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Hayes Outdoor
09-18-2011, 10:04 PM
Here a couple pics of a natural stone patio, firepit and benches we built last month. We used Grey Gorge flagstone for the patio, TN Blue flagstone for the firepit and White to Grey slabs for the benches. We built the legs of the benches out of 2" thick Grey Gorge flag. Base built with Brock paver base, joints filled with Gator Dust. We layed a border of flagstone as decoration and to help retain mulch that will be layed around the edge at a later date. The customer wanted something unique and thats why we did the firepit the way we did with TN flagstone on end. Like I said we are going to do some landscaping in the future and I think that will help to finish it off. I would love to hear any CONSTRUCTIVE criticism from the veteran hardscapers that are on here.

scagrider22
09-18-2011, 10:50 PM
Looks hazardous! Pointed stone sticking strait up and a 2" lip around the perimeter probably is not a good idea...

bigviclbi
09-19-2011, 07:51 AM
Different........ That's a good thing. Don't love the bench legs it would of been cooler to use some granite pillars to set if off.

zedosix
09-19-2011, 06:03 PM
First thing that comes to mind is the sharp edges of the firepit, I personally wouldn't put one like it at my home or cottage, but "different strokes for different folks". The benches look cold and far apart, could two people sit on them at a time? I would of put one long bench and maybe had it a bit closer to the ring. I like fire pits that have chairs you can move, some evenings are colder than others and its nice to be able to get closer to the fire.

Hayes Outdoor
09-19-2011, 07:31 PM
The lip around the edge really won't be an issue once the landscaping is done, because I left a 6' opening in the front where the entrance will be. I do agree a little bit about the points on the stone, but as I built it the customer was home and they said they liked it, so I went with it. The benches do sit 2 people and are only 27" away from the firepit. We left a lot of room in between them so that when they have large parties you can place extra chairs around the firepit. But i appreciate everyones views. Bigvicl I have seen the granite pillars, but they dont look like they would be very sturdy. How are they installed and attached to the patio and seat, have you ever used them?

Groomer
09-19-2011, 10:31 PM
if you would have taken the seating material and stood it upright around the pit then you would have had a real stonehenge! Kidding aside, the jagged stuff looks a little scary.

cooltype
09-19-2011, 11:59 PM
If I lived next door I would put up a privacy fence so I wouldn't have to see that

DVS Hardscaper
09-20-2011, 07:43 AM
Hmmm.......it doesn't do anything for me. I don't like the benches. My "constructive critism" is this: Appears as if a lawn jockey was trying to get radical. You should have Pulled some magazines/books off the shelf at Home Depot and used ideas from there. I'm sorry, you're not going to Hollywood.
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Hayes Outdoor
09-20-2011, 06:51 PM
Well cooltype I think your a dick, and DVS I was hoping to get a response that showed a little more class than that. It may not be something that you guys like and thats fine but my customer loved it and thats what really matters. This site can be helpful when the right people are on it, but then you have guys like dvs and this other guy that can't say anything helpful, when that was the whole point of the post, was to hear any ideas from people that have been in the business longer than I have. Cooltype I'm figuring your one of those chickensh!t guys that are vocal and tough only on the net.

shovelracer
09-20-2011, 08:02 PM
Your not gonna make any friends that way. You came here cause you want opinions from other professionals. You have to realize that someone who does this for a living is going to obsess over the finer details, where average joe will never think of grandma tripping over the edge, or the neighbors kid catching a flagstone point in the rectum after too many fireside beers and a botched fire jumping episode.

I like the stone itself. It is different than the colors we see here. The edge is a hazard as it sits in the picture. The joints in the patio are a bit on the large side. I sort of like what you were going for with the firepit, but it looks amateur and dangerous as is. Most of the stones are square, but then you have these weird shards mixed in. Consistent stones and spacing would make for a nice light effect. As is there is a real good chance they will bust up after a few hot fires with nothing to deflect the heat.

cooltype
09-20-2011, 08:33 PM
How about this one...if i owned the house I would rent a skid steer and a dumpster for the weekend and throw it away :weightlifter:

DVS Hardscaper
09-20-2011, 08:33 PM
Some pictures are better suited for Facebook if you're looking for that-a-boys.

If you're looking for professional opinions on an industry forum, you need to be mentally ready to learn and mentally ready for negative feedback. Doesn't usually go to well for the mama's boys.......


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scagrider22
09-20-2011, 08:50 PM
How about this one...if i owned the house I would rent a skid steer and a dumpster for the weekend and throw it away :weightlifter:

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Hayes Outdoor
09-20-2011, 09:35 PM
Your not gonna make any friends that way. You came here cause you want opinions from other professionals. You have to realize that someone who does this for a living is going to obsess over the finer details, where average joe will never think of grandma tripping over the edge, or the neighbors kid catching a flagstone point in the rectum after too many fireside beers and a botched fire jumping episode.

I like the stone itself. It is different than the colors we see here. The edge is a hazard as it sits in the picture. The joints in the patio are a bit on the large side. I sort of like what you were going for with the firepit, but it looks amateur and dangerous as is. Most of the stones are square, but then you have these weird shards mixed in. Consistent stones and spacing would make for a nice light effect. As is there is a real good chance they will bust up after a few hot fires with nothing to deflect the heat.


