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View Full Version : 1st patio and deck project, think I did good, critics welcome - pictures


DynaMow
12-10-2005, 02:42 PM
My first ever patio, never even touched a paver before. I built deck, both patios, mulch beds, and installed mulch and plantings, my design. All work from start to finish was done solo. Took so time from start to finish as I had to work around my other lawn maintenance commitments.

All comments welcome, and I do have a question.

I charged $3800.00 for labor on these two patios (customer took care of all material). But there were some circumstances that dictated this price. My question is this, what should be the industry rate be. I have seen on here about $10 - $15 per sq ft for labor only, but as you can see there is a lot of cutting in this project with a circle kit and fire pit. Big patio is 18' x 20' small patio is 12' x 8'. How much would you experienced guys of charged for this project?

DynaMow
12-10-2005, 02:54 PM
Approx 24' x 16', 2 levels, all custom. Had exsisting 12' x 12' saved that deck, replaced bad boards, scraped steps, built new rail. net for deck project $4200.00

DynaMow
12-10-2005, 03:01 PM
This is the guy that bought me a truck (earlier thread) http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=118420and we ended up exchanging patio labor for truck payment. Here is truck.

sheshovel
12-10-2005, 03:04 PM
Your work looks exellent...Great job!especialy for your first one..Looks like you had some xtra material left.Are you going to go ahead and bring the smaller pad all the way out to the end of the deck?
I would have suggested that they do that.
Real nice and clean.As far as your charge for the paver job goes your a little low IMO but it depends on what your market will bear.I would think more like $4500 to 5000
You should ask if jodi will move this to the hardscaping forum for more replys

DynaMow
12-10-2005, 03:30 PM
Your work looks exellent...Great job!especialy for your first one..Looks like you had some xtra material left.Are you going to go ahead and bring the smaller pad all the way out to the end of the deck?
I would have suggested that they do that.
Real nice and clean.As far as your charge for the paver job goes your a little low IMO but it depends on what your market will bear.I would think more like $4500 to 5000

Thank you, very nice words, I want to do more. As for as making small one longer we are probably doing that in spring (was running out of time this season)

You should ask if jodi will move this to the hardscaping forum for more replys

Crap I am always screwing up, I thought I was there. Can you ask I think she is mad at me. :cry:

olderthandirt
12-10-2005, 03:41 PM
Great work and it looks good from the pics. Nothing like getting you feet wet with an easy one. :D You were a little low on the labor side but if it was tied in with the truck you can't complain. Looks like labor should be about 5k on that job. But to get to the 5k I would have been buying materials whls. and selling retail. It very competetive so if the customer was providing all materials I think you real close with $3800 labor only, specialy with the truck loan. and another net $4200 deck = 8k. Not a bad way to build the business and make long term happy customers. And as long as your happy with the profit and it keeps you in business and growing then the price is right.

DynaMow
12-10-2005, 03:56 PM
Great work and it looks good from the pics. Nothing like getting you feet wet with an easy one. :D You were a little low on the labor side but if it was tied in with the truck you can't complain. Looks like labor should be about 5k on that job. But to get to the 5k I would have been buying materials whls. and selling retail. It very competetive so if the customer was providing all materials I think you real close with $3800 labor only, specialy with the truck loan. and another net $4200 deck = 8k. Not a bad way to build the business and make long term happy customers. And as long as your happy with the profit and it keeps you in business and growing then the price is right.

Thanks dude, that coming from you means a lot to me. Mac you should see it man, IT IS PERFECT. It looks so nice, not a gap anywhere, cut all radius solder course blocks, straight as can be, the right grade. And the deck, all posts are rabbit cut at rail connection, top spindle rail is rabbit cut for spindles to go into slot as to never twist, no exposed screw heads on whole deck (except flooring of course). I was so proud of myself and to be honest, went very smooth from start to finish (at least patio, had some challenges with deck construction, but I got it).

I have to thank what this site provides, research started here before I ever jumped into it, and I had no surprises. Thanks Sean and all of the members here.

Pics of cuts:

stumper1620
12-10-2005, 04:31 PM
I wanted to put it here but screwed up, so here is the link. Please visit. Its just one extra click of that mouse.

http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=126384
I'll agree with Mac,
beautiful job!

Lux Lawn
12-10-2005, 04:43 PM
Leslein Lawn
Looks like you made some major inprovements in their yard.As long as both parties involved are happy then I'd say you did good.

