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View Full Version : saturated + semi-frozen excavation... what now?


soopa
11-26-2008, 04:09 PM
Trying to squeeze in one last paver project before snow fall I may have shot myself in the foot.

~1200 sq ft pool deck replacement. We whipped through the demo on Day 1, and then on Day 2, we only completed half the excavation due to equipment troubles.

That night we had our first deep frost of the season (ground frozen 6" deep), and then we got 2" of rain.

Everything turned to muck and my hole has 2" of muddy slush.

What can I do to work through this before spring, if anything. Can I avoid excavating another several inches deep?

Finish depth was intended to be 14" below TOP (~10" base).

Weather forecast for next week or so is 40's during the day and 20's at night.

DVS Hardscaper
11-26-2008, 06:11 PM
For a precise base preparation / installation you're going to need unfrozen, dry ground and unfrozen aggregate.

Many could disagree with what I'm about to write, keep in mind we've been laying pavers for 12.5 years:

We have installed pavers over frozen aggregate, on an annual basis, and we have never had any problems. Once your base is 100% finished, frozen or non-frozen - you're good to go. We do it all the time.

Keep in mind, an aggregate base will freeze regardless if the patio was completed back in August or if it is under construction.

mrusk
11-26-2008, 06:19 PM
For a precise base preparation / installation you're going to need unfrozen, dry ground and unfrozen aggregate.

Many could disagree with what I'm about to write, keep in mind we've been laying pavers for 12.5 years:

We have installed pavers over frozen aggregate, on an annual basis, and we have never had any problems. Once your base is 100% finished, frozen or non-frozen - you're good to go. We do it all the time.

Keep in mind, an aggregate base will freeze regardless if the patio was completed back in August or if it is under construction.

How about giving him some solutions for his proablem?

I'd excavate atleast another six inches. Lay down fabric and then installed 6" of 2.5" crushed stone. Compact it good. Then install another layer of fabric and go about your normal base installation. It will be fine.

punt66
11-26-2008, 06:25 PM
How about giving him some solutions for his proablem?

I'd excavate atleast another six inches. Lay down fabric and then installed 6" of 2.5" crushed stone. Compact it good. Then install another layer of fabric and go about your normal base installation. It will be fine.


Thats what i used to do. Crushed stone will help keep the water from pumping up.

DVS Hardscaper
11-26-2008, 06:33 PM
Rusk, you're really something 'ol boy! You really are!

My solution is what I wrote.

Couple days with no rain, couple days of wind, couple days with temps over 40 - and things will dry up.


Will your cost sheet allow for the additional time and expense to excavate even deeper. And then what, export the spoils from the site?

All that adds up.

you can wait it out and collect your check as estimated. Or you can incurr additional expenses and collect a check with a smaller profit.

mrusk
11-26-2008, 08:23 PM
Waiting it out is a risky as just throwing the base in on top of the spongey ground.

DVS Hardscaper
11-26-2008, 09:26 PM
LOL

dude, excavating an additional 6-inches of 1,200 square feet means that 40 tons of additional aggregate will be necessary (after compaction, and thats not even factoring in the shoulder around the outer perimeter).

If someone is anxious to get the job done, that tells me they're anxious because they want the money.

Can Soopa absorb the cost of an additional 40 tons of aggregate? Again, along with the expense of excavating, along with the expense of hauling away the spoils. If you excavate 1200 SF at 6-inches with a 30% fluff factor - that is 28-29 cubic feet of spoils, which equates to two tandem loads.

It all adds up. It really does.


In life we have the way things *should* be and we have reality......



.

PlatinumLandCon
11-26-2008, 09:41 PM
What was the agreement with the client? Did they have knowledge of the possible interruption? You may have to eat some cost if you said it would be done before snow. Otherwise, get a check from them for completed work and tell them you'll see them in April.

punt66
11-26-2008, 09:43 PM
LOL

dude, excavating an additional 6-inches of 1,200 square feet means that 40 tons of additional aggregate will be necessary (after compaction, and thats not even factoring in the shoulder around the outer perimeter).

If someone is anxious to get the job done, that tells me they're anxious because they want the money.

Can Soopa absorb the cost of an additional 40 tons of aggregate? Again, along with the expense of excavating, along with the expense of hauling away the spoils. If you excavate 1200 SF at 6-inches with a 30% fluff factor - that is 28-29 cubic feet of spoils, which equates to two tandem loads.

It all adds up. It really does.


In life we have the way things *should* be and we have reality......



.Well thats really not a big deal if you have equipment. 40 tons is 2 good triaxle loads. Reclaim here is $7 a ton. I still dont see the problem. get r done. If profit margins are that slim that you have more to worry about................

zedosix
11-26-2008, 09:52 PM
Hire a couple more guys to get the base prepped asap. Scrap the 2 or 3 inches off (no choice now) since it likely won't dry up anytime soon. Its obvious time is of the essence. Bite the bullet and spend the few extra bucks on the base. If you cut it so close as to not make any money on it....I say your in the wrong business. This isn't the case right? In my case I pay the extra, I get the job done one day or 2 later at most, I've spent maybe a grand or so extra and the job is done. Or sit and wait for the hole to dry up and likely it won't it will just be frozen muck and you'll have no choice but to leave a freakin mess for your clients til spring.

DVS Hardscaper
11-26-2008, 09:55 PM
LOL - now the cyber egos are starting to fly!

I do not know of a single, successful, competent, contractor that would change the scope of a job and eat the cost, unless a design flaw arose and it was their own doings. Guys that have been doing this know their weather, and they know how to plan around it.

All the contractors I know would wait it out. It affects the bottom line. And competent contractors are all about numbers. numbers. numbers. numbers.

Nationally......YES, profit margins for hardscape work are low, infact hardscaping is at the bottom of the list in terms of profit margins for the green industry.

Ok, and how many hardscape guys have tandem or tri-axle dump trucks in their fleet?

We have a medium duty truck. It hauls 6 tons at time. Whoo doggie...that adds up! I'm a contractor.....not a trucking company!


It will be interestering to see what SOOPA has to say.



c'mon folks, lets be realistic........






.

punt66
11-26-2008, 10:02 PM
LOL - now the cyber egos are starting to fly!

I do not know of a single, successful, competent, contractor that would change the scope of a job and eat the cost, unless a design flaw arose and it was their own doings.

All the contractors I know would wait it out. It affects the bottom line. And competent contractors are all about numbers. numbers. numbers. numbers.

Nationally......YES, profit margins for hardscape work are low, infact hardscaping is at the bottom of the list in terms of profit margins for the green industry.

Ok, and how many hardscape guys have tandem or tri-axle dump trucks in their fleet?

We have a medium duty truck. It hauls 6 tons at time. Whoo doggie...that adds up! I'm a contractor.....not a trucking company!


It will be interestering to see what SOOPA has to say.



c'mon folks, lets be realistic........






.

i guess as a former dirt digger and owner i see this problem as very insignificant. I have run into much larger problems than this and none i didnt work right through. Be realistic? Hire a truck, get it done! you cant leave a clients yard all messed up all winter. It would take me a few hours to get it dug out and filled in. If your not used to real equipment then i guess it looks like a big problem.

zedosix
11-26-2008, 10:14 PM
LOL - now the cyber egos are starting to fly!

I do not know of a single, successful, competent, contractor that would change the scope of a job and eat the cost, unless a design flaw arose and it was their own doings. Guys that have been doing this know their weather, and they know how to plan around it.

All the contractors I know would wait it out. It affects the bottom line. And competent contractors are all about numbers. numbers. numbers. numbers.

Nationally......YES, profit margins for hardscape work are low, infact hardscaping is at the bottom of the list in terms of profit margins for the green industry.

Ok, and how many hardscape guys have tandem or tri-axle dump trucks in their fleet?

We have a medium duty truck. It hauls 6 tons at time. Whoo doggie...that adds up! I'm a contractor.....not a trucking company!


It will be interestering to see what SOOPA has to say.



c'mon folks, lets be realistic........






.

Those are pretty big words you're using there Andrew. You have it so ass backwards that any attempt to justify my original post is a waste of my time. My point was made.

vtscaper
11-26-2008, 10:25 PM
If you have work lined up for spring then its in your best interest ( and your clients) to get it done now. Having to squeeze 12 months into 8 or 9 means keeping a schedule. I would remove the slush, bring in more material get the job done and collect your check. This might mean a little less profit just consider it a lesson learned. The other option if you arent willing to absorb the it is to simply talk to the client. Tell them whats up and feel them out maybe they would prefer to pay a little more rather than wait until spring, maybe not.

CaliDesigns
11-26-2008, 11:40 PM
You could always get a load of fly ash, (coal plants around here give it away), work it in the slop to dry it out, recompact, then continue. Use concrete curing blankets to keep the ground from freezing. They even have electric blankets now that pull frost out of the ground. I use the blankets to keep aggregate piles from freezing also. My margins aren't as large during winter work, but it's definitely better than going backwards during the winter.

soopa
11-27-2008, 09:59 AM
Great responses all around guys. Too many to answer individually so I'll speak to the points.

1 - Profit margins, of course I could eat some, but this is only a 1200 sq. ft. patio project... I can only eat so much.

All that said, I don't really see additional excavation, haul-away, and base as avoidable. I'm with you DVS on installing over frozen-ground, I've done it to without problem. The bigger issue is frozen mud. There's no doubt it will move, slide, and settle significantly once thawed.

That soils here, btw, are clay laden with organic material. This house, like most, are built on reclaimed wet land.

I understand why DVS says wait it out, in many ways it would be easier and cheaper. On the other hand I'm just not feeling comfortable leaving the customer with a mess until spring, especially since I'm not really sure what it'll look like in the spring. The excavation will certainly be filled with silt and with all the snow melt will likely be super saturated until at least June.

He's also spot on with the 6-ton dumps being my largest. Although I'm looking at that as the least of my issues.


So, looking to find a way to get it done, let me examine the suggestions...

First, the last reply... Cali... great suggestion. This was my first thought, I've never used fly ash myself but I've heard of it being used for soil de-saturation and stabilization. Dump it on and till it in? How much? Is there any "wait time" after installation? I looked into getting some Flatworks Powerblankets yesterday, $1,000 a pop for 6' x 25'... ouch. I can see them coming in handy this winter for some other projects though... so maybe. None available for rent anywhere.

mrusk, good suggestion, albeit expensive! ;) quick estimates...
~$600 in labor for the extra excavation/base preparation
~$300 for an extra layer of fabric
~$600 for 45 yards of clean gravel
+ overhead & equipment time.
$1500+ eats into ones margins quickly. Although I know some of that may be unavoidable.

And I still have to thaw the ground and get rid of some of the standing water first.

Platinum, the customer understood they would be assuming some risk by undertaking this project so late in the season. If they had accepted my bid a few weeks or even a few days earlier we would have been done already. Que sera, sera. That said, I'm not going to be able to throw another 2-3k into the bill. So far as customer satisfaction is concerned they'd probably be happier with a project completed just before pool season than a project completed before snow fall followed by a significantly inflated invoice.

Anyway, good suggestions all around. There's more than one way to skin a cat of course. I'm going to start from Step 1... drying/thawing. Sounds like fly ash + blankets may be unavoidable.

kootoomootoo
11-27-2008, 10:41 AM
I agree with zedo ......if you cant eat $1000 on a 1200 sq ft patio then there is something wrong....but having said that I also have a late patio to do and planning it around the weather to be cost effective.

soopa
11-27-2008, 10:54 AM
again, i can eat $1,000. but as i said, depending on how i tackle this i could easily get into the couple of thousand range. (fabric, 40+ tons of haul away and fill, ground thaw, + equipment/man hours) adds up quick.

i'm trying to find the most cost effective solution to getting this done this year.

i mean, if i just wanted to spend money i'd go rent a heated wedding tent and work indoors ;)

zedosix
11-27-2008, 11:39 AM
again, i can eat $1,000. but as i said, depending on how i tackle this i could easily get into the couple of thousand range. (fabric, 40+ tons of haul away and fill, ground thaw, + equipment/man hours) adds up quick.

i'm trying to find the most cost effective solution to getting this done this year.

i mean, if i just wanted to spend money i'd go rent a heated wedding tent and work indoors ;)

Hey shouldn't you be working!

mrusk
11-27-2008, 11:41 AM
If you dig down 6 inches you hould be in unfrozen ground. Waiting till spring will not help. In early spring, you will have the same conditions you have now. And it will be saturated from all the snow.

Just dig it out and get it done. Each day you wait, you have a potential for more frozen ground and more wet weather. DVS did not say it was okay to lay base on frozen ground, he said it was alright to lay on top of frozen base material.


You really cant even hit the client up for more money. It is your fault that you could not dig it out and get some base down the first day. Its not the clients fault.