Thank you, I honestly appreciate your insight, I did not post this on here for everyone to agree with my project or say that it looks great when they don't believe that. I wanted an honest but respectful opinion and thats what you gave. I have only been doing hardscapes for a few years and realize that there are details that I overlook and aspects of a build that I don't see, and thats why I'm often on this site, to try and learn. I picked through 2 pallets of TN flagstone to try and find more square pieces but had to finally go with what I could find, but I do agree with what your sayinig. I also agree with the edge but the landscaping will be done very soon then it won't be a hazard, the edge was something that the customer asked for and was not my idea, but you know you have to build it the way the customer wants it. I constantly want to learn different and better ways to do things and thats why I posted on here, in hopes that I might get a few tips, ideas and opinions on ways that I can improve. I thought thats what this forum was all about. Most of you have been helpful, but you know it just takes a few to ruin it.

zedosix
09-20-2011, 09:47 PM
the edge was something that the customer asked for and was not my idea, but you know you have to build it the way the customer wants it. .

This couldn't be further from the truth. What the customer wants and what makes sense are two different things. I always listen to the customer but rarely give what they want. Not because I'm stubborn but because I understand hardscape. You need experience thats all, and don't be afraid to tell the customer what you really think!

Glenn Lawn Care
09-21-2011, 12:36 PM
That's crazy looking!

GroundOneMN
09-21-2011, 01:31 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with the homeowner I hope you had them sign off stating your not liable for any injurys, as for thoughts about the job, great example of lack of design and thought before installation. If this would of been designed up I believe the homeowner would of said no to the sharp points.
Now I know your going to say they love it, but like other posters have mentioned you have to educate someone even in this economy where you have to take everything you can. If you would of taken that extra lip of stone and made a small wall around the ring you would of found less critique of the job.

The lip around the entire patio just causes another "why in the world" comment.

Your stone work, i would reccommend cutting the joints to fit tighter, your gaps really detract from the beauty of the stone, which is quite interesting...But the seats, look more like left over steps set upon extra stone.

Remember before lashing out, we are trying to help educate not bash you.

Those are my thoughts

Hayes Outdoor
09-21-2011, 04:52 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with the homeowner I hope you had them sign off stating your not liable for any injurys, as for thoughts about the job, great example of lack of design and thought before installation. If this would of been designed up I believe the homeowner would of said no to the sharp points.
Now I know your going to say they love it, but like other posters have mentioned you have to educate someone even in this economy where you have to take everything you can. If you would of taken that extra lip of stone and made a small wall around the ring you would of found less critique of the job.

The lip around the entire patio just causes another "why in the world" comment.

Your stone work, i would reccommend cutting the joints to fit tighter, your gaps really detract from the beauty of the stone, which is quite interesting...But the seats, look more like left over steps set upon extra stone.

Remember before lashing out, we are trying to help educate not bash you.

Those are my thoughts

Thanks for your comments, I am all about education, and when someone posts like you do I appreciate it, the other guys aren't helpful but thats ok. thanks again and I will keep your opinions in mind on my next project.

DVS Hardscaper
09-21-2011, 04:56 PM
I have a thread that I created. I believe it's titled something like 'from lawn jockey to contractor'.

It's about liability.

Click on my user name and do a search. Search by 'threads created'.

Again, here to help you.

.
Posted via Mobile Device

Hayes Outdoor
09-21-2011, 05:03 PM
I have a thread that I created. I believe it's titled something like 'from lawn jockey to contractor'.

It's about liability.

Click on my user name and do a search. Search by 'threads created'.

Again, here to help you.

.
Posted via Mobile Device

Thanks I will definately look into that

Mark Oomkes
09-21-2011, 05:17 PM
So, the fact that this is a fire pit and has the potential to burn folks doesn't come in to play here?

If sharp stones are a liability, so is the fire in the fire pit. So is the hole if he did a different kind of firepit.

I will readily admit I know nothing about hardscapes. Well, very little. Having said that, I think the benches are too short and the edge is sort of weird\tripping hazard, but I like the stones around the fire pit.

shovelracer
09-21-2011, 09:37 PM
Firepits in general are a liability. A lot of guys will not install them labeled as firepits. If you happen to ask for a round raised planter in the middle of your patio so be it.

DVS Hardscaper
09-21-2011, 10:58 PM
So, the fact that this is a fire pit and has the potential to burn folks doesn't come in to play here?

If sharp stones are a liability, so is the fire in the fire pit. So is the hole if he did a different kind of firepit.

I will readily admit I know nothing about hardscapes. Well, very little. Having said that, I think the benches are too short and the edge is sort of weird\tripping hazard, but I like the stones around the fire pit.



I very much do think fire pits and fire features are a HUGE liability.

Here's a link: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=339040&highlight=liability+fire+pits


,

Murphy's Law
09-22-2011, 02:43 PM
This couldn't be further from the truth. What the customer wants and what makes sense are two different things. I always listen to the customer but rarely give what they want. Not because I'm stubborn but because I understand hardscape. You need experience thats all, and don't be afraid to tell the customer what you really think!

I think you hit the nail on the head with the above quote. It should have never gotten to this point with the client. Way before you submitted a proposal you should have spoken with them about the hazards (plural) of this type of firepit. As far as the lip goes, you are basically shrinking the usable space of the patio around the firepit. I'm a value driven guy. With both my own projects and projects I sell to clients. You did not build value into the patio with the lip. You spent the client's money with less benefit by building that lip.

The above is constructive criticism.

northofeden
09-24-2011, 01:58 PM
I like it. Yes I would replace the pointed piece of bluestone.
It’s different. If you were a landscape architect no one would question what you’ve done, for example, the raised lip would be a “structural element delineating the landscape area from the hardscapes”.


I would be a bit careful when “educating” your clients. Don’t underestimate your customer. Often they are going to say “I want what Bob has” and point to the unilock, belgard, techno whatever, patio/semicