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View Full Version : First Paver Patio (Homeowner) - Pics!


Akshue
05-25-2009, 06:35 PM
So guys, how does it look? I'm happy with it - and have a much greater appreciation for what you guys do for a living. There are a few spots where I want to pull up pavers and re-grade, but I figure that I'll get those after everything sits for a few weeks - but I'm only fretting about an 1/8" or so up or down.

Feel free to critique and be as brutally honest as you want to be, like I said I am just a homeowner and not a hardscaper. Had some problems around the builder-installed patio (not square, etc) so had to custom cut most of the "straight" border pieces - but all in all I think it looks allright.

And yes, these were "big-box store" pavers...

This picture really shows off how uneven the patio was...
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Vu6NrGIzxHU/ShsLWGZY6cI/AAAAAAAAHKA/OL2YqrlH6qo/s800/IMG_4995.JPG

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Vu6NrGIzxHU/ShsLYOQ6MpI/AAAAAAAAHKE/-fgx3L-u3xc/s800/IMG_4996.JPG

Yes, I still need to clean up more
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Vu6NrGIzxHU/ShsLbADiydI/AAAAAAAAHKM/Gn6wmxdqoNI/s800/IMG_4998.JPG

Next up : Landscaping. Plants come in on Friday. Then, re-grading my back yard all the way. Will probably take 10 yards of soil or so.

Bru75
05-25-2009, 10:13 PM
I'd say you did a nice job for your first try. Looks good, enjoy it!

STRINGALATION
05-26-2009, 02:24 AM
not a pro hardscaper myself but looks ok so far. maybe some vets will see what i dont

tamadrummer
05-26-2009, 03:20 AM
Not a hardscaper either but their is a ton of running bonds. Other than that, it looks awesome to me. Even with them, it still looks pleasing to the eye and that is all that matters if the base was put in correctly!

Right Touch
05-26-2009, 02:07 PM
looks very nice from afar, from up close trying to figure out the pattern. As previously mentioned, i hope you used polymeric sand for the joints as you do have alot of running bonds and that will reduce interlock. And anyone with experience in hardscaping knows the quality and success of the job mainly relies on what we cannot see in those pics- the prep of the base. Hope you have at least 4"QP compacted and graded correctly and if it is a wet area, hope you laid geotex down. But it does look good. nice cuts and curves!

Akshue
05-26-2009, 03:56 PM
looks very nice from afar, from up close trying to figure out the pattern. As previously mentioned, i hope you used polymeric sand for the joints as you do have alot of running bonds and that will reduce interlock. And anyone with experience in hardscaping knows the quality and success of the job mainly relies on what we cannot see in those pics- the prep of the base. Hope you have at least 4"QP compacted and graded correctly and if it is a wet area, hope you laid geotex down. But it does look good. nice cuts and curves!

Didn't use polymeric... I figured that I'd see how it held up, and didn't want to have to worry about the application yet. Sand is easy to add. Also, I figured that since the running bond was broken every 3 feet or so, it wouldn't be much of an issue.

The base is 7-8" deep over clay, and I did use geotex. The geotex goes up to the existing patio and is glued with landscape block adhesive to it, so I won't wash out anything under my slab. The base was graded/leveled properly - I was off by 1/4" or so in the worst area (which is a bit more than I would like to see, but I was happy with it - Like I said, I'm not a pro... but I figured that this would be as good as 95% of the people who do this sort of job)

The base was compacted every 2-3" or so, and super-compacted at the end when I was ironing out the dips and hills and lining things up with the existing slab... I figure that I went over it about 30 or 40 times in some spots at the end :)

As far as the pattern goes, see attached...
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Vu6NrGIzxHU/Shw7LptjmuI/AAAAAAAAHq4/zmybfaNUTWo/s800/Patio-Detail.jpg

I lucked out and the "blank" space in the middle was exactly the room for a 3" brick, so I was able to continue my pattern perfectly.

Right Touch
05-27-2009, 12:55 PM
wow- for a homeowner, that is one detailed picture! and pattern! maybe I need to hire you as a designer LOL how many times did you put the wrong paver in the wrong place and have to revert back to your design for the pattern? Looks great though. And you did everything the way it should be- just consider adding the polymeric at some time in the future. It will save you a headache a few years from now. Otherwise, hats off to a job well done.

Akshue
05-27-2009, 10:34 PM
wow- for a homeowner, that is one detailed picture! and pattern! maybe I need to hire you as a designer LOL how many times did you put the wrong paver in the wrong place and have to revert back to your design for the pattern? Looks great though. And you did everything the way it should be- just consider adding the polymeric at some time in the future. It will save you a headache a few years from now. Otherwise, hats off to a job well done.

Thanks... I'm a computer nerd - so I found doing the picture was way easier than any other options - not to mention, I could easily figure out square footage and the exact number of pavers to get. Make a pattern a certian size, copy and paste... Then adjust it a bit to take out some of the running bonds...

I really didn't lay many bricks without looking back at it - and I got myself "lost" pretty often. I only had to pull up one or two pavers that were put in the wrong area.

Also, I didn't realize how much of a gravel sink it would end up being... I planned on 6" (5yd)... I know I over excavated a bit (7-8" after I compacted the soil) but I was surprised to put in ~9 yards+

I got a pretty nice deal on the sand (pricing error that they realized on my second trip... ended up being $18/ton instead of $28/ton - but they said "NP we'll give you another ton at the old price.... not right to charge more now" so I know where I'll be getting the rest of my landscape supplies....) so now I have like 1/2 yard too much!... Luckilly there are like 5 patios going in nearby, and I'll just give it away and make good neighbors...

Right Touch
05-28-2009, 10:14 AM
[QUOTE=Akshue;3010869]

Also, I didn't realize how much of a gravel sink it would end up being... I planned on 6" (5yd)... I know I over excavated a bit (7-8" after I compacted the soil) but I was surprised to put in ~9 yards+

QUOTE]

I wish I could take this quote and show it to potential customers. Noone every realizes how much work it really is to put in a well structured patio that is going to last through freeze and thaw cycles year after year.

CertPro
05-28-2009, 03:42 PM
What kind of machine did you use for your "super compaction"?

Akshue
05-28-2009, 03:53 PM
just a normal compacter.... I say it was super-compacted because I went over it so many times, not that I used special equipment.

Right Touch
05-28-2009, 09:07 PM
i see where the confusion would be there. most general use compactors will only compact 2-3" no matter how many times you go over it, though im sure it makes at least a slight difference between 2 times and 40 times

bigslick7878
05-29-2009, 02:47 AM
Please paint that pad to match the pavers.

And get rid of the regular sand,it is useless for the joints.If you use polymeric and see what it turns into you will see why its the best stuff.Put it down once and you are done.Forever.

Other than that,good work for a novice.

nowayklown
05-31-2009, 01:33 AM
bigslick that was a little condasending there lol "for a novice" but yeah i agree for a homeowner, good job. make sure to get the poly sand and you'll be good to go. all in all the money you saved doing it yourself vice hiring one of us the small details that were overlooked are worth the result kudos on a good job

zedosix
05-31-2009, 12:40 PM
Not bad for a first time, should of used a different colored brick to match the concrete though. Would of gone with a grey charcoal blend. The light browns don't work well with the surroundings. Lines a little crooked up against concrete edge, next time lay pattern straight and fill in with poly or cut concrete in straight line so that pattern isn't crooked. :)

bigslick7878
05-31-2009, 03:05 PM
bigslick that was a little condasending there lol "for a novice" but yeah i agree for a homeowner, good job. make sure to get the poly sand and you'll be good to go. all in all the money you saved doing it yourself vice hiring one of us the small details that were overlooked are worth the result kudos on a good job

I said good work it wasn't "condescending".:rolleyes:

M & D Lawn
06-11-2009, 02:44 PM
How come you left the concrete patio? Why not take it out and install all pavers?

Akshue
06-11-2009, 03:31 PM
Few reasons...

1) Cost. It is new, so why replace? (This is a new house). It was poured as part of our home purchase agreement, so we didn't want to feel like we "wasted" the money.

2) We don't think it looks bad as-is. We figured that if it looked odd to us, we would have the concrete stained to match the pavers

3) The concrete plus the first run of pavers form a nice perfect square. We figured that if nothing else - if we hated it, if the concrete settles, if the concrete cracks... we could always tear it out (and some of the pavers to get a nice base again) years down the road. They are pavers, they can be torn up and relaid.

PerfiCut L&L
06-11-2009, 06:25 PM
Couple quick things.

1. Nice job
2. Since you decided to keep the existing concrete slab, why not cut it, to replicated the shape of the final patio? It does provide for a decent contrast as is, but if keeping it was a must, I think with just a little extra work, it would look better if it had the same shape as the patio.
3. Sounds like you may have provided a good base for the pavers themselves, good job. My concern, especially since you mentioned the house & slab are new, is settlement of the slab. Its inevitable, and more prominent in the first 5-7 years of a newly constructed home. Keep an eye on this as it may create a trip hazard between your well supported pavers and the slab itself. (This would have been a big reason in my opinion to remove the slab to begin with).
4.Polysand. Been said several times already. Dont ruin your hard work by short cutting it. $20 bucks and youll have a better peace of mind that the stones will stay where they are. Not to mention, you'll get tired of sweeping the patio off.

For a homeowner, great job. I've seen professionals do work of lesser quality. Sounds like you did some homework, and definately put some time into the design.

You may have already mentioned it, but how long did it take you to complete this project?