You might not have to dig down 6" everywhere. Some areas might not be as bad as others.

punt66
11-27-2008, 11:50 AM
Wow. Come on guys. I wish this was my biggest problem. Hire a triaxle by the hour and dig it out. It wont cost you $2000. They get $80 an hour plus material. Get 2 trucks running. The first will haul away the first load and return with your stone if you need it or good gravel to replace what you pulled out. The second truck will remove a second load and again return with another load. Then put your base in and go. The rocess shouldnt take you more than a few hours. Not much labor cost there. Maybe your digging with small equipment? Thats the route i would go. Waiting for a dry out this time a year would make me too nervous and i would rather move on to the next job than sit around and wait for this one to maybe dry. When you have frozen conditions the thaw freeze cycle slows the drying process and leaving a dug mess for spring will as you said only make it worse. My vote would be to get it done with good soil and not look back.

mrusk
11-27-2008, 11:55 AM
Wow. Come on guys. I wish this was my biggest problem. Hire a triaxle by the hour and dig it out. It wont cost you $2000. They get $80 an hour plus material. Get 2 trucks running. The first will haul away the first load and return with your stone if you need it or good gravel to replace what you pulled out. The second truck will remove a second load and again return with another load. Then put your base in and go. The rocess shouldnt take you more than a few hours. Not much labor cost there. Maybe your digging with small equipment? Thats the route i would go. Waiting for a dry out this time a year would make me too nervous and i would rather move on to the next job than sit around and wait for this one to maybe dry. When you have frozen conditions the thaw freeze cycle slows the drying process and leaving a dug mess for spring will as you said only make it worse. My vote would be to get it done with good soil and not look back.



Wow punt its good to see us both agreeing on something. Happy thanksgiving!:usflag::usflag:

soopa
11-27-2008, 11:58 AM
can't really argue with that.

looking like this weekend may be my last opportunity for above freezing daytime temps.

and i know i'll have the same problem in the spring, as i mentioned. the only thing the spring saves me from is the added expense of ground thawing in order to excavate.

nevertheless, say i go your route... 6" excavation, and textile/2.5" sandwich... how do you recommend i deal with my outstanding issue of standing semi-frozen water and thus frozen ground?

if i dig with the water as is, i'll accomplish little but to saturate the newly exposed ground. i certainly won't be able to compact the soil.

if i dig with the ground frozen, i'll do little but to excavate chunks of dirt. i've always found grading to a depth of only 6" nearly impossible with frost.

thanks again for your advice!

soopa
11-27-2008, 12:00 PM
i have to see my kid once in awhile! :)

(even if he's only seeing the back of my head while i "work" on the computer)

soopa
11-27-2008, 12:08 PM
Maybe your digging with small equipment?

i have a 303CR and a track loader but working around a pool is pretty difficult with these machines... and the 303 had some mechanical problems excavation day. we ended up doing the digging with our dingos. something i won't be able to do for the additional 6".

i'll post some pics of the site...

soopa
11-27-2008, 12:13 PM
what we started with
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3013/3063061991_d206e409f3.jpg

beginning digging
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3237/3063901310_e78abd705c.jpg

losing light
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3146/3063918034_4f03e89057.jpg

zedosix
11-27-2008, 12:20 PM
Had you considered doing an overlay on that deck or was it in too rough shape?

soopa
11-27-2008, 12:22 PM
we ended up doing the digging with our dingos

dingo, singular.

soopa
11-27-2008, 12:25 PM
Had you considered doing an overlay on that deck or was it in too rough shape?

it was in pretty bad shape. installed over ~3-4" of non-compacted and anything but level base. most of the deck was cantilevered off the pool wall with no base supporting it.

the back right corner in those pictures had settled a good 3"

zedosix
11-27-2008, 12:37 PM
it was in pretty bad shape. installed over ~3-4" of non-compacted and anything but level base. most of the deck was cantilevered off the pool wall with no base supporting it.

the back right corner in those pictures had settled a good 3"

Ok, makes sense. Good luck getting your base done.

soopa
11-27-2008, 12:42 PM
Ok, makes sense. Good luck getting your base done.

Thanks.

I really appreciate everyones advice. If I had all the answers myself I wouldn't be here.

punt66
11-27-2008, 01:05 PM
can't really argue with that.

looking like this weekend may be my last opportunity for above freezing daytime temps.

and i know i'll have the same problem in the spring, as i mentioned. the only thing the spring saves me from is the added expense of ground thawing in order to excavate.

nevertheless, say i go your route... 6" excavation, and textile/2.5" sandwich... how do you recommend i deal with my outstanding issue of standing semi-frozen water and thus frozen ground?

if i dig with the water as is, i'll accomplish little but to saturate the newly exposed ground. i certainly won't be able to compact the soil.

if i dig with the ground frozen, i'll do little but to excavate chunks of dirt. i've always found grading to a depth of only 6" nearly impossible with frost.

thanks again for your advice!


