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Person using compactor on outdoor gravel area.

Overview

Learn how to lay road base and prepare an area for paving. You'll see how to calculate the volume of road base fill you'll need. See how to install formwork around the area. Then we'll show you how to pack the base and level it.

Steps

1Mark out the levels for the road base

Take your rake and level the area you want to pave. We're using an existing concrete verandah as a reference point. Mark this level along the wall to show the level the road base fill needs to come to. Take width by length by depth measurements and work out the volume of road base you need to fill the area.

Person using spirit level on top of piece of timber.

2Set up the formwork

Put formwork around the outer edges of the area to box it in. Lay the first edge of formwork in position and make sure it is straight, square and level. Attach the second edge to create a boxed area.  Hammer star pickets along the formwork and screw them to the timber to make sure it will stay in place.  

Person putting steel corner bracket in place between two bits of timber framing.

3Spread and level the road base

Use the wheelbarrow to bring the road base into the area. Spread it out evenly using the rake. Use the spirit level to check it is level. Use a hose to wet down the area. 

Person using spirit level on top of piece of timber.

4Compact the road base

Start compacting the base using the plate compacter. Take a couple of levels across the area to make sure the base is level and flat ready for paving.

Person using compactor on outdoor gravel area.

Suggested products

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.