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View Full Version : My First Project Raised Patio


Crusher Run
04-15-2009, 10:05 PM
Last year in May I started what I thought would be a good summer project to keep me out of the house. It turned into the biggest job I have ever done in my life and it's still not done. It has cost me four times what I originally planed and spent more time than I ever imagined, BUT I LOVE IT!

Here are some photos to show you guys my progress, hope you enjoy. I still don't have the finishing touches worked out yet.

-g

Crusher Run
04-15-2009, 10:11 PM
Few more photos...

soopa
04-15-2009, 10:22 PM
looks good, except for all the loose dirt and organic matter under your patio fill :) not to mention the extremely thick lifts.

let that stuff settle and decompose a bit before you put pavers on top! ;)

really not bad for your first tho, looks nice!

Crusher Run
04-16-2009, 07:36 AM
Thanks soopa, the soil there is almost all sand, because that area was filled when the house was built 8 years ago. After I removed the topsoil the exposed sand began to grow grass after a couple months. BTW I back filled the whole thing with 3/4 rock with out compacting at all. Should I put landscaping fabric between the rock and the sand bed for the pavers?

GMTA
04-16-2009, 09:27 AM
BTW I back filled the whole thing with 3/4 rock with out compacting at all. Should I put landscaping fabric between the rock and the sand bed for the pavers?

Be prepared for that to settle. Ideally you should have compacted in layers. If you put pavers on top you will most likely be repairing them soon after.

I would have thought about using geogrid behind that wall for reinforcement! Big problem if it fails and anyone is near by.

Bet it will look decent but what lies beneath in hidden errors will eventually come back to bite you!

Crusher Run
04-16-2009, 09:42 AM
Be prepared for that to settle. Ideally you should have compacted in layers. If you put pavers on top you will most likely be repairing them soon after.

I would have thought about using geogrid behind that wall for reinforcement! Big problem if it fails and anyone is near by.

Bet it will look decent but what lies beneath in hidden errors will eventually come back to bite you!

What do you think the best thing to do now remove some back fill and compact or wait and see what happens?

I did use one row of 36" geogrid on the fourth course.

NOOOOOO!!! I really tried to do everything I could to make it the best it could be. Unfortunately I found this site recently.

I also used a product called staymat for the base of the wall as strongly recommended by a friend in the business.

ParkviewNursery
04-16-2009, 09:55 AM
Rockwood retaining wall i see?........another thing is i would have one course burried totally, not bad for your first one just remeber what you are told on compaction, i wouldnt do any pavers for a year or so

KrayzKajun
04-16-2009, 09:57 AM
looks pretty good to me for 1st time!

Crusher Run
04-16-2009, 10:28 AM
Parkview, Yes you are correct. Rockwood 6" aren't they beautiful.
I was planing on burring one course as per the instructions they offer, but when preparing the base I got a little carried away and put to much crushed rock. I will raise the grade up to cover the first course, but haven't figured out what to do about the drain. I don't want it to be visible.
It's almost been one year, but I don't know when I'm going to finish it...I'm out of $$$

Crusher Run
04-16-2009, 10:29 AM
KrayzKajun, Thanks, I agree.

ParkviewNursery
04-16-2009, 11:46 AM
Yeah , i figured....i have worked with them in the past, for the past 3-4 years some of the jobs i was on are in their books. Anyways one thing to remeber is with that base course, you want to fill it in with a compacted gravel.....just the course that are burried...that way when the water seeps down hits that course allowing it to seep out. After that 6-12 inchs of 3/4 behind the walls......and in the courses as well. Then run the rest of the fill with a compacted gravel. That way if you do set a patio on top your not going to have settling issues.

I wouldnt worry about tearing up what you have now for fill, you got a good 12" just make sure you spend time compacting the base. Other than that your break marks are really good for a first time, did you use a breaker? Your stagger around the curve looks good too......i would let you build walls for me with a little bit more teaching.

As far as your pipe? well run it to daylight and fill around the wall....and just angle the pipe with the grade of the yard......maybe do some rock and edging around and connect it to the landscape. Other than that good job!


Did you glue your caps yet? hopefully not, one its easier to brick it and cut the backs of the caps...... also a little overhang on the caps makes it look really good too!

kootoomootoo
04-16-2009, 07:11 PM
The back of the block isnt a continuous solid edge...how do you plan to compact...

betmr
04-16-2009, 08:44 PM
Nice job but the thing I noticed was the drain pipe out of the wall, upside down. The holes should be facing down, so the dirt don't get in. hydraulic pressure forces the water up into the pipe, leaving the dirt behind.

Crusher Run
04-16-2009, 09:51 PM
your break marks are really good for a first time, did you use a breaker? Your stagger around the curve looks good too......i would let you build walls for me with a little bit more teaching.


Did you glue your caps yet? hopefully not, one its easier to brick it and cut the backs of the caps...... also a little overhang on the caps makes it look really good too!

Thanks man, when can I start? ha ha

A breaker!? I used a builders square, scored then with a diamond blade on my circ. saw and chiseled them.

I have not glued the caps yet. What do you mean brick it and cut the backs...?

Crusher Run
04-16-2009, 10:14 PM
The back of the block isnt a continuous solid edge...how do you plan to compact...

I'm not sure, having never done anything like this it's difficult to plan anything. It seems like when I plan out the next few steps towards completion, upon taking the first step, I would realize what I planed wasn't going to happen. Know what I mean?

What I'm envisioning is another wall about 30" on top of the caps to provide a barrier for protection against falls.
I struggled with this second wall idea a lot, so how would you guys provide protection. It's nearly 5 feet high.

Crusher Run
04-16-2009, 10:19 PM
Betmr, Just that one piece is upside down. I thought that since that piece is angled that the water would run out better, but I can and may change it. It took me a while to understand how the drain would function. I first thought the water running down would some how collect in the pipe and then run out...lol

ParkviewNursery
04-17-2009, 09:40 AM
Usually we do one of two things, run our brick to the edge, or butt the brick to the back of the cap. Howver with the cap having two rough faces, it is alot easier to cut the backs of the caps first before gluing them down.

betmr
04-17-2009, 11:37 AM
Betmr, Just that one piece is upside down. I thought that since that piece is angled that the water would run out better, but I can and may change it. It took me a while to understand how the drain would function. I first thought the water running down would some how collect in the pipe and then run out...lol

It's OK I just mentioned it in case you use that type of pipe in the future. Personally I prefer that pipe over the perforated pipe, as I feel the later gets clogged up easily.

ussoldierforhire
04-17-2009, 01:11 PM
Nice! I'd like to extend mine and make an outdoor kitchen.

Crusher Run
04-18-2009, 09:00 AM
betmr, what type of pipe are you referring to? I used a 4" perforated pipe that the local water/sewer supply store sold.
I live just south of the Canadian border, during Feb I had about 5 feet on snow on the patio!! When all the snow was melting and the water table was high I went out to look at the outlet and water was flowing out. I was like WooHoo It works.

Does anybody know what staymat is. I think it similar to stone dust.

Crusher Run
04-18-2009, 09:01 AM
The Caps I have only have one rough face and they are the same width as the block 12" These are the capstone right? Could they be steps?

betmr
04-18-2009, 01:27 PM
betmr, what type of pipe are you referring to? I used a 4" perforated pipe that the local water/sewer supply store sold.
I live just south of the Canadian border, during Feb I had about 5 feet on snow on the patio!! When all the snow was melting and the water table was high I went out to look at the outlet and water was flowing out. I was like WooHoo It works.

Does anybody know what staymat is. I think it similar to stone dust.

I'm referring to the same pipe you used to come through the wall, with two rows of hole along the one side. Put that in a bed of stone, with the holes DOWN, the pressure of the water makes it rise up into the pipe & run out. As the sediment is heavier than the water it settles out minimizing the amount of debris that get in the pipe. It's a French Drain. My feeling about perforated pipe is, since there are holes all around, debris can get right in.

Crusher Run
04-20-2009, 11:58 AM
OK I gotcha. Ever hear of staymat?

betmr
04-20-2009, 01:05 PM
When I Googled it all I found looks like some kind of Dog containment thing ?

Hardscaping
04-20-2009, 08:39 PM
looks like you used a hand tamper. i would suggest using a mechanical tamper / compactor. they can easily fit in the are where you are doing that job.

looking alright though, good luck with the rest.

doubleedge
04-20-2009, 11:03 PM
I think it looks great. I am not a hardscaper, though, so I can't comment on the construction (just trying to understand what you guys are saying is difficult enough).

Crusher Run
04-22-2009, 08:50 AM
Yeah when I googled it I got the same thing. It must be an local area thing. We have a pretty large aggregate supplier here they offer just about everything. I think it's the same thing as stone dust. The supplier doesn't offer "stone dust" under that name, but I have a feeling it's the same thing. It's very heavy, fine and compacts very tight, but doesn't drain as well as sand. It's also the same color as our native "ledge" stone.

Crusher Run
04-22-2009, 08:57 AM
Hardscaping, yeah I have been using the hand tamper and that thing is a brute. I am planing on renting on to compact what I have now, finish back filling, compact again screen washed sand, lay pavers and compact again. I don't know if I can do that in a weekend, but I'm going to try like hell.

doubleedge; Thanks. In my biased opinion, I agree, it looks fantastic!!

