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EagleLandscape
11-11-2006, 08:28 PM
Alright yall, I finally got this beast of a project almost complete. Compated and put some cushion sand in the joints today. Do I top off the joints with the cushion sand in between the pavers, or is there a special material to use? Thanks

YardPro
11-12-2006, 07:59 AM
what is "cushon sand"???

No disrespect, but sounds like you have not done very much research before your started the project. If you don't know what do do with the joints then you probably should not be taking on a "beast" of a job....

I cannot state to people enough to research install techniques BEFORE they even bid a job... And know EVERY aspect of the jobe BEFORE they even price it... otherwise they will have no clue how to correctly price the job..

People doing hardscape work without knowing how to properly install them is bad for the industry. This industry markets pavers as an upscape long lasting product.. but when installed poorly the customers will have a harder time justifying the added cost of pavers the next time around. This lowers the percieved value, and eventually decreases the market price for our product...this is the same about any new job you take on.

sorry for the rambling
now to answer your question...
if you have already applied "joint sand" to your joints then you should finish filling them with sand. You can use polymeric sand in the joints (much better) but it needs to be the only product in the joint. If you wish to stabilize the sand then you can use a joint stabilizer after you finish the sand.

EagleLandscape
11-22-2006, 09:43 PM
Well thanks somewhat for your post.

Here's one bone I have to pick. While I will never take on a job I can't deliver 110% to the customer, I still might not know every detail to start with. But I won't sign off on a project until its complete and perfect.

With that being said, this whole hot-headed attitude some some people on this website is just getting old now.

One of this site's purposes is to provide information to those who are trying to learn new aspects to that trade.

While this was my first paver job, I'm not some dumb 14 year old kid posting pictures of his homedepot swivel-wheeled mower operating out of a radio flyer red wagon. With that being said, I would suggest holding the "shouldnt have done this, leave this to the professionals" crap that I observe on this site all the time.


On a lighter note, I do thank you for sending me the last bit of information to confirm what I already knew, but just wanted to make sure. So thank you.

The customer is more than pleased, and already landed two more projects in the neighborhood.

STONE SCAPES
11-22-2006, 11:56 PM
LOVE TO SEE SOME PICS*trucewhiteflag*

EagleLandscape
11-23-2006, 11:38 AM
pics, need to go and take more, i took them at 10am one morning when we finished and then hauled butt back to school. the shadows really screw up the detail. but for now...

http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/552465875GFnCIg

Uranus
11-23-2006, 11:51 AM
Wow I've seen squirls run in a straighter line while running from my truck than those lines in the paver sidewalk. What kind of cash did you get for that? Did you build the wall next to the neighbors house. Looks nice and staight and level from the pics I looked at. Wall good, pavers- ouch.

Grn Mtn
11-23-2006, 12:11 PM
I don't like to use plain sand because of ants and weeds. Joint sand which hardens when dry then softens when wet really must be used in the entire joint, I however have decided I don't like this product. I wil stick with the polymeric sand (grout) it gets rock hard and prevents the pavers from having weeds grow in the joints. I have used it both way -full in the joints, or just the top half of the joint. No probs either way.

oh and not to be too critical, but try to straighten your lines, you did wander quite a bit. I understand it was your first job, but yardpro has a good point. Pavers done incorrectly hurt the business overall. -sorry.

STONE SCAPES
11-23-2006, 12:18 PM
just a question what did you fill that step with in pic 0694???:confused:

kootoomootoo
11-23-2006, 10:08 PM
Well thanks somewhat for your post.

Here's one bone I have to pick. While I will never take on a job I can't deliver 110% to the customer, I still might not know every detail to start with. But I won't sign off on a project until its complete and perfect.

With that being said, this whole hot-headed attitude some some people on this website is just getting old now.

One of this site's purposes is to provide information to those who are trying to learn new aspects to that trade.

While this was my first paver job, I'm not some dumb 14 year old kid posting pictures of his homedepot swivel-wheeled mower operating out of a radio flyer red wagon. With that being said, I would suggest holding the "shouldnt have done this, leave this to the professionals" crap that I observe on this site all the time.


On a lighter note, I do thank you for sending me the last bit of information to confirm what I already knew, but just wanted to make sure. So thank you.

The customer is more than pleased, and already landed two more projects in the neighborhood.




110% Are u kidding? 110% of what?

