with the guide on the saw, it was easy as lining up the blade and making the cut. It does make a heck of a mess though… so don’t set it up next to your house like I did.

Finishing Touches

With all the stones set, it was time to lock them down tight. I used three containers of Sakrete PermaSand for the final push. You pour the sand right on top and then work it into the cracks. Using a combination of a push broom and plate compactor, it took no time at all. 

With any of the excess swept off, you lightly spray the sand and pavers with a hose. The water causes the PermaSand to harden and lock the pavers in place.  And with that, the sidewalk was finished!

The work wasn’t done yet though.  I then had to take care of all that concrete I had been loading into the Dump Trailer.  If you’ve ever gone to your city dump, you’ll know there’s always a line and the key is to get in and out as quick as possible.  Or face the wrath of those in line behind you.  A full load of concrete and just one person to unload it wasn’t going to cut it. 

That is unless you’ve got a dump trailer. Backing right up to the drop zone, with a press of a button the trailer bed tilts, and the debris and rubble come right out! After a quick sweep I was OFFICIALLY DONE and also saved myself a couple thousand dollars if I had contracted the whole project out.

Project and Equipment Notes

It should go without saying, but when you’re using equipment like this you need to make sure you have all the right safety equipment.  Eye and ear protection, gloves and work boots are a must.  A respirator or a dust mask is also a good idea.  If you have questions about the tools, the instruction manuals are all available on The Home Depot Rental website – that goes for the equipment, too.  I know this because I used them!  I had an issue with the paver saw that the troubleshooting guide helped me quickly diagnose as user error. That’s right… I’ll admit I was wrong.  

If you’re on the fence about a project because you don’t have the right equipment or tools, The Home Depot Rental is a great way to get your hands on things you might not normally have access to. Plus, the rental process was simple and straightforward. So, before you call a contractor for that next home improvement project, maybe you should call The Home Depot Rental instead and do it yourself!

How quickly can you finish this project? Watch the whole thing go from start to finish in 60 seconds to see how the project turned out!

*This post and project were sponsored by The Home Depot Rental. I was compensated for my time and provided with equipment in exchange for my opinions on my experience with The Home Depot Rental and its large equipment and small tool rentals. My opinion is my own. 

Tags: DIY, Lazy Guy DIY, dump trailer, curb appeal, concrete