GreenMonster
12-10-2005, 07:42 PM
Nice looking job. Especially for your first -- wow.

A few things I might do differently.

1. Maybe put the firepit in a corner -- gives more room to the patio area when the pit is NOT in use. Of course, you can't get as many people around it when you are using it, so, judgement call.

2. I would have laid the pavers in a running bond. I think it breaks up the pattern better, plus, you don't have four rounded corners coming together, creating a good size gap. Other than that, it looks real tight.

3. Did you cut a natural edge on the bed? hard to tell from the pics, but it doesn't look like it. I love a nice clean, sharp natural edge to seperate your mulch from the grass. It's a nice professional touch.

Overall though, looks real nice. learn from it and build on it, and make the next one even better!

YardPro
12-10-2005, 09:17 PM
great job.. looks like a new avenue of work for u

South Florida Lawns
12-10-2005, 09:36 PM
Love the paver work too.

1MajorTom
12-10-2005, 10:00 PM
Crap I am always screwing up, I thought I was there. Can you ask I think she is mad at me. :cry:
Putting a thread in a wrong forum by accident is definitely NOT a big deal. I'm never mad at the members, always here to help. Please never hesitate to ask if you need help or support here at Lawnsite.

Very nice work, thanks for sharing the pictures.

Squizzy246B
12-10-2005, 10:37 PM
If that is your first job then the mind boggles at what you will be able to do when you get some experience:dizzy: . Very well done.

mbella
12-10-2005, 10:43 PM
Leslein, what's the reason you went with wood and pavers?

jreiff
12-10-2005, 11:26 PM
What kind of block did you use for the fire pit?

Next time I would try to keep your outside gaps tight together.

Overall, the work looks really good. Keep it up and your future looks good...

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
12-10-2005, 11:44 PM
Very nice work.

olderthandirt
12-11-2005, 12:05 AM
Leslein, what's the reason you went with wood and pavers?
Because wooden patios don't last long :waving:

DynaMow
12-11-2005, 12:21 AM
Leslein, what's the reason you went with wood and pavers?Had existing 12 x 12 deck, not very functional by the time you figure walk space for steps and door way, needed to be bigger. So I added 12 x 16 lower level deck. They wanted a good size deck/patio, bigger then 24 x 16 surface so I felt big old wood deck wasn't something I liked, plus they were game for me to try anything and I figured this would be a good place for me to try my luck with a patio.

If that is your first job then the mind boggles at what you will be able to do when you get some experience . Very well done.Thank you. From your signature, I bet you know what your talking about. Would love to see some of your work. I bet that is little time to what you do.

I'm never mad at the members, always here to helpEven Bobby? Thanks for the compliment.

Love the paver work too.Thanks, I try to do my best.

great job.. looks like a new avenue of work for uThanks, I want to progress that way, was enjoyable, and something that provides the opportunity for creativity, oh yeah and big dollars.

Nice looking job. Especially for your first -- wow.

A few things I might do differently.

1. Maybe put the fire pit in a corner -- gives more room to the patio area when the pit is NOT in use. Of course, you can't get as many people around it when you are using it, so, judgment call.

2. I would have laid the pavers in a running bond. I think it breaks up the pattern better, plus, you don't have four rounded corners coming together, creating a good size gap. Other than that, it looks real tight.

3. Did you cut a natural edge on the bed? hard to tell from the pics, but it doesn't look like it. I love a nice clean, sharp natural edge to separate your mulch from the grass. It's a nice professional touch.

Overall though, looks real nice. learn from it and build on it, and make the next one even better!1) Thank you, I saw your web site and there is proof right there that you are a professional, thanks, nice comments.
2) The whole patio is designed around that fire pit (focal point), I feel that with the circle kit around the pit and the flow of the radius around horseshoe works nice. And yes wanted it to be people friendly. Plenty of square footage there for family and friends.
3) Well here I wanted (with having the round fire pit, circle kit, and radius) nothing to take away from this flow, looking for as simple pattern as possible.
4) Yes, I did cut a natural edge.
5) Thanks for your thoughts, certainly not saying you are wrong, looks like plenty of knowledge in your camp.

