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etwman
01-28-2009, 08:17 PM
This thread will be fun, I haven't started a thread in probably 5 years. Over time I have acquired many photos from very poor installers. Some of which I put in the back of our portfolio to illustrate to customers what makes a good contractor and what doesn't. The others I put in a file and on occassion find myself leafing through them for a good Monday morning laugh. I probably have over 100 at this point.

I'll kick this off. Last summer, while out in Montana my wife and I were driving through a town. It's not often that I make it a point to turn around and go back and take a picture of a bad project but I thought this was worth it. So with tears of laughter I actually turned the car around, grabbed the camera, and took these three. They even managed to notch the fence out around the "block" This could be the "New Urban Tumbled Wall" for 2009, Double sided of course.

Go ahead and post 'em.....If you find yourself asking what's wrong with some of these photos, you have no business being in this industry.

IA_James
01-28-2009, 08:19 PM
Well, at least it's not up against the rocks.

punt66
01-28-2009, 08:21 PM
Its a green fence. Recycled concrete and wood. hahahah

flairland
01-28-2009, 08:24 PM
I always wondered what I could do with busted up concrete..

westcoh
01-28-2009, 09:20 PM
Here's a couple pics I took this summer. My favourite part is how they got the retaining wall against the house dead level, and the smooth flowing curves of the edging in the second pic. The choice of boulders is great too. Not sure why the gaps in the caps, I guess they didn't know how to cut them. For what it's worth these photos were taken probably a couple weeks after the work was done. I can just imagine what it'll look like a few years from now.

This is in one of the fancier neighbourhoods around as well, I don't know how someone could do this in front of their million dollar home.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/westreal/08b001.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/westreal/08b002.jpg

Bru75
01-28-2009, 11:21 PM
Geez that's ugly. At least these guys won't be your competition for very long!

Bru75
01-28-2009, 11:32 PM
Here's a set of steps I tore out and replaced about a year ago. I expected a bad footer but found no footer at all. Brick on dirt construction at it's finest!

etwman
01-29-2009, 04:13 AM
C'mon Andrew I know you have a half a hard drive full of these things....

DVS Hardscaper
01-29-2009, 08:16 AM
C'mon Andrew I know you have a half a hard drive full of these things....

I do have some pics, and yes, I do show them to prospective clients. Not sure when I'll post them as we're trying to finish up a retaining wall before this next round of snow comes next week that the weather man has been mentioning.

Although, I don't think anything can compare to the recycled concrete fence-wall!

I'm wonderin WHAT YOU"RE THINKING????? Online, posting at 4:13 in the morning???

What, have you been hanging out with MRusk and now you're picking up on his habits and you're setting your alarm clock solely for the purpose of monitoring message board dialog like he does???? :hammerhead: :clapping:



.

PlatinumLandCon
01-29-2009, 11:34 AM
I do have some pics, and yes, I do show them to prospective clients. Not sure when I'll post them as we're trying to finish up a retaining wall before this next round of snow comes next week that the weather man has been mentioning.

Although, I don't think anything can compare to the recycled concrete fence-wall!

I'm wonderin WHAT YOU"RE THINKING????? Online, posting at 4:13 in the morning???

What, have you been hanging out with MRusk and now you're picking up on his habits and you're setting your alarm clock solely for the purpose of monitoring message board dialog like he does???? :hammerhead: :clapping:



.

LOL

C'mon Jarod, join the Green Revolution!

etwman
01-29-2009, 02:14 PM
I was actually online checking winds prior to departing for Orlando. That's why I was up at 4:13 a.m. I don't make a habit of getting up that early.

zedosix
01-29-2009, 04:05 PM
I was actually online checking winds prior to departing for Orlando. That's why I was up at 4:13 a.m. I don't make a habit of getting up that early.

Why..... are you kite sailing there.:)

Lite4
01-29-2009, 06:50 PM
Found this abortion out driving around one day.

DVS Hardscaper
02-03-2009, 08:33 AM
Why..... are you kite sailing there.:)


ETWMan obsesses over his hair and won't walk out of his house if it's the slightest bit windy. He had to wake up early to check to see if he had to cancel his 8 o'clock appointment with a propsective client.

etwman
02-03-2009, 08:45 AM
Andrew you're a piece of work, what would this site be without your sense of poking humor. You must have Matt Rusk and I confused.

BrandonV
02-03-2009, 09:15 AM
Its a green fence. Recycled concrete and wood. hahahah

the question really is which came first?

forestfireguy
02-03-2009, 09:02 PM
C'mon guys thats good use of recycled products.....LOL, thats a trip, but a really creative use of an old walkway. The edging in the other one is very.......ummmmmm, geometric, yeah thats it.

markam70
02-03-2009, 10:31 PM
this caught my eye today....

Branch manager
02-03-2009, 10:42 PM
Wow. After amost 22 years in the industry, these are perhaps the most hideous things I've seen. Taste, or the lack thereof, really is subjective!

Bru75
02-03-2009, 11:59 PM
I hope these were DIY projects, I'd hate to think somebody was paid to do this!

Tyler7692
02-04-2009, 04:23 AM
Found this abortion out driving around one day.

Are those Trees of Heaven? Somebody needs to cut that invasive trash outta there!

BTW, that is an abortion.

etwman
02-04-2009, 07:39 PM
Sadly enough these are actually local projects that I know the location of. This one here is a good 6 digit fix. There's a wall that goes around the corner that's pushing and it has a driveway on top of it. What a mess.

etwman
02-04-2009, 07:46 PM
Here's some more pearls.......

I can't quite figure out the forms on the last one....

zedosix
02-04-2009, 07:49 PM
Holy crap, what a mess. Do you know these people, or did you just drive by and take a few pictures?

zedosix
02-04-2009, 07:51 PM
Thats some heavy coat of efflorecense on that brick there!

etwman
02-04-2009, 08:00 PM
I know where the place is, a friend of mine took the pics. Its much worse than it looks. You'd have a week there with some serious excavators to take the whole thing apart with the driveway, then start from scratch.

The guy who built this thing wouldn't know a compactor if it fell out of the sky and hit him in the head, then again maybe it did.

PlatinumLandCon
02-04-2009, 08:20 PM
YIKES! I hate hollow core walls, all that filling and crap isn't as strong as solid blocks IMO. I don't think I'm perfect, but I think a few mins of research should allow you to build a better project than that!

DVS Hardscaper
02-04-2009, 10:02 PM
Absolutely no reason to hate hollow core block. The block doesn't ever fail. The lack of engineering and poor construction is what fails.

Cornerstone is a hollow core block. The guy that created it is a genius. One of the best block we've ever used. (the block in ETW's pic is NOT cornerstone)

It requires more than research to successfully construct a wall. It takes experience. It takes common sense. Retaining walls should only ever be built by people that KNOW what they're doing and why they're doing it.

Lite4
02-04-2009, 11:43 PM
Are those Trees of Heaven? Somebody needs to cut that invasive trash outta there!

BTW, that is an abortion.

Nope, just plain old staghorn sumac. And yes, it is invasive trash too.

PlatinumLandCon
02-05-2009, 12:20 AM
I can't quite figure out the forms on the last one....

Isn't it a concrete slab under the pavers? Or are the forms holding the compacted agg base? I can't exactly tell whats directly under the pavers.

punt66
02-05-2009, 06:02 AM
Isn't it a concrete slab under the pavers? Or are the forms holding the compacted agg base? I can't exactly tell whats directly under the pavers.

The forms are there because the grade is too low. Its holding back the base so it wont get washed out untill its final graded. I see nothing wrong with that picture. If you look further into the neighbors house you will see no forms because the grade is normal and the base wont wash away.

etwman
02-05-2009, 07:35 AM
Wow. Okay, I don't want this to turn into a mess Punt 66 but if you don't think anything is wrong with that pic you shouldn't be hardscaping.

1. The stone base isn't even tthick enough to support that walkway. I'd bet you're looking at around a 4" base, plus tthere are areas where vehicular traffic crosses.

2. It doesn't extend out past the walkway on boath sides far enough.

3. Its on stone dust, that's another huge no. Which if you look at the other walkways laid in that area they are all sinking and settling. They used the same exact installation technique and obvoisly it doesn't work becaise the walks have only been in for a year.

4. It wouldn't hurt a thing, matter of fact it probably would be more beneficial if some back fill was put in place at the same time the stone base was installed to bring everything up to grade together.

zedosix
02-05-2009, 07:53 AM
That last picture of the runner bond walkway is a joke. Wanna bet they don't use restraint edging when they are done. Who is responsible for that mess anyway.

Bru75
02-05-2009, 08:39 AM
Isn't it a concrete slab under the pavers? Or are the forms holding the compacted agg base? I can't exactly tell whats directly under the pavers.

Looks like the forms are holding the gravel base to me. Is it possible they are going to pour a concrete curb along the sides?

Bru75
02-05-2009, 08:45 AM
Just curious, do you know how old the failed wall is?

punt66
02-05-2009, 09:05 AM
Wow. Okay, I don't want this to turn into a mess Punt 66 but if you don't think anything is wrong with that pic you shouldn't be hardscaping.

1. The stone base isn't even tthick enough to support that walkway. I'd bet you're looking at around a 4" base, plus tthere are areas where vehicular traffic crosses.

2. It doesn't extend out past the walkway on boath sides far enough.

3. Its on stone dust, that's another huge no. Which if you look at the other walkways laid in that area they are all sinking and settling. They used the same exact installation technique and obvoisly it doesn't work becaise the walks have only been in for a year.

4. It wouldn't hurt a thing, matter of fact it probably would be more beneficial if some back fill was put in place at the same time the stone base was installed to bring everything up to grade together.

How do you know how deep the base is? How do you know it wasnt excavated? How do you know the dust isnt only 1" thick and used for bedding? How do you know there isnt large or small process underneath the dust? i am not there to see the neighborhood. That walk looks like a city project. I know in CT the city is responsible for installing walks. The walk goes through several homes. With a proper base and backfill the base is wide enough. To bring the walk up to grade without the lot being properly backfilled it looks fine to me. I have installed miles of concrete poured walks when i had my construction company for the city of New Britain CT and if you know the processes and understand grade issues you would know what i am talking about. Also as a city project the work is engineered, installed, inspected to city specs.

punt66
02-05-2009, 09:09 AM
After looking at the picture again you can see there is process under the dust. You can see it under the forms. The only issue i wouldn like is compacting against the forms. The yard should be backfilled properly but this is the next best solution.

DVS Hardscaper
02-05-2009, 09:52 AM
This is one of my favorite scenerios!

Pavers adhered to concrete stoops! I really like the chamfered edges.

I apologize for the large resolution, I usually size my pictures down prior to posting for quicker loading time, but I wanted folks to get a good look!

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y212/ScapeItWS6360CJ7/58830036.jpg

DVS Hardscaper
02-05-2009, 10:01 AM
PUNT66 - stone dust should NEVER be used to bed pavers. It's a BIG NO NO. It's a breeding ground for effloresence. and retains moistiure.

punt66
02-05-2009, 10:24 AM
Yea i agree with that. But we dont know for sure thats dust by the pic. It looks different then the dust we have here. Also effloresence occurs differently in different areas and products. I installed a paver brick walk about 16 years ago at my parents place. Its a front walk and about 40'. Its on process and dust and still looks like new. No sign of white and still has all its color. Our dust is very granular and larger then sand. I think it depends on your local provider and soil. Today i use process and sand for the just in case factor but most here still use dust. The soil of the property is the say all for me though.

DVS Hardscaper
02-05-2009, 10:41 AM
It's dust.

punt66
02-05-2009, 01:41 PM
Yea it looks like dust.

Lite4
02-06-2009, 10:08 AM
This is one of my favorite scenerios!

Pavers adhered to concrete stoops! I really like the chamfered edges.

I apologize for the large resolution, I usually size my pictures down prior to posting for quicker loading time, but I wanted folks to get a good look!

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y212/ScapeItWS6360CJ7/58830036.jpg

I like the very thoughtful placement of the spotlights in the front yard. Sure to blind all who walk out the front door and doom them to an evening full of white spots dancing around in their vision.

Summit L & D
02-06-2009, 12:25 PM
I like the very thoughtful placement of the spotlights in the front yard. Sure to blind all who walk out the front door and doom them to an evening full of white spots dancing around in their vision.

How do you know there isn't a frosted lens cover on there???? .....it'll bathe the homeowner in a nice glow as they fall off the step! :laugh:

DuallyVette
02-07-2009, 12:55 AM
I don't know about the lights, ...but the pavers stuck to the side of the porch, hurts my eyes. :)

stonebender
02-11-2009, 03:25 PM
The short version:
Customer: Please come give us a quote on a paver sidewalk.
Me: OK, see you Saturday morning.
Next Saturday....
Customer: Oh sorry I didn't call you, I already hired this company.
Me: :hammerhead: Have a nice day.

fool32696
02-11-2009, 03:43 PM
Wow, I bet she got a good price :laugh:

2low4NH
02-11-2009, 04:04 PM
wow that last one is a butchered job. i can understand a few small spaces around the cuts! ow can you screw up spacing on a paver with a set spacer? and the brick walk with the dust under is not a huge no no just not the best idea. we use dust under all of out stone patios it works great but yes it does hold moisture and will make any paver product break down over time.

2low4NH
02-11-2009, 04:04 PM
and why would you only add one side of a border?

stonebender
02-11-2009, 04:10 PM
... ow can you screw up spacing on a paver with a set spacer? ....

The trick to accomplishing this is to not screed the sand. Use a shovel to get the sand about 1-2" above the finished sand bed level. Then place a brick on the sand and beat it with a rubber mallet (10-50 blows) until it is almost level with the last brick you did. This will ensure that plenty of sand will work it's way in between the pavers. Tada! Random spacing!

stonebender
02-11-2009, 04:12 PM
and why would you only add one side of a border?

I asked the homeowner about this and they said that had already asked the "contractor". "Contractor" response, "you didn't tell us you wanted it on both sides."

Lite4
02-11-2009, 05:01 PM
Good, I am glad they got a crappy job. Serves em right dumpster diving for a cheap price. Shake the dust off your feet as you leave their house, they got what they paid for.

2low4NH
02-11-2009, 05:09 PM
that would be the best response i could ever hear! if i saw any body doing a job like this i would probally talk to the home owner before they are done and tell them to look at this thread!

n2h20
02-12-2009, 01:32 AM
I Drive by this house often, I am just waiting for it to all come down the hill. This was "installed" about a year ago. We have had a lot of rain (for L.A.) this last month and cant wait to see whats happened.
No footing.
No burying the first course.
No sand.

zedosix
02-12-2009, 07:43 AM
Was it the homeowner, or a contractor, do you know?

2low4NH
02-12-2009, 11:08 AM
wow that wall already has alot of sag to it. it might hold for another year.

n2h20
02-12-2009, 12:09 PM
zedosix, if your asking me,, i think it was the homeowner.
its got some good sag.
those pics were taken last spring...
ill be driving by that house today or tomorrow..

zedosix
02-12-2009, 04:25 PM
zedosix, if your asking me,, i think it was the homeowner.
its got some good sag.
those pics were taken last spring...
ill be driving by that house today or tomorrow..

I was asking you, yes. He is likely quite happy with the outcome....for the moment. :)

M&N Maintenance
02-12-2009, 07:45 PM
Those pics are all great and a good laugh! Don't you love it though you arrive to that type of repair and then the client tells you the amount of money they spent on it the first time. Then you state it will probably be just as much to repair.

Bru75
02-12-2009, 08:25 PM
That's unbelievably bad.
I don't see any drain pipe, either.

n2h20
02-12-2009, 11:54 PM
drain pipe?? haha., right,.,, no gravel, no fabric, just sandy soil... drove by today,, after all the rain we have had, its still standing,.

shovelracer
02-20-2009, 01:12 PM
This could be the "New Urban Tumbled Wall" for 2009, Double sided of course.
I can't believe no one caught on to this one. The answer is all about the permits. See you need a permit in that town to build a wall or fence over 4', however the loophole is that no one ever said you couldnt stack them. Saved on the permit fees, saved on material, and made the world a little greener. Win, win all around.

pitrack
02-25-2009, 12:44 PM
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i248/pitrack/DSC_0039.jpg

I re-built it usuing the same blocks
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i248/pitrack/DSC_0060.jpg
Now that I look at the last pic again, I should have found a dark color drain cap:hammerhead: It was my first wall, I'm learning.