I dont get to quote a job because I ring some chick and tell her I will be an hour late and you "professionals" produce this crap..........and get 2 leads from it.

Hows that cushion sand treating ya.

EagleLandscape
11-23-2006, 10:31 PM
Yes, thats the one thing I'm not pleased with was the straight lines. And it does look worse in the pictures, but yes I am not PREFECTLY pleased with it.

Cushion sand is just a fine sand that is used for the base of the pavers, very fine sand. And the polymeric sand to top of the joints.

The problem I ran into was running the paver lines was going off of the backs of the caps, which got off about 1/8" sometimes.

Live and learn on this one, but the customer is extremely pleased and thats what I am concerned about.

I learned that lesson on this job, and the next one won't have that little problem.

waltero
11-23-2006, 11:28 PM
I would highly suggest that you look into the ICPI course for all of your workers. It will educate you on the right way to build a patio, walkway, driveway. It is well worth the money and being that you are just starting out in Hardscapes, it can save you from making alot of mistakes.

The bedding sand should be course to allow for drainage, it is usually larger irregular pieces that have space between the sand to allow for the drainage. Very fine sand woundn't allow the sand to drain as quickly, in fact it may hold water for a very long time and puddle. Now you are in texas and probably don't have to worry about the freeze/thaw and frost lines like we do in the North. I also see other things that I am not sure about in your pictures but without asking how it was exactly built, ie... base material, how much? was it compacted? didn't see a compactor. how much sand did you use? From your pictures that you posted it looks scary!!!! I see you laying pavers and right next to the pavers is a pick????? I am not sure if there is any base material there but it looks like you are digging into the virgin ground to lay the caps, :nono:

I am just pointing out a few things that you did wrong based on what I can see. You really need to learn how to do this right before you take someones money. It may look good today but it probably won't stand the test of time if it isn't constructed properly.

All the information that you need can be found on this website and the internet. Laying pavers is not rocket science, but it also isn't easy work. Before you do anymore work I would get ICPI certified or research it as much as possible here and also at the following websites. I will even try to point you in the right direction.

www.icpi.org look at the specs, watch the movies.
www.versa-lok.com they have an online course???
www.unilock.com they also have some movies.

Now these movies don't tell the whole story but it should let you know if the way you a doing hardscapes is even close to the proper way. I bet you will find that you are not even close. Let us know how you built the base and such if I am wrong, I am just calling it like I see it. I am looking at the picture #0692 off your link.

Walter

Rex Mann
11-23-2006, 11:46 PM
Sometimes when you use pavers against caps, which are on a radius, you may have to cut some of the backs of the caps. This will give you straight lines on the rear of the caps. This will help give you a uniform (straight) edge to start or end the pavers.

String lines are an excellent and inexpensive tool to help keep straight lines.

Peace,

Rex

http://Arizonapavers.Com

Team-Green L&L
11-24-2006, 10:24 AM
String lines are essential. We run every 10 ft and mark the bedding sand with a chalk line. The ICPI course should also be a necessity. Thew more failures pavers have, the worse market we'll have against the concrete industry.

EagleLandscape
11-24-2006, 10:36 AM
I used 6-8" of crushed conrete for the base, and compacted it with a plate compactor from home depot that I rented. I also had a few hand tamps for tiny areas, such as that one with the pick. I placed 2" of the cushion sand on top of the compacted subgrade and the pavers were left 3/8"- 1/2" above grade and then compacted with a polymeric sand and the plate compactor. and again final touches were made with a hand tamp and screwdriver/hammer

and to answer someones question earlier, the staircase had crushed concrete for the base under it. the only reason it wasnt filled up then was one of my guys cut through a french drain pipe that I needed to repair before I filled in the base.

I willd definately be taking those courses though.

Team-Green L&L
11-24-2006, 10:59 AM
I used 6-8" of crushed conrete for the base, and compacted it with a plate compactor from home depot that I rented. I also had a few hand tamps for tiny areas, such as that one with the pick. I placed 2" of the cushion sand on top of the compacted subgrade and the pavers were left 3/8"- 1/2" above grade and then compacted with a polymeric sand and the plate compactor. and again final touches were made with a hand tamp and screwdriver/hammer

and to answer someones question earlier, the staircase had crushed concrete for the base under it. the only reason it wasnt filled up then was one of my guys cut through a french drain pipe that I needed to repair before I filled in the base.

