First, you need to assess the current condition of your pavers. Typically, it’s less expensive to restore your pavers than to replace them. If they are in good structural condition and you‘re not tired of the color or pattern, they can be restored to look great again.
It’s important to consider the base and how it was originally constructed. If you’re seeing a lot movement in the pavers and there are large areas that have settled or heaved, then you may have a serious problem with the base. If you do, then any repairs will be short lived and will continue to fail.
Keep in mind that any paver patio, walk or driveway is designed as a complete system that must constructed properly in order to provide long lasting beauty with minimal care. It begins with the initial excavation and compaction of the sub-base. Then a minimum of 4-6” of crushed stone must be spread and compacted in several shifts to achieve the proper density. In areas of poor soil or drainage (like clay) geogrid fabric should be incorporated into the base stone. Then a 1” layer of bedding sand is laid before setting the pavers. Once the pavers or brick are laid and cut in, an edge restraint needs to be installed around the entire perimeter to keep the block from spreading. The pavers then need to be vibrated with a plate tamper to set them in place and even the surface. Finally, sand (preferably polymeric sand) should be swept and vibrated into the joints to create interlock between the pavers.
Too often we discover shortcuts that the contractor or homeowner took in this process. If the above steps were not followed then the structural integrity of the hardscape will not last long. Just like your house needs a good solid foundation, so do your pavers.
Occasionally, we see such poor construction that we recommend the entire pavement be rebuilt. This can be expensive, but in the long run its truly a better investment than repairing a poorly constructed project. In most cases though, our team can successfully repair and restore most paved areas even if the base is not perfect. This will give you many more years of enjoyment for a lot less expense than a total rebuild.