Hardscaping
04-23-2009, 11:57 PM
in a weekend you should easily be able to do that. provided you work hard.

Y2K
04-24-2009, 12:42 AM
I am not a pro, but as one homeowner to another - I think it looks fantastic! Especially for your first attempt. Kudos. I can do almost anything inside the house (short of building it) but when it comes to outside... I am a complete newbie. Great job! Thumbs Up

Crusher Run
04-24-2009, 07:48 AM
hardscaping, I look forward to that weekend, when ever it will be. Not anytime real soon, unfortunately.

hey guys, Do I need to use edging around the perimeter? I want to have a border around the edge and then the pavers.

Crusher Run
04-24-2009, 07:53 AM
Y2K Thanks. I could use your help with some plumbing issues in my bathroom :)

Isobel
04-26-2009, 08:02 PM
how deep was the bed crushed stone underneath your first course?

Crusher Run
04-26-2009, 08:51 PM
how deep was the bed crushed stone underneath your first course?

Good Question. It was about 8-12". I would have gone deeper, but the area being on a slope with sandy soil I thought (hoping) that drainage would not be a problem.

Isobel
04-26-2009, 09:33 PM
I personally would have gone down deeper with the base, but that's me.

Crusher Run
04-27-2009, 09:11 AM
To the front line deep? That's 5 feet here.

GMTA
04-27-2009, 10:02 AM
This should have been burried deeper. Dig out more depth/width for your base course next time you do a retaining wall.

Isobel
04-28-2009, 08:15 PM
+1 on what GMTA said.

Crusher Run
04-28-2009, 08:46 PM
This should have been burried deeper. Dig out more depth/width for your base course next time you do a retaining wall.

Roger that. I hope to do another wall at my parents place later this summer.

Isobel, How deep should I have gone?

Y2K
04-29-2009, 12:27 PM
Hey, I want to ask you a couple of questions about your wall. I can't PM so if you don't mind, can you contact me via email: yefim(at)yefim(dot)com ?

Thanks

ParkviewNursery
04-29-2009, 12:33 PM
Bury at least one course, pending on size .....you get in the 6-7 + then go two.....

Crusher Run
04-29-2009, 02:44 PM
Bury at least one course, pending on size .....you get in the 6-7 + then go two.....

OK I get that. Isobel was asking about the crushed stone base and I wasn't real sure how deep to go. How deep should the crushed stone base be? I'm in Zone 3/4.

ParkviewNursery
04-29-2009, 03:26 PM
Usually a 6-8 in base should be good.....i try to use as little sand possible, .5" is about perfect, definetly under an inch.

Crusher Run
04-29-2009, 09:31 PM
Usually a 6-8 in base should be good.....i try to use as little sand possible, .5" is about perfect, definetly under an inch.

Oh OK I didn't do to bad then. That's about what I did, but My buddy screened about an inch of staymat (stone dust I think) for the leveling pad.

GMTA
04-30-2009, 01:39 PM
Oh OK I didn't do to bad then. That's about what I did, but My buddy screened about an inch of staymat (stone dust I think) for the leveling pad.

I know everyone has their own ways of installing pavers/retaining walls and I am not telling you it is the wrong way to install but I wouldn't use stone dust / sand on ANY part of a retaining wall base. This seems like the easy way to level your block and save time on an install but it creates a perfect opportunity for washout of the base material, not to mention the main stability of the wall. Lay your block on your base stone and adjust accordingly with a dead-blow hammer. It should be pretty simple if you take the time to get you base laid correctly.

Crusher Run
04-30-2009, 04:06 PM
I know everyone has their own ways of installing pavers/retaining walls and I am not telling you it is the wrong way to install but I wouldn't use stone dust / sand on ANY part of a retaining wall base. This seems like the easy way to level your block and save time on an install but it creates a perfect opportunity for washout of the base material, not to mention the main stability of the wall. Lay your block on your base stone and adjust accordingly with a dead-blow hammer. It should be pretty simple if you take the time to get you base laid correctly.

That makes sense. Do you use a laser transit to level the base? if so how?

What are other good methods to ensure level base of a 15 to 20 long foot wall?

GMTA
04-30-2009, 07:39 PM
For starters you will always work from your lowest point. I use a string line for a straight wall and to get and idea of the slope. 6-8" base compacted every 2". Nice wide base to allow for ample work space and a good drainage field/pipe. Make sure you allow for burying the 1st course of block. I like to glue every course when using certain block types and pins with others. Make sure to get that 1st course level and you'll just stack and cut end pieces for the remaining courses. If you do step-up in the wall extend it far enough so there will be no areas for fill to escape. Walls are a simple process but too many guys cut corners to shorten the process or save time/money. Practice, practice, practice.

"We talkin bout practice?"