Akshue
06-11-2009, 07:04 PM
Couple quick things.

1. Nice job
2. Since you decided to keep the existing concrete slab, why not cut it, to replicated the shape of the final patio? It does provide for a decent contrast as is, but if keeping it was a must, I think with just a little extra work, it would look better if it had the same shape as the patio.
3. Sounds like you may have provided a good base for the pavers themselves, good job. My concern, especially since you mentioned the house & slab are new, is settlement of the slab. Its inevitable, and more prominent in the first 5-7 years of a newly constructed home. Keep an eye on this as it may create a trip hazard between your well supported pavers and the slab itself. (This would have been a big reason in my opinion to remove the slab to begin with).
4.Polysand. Been said several times already. Dont ruin your hard work by short cutting it. $20 bucks and youll have a better peace of mind that the stones will stay where they are. Not to mention, you'll get tired of sweeping the patio off.

For a homeowner, great job. I've seen professionals do work of lesser quality. Sounds like you did some homework, and definately put some time into the design.

You may have already mentioned it, but how long did it take you to complete this project?

1) Thx :)

2) Cutting it...

Few reasons.

a) I didn't notice until I was laying the pavers
b) I would lose the beveled edge, correct?
c) My handy-work would probably be just as bad :) (OK, probably not - but...)


3) I know this will probably bite me in the butt, and knew that all along. Playing the chance game, and then we'll decide if we want to tear out the slab or epoxy/top coat the concrete to get it up if we need to.

4) I'm already getting tired of the sand :) There are a few bricks that I want to adjust a bit (that aren't perfectly level) - I figured that I would give it some time to let the sand do what it may, and then level things off next spring. When that comes around, I'll probably poly then.

How do I remove the current sand? Pressure wash, regular water.....

As far as time.... Excavation probably took a good 10 hours, the gravel probably took 15 hours, laying the pavers + sand took about 14 hours.

Now, I'm a laid-off father of a 8 month old, so I could only work when
a) mommy was home

or

b) Naptime

not to mention that we had a string of crummy weather for working in a clay pit Would rain for 2 days, then dry for 2, then rain, then dry - only really dried...

I started about April 7 or so, and finished about 5/24

Akshue
07-28-2010, 03:23 AM
OK, not exactly sure what brought me back here, but what the hey...

Been 14 months since we laid the patio...

Concrete is still there - we are OK with the look still.

Patio didn't settle/heave any more than maybe 1/8" inch in a spot or two, except right up next to the house. The two bricks on the old patio/house corner settled about 1/4".

Still have regular sand, and it's holding together just fine.

Patio has flooded several times (Partly due to topagraphy, and a few times of 4-7" rain in a day (Milwaukee)). Held together just fine.

Patio felt "squishy" during the spring thaw, but once things dried out it was just fine.

andyslawncare
08-01-2010, 08:01 PM
Nice job. I would have broken up the existing concrete patio and done the entire thing, but still looks nice. Maybe you could look into staining the old concrete patio to help blend it into the new paver job. You will probably choose to use polymeric sand eventually....

LarryF
08-02-2010, 10:13 AM
Looks pretty good. Congratulations!

I'm another homeowner and was similarly involved a few years back. I also had a builder-provided, square concrete patio like yours off the sliding doors in the back of the house, but I decided to get rid of it and start anew. I thought it would probably be cracking and breaking up in a few years anyway, so it probably wasn't worth saving. I also thought it would look better to be all patio blocks. Like you, I did my own computer design and bought all of the materials, but since I was already in my 70's, I hired someone else to do the grunt work. But my project, which also included some concrete placement, seemed to be a lot more than yours. When it was done, I also had the same guy I had hired put Belgium block around the driveway, and then a driveway firm replaced the blacktop. Everything I did that year ended up costing about one-third as much as the initial estimates I had gotten, but what really got me into doing the design and the major contracting as I did was that I wasn't confident I would like what the hard-scape contractors would provide since none of them seemed to be able to provide plans such as I'm showing that are attached. But I guess that now-a-days, they probably all have that talent. I don't see how they could stay in business without it.

Pristine PM
08-02-2010, 10:28 AM
It is all about time. How many quotes do most guys do vs. getting the job. There are alot of people out there calling 10 companies for quotes, then going with the cheapest.

Glenn Lawn Care
08-04-2010, 05:53 PM
Not to shabby!

JimLewis
08-09-2010, 09:00 PM
The paver work is nice. I haven't seen many homeowner jobs that looked that well done. Kudos for doing it well.

The thing that really bugs me is the concrete patio left in the middle. To me, that really detracts from the whole patio. It would look 3x as nice if that concrete had been taken out and just pavers in that area.

I love the shape on the outside. Awesome curves.

scottrees
08-16-2010, 11:31 PM
You going to do anything with the contractor's patio? Stain, etching, stamping, etc...???