2low4NH
02-25-2009, 11:24 PM
okay so what did you change on the wall to make it better?

pitrack
02-26-2009, 01:29 AM
okay so what did you change on the wall to make it better?

I actually burried a course deep enough underground, added a drain pipe behind it and made the upper gutter drain pipe drain away from the wall.

DuallyVette
02-26-2009, 08:06 PM
So, why does it look so crooked ? Is it the angle of the photo, or is the wall just crooked, but better :)

pitrack
03-02-2009, 02:24 AM
So, why does it look so crooked ? Is it the angle of the photo, or is the wall just crooked, but better :)

Crooked after? These blocks didn't have lips on the back of them so they don't tier back every course, so it is basically smooth on the front. It may look like it in the photo but it's not leaning anymore.

Branch manager
03-02-2009, 10:00 AM
What? No lips? Now what does that say to you? Seriously, how are the blocks anchored to the block below so it can't kick out? Usually we used those pins into the holes/slots for turns. Eighty pounders, all day long for little over minimum wage(1990's). I don't miss that **** at all, and have been independant since '97! It aged my body big time. That's why I got away from construction/installs and headed toward trims/removals/tree work. I gotta work, because I like to eat!

pitrack
03-02-2009, 11:47 AM
What? No lips? Now what does that say to you? Seriously, how are the blocks anchored to the block below so it can't kick out? Usually we used those pins into the holes/slots for turns. Eighty pounders, all day long for little over minimum wage(1990's). I don't miss that **** at all, and have been independant since '97! It aged my body big time. That's why I got away from construction/installs and headed toward trims/removals/tree work. I gotta work, because I like to eat!

They have the plastic pins to keep them all together. Customer wanted to use the same block so I had to.

allinearth
03-06-2009, 08:06 AM
Should have had two sets of holes. Use the one in the back for a half inch set back. One in front is for straight face.

pitrack
03-06-2009, 12:41 PM
Should have had two sets of holes. Use the one in the back for a half inch set back. One in front is for straight face.

They were all stuck into the rocks, not sure what was in the holes but I couldn't get them out. Even if I did build it so there was a set back, I'm not sure how it owuld have looked when it met up with the foundation of the house.

btammo
03-06-2009, 04:23 PM
I hope you used grid for this wall at least and got proper compaction behind the wall, or it could be a 3rd time around for this baby..

pitrack
03-06-2009, 07:26 PM
I hope you used grid for this wall at least and got proper compaction behind the wall, or it could be a 3rd time around for this baby..

I did not use grid, I know I probably should have but I backfilled it with pea gravel and put in a proper drain unlike the first time it was built.

riverwalklandscaping
03-07-2009, 11:44 AM
Thats def stone dust in the walkway pic you can see where they dumped it in the top left part of the picture by the walkway. They could have excavated that for a deeper base though because there is a bunch of dirt all along that, but that may also be from the people grading the yard or whatever. You can see what looks like 3/4in minus or drainage stone under the dust

BrandonV
03-07-2009, 06:56 PM
here's one i've been watching since it was built. eventually this is going to collapse on the gas station below, no drain I can see and it's never looked sturdy.

2low4NH
03-07-2009, 08:05 PM
loving the missing block right in the center of the wall atleast they had a good base behind the wall they just forgot to compact it.

srl28
03-24-2009, 01:58 PM
Was on an estimate yesterday for a few nice things, not a new walkway however. Lady said they had this walkway installed when they moved in about 8 years ago. She wasnt crazy about it to begin with and over the years its gotten much worse. Check out the one slate with the nice saw mark in it, seriously???:hammerhead:

Whole thing was a maze to walk up and was settling everywhere. Design was there, kind of :rolleyes: but wasnt executed very well!

2low4NH
03-24-2009, 11:41 PM
WTF! thats just gross

Bru75
03-24-2009, 11:50 PM
That's one of the ugliest things I've ever seen!

Swampy
03-25-2009, 12:37 AM
That is pretty bad and ugly looking, but that had to take a lot of time cutting those pieces around the stone like that.

Here is one that is on a lawn maintenance account, my full time job and the owner of the maintenance company doesn't want the work but allowed me to bid on the fence replacement as the snow plow guys took care of it pretty good this past year. From the residence of the condos told me the condo project is about 10-15 years old, built in phases, but closer to the 10 year mark.

Notice how the poured stairs are seperating from the wall. Its eroding pretty bad that its undermining the upper sidewalk.
http://i487.photobucket.com/albums/rr239/SwampyWI/STA70659.jpg

In this picture the corner is failing, a bowing thing going on in the middle, and the split rail fence footings are shifting with the wall moving outward.
http://i487.photobucket.com/albums/rr239/SwampyWI/STA70660.jpg

Okay same wall different view the part to left looks to be built as a add on to the existing wall and built properly as drainage is present and their is just stone between the asphalt and retaining wall. But why didn't they add a few more layers to the older wall to level it out and change the grade behind it. It seems that the snow plowers obiviously stack snow in the lawn above the wall. Note the brown stuff on the lower sidewalk is mud.
http://i487.photobucket.com/albums/rr239/SwampyWI/STA70664.jpg

Last pic. After snapping a few pictures of this disaster one of the condo owners had told me that mid winter the main to the fire hydrant ruptured, flooded their basements, and froze under the sidewalk heaving it about 2 inches. Note more mud that poured thru the face of the wall.
http://i487.photobucket.com/albums/rr239/SwampyWI/STA70665.jpg

I might be over anlyzing this but this looks really bad. I have not seen any drainage comeing out the face of the wall or any pop ups.

punt66
03-25-2009, 05:56 AM
the second to last pic it looks like drainage at the bottom.

AllHardscaping
03-25-2009, 10:13 AM
The first pic is of aguy who called me that had his lawn guy seal his patio. First he overfilled the joints with sand thn he flooded the pavement with a sand stabilizing sealer. The homeowner was not happy that it didnt have awet enough look( this sealer wsnt even supposed to be WL) so he had the guy flood it again. There was almost 1/4 inch of sealer on these pavers. I stripped it off, blew out joint sand, installed new sand and sealed with a WL sealer and it looked great. Cost the guy a fortune though but thats what you get when oyu have an unqualified guy do it for cheap.

The next is just lack of keeping up with joint sand. These weeds had roots twice as deep as the foliage was. What a pain to clean this one...

ETPRO
05-21-2013, 09:11 PM
Know this is a pretty old thread. But came across it and found some material on my phone for this thread. Wall is walking all over the place. Only courses with any mortar is top course. Drainage was attempted, but not executed well at all. Not near enough footer, and absolutely no geogrid or anything tying it back into the uphill side. Wall is just under 3 years old. Owner is waiting to hear back from their engineer to find out how it should be built. What engineer suggests will dictate whether I bid on the job or not. 350 linear feet by 40" tall.

Agape
05-22-2013, 10:37 AM
This thread will be fun, I haven't started a thread in probably 5 years. Over time I have acquired many photos from very poor installers. Some of which I put in the back of our portfolio to illustrate to customers what makes a good contractor and what doesn't. The others I put in a file and on occassion find myself leafing through them for a good Monday morning laugh. I probably have over 100 at this point.

I'll kick this off. Last summer, while out in Montana my wife and I were driving through a town. It's not often that I make it a point to turn around and go back and take a picture of a bad project but I thought this was worth it. So with tears of laughter I actually turned the car around, grabbed the camera, and took these three. They even managed to notch the fence out around the "block" This could be the "New Urban Tumbled Wall" for 2009, Double sided of course.

Go ahead and post 'em.....If you find yourself asking what's wrong with some of these photos, you have no business being in this industry.
i would give that thing a kick every time i walked by it.

Gilmore.Landscaping
05-28-2013, 09:47 PM
I have a few to add from my spring quoting but here is another thread with some good ones too.
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=377514