The first step in laying the pavers was to build up a stable base for them. Unlike the common way of laying pavers, I wanted to use a system of piers and beams so that I could remove pavers if needed to repair the pipework. Also, I did not want drainage holes, and do not like the effect where ants remove sand. In retrospect, it may have been cheaper to use concrete as a base and be done with it.
Adding blocks was the first step. I used treated pine beams and supports. These are under compression, so should last longer than if under tension. For most of the piers I used besser blocks, capped with pavers as required. On top of this I used some of the fibre-cement board I purchased for the sides. Due to a mis-calculation, I had too much of this board anyway, and it made the perfect packing material. The wood beams were on their side, not vertical as shown on this first photo. The reason I got away with this is that my worst case span where the wood was not supported from below was about 70cm, when using 40cm paving stones. In most cases, the supports were missing less than 40cm.
One of the challenges with this project was keeping the building materials managed. The photo below shows how I managed this whilst maintaining accessability.
This next photo shows the piers being built up to the correct height. On the far left, I used treated pine fence pailings to create a base height. This provided a challenge since the beams needed to top out at the same level, but this was nothing placing some temporary flanges onto the end of the beam did not fix. Clamps were used on the right side to get the correct height whilst the piers below were built up.
Once that was done, the beams were extended thw whole width.
I gradually extended the piers and beams to cover the entire area.
On the slab, treated pine fence pailings were used as spacers to allow some drainage from the slab. Waterproofing was added to the layer between the slab and the bricks to ensure that any water would not enter the building. The bricks had already been impregnated with silicone.
This next photo shows some of the pavers after laying. It shows how this was done on th front edge, but does not highlight it. The first step was to get some plastic designed for decking beams. This is over 1mm thick and is designed to move water from the wood. On top of this a layer of mortar was added. I found a fine mortar by Boral with Fly Ash added, which was perfect for this. The mortar is a pain for other uses, but it works well here. I would then lay the pavers, one at a time, and hit them as required with a rubber hammer to get the tops level.
I did not worry about the corners, and just kept moving towards the bottom edge.
You may notice some holes, particularly the ones on the right side. I fixed these by hiring a paver cutter for four hours and cutting pavers to fit. The trick with a paver cutter is to mark up all the pavers first with pencil, and then cutting will be quick and easy.