Well what i have done in the past in your situation is as i dig i will make a burm of dry soil to lockout the water and keep working it utill its out. There have been plenty of times i have loaded water into trucks and by your pictures it doesnt look too bad. You defenetly need to use the shovel. You can replace with a good sand based gravel which is not expensive and compacts well. It will also absorb some moisture without getting gresy unlike clay. Then bring in your base. Compact in lifts and your good to go. Have you test dug to see how deep the muck is? Try a frost bar and see how far you can bury it. I had one job that was similiar to yours and i grabbed a frost bar to see how deep the problem went. I bet you never have seen a frost bar disapear! hahah i did. I had to dig it out. It was all clay and during a rainy spring though. But i mentioned that to you becase thats why i would be leary to wait. The deck you removed failed because of the clay you said is there. Its brutal stuff. Get it done as soon as you can. Wrong time of year to wait it out. Happy thanksgiving people.

zedosix
11-27-2008, 01:37 PM
I get it now, its a holiday for you people....thats why your home. Happy thanksgiving day, you have alot to be thankful for in your country.

soopa
11-27-2008, 03:20 PM
I swung by this morning and took a few pictures of where I'm at, maybe that'll help ya'll visualize my disaster.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3057/3064249270_dc65c5559e_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3178/3063412487_137da2b6cc_b.jpg

Yummy, eh? One positive, it's not frozen. At the moment.

punt66
11-27-2008, 03:24 PM
oohhh its getting ugly. Did you poke a frost bar in there to see how deep the muck is?

punt66
11-27-2008, 03:36 PM
another thing you can do is dig a put. Put perferated pipe in the pit coming up vertical and suround the pipe with crushed stone to make a pumping station and start pumping the water out. Use your shovel to make chanels to the pumping station to help direct the water. That will take care of the standing water problem. Then start digging. But if the muck is real deep which in clay could be then you have an even bigger problem. Check to see how deep the muck goes. Let me know.

kootoomootoo
11-27-2008, 03:49 PM
I swung by this morning and took a few pictures of where I'm at, maybe that'll help ya'll visualize my disaster.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3057/3064249270_dc65c5559e_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3178/3063412487_137da2b6cc_b.jpg

Yummy, eh? One positive, it's not frozen. At the moment.

oh dear.

what was the thought process knowing you had 2 inches of rain coming.
Mine would be I am covering this with straw visqueen and thermal blankets if I could borrow em. No way is the site getting wet though and knock on wood
freezing.

mcclureandson
11-27-2008, 07:27 PM
It's true...an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure. I had 800 sq/ft of pool patio dug and ready for base with 1/2" of rain forecast. I paid a couple of hundred for a 50'x50' blue tarp to keep it dry...doesn't help you now of course.

Hardscapes are valued less here in the south. With my margins I'd be hard pressed to eat the additional labor/material cost associated with fixing that mess.

I do have a paragraph in my install contract detailing weather delays and other unforeseen events and/or acts of God...I'd explain the situation and let the customer make the call.

Even if I did eat the extra I would CERTAINLY tell them what they've gotten for free...I've learned most people take too much for granted.

DVS Hardscaper
11-27-2008, 08:53 PM
Here in MD we have mild winters. We work through winter.

With our winter jobs the first question I ask is "do you have a dog?"

This is because I know there is a good chance we may get started, rip the yard to shreds, and then winter weather may make it where the job comes to a temporary standstill and we can't work for weeks. So I start with addressing the dog because if it's muddy, that means they're going to have some muddy carpeting!

I love winter work. It helps the cashflow. But I always commit to doing it under the condition that the clients understands we may get started and we may have delays.

CertPro
11-27-2008, 09:43 PM
I have to agree with DVS here. Firstly, you need to make provisions in your contract regarding weather delays and such and as the others said, if you know inclement weather is near.....batton down the hatches

punt66
11-27-2008, 09:46 PM
I think he is well aware of his problem at this point. I feel for his situation. How about some ideas for him istead of you should haves.

kootoomootoo
11-27-2008, 10:06 PM
I think he is well aware of his problem at this point. I feel for his situation. How about some ideas for him istead of you should haves.

Well "soopa" said in an earlier post that he gets $15-$25 a sq ft.
x1200
Do you even need to ask.

punt66
11-27-2008, 10:23 PM
Well "soopa" said in an earlier post that he gets $15-$25 a sq ft.
x1200
Do you even need to ask.
ok, thats what their getting here too. 25 is a bit high but 15 to 20 is a norm here.

soopa
11-28-2008, 08:13 AM
I'm happy to explain myself as best I can, but, at this point it is what it is and I'm looking for solutions not a lashing.

First, why didn't I cover the site up knowing 2" of rain was coming? Couple reasons. One, I didn't realize rain was coming. Realizing we were behind schedule for the day I checked the forecast in the afternoon and it was possible flurries, 60% chance. Two, I wasn't prepared to be behind schedule. Excavation should have taken us 5-6 hours at most. However a dead battery in the loader and stuck pins on our excavator bucket slowed us down in the AM and then... well... I'm not sure what happened. We just moved much more slowly than usual that day. Customer was home so I got distracted by him a few times. And the crew was a little distracted knowing the customer was keeping an eye on every piece of grass they destroyed.

Nonetheless, we f-d up.

As for contract provisions, they're in there. The customer isn't upset, yet. Especially not knowing what a mucky excavation means. The customer is prepared to wait until Spring if we have too. Unfortunately that won't do us any good.

So here I am, just looking for the best solution to get this done as cost effectively and efficiently as possible. I'll figure out how the additional costs will be paid for, and all the rest. I'm just looking for advice, from those of you with more experience than me, on how to fix this problem.

Thanks for that which you've given me so far. I'm headed over there in 45 min to start clearing muck.

soopa
11-28-2008, 08:15 AM
I think he is well aware of his problem at this point. I feel for his situation. How about some ideas for him istead of you should haves.

Thank you punt. :drinkup:

punt66
11-28-2008, 08:19 AM
Thank you punt. :drinkup:


no problem. Try the pumping station i mentioned. If you dont have any perf pipe just make some with anything you have and cut slots in it with your cut off.

soopa
11-28-2008, 08:23 AM
ok, thats what their getting here too. 25 is a bit high but 15 to 20 is a norm here.

25 is definitely on the high side and we only approach that if we're doing very custom (lots of inlays, lots of cuts) with a high-end block.

This job is closer to 19 a sq including demo. We're using a relatively inexpensive block by a local manufacturer to match an existing patio another installer had done. Unilock bullnose coping stones.

soopa
11-28-2008, 08:25 AM
no problem. Try the pumping station i mentioned. If you dont have any perf pipe just make some with anything you have and cut slots in it with your cut off.

I have some in the truck already, I'm going to make that my first attack. Using a small pool pump. Hopefully it's not frozen today (Only 30 over night, 42 today... should be ok).

soopa
11-28-2008, 08:22 PM
Success! Mother nature was in the mood to cooperate today with 45 degrees and sunshine. No frost in sight today.

I basically followed punts advice to cleanup the standing water, except we went at it with shop vacs rather than pumps. Seemed faster and was better able to withstand clogging. Dug holes and channels to collect the water.

I was then able to excavate an average of 4" everywhere to get solid dry ground. Laid my textile and put in a truck load of crusher. What a relief!

Before (earlier picture I posted):
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3057/3064249270_dc65c5559e.jpg

After:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3209/3066232275_bc57c0eea6.jpg

mrusk
11-28-2008, 08:33 PM
Was the ground still spongey? Did you put down road base or large crushed stone?

soopa
11-28-2008, 08:37 PM
Was the ground still spongey? Did you put down road base or large crushed stone?

The ground is still somewhat spongey, but no more saturated or spongey than usual. We build in this area often and, well as you can see in the background of the pictures, we're building on top of a swamp.

Road base.

CertPro
11-28-2008, 08:50 PM
Congrats! I bet ur glad to be up and out of the muck! Great idea Punt

punt66
11-28-2008, 10:01 PM
Good job. Glad to see you made progress. I bet you learned something on this job hahah.

DVS Hardscaper
11-29-2008, 11:40 AM
See......I TOLD you, "all you need is temps over 40 and some sunshine" :) In the pics, the ground still looks wet, though?

We have a job where the soil was muddy last week. As planned, we excavated 8-inches and it was still wet. We went down one more inch and the ground was dry.

I have beenn told that the logging industry uses GIANT fans. They delimb timber and make a huge brush pile. Naturally, the brush is green, so I've been told that they bring in enormous, engine powered fans to dry out the brush to enable immediate burning. I often think "the hardscape industry needs to use those fans".


Veering off subject........

You have 1220 SF and I see a little compactor in the background.

Do you REALLY plan to use that little thing to compact 1200 SF?? The space is wide open. For a job like that, to increase production, I would use a small ride on roller like the asphalt driveway companies use.

PlatinumLandCon
11-29-2008, 12:08 PM
Dude, what kind of cam are you using? Those pics look realllly good

kootoomootoo
11-29-2008, 01:31 PM
Do you REALLY plan to use that little thing to compact 1200 SF?? The space is wide open. For a job like that, to increase production, I would use a small ride on roller like the asphalt driveway companies use.

In all likelihood it would start pumping .....looks wet as it is.

soopa
11-29-2008, 03:47 PM
See......I TOLD you, "all you need is temps over 40 and some sunshine" :) In the pics, the ground still looks wet, though?

Ya. Well, partly it's because the photo is post-compaction and you know how shiny clay soils get. But ya, it's wet relative to ideal conditions... but I could dig another 4' and it'd be wet the whole way down. In fact you'd hit standing water at only 28-30" below the surface in this particular neighborhood. Is what it is unfortunately...

You have 1220 SF and I see a little compactor in the background.

Do you REALLY plan to use that little thing to compact 1200 SF?? The space is wide open. For a job like that, to increase production, I would use a small ride on roller like the asphalt driveway companies use.

Two little compactors, actually :) (and a rammer, fwiw) Both 4000 lb force. You're right though, when we put in the remaining ~100 tons of base on Monday I'll need to rent a higher production machine. I was thinking more along the lines of a ~6000 lb reversible plate though. It may look wide open in the pictures but I would imagine maneuverability with a ride-on roller would be difficult. I have a dingo in the hole to push base around and it's a tight squeeze at 41" wide along the back and right side, as well as in that narrow opening on the left.

Also I've always been weary of using anything large near a foundation or pool. Am I being to cautious?

In any case I've no experience with ride-on rollers. If my fears are unfounded please correct me and I'll pick one up first thing Monday AM.

It's definitely going to be a chore compacting 100 tons of base with 3 plates in 8 hours. I can't argue that.

soopa
11-29-2008, 03:49 PM
Dude, what kind of cam are you using? Those pics look realllly good

Thanks :)

Canon 40D w/ a 10-22 wide angle

STRINGALATION
11-30-2008, 01:38 PM
first off good luck getting done

now is there a plate compactor for the dingo. iasw one for a skid but not sure about a mini

btammo
11-30-2008, 09:26 PM
Thanks :)

Canon 40D w/ a 10-22 wide angle

Hey soopa what part of Ny you in. We are supposed to get a bunch of sleet, rain, snow, etc....hope you planned for this one :)

zedosix
12-03-2008, 07:44 PM
Any further progress on your job Soopa? Weather hasn't been too cold up here so down there it must be even warmer!

soopa
12-03-2008, 08:13 PM
Things went well thanks. No problems once the excavation was out of the way. We got all 14" of base in. Unfortunately, however, we won't be able to install block until spring as the pool contractor decided he'd rather not install a new liner track (and make necessary repairs to pool wall) until then. Customer doesn't want to go with a different pool guy either, so, we're outta there.

At least we should be able to be in and out rather quickly with sand and block when the time comes seeing as how we're all prepped and cleaned up.

Here's some pics of the finish layer going in...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3066/3081260408_0fbbd0b39d.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3172/3080421039_5cb781939f.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3008/3081260654_d60610f18a.jpg

soopa
12-03-2008, 08:23 PM
the pool contractor decided he'd rather not install a new liner track (and make necessary repairs to pool wall)

also waiting on him to install railing and ladder supports. unfortunately they'll probably DESTROY my base in the process. ugh.

PlatinumLandCon
12-03-2008, 08:25 PM
any worries of the sono tubes collapsing or filling with H2O?

soopa
12-03-2008, 08:32 PM
any worries of the sono tubes collapsing or filling with H2O?

It is a possibility, but they're double tubed and filled most of the way up with loose gravel... should keep it them from collapsing. We're not installing the fence but I volunteered to put the tubes in ahead of the fence co. so I don't have yet another contractor destabilizing my base.

You do make a good point however, so far as filling up with water... I suppose having loose base material in them they could act as a conduit for water to get under my base... hmm.

Perhaps I'll swing by again and tie some garbage bags over them or something. Thanks for pointing that out!

flairland
12-03-2008, 11:44 PM
Glad you got everything back under control and cleaned up! Thats always a relief. I dont know if you mentioned this earlier, but what do you have for equipment? Are the Cat mini ex, the ASV and dingo all yours?? How was the dingo for digging out the base?

DVS Hardscaper
12-03-2008, 11:57 PM
On all our existing pool jobs we always install pavers before pool liner replacement, etc. This way a paver doesnt fall in and damage a brand new liner.

We had sonotube covered for about 45 days......and the tubing still collapsed.

soopa
12-04-2008, 09:23 AM
On all our existing pool jobs we always install pavers before pool liner replacement, etc. This way a paver doesnt fall in and damage a brand new liner.

This liner isn't being replaced. The aluminum coping is being replaced by Unilock Fullnose Edger. The existing coping is part of the existing liner track, as such the liner track is being replaced with a "coping-less" track which will be installed underneath our paver coping. Unfortunately there's no way to install it after our block.

zedosix
12-04-2008, 09:28 AM
This liner isn't being replaced. The aluminum coping is being replaced by Unilock Fullnose Edger. The existing coping is part of the existing liner track, as such the liner track is being replaced with a "coping-less" track which will be installed underneath our paver coping. Unfortunately there's no way to install it after our block.

That is very different than what we do here, how do you replace the liner if there is a problem or a tear down the road.

soopa
12-04-2008, 09:35 AM
Are the Cat mini ex, the ASV and dingo all yours?? How was the dingo for digging out the base?

No, I only own the Dingo. The other stuff I rent from a buddy in the excavation/foundation business.

The dingo is great for shallow excavation. The dingo is an amazing blend of irreplaceable and useless... :)

What I mean is it's an incredibly versatile machine, there's little it can't do and almost nowhere it can't go. The only problem is it does everything only 20% as well as a larger or purpose-built machine.

That said, without a Dingo I wouldn't have been able to access most of this job with machinery. Without a Dingo I would need many more laborers with many more wheelbarrows!

soopa
12-04-2008, 09:46 AM
That is very different than what we do here, how do you replace the liner if there is a problem or a tear down the road.

The liner comes out of the track, the track just holds the bead of the liner...

Here's a cross-section of the existing track...

http://www.pooldeals.com/files/thumbs/t_17275.jpg

Here's a cross-section of the replacement track...

http://www.pooldeals.com/files/thumbs/t_17276.jpg

The bead of the liner is simply inserted into the lip and then held in place by a bead lock.

They make vertical mount tracks that mount to the side of the pool wall rather than the top, meaning I wouldn't have to lay block over them, but the pool contractor claims the vertical tracks can't be used here due to the condition of the wall... I'm not sure I agree... nonetheless it really doesn't make a difference to me as I have to wait for them to replace the wood in the wall anyway.

What do you guys use / do differently there? I'm no pool expert by any means so please feel free to enlighten me!

zedosix
12-04-2008, 10:07 AM
My bad. I understood that the liner was installed under the coping. The pool installers use the same track as you've shown.

soopa
12-04-2008, 12:12 PM
No worries. I communicate better with pictures than words apparently :)

Glad to hear I'm on the right track.

Henry
12-07-2008, 12:57 PM
I ran into this situation while pricing a job a couple of weeks ago. I asked a pool company about replacing the rounded coping/track with the flat one and was told that they couldn't do it without damaging the liner.

steve5966
12-08-2008, 03:13 PM
It is a possibility, but they're double tubed and filled most of the way up with loose gravel... should keep it them from collapsing. We're not installing the fence but I volunteered to put the tubes in ahead of the fence co. so I don't have yet another contractor destabilizing my base.

You do make a good point however, so far as filling up with water... I suppose having loose base material in them they could act as a conduit for water to get under my base... hmm.

Perhaps I'll swing by again and tie some garbage bags over them or something. Thanks for pointing that out!

Instead of cardboard tubes, use drain tile in whatever size you need. It will never collapse on you. A few extra dollars that will save trouble on jobs that have to wait for fencing.

soopa
12-08-2008, 04:03 PM
Instead of cardboard tubes, use drain tile in whatever size you need. It will never collapse on you. A few extra dollars that will save trouble on jobs that have to wait for fencing.

Good tip, never thought of that!