At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What are the Best Tips for Paving Circles?

Dana DeCecco
Dana DeCecco

Circular driveways, patios, and walkways add functionality and aesthetic value to a home. The best tip for paving circles is beginning with a well designed plan. A blueprint, or paper drawing, can help to ensure that a project is feasible, properly placed, and well proportioned. The selection of paving material will determine the type of ground preparation and excavation necessary. Setting the construction forms is the most important element in the process of paving circles.

A plot plan is typically used to define property lines and the location of the home. This is the ideal format for drawing a construction plan. If a plot plan is not available, making a plan is simply a matter of measuring property lines and locating the structures. The process of paving circles starts with the center point of a circle. To find the center, draw the paved area as if it were a square and connect the corners with diagonal lines.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

The area of a paving circle should accommodate its anticipated use. A circular patio intended for a table and chairs must allow enough room to walk around the furniture without tripping off the patio edge. A circular driveway must provide enough room for the turning radius of a vehicle. Before work begins, accurate dimensions are critical for a well designed project.

Larger circular paving projects, such as driveways, are usually done by qualified contractors. The most commonly used materials are concrete and asphalt. Concrete can be stamped and stained to create unique patterns and designs. Precast paving stones and bricks are also a popular choice for driveways. These products are more labor intensive and will generally increase the cost of the project.

The circular backyard patio or walkway can be accomplished by the do-it-yourself homeowner. Materials used will typically be concrete, stone, brick, or precast pavers. Using any of these materials will require a certain amount of site preparation. Excavation and a good base for drainage and stability should be provided to support the finished surface. If the finished surface is going to be flush with the existing grade, excavation must be deep enough for the paving material and the base.

To begin a project such as this, it may be beneficial to determine the center of the paving circles from the plan and then mark the center point. A string line, such as a masonry line, may be slipped over the marker and used to indicate enough line for the radius of the circle. Ground spray paint may then be used to draw the circle on the ground. It is important to allow enough room for excavation and forms in this process. Forms can be set in place and leveled to provide a reference for the top of the finished surface.

Circular forms can be made from pliable products such as plywood, tempered hardboard, vinyl, and light weight metal. Pins must be hammered into the ground at intervals that will maintain the circle and hold the form securely. The form can be leveled by setting a straight board across the top with a construction level on the board. Once forms are securely set and leveled, the remainder of the project should proceed smoothly. Paving circles can be somewhat challenging, but the end result can be a truly unique and beautiful landscape.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Woman with a flower
      Woman with a flower