I willd definately be taking those courses though.

Here's a crash course.

Excavate 7 3/8, compact, add 4" 3/4 down to fines (Crushed Limestone) as base compact every lift (1"), 1" of bedding sand, screed, lay pavers, compact, spread joint sand, compact.

Now can you see where a course may help you get the details together?

cgland
11-24-2006, 05:02 PM
I think you and Team Green are running neck and neck for "Worst paver install of 2006" That is horrible! I can't pick out one thing that even looks structurally sound. Nice touch on the pattern change at the corner!:dizzy: Although, your plantings look pretty good. Sorry man, but the truth is sometimes harsh.

Chris

kootoomootoo
11-24-2006, 06:44 PM
I think you and Team Green are running neck and neck for "Worst paver install of 2006" That is horrible! I can't pick out one thing that even looks structurally sound. Nice touch on the pattern change at the corner!:dizzy: Although, your plantings look pretty good. Sorry man, but the truth is sometimes harsh.

Chris


Gotta love Team Green giving advice on paver installs. Paid $200 for a certificate and hes an expert. Shall I post his immortal pics. I have some of them even though the thread was deleted. I got plastered on one job I showed on here so it happens.

The planting does look good.

EagleLandscape
11-25-2006, 12:15 PM
Might be a good idea that I stick with planting for a while then:). Live and learn, I will definately take that course before I do another one. I will be redoing my backyard here in the next year once I get a pool put in and I would like to make the surfaces either pavers/walls/raised planting beds. So I will have all the time in the world to try new things and learn there.

I do appreciate yalls critisism about what I can fix and the helpful advice. As soon as I do another job I will shoot yall some more pics, thanks!

Allure
11-25-2006, 03:19 PM
just wondering, was it the customers idea to have so many dif. materials. there are 3 walks & a patio & all apear to be different materials from looking at the pictures. It creates a less unified look IMO.

Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for. - Socrates

YardPro
11-25-2006, 05:24 PM
i was not trying to be rude with my origional post..BUT your finished product was even close to a professional job...BECAUSE YOU DID NOT RESEARCH INSTALLATION METHODS......


there are many resouces to find out how to do it correctly. Most of the paver manufacturers have install guides that you should always read before installing any new product that you have not used before. aMost will also send a rep out to help with the installation. They do not want thier product being installed poorly.

WWW.belgard.biz

check out thier install guide. it will help you on your next job.
it is pretty much a cut and copy of the icpi material.

EagleLandscape
11-26-2006, 04:58 PM
Originally the areas where I installed pavers were spec'd to be a wooden deck by the LA who designed it, and that half circle paver patio was supposed to be 25' in diameter. They wanted something smaller and not wood, and insisted on pavers. I actually hate the mis-match of materials, and they even made use utilize old bricks from the house construction to create an "access pathway" for the A/C guy to get to the a/c units.

For all I care the A/C guy can walk through 10' of Vinca major to get to the units, instead of having that hideous sidewalk. But its what they wanted. I posted to pdf drawing on an earlier thread somewhere in this Hardscape Section. Find it and it'll show what the plan should have been before they wanted to change junk up.
LINK TO DRAWING: http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=66642&d=1161407921

And to save myself a little, I know the lines arent straight, but I followed the manual on the Belgard website about base materials, compaction, yada yada. And it all went in as they said, so no worries on that, just need to make the lines straighter and pay more attention to pattern transitions.

YardPro
11-26-2006, 06:19 PM
no way they said anything about "cushon sand", or 2" of sand under the pavers....to have that kind of basic terminology wrong, no way you read and understood the install guide before you did thin job.




here's the quote from thier install guide:

"SAND SETTING BED
A layer of coarse, clean sand loose screeded to a thickness of one (1) inch over the base layer for
bedding the pavers. When the pavers are compacted into the sand bedding layer, some sand enters the
joints between the pavers from the bottom and begins the process of vertical interlock. The sand layer
also allows the compaction process to achieve a smooth pavement surface, compensating for any minor
differences in paver thickness. Do not compact the sand setting bed before setting pavers."


i'm not really trying to bust your chops.

the other big issue that i see is why did you make a step up onto the paver area. Why not lower the pavers to meet with the flat stone so there is no trip step there?

i do realize that sometimes there is something that will prevent this.

mslawn
11-27-2006, 09:14 AM
Not being a hardscape guy, why not just pour a 3" slab of concrete and place the pavers on top of that with mortar?

