PDA

View Full Version : Homeowner - First DIY project


mizzouguy77
07-11-2007, 02:02 PM
Hi all! I've been reading these forums for some time now collecting advice for my first installation. Now that I'm a fair way along I thought that I would share some pictures for feedback and advice from the pros. I've got a ton more pictures of the project from start to present on my personal blog....http://sylvesterville.blogspot.com.....if you're interested in taking a look.

I'm specifically looking for advice on what to do with the existing concrete step from the sliding glass door. I had considered veneering them, but I'd like to keep the step heights consistent. Does anyone have experience with concrete stains or any other ideas on what to do?


(Please note that the coping has not yet been cut or glued, nor have the last few levels of the columns. We just set them in place to get an idea of what the finished walls would look like.)

ChampionLS
07-11-2007, 10:34 PM
Are those grade stakes laid out in a grid format to help you achieve proper base height? Looks Great!

I would leave your steps right there and do an overlay. You have enough clearance at the top. You need to set your base at the right height now so your step rise will be equal. If both of those doors open, you should make the porch twice as wide.

PatriotLandscape
07-12-2007, 12:28 AM
With the amount you are spending on block remove the concrete steps and build new steps the width of the slider out of wall block. For my designs I would never have a set of stairs smaller than the width of the door.

looks like you are having a good time. nice work.

pshields
07-12-2007, 01:24 PM
What are you doing out in the front between the two pillars? Will it be a step down? I would consider pulling it in so it is inside the front of the pillars by a few inches, a little cleaner look in my opinion and makes the pillars standout.

PatriotLandscape
07-14-2007, 08:54 PM
you should line the inside of the fire pit with fire brick or it will not last very long. the heat will quickly destroy the concrete.

Why doesn't anyone have any trees in their yard?

mrusk
07-14-2007, 10:37 PM
Just rip the stairs out!

cedarcroft
07-15-2007, 07:48 PM
I wouldn't use that PVC pipe for firewood, it gives off a nasty toxic smoke.



:laugh:
looks nice

ChampionLS
07-17-2007, 12:24 AM
Those are left over Mortar tubes from the 4th of July!

mizzouguy77
07-18-2007, 12:30 PM
Hi all,

Thanks for the kind feedback and advice. I'll try to answer some of your questions - and ask a few more of my own:

"Are those grade stakes laid out in a grid format to help you achieve proper base height?"

mizzouguy77
07-18-2007, 12:40 PM
Hi all,

Thanks for the kind feedback and advice. I'll try to answer some of your questions - and ask a few more of my own:

*****"Are those grade stakes laid out in a grid format to help you achieve proper base height?"*****

- Yep. We were fortunate enough to be able to borrow a transit to accurately set the heights.

*****"With the amount you are spending on block remove the concrete steps and build new steps the width of the slider out of wall block. For my designs I would never have a set of stairs smaller than the width of the door."

- I agree that this would be the best setup, but what would be the best way to remove the existing stair? That's a large hunk of concrete to bust out and haul away!

******"What are you doing out in the front between the two pillars? Will it be a step down? I would consider pulling it in so it is inside the front of the pillars by a few inches, a little cleaner look in my opinion and makes the pillars standout."********

- It's actually going to be 3 steps down as there is an 18 inch height difference from the patio surface to ground level there. I had considered recessing the first stair behind the columns as you suggested, but then the highest step would be a foot or more behind the back of the columns, and I wanted to avoid that.

******"You should line the inside of the fire pit with fire brick or it will not last very long. the heat will quickly destroy the concrete. Why doesn't anyone have any trees in their yard?"

- Where could I locate firebrick? Any idea what it would cost, and how best to install it? As for the lack of trees, we're in a brand new subdivision, and few of the homeowners have gotten around to landscaping their backyards at all.

*****"Those are left over Mortar tubes from the 4th of July!"

- I was actually using the PVC pipes to cover the grading stakes to make them more visible/avoidable. We had some friends over with small children one night for our inagural fire, and I didn't want anyone tripping over the stakes in the dark and injuring themselves.


I actually started laying pavers this past weekend, so I'll work on getting some more updated pictures here again soon. Thanks again for your help!

PatriotLandscape
07-18-2007, 07:02 PM
Use a jack hammer to remove the stairs I would bet money that it is actually a hollow form piece.

PatriotLandscape
07-18-2007, 07:04 PM
the stoneyard that sold you the block should have them and they are about 60 cents each.

ChampionLS
07-18-2007, 11:47 PM
I was actually using the PVC pipes to cover the grading stakes to make them more visible/avoidable. We had some friends over with small children one night for our inagural fire, and I didn't want anyone tripping over the stakes in the dark and injuring themselves.

Oh... like me two years ago, when I just ever so gingerly grazed the hammered over edge on a "Dee" stake and slashed my leg open... and needed 4 stitches. That was scary. :dizzy:

Turf66
07-19-2007, 12:11 AM
nice lay out! I think that a semi-circle set of steps with a descent size landing would look bold with your design.

mizzouguy77
07-24-2007, 08:09 PM
One more piece of advice I was hoping to ask of you all....

I am laying Unilock Olde Greenwich Cobble pavers, and they don't have built in spacers. I read that the recommeded gap is 1/8" and have been using a shim to determine that for each paver. My concern is that when it comes time to compact them into the bedding sand that the pavers will twist and my straight lines will be ruined. Each stone is pretty small (I'm using the medium and small rectangles as well as squares in my pattern), so I'm guessing they will be especially susceptible to this. Should I sweep some sand into the joints before compacting to avoid this? Are there any other techniques that you would recommend?

As always, thanks for your help and advice.

PatriotLandscape
07-24-2007, 10:01 PM
Yes, sweep some sand in before you compact.

ChampionLS
07-25-2007, 01:36 AM
Yeah yeah... you should sweep sand into all the joints before you compact and you'll be fine. If that's a textured paver, you'll need to keep a light layer of sand on top at all times.