Leslein Lawn
Looks like you made some major inprovements in their yard.As long as both parties involved are happy then I'd say you did good.

stumper1620
I'll agree with Mac,
beautiful job!Thank you. Wanted to know more about price for next job. I just hate when I see people ask opinions on price and offer no way for us to give an educated answer. Hard to learn how to set the table.Bid $5500, sells for $4800.00, which does work, but was not trying to "leave anything on the table" that would suck.

DynaMow
12-11-2005, 12:33 AM
What kind of block did you use for the fire pit?

Next time I would try to keep your outside gaps tight together.

Overall, the work looks really good. Keep it up and your future looks good...


Uniblock. No space means fire pit diameter would be to big. Thanks for comp.

sheshovel
12-11-2005, 01:02 AM
One more thing Leslin,try to provide the materials yourself as part and parcel of the job bid,then you can make some xtra change with your mark-up on materials.

kootoomootoo
12-11-2005, 01:03 AM
Patio looks great...........same comment as above on the firepit.
Those unilock wall blocks should fit tight........shouldnt be any gap.

This is the same block. From memory you need 23 blocks for a perfect fit. looks like you were 21? ..explains the gaps.

DynaMow
12-11-2005, 08:08 AM
SheShovel, yes usually I would but with the circumstances (with truck and all) its just how it was.

I was 19 blocks, 4 ft total radius, did not want to be bigger then that. Thanks

DynaMow
12-11-2005, 08:14 AM
Patio looks great...........same comment as above on the firepit.
Those unilock wall blocks should fit tight........shouldnt be any gap.

This is the same block. From memory you need 23 blocks for a perfect fit. looks like you were 21? ..explains the gaps.


I like that patio, that has a nice look.

makfence
12-24-2005, 09:24 PM
Approx 24' x 16', 2 levels, all custom. Had exsisting 12' x 12' saved that deck, replaced bad boards, scraped steps, built new rail. net for deck project $4200.00
Les, coming from a carpenter with 35 years in the buisness. GREAT job on the deck I`m impressed. :waving:

UNISCAPER
12-25-2005, 11:18 AM
The job loks great, but, I have one question....

Is that fire pit natural gas, or wood? It loks like wood, and, that being the case, you need to line the pit with fire fire brick moratred in fire clay. Other wise, someone is going to be sitting around that thing after a few too many drinks and when the concrete gets hot it will pop and go hurling off into the air. Natural gas wont do that, but real wood can fall against the sides and create that problem.

DVS Hardscaper
12-27-2005, 01:25 PM
Honesty - looks like a paver patio.

A few observations respectfully submitted:

1. The grass path leading up the the corner of the patio will be a maintenance nightmare. Grass clippings will get in the mulch as well as the patio.

the way to address this is to make the entire perimeter a bed and have natural stepping stones in place to be used as an access.

2. The wall block needs mitered for that pit. You have huge gaps. Looks like the block was just plopped into place.

Personally, I am not big on doin fire pits with modular block. I believe they sould be done in natural stone or with fire rated masonry materials. I always steer clients away from going fire pits or grill enclosures with modular block.

3. Your paver cuts are beautiful. Very clean Good job.
Now if only your block mirrored the paver cuts. Its like putting used wheels on a new Mercedes.

4. You paver joints are straight as an arrow on the main patio. Good job.

5. As far as laying pattern. Thats entirely up to the property owner. they are the ones that must look at it everyday. I never select the pattern. Although I may base the border (soldier or string course) on the overall SF / LF logistics. Your pattern looks good to me.

6. That small pad for that plastic object (shed?) looks like crap. The outer edge is VERY crooked. And that pallet of left over pavers will be there 4 yrs from now. But that outer edge really looks sloppy.

This is one reason why we always supply the materials - so we can load the leftovers and not have that crap sittingnext to our fine work.

Now - i always tell a prospective client "anyone can nbuild a beautiful pavement, it's whats under that pavement that makes all the difference. And it takes 3-4 yrs for you to see the effects of a beautiful pavement that is lacking in improper base preparation / materials"

did you use geo-textile fabric?
did u compact in 2-3-inch lifts, wetting down the aggregate?
did you not restore disturbed soils? meaning once you dug it....it did not go back.
did you use a 3/4-inch aggregate down to dust? meaning no stone dust used.

DynaMow
01-18-2006, 10:05 PM
DVS you are so right, the pit looks good but could and should be better. the little patio is not straight on that long side, that will be fixed in spring (my choice not homeowners). Suppling materials was just not in the cards on this job, as explained earlier. did not use geo-textile fabric, felt i did not need it in this case. A little fill in some areas (very small) compacted after doing. yes i compacted in 3 inch lifts, wetting down the aggregate. It will be good in many years to come, i know that the prep is what makes the patio, it was done right. Thanks for your comments, it is nice to see experienced guys join in.

cwlawley
01-22-2006, 02:11 AM
That looks great. Beautiful deck and porch.

zedosix
04-05-2006, 08:27 AM
Nice job, but I have one concern about the wood deck. I am not a deck builder so I may be wrong. Shouldn't a wood deck have air circulation under it? I noticed the sides were right to the ground.

John from OH
04-05-2006, 09:16 AM
Looks nice for your first attempt. Ditto what the others said about the fire pit.

A question about your railing, what is the baluster spacing and the post spacing? I took your 12'x24' measurement and assume your post spacing is roughly 6'. Your skirting appears to 5/4"x6" which would makes your baluster spacing appear to be about 5.5". What are your local codes on this? The reason I ask (out of curiosity), in my county, post spacing is 5"oc max, baluster spacing your allowed a 4" open space maximum.

wski4fun
04-05-2006, 09:24 AM
First off really nice job on everything. The thing to remember when doing decks is that the formula used in the pt has changed. Meaning when you build with pt you should use either copper or lead for flashing, galvi nails going into any pt and hangers rated for the pt. Otherwise the stuff they put in the pt could and will eat through what we used normaly just a few years back.

sgallaher
04-06-2006, 08:36 PM
You should line the fire pit with barrel block or something similar. If the homeowner gets a fire going real hot the blocks could explode. Paver blocks are not designed to handle the heat. Hope nobody gets hurt.

:usflag:

Ground Effects NH
02-19-2007, 03:39 PM
Nice, Very Nice
You raised the bar for the beginner's Like myself.
Bill

MowJob
03-18-2008, 08:57 AM
and today it still looks great!!

STRINGALATION
03-18-2008, 09:19 AM
for a first time jod that is tight. those cuts are what really impressed me what did you cut pavers with? and did you cut in place or pick up

landstyles
03-18-2008, 10:30 AM
Great job. Really nice cuts in your pavers and nice straight lines. Seeing that this was your first hardscape project I'd say you have a bright future in hardscapes.

PlatinumLandCon
03-18-2008, 02:34 PM
Dang, that looks killer! How have your last 2 years been since this?

dave k
03-18-2008, 05:40 PM
Looks real nice, did you put a drain in the fire pit so the water runs out? I can't read the rest of the posts, I got a Server is busy, try back later.....

JJS
03-25-2008, 12:07 AM
very nice job, wether its your first or not thats a nice radius cut, circle pack nice, i like the center of the patio with the pit, but i do agree with the interior, it should be lined withe fire brick on the bottom and around the inner circle. the unilock is def. not rated for the interior fire temps.

kootoomootoo
03-25-2008, 07:58 PM
the unilock is def. not rated for the interior fire temps.

Care to explain.....

kootoomootoo
03-25-2008, 08:01 PM
did you notch the 2x4 rails into the 4x4 posts ...how did you do that without making it real hard.

lifetree
03-25-2008, 08:43 PM
Nice looking job. Especially for your first -- wow. ...

Yes, congratulations for a very nice looking project ... especially for your first !!

JJS
03-27-2008, 08:20 PM
the wall stone being superheated by the pit temps and cooling time and time again are sure to start to crumble in time, if you get the pit hot like i do the temps would easily be between 800 to over a thousand degrees at the core.

Macdiesiel
03-28-2008, 11:37 AM
Nice Job,both the stone and deck look good

AztlanLC
03-28-2008, 09:52 PM
It looks real good for a first time, I agree with what most professionals pointed out the other thing I see is pavers against wood.

wurkn with amish
03-29-2008, 02:13 PM
unilock pits will crack w/ extreme heat, mine did.
always put in the metal ring, it absorbs the heat instead of the block

DynaMow
04-01-2008, 09:49 PM
did you notch the 2x4 rails into the 4x4 posts ...how did you do that without making it real hard.
yes I did notch the post to fit the rail into the post. All of the rail was custom built in my garage. Top rail is also notch for the spindle to fit in so they can never turn.

Yes I would do the pit different if I ever do it again.


Thanks everybody!!