EagleLandscape
11-27-2006, 11:01 AM
cushion sand is that clean, screened sand. just fyi. so I'm good there. And I couldnt step down that part of the sidewalk because I had to keep the outside wall level. If I stepped it down and brought it to the level of the flagstone, I would have had another step somewhere in the walkway. the outter portion of that walk has about a 2.5' wall.

paponte
11-27-2006, 05:03 PM
You should never use mason sand or "cushion sand" as bedding. You should use a more coarse sand like concrete sand or maybe in your neck of the woods "pillow sand?". Mason sand has too many fines in it and can fail. :nono:

excalibur
11-28-2006, 11:04 AM
In our neck of the woods, concrete sand comes with aggregate up to 3/8". I assume this is not what you guys are referring to, or is it? There is no choice here - you either get what they call masonry sand, which is really not all that fine, or concrete sand that is not at all easy to screed. I am not a landscaper or hardscaper by trade, but I did just go through the exercise of locating sand as I just finished my own paver patio. I was disappointed to learn that very coarse sand with no aggregate is nowhere to be found here. Although the masonry sand I got did stand up pretty well when dry, which is a general testament to its angle of friction, which is directly related to strength.

Casey

kootoomootoo
11-28-2006, 03:11 PM
You could try sofa sand.

YardPro
11-29-2006, 07:14 AM
casey,

the proper sand IS course. The mason's sand should be just fine.... as long as it is washed, and has no fines.

and why did it have to be level the entire way??
you could have pretty easially ramped down the last few feet to match the level of the flatstone, and not had a step anywhere.

DVS Hardscaper
11-29-2006, 09:04 AM
I don't like to use plain sand because of ants and weeds. Joint sand which hardens when dry then softens when wet really must be used in the entire joint, I however have decided I don't like this product. I wil stick with the polymeric sand (grout) it gets rock hard and prevents the pavers from having weeds grow in the joints.



And that my friends, is not 100% accurate information.

Polymeric joint sand IS NOT a weed control. Weeds WILL infact grow in Poly Sand. I learned this first hand. And after I learned this on my own from a job we did 4 years prior, I was at a local seminar and the ICPI rep said "FOLKS, Poly sand is NOT a weed control and ICPI does NOT endorse poly sand as a weed control".

Weeds WILL grow anywhere. I cut my firewood 1 yr in advance before burning it, and I have grass growing in the cracks of some logs, and the logs are not rotten!

I have seen weeds grow in the least expected places.

I'm not attempting/intending to flame Grn Mtn.

We have been in the paver business, full fledged, for 11 years now. And one thing I strive for is to educate the consumer as well as other contractors. I feel its important for consumers to know exactly what to expect, which is relied upon contractors providing the end user (the homeowner) with accuate info.

I frequently hear other contractors (at local home shows) or have heard of other contractors telling homeowners "ya, just use this new stuff called paul, pa, polymeric joint sand and you won't get any weeds in the joints".

YES, I myself have told people this - as at the time that's what I believed.



Again, I learned - Poly sand WILL ****** the weed growth. But it will NOT stop it.

I do not sell poly sand as a weed inhibitor. I sell it as a product that keeps the joint sand from washing out.

And in reality, after a few years, regular sand WILL harden up. I do not know why or how. I just know it does.

DVS Hardscaper
11-29-2006, 09:25 AM
And in all reality, hardscape work is more of a construction skill, than it is a landscape skill.

I do not think attending classes and reading up on this and that, is the magic answer.

It's my opinion that to be capable of doing a nice hardscape job, you must posess basic carpentry skills and posess basic building construction knowledge.

And this is why I HATE it when lawn mowing guys try to do hardscapes. As It's my personal opinion that 7 out of 10 lawn mowing guys are not knowledgeable in carpentry and construction. Just because a job is done in a landscape setting, does not mean it's a job that any landscaper can undertake.



The best way to learn hardscaping is by experience.

And common sense is REQUIRED.

You must know how to use a tape measure.

You must know what *straight*, *level*, and *plumb* mean.

You must know that *water will NOT flow uphill*.

Also, I feel its important to be familiar with how foundations for houses are constructed.

You MUST also know local building codes:

I was a COURT expert witness 18 months ago for a homeowner that had a patio built by a sub-par contractor. Flaws out the ying yang. Homeowner refuse to pay the final bill. Contractor sued for finall payment. My job was to educate the judge on proper paver installation practices, to explain why certain techniques are not acceptable, and to testify that the patio WAS not installed to industry standards, as well as the steps didnt meet local building codes. The other contractor blurts out in the court room "sir (responding to the homeowner's attorney) I'm NOT a carpenter, I DON'T need to know the building codes"!!! And oh man, the judge quickly looked up at him with an expression that said "is that right??"


Hardscape work is for people that have construction skills and knowledge. You can't learn all this from a book or a course.


http://www.outdoorfinishes.com/services_patios.html

DVS Hardscaper
11-29-2006, 09:47 AM
jwingfield2k - show us this rock crawler! Mine's not a rock crawler, as in MD there aint that many rocks!


But its a nice conversation piece for hardscape estimating!



http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e124/DVS360/534ce20b.jpg

Matt k
11-30-2006, 09:44 AM
I was a COURT expert witness 18 months ago for a homeowner that had a patio built by a sub-par contractor. Flaws out the ying yang. Homeowner refuse to pay the final bill. Contractor sued for finall payment. My job was to educate the judge on proper paver installation practices, to explain why certain techniques are not acceptable, and to testify that the patio WAS not installed to industry standards, as well as the steps didnt meet local building codes. The other contractor blurts out in the court room "sir (responding to the homeowner's attorney) I'm NOT a carpenter, I DON'T need to know the building codes"!!! And oh man, the judge quickly looked up at him with an expression that said "is that right??"


I don't want to come off the wrong way here and be rude, but you stated your distaste for ICPI, however ICPI is who makes the industry standards that you refer to knowing. If you do commercial paver jobs or look at any engineered paver work, all of the tech specs come from ICPI. I agree about knowing your local codes for steps, however the homeowner should have had a code inspector in court and a rep for the paver company at court. With no credentials, I can't see the judge taking your opinion as expert. You may have been installing pavers for 11 years, but since I have been installing for 15 years, I guess I would have more of an expert opinion.

I agree you need much more then a couple of certifications to become a professional installer, however the certifications help establish a set of conditions and methods for proper installation. The certifications are not just given out at the end of the class, you have to actually pass the test to get certified. Is it hard, no. Is a new installer going to have a hard time with it, yes. Is somebody that never installed before going to pass the test, doubtful. I have saw a number of people fail the test the first time they took it.

I think your work that is seen on your site looks decent, so I have no question that you are a good installer. But while giving your opinion on Hardscape subjects, why not give constructive criticism, instead of negative criticism.

Drew Gemma
11-30-2006, 02:00 PM
I agree with some of you hardscape is totally off the path of landscaping. One I don't do it because I suck at it just like I suck at carpentry! But I am attempting to do my own steps and walks at my house I was gonna post pics but I am afraid you'll throw me of this site!:laugh: But I understand your complaints about improper installation and hurting the business. I have the same argument about planting and pruning everyone always over plants and then improperly prunes so when I get the job half the battle is correcting the mistakes and reeducating the consumer and that sometimes alone is a job. I do know agland and komoto and one other guy on here from Pa are about the only ones who do a consistently good job on hardscapes from the pics they show. I offered anyone of them a case of beer to come and do my walks but no one took me up on that offer. I turned down 8 hardscape jobs in the last 2 years I am just not confident in my hardscape abilities or the lack of.

DVS Hardscaper
11-30-2006, 04:01 PM
I don't want to come off the wrong way here and be rude, but you stated your distaste for ICPI, however ICPI is who makes the industry standards that you refer to knowing. If you do commercial paver jobs or look at any engineered paver work, all of the tech specs come from ICPI. I agree about knowing your local codes for steps, however the homeowner should have had a code inspector in court and a rep for the paver company at court. With no credentials, I can't see the judge taking your opinion as expert. You may have been installing pavers for 11 years, but since I have been installing for 15 years, I guess I would have more of an expert opinion.

I agree you need much more then a couple of certifications to become a professional installer, however the certifications help establish a set of conditions and methods for proper installation. The certifications are not just given out at the end of the class, you have to actually pass the test to get certified. Is it hard, no. Is a new installer going to have a hard time with it, yes. Is somebody that never installed before going to pass the test, doubtful. I have saw a number of people fail the test the first time they took it.




Ok, few things here, actually facts, not "things"!:


One trait about myself, is that I will NEVER type anything that I can not back up.

First of all ICPI Did NOT write the industry standards, so to speak. Most of the standards are simple geo-technical engineering practices that have been around long before I.C.P.I. Not to mention that interlocking pavements have been around for centuries!

Never did I state I have a "distaste" for ICPI. I more or less stated I do not agree with the *be certified, or drown*, mentality that they attempt to project. Also, with ICPI, it used to be that when your certification expired - you had to take an exam to *re-up* the certification. Well, now - they don't have you take an exam, they just make you pay $$$ to renew. This in my opinion is lame, as it deters from the legitimacy of the original intentions of industry certification.

Also, Matt - you typed "With no credentials...", How do you know my creditials!? Do you KNOW my credentials? Do you know my certifications? Are you familiar with any awards I have received?

Didn't mean to ruffle your feathers with the years of experience Matt! Seems since you mentioned it, it appears you must not like that, cause it has nothin to do with the theme of this thread :)

Anyhow, verdict was for the homeowner, and the judge made notation on the contractor's record as "does unsatisfactory work" :weightlifter:


Come to think of it...the owner's son is named 'Matt'.......

Mickhippy
11-30-2006, 06:54 PM
Is there any chance of hiring a pro paver (not a gang but a single guy) for the occasional job? Get him to do the setting out, build etc and you do the laboring. After a few jobs you'll no doubt pick up some techniques.

YardPro
11-30-2006, 07:56 PM
good luck,
I had someone approach me about this this year. They wanted to work for us on a few jobs to get on the job training. We declined.
The problem is that it will take someone longer with an inexperienced helper to do the job. Next thing it that i am not willing to train the competition. We have made large investments in training, and spent many years honing my skills... . Why should my competition get free lessone?

crab
11-30-2006, 08:22 PM
:rolleyes: why so mad?.icpi wow i had no idea they invented dry laid paving !.you're right not every one should do hardscapes,and if you cant figure out Lego's[i mean paver's] you should shut up, or go right to Harvard[icpi]and get you're degree.sorry but didn't this start with a guy just trying to share his work?.oh but i digress ,i am indeed the icpi master!.

Matt k
11-30-2006, 08:27 PM
Ok, few things here, actually facts, not "things"!:


One trait about myself, is that I will NEVER type anything that I can not back up.

First of all ICPI Did NOT write the industry standards, so to speak. Most of the standards are simple geo-technical engineering practices that have been around long before I.C.P.I. Not to mention that interlocking pavements have been around for centuries!

Never did I state I have a "distaste" for ICPI. I more or less stated I do not agree with the *be certified, or drown*, mentality that they attempt to project. Also, with ICPI, it used to be that when your certification expired - you had to take an exam to *re-up* the certification. Well, now - they don't have you take an exam, they just make you pay $$$ to renew. This in my opinion is lame, as it deters from the legitimacy of the original intentions of industry certification.

Also, Matt - you typed "With no credentials...", How do you know my creditials!? Do you KNOW my credentials? Do you know my certifications? Are you familiar with any awards I have received?

Didn't mean to ruffle your feathers with the years of experience Matt! Seems since you mentioned it, it appears you must not like that, cause it has nothin to do with the theme of this thread :)

Anyhow, verdict was for the homeowner, and the judge made notation on the contractor's record as "does unsatisfactory work" :weightlifter:


Come to think of it...the owner's son is named 'Matt'.......

Wow, you told me!!!

tjsquickcuts
11-30-2006, 09:50 PM
Everyone knows that the correct way to lay hardscapes is right on top of the grass, and just spray some round up to control the grass in between the joints ;) ....

