Step 7: Dig the Trench

Mark Powers digs a trench next to an asphalt driveway
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Use a spade to dig a trench next to your driveway that's several inches wider than your blocks so that it can hold enough concrete to keep them in place. For stability, no more than half the blocks' height should project above the asphalt's surface, so the trench's depth should be at least half the blocks' height, plus 1 inch to make room for adding concrete below them. (For better drainage in areas prone to frost heave, dig the trench a bit deeper and tamp in a layer of crushed stone.)
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    Tools List

    • chalk line
      Chalk line
    • dust mask
      Dust mask
    • ear muffs
      Hearing protection
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • concrete saw
      Concrete saw (Rents for about $50 a day from The Home Depot)
    • trenching spade
      Square-tip spade
    • brick set
      Brick set
    • maul
      Maul
    • mason's trowel
      Mason's trowel
    • mallet
      Rubber mallet
    • push broom
      Push broom

    Shopping List

    1. Nails Make sure they're at least 3 inches long

    2. Standard Concrete Mix such as Quikrete

    3. Belgian block stone Available at stone yards in a variety of sizes and shapes 4. Mason's Line to align the blocks It won't stretch or sag like regular string

    5. Stakes

    6. Paver Base Also known as stone dust

    7. Flowers and plants for landscaping