LOL....But anyway....your base, and excavated depth really varies depending on the area and your soil type. Here in Atlanta, we have red clay, very hard, and very muddy.....I usually drop down about 7 inches. Then I add 4in of blended Portland and the original soil type to my base.....Compact, and then add coarse sand.....I little heavier, and seem to be a little bit more solid then the paver sand I used to fill in the joints and another 1.5 inches on the base....The base is so important because without a solid base, you are in trouble and hurting the industry. Everybody has to start somewhere, I started with a few classes, and practicing on my lawn. I am not perfect, but I am very detailed and very efficient. Its funny, but just like everyone as their own way to drive, everyone has their own way to lay hardscapes. I do agree that experience is key, but dont be afraid to learn because hardscape money is more profitable then any other landscape project. But once you have set your base, just check and make sure you have your entire area lined with mason string, as well as chalked outlined. Laying the stones are as easy as connecting the dots....We check our depth and pattern every so many feet of excavating, and while establishing the base just to make sure we are staying on track and keeping the edges tight.
Another thing I think is important, is building and establishing a great relationship with your supplier. I am lucky, the PaveStone distributor about 7 miles from my house, so I have been able to establish a great relationship with them. I just give my sales person my specs(Square footage) and have him fax me over a print out of materials needed, and cost. Take the cost, multiply by 3, and add in all the other necessities and theres my quote. Everything is delivered, sand, pavers, etc.....Has sorta made life easy. I supervise and do most of the base establishing my self, because its important to get it right because people are always watching, and if it looks like crap, need less to say you wont be getting anymore work in that area.
We are working on a patio now, started it yesterday(11/29) got my base established, and was ready to lay my stones today, but woke up and it was raining pretty steady....pissed me off because weather man said it wasnt suppose to rain until later in the day. Now gotta blend and re-compact my base again . One good thing, was able to see how well we sloped the area for run off. We enough of my blah, blah.....just make sure to learn as much before taking a job. I also have a step by step video that was with my Landscape design software that really has helped also. It cost my a little over $1500, but it was well worth it.

Mickhippy
12-01-2006, 06:12 AM
good luck,
I had someone approach me about this this year. They wanted to work for us on a few jobs to get on the job training. We declined.
The problem is that it will take someone longer with an inexperienced helper to do the job. Next thing it that i am not willing to train the competition. We have made large investments in training, and spent many years honing my skills... . Why should my competition get free lessone?

If I was a little bit drunker I'd think that that was directed at me!
Luckily Im not overly drunk and realize that you didnt read my post! fewwww!

DVS Hardscaper
12-01-2006, 09:36 AM
.....and if you cant figure out Lego's[i mean paver's] you should shut up....



LOL - thats what I always say. I employ all hispanics, but when I employed Americans I used to say "ok if you can play with Legos, then you can lay pavers". Or in terms of wall block - "if you can build with Lincoln Logs, you can build retaining walls".

But you know what?

The Lego / Lincoln Log analogy is so true.

Most hispanics NEVER had LEGOS or Lincoln Logs!! I have had them try to fit a 3 sided paver (after being mitered), into a hole with 4 sides. And I have quiently and patiently just sat back and watched them do all they can to try to get it into place, and while watching I have thought to myself "he definitely never played with LEGOS".

Its funny how these little things we did when we were 3-6 yrs old - prepared us for our careers.


I still remembering opening my Legos and Lincoln Logs on Christmas morning. I remember it like it was yesterday.

crab
12-01-2006, 10:34 AM
its true and funny how growing up in different cultures effects us all in fascinating ways.i hadn't thought off that but very interesting:laugh: ,i was just being petty and saying how easy laying paver's is ,good comment though.

kootoomootoo
12-01-2006, 04:27 PM
I agree with some of you hardscape is totally off the path of landscaping. One I don't do it because I suck at it just like I suck at carpentry! But I am attempting to do my own steps and walks at my house I was gonna post pics but I am afraid you'll throw me of this site!:laugh: But I understand your complaints about improper installation and hurting the business. I have the same argument about planting and pruning everyone always over plants and then improperly prunes so when I get the job half the battle is correcting the mistakes and reeducating the consumer and that sometimes alone is a job. I do know agland and komoto and one other guy on here from Pa are about the only ones who do a consistently good job on hardscapes from the pics they show. I offered anyone of them a case of beer to come and do my walks but no one took me up on that offer. I turned down 8 hardscape jobs in the last 2 years I am just not confident in my hardscape abilities or the lack of.


All you had to do is call. I did one last weekend ....you were more than welcome to come and help. DO NOT TURN DOWN ANYMORE.

I didnt take pics but will if i beat the snow. Customer called friday, started sat, had it installed by sunday 4pm

Drew Gemma
12-01-2006, 04:43 PM
currently unemployed for the winter! You might work me to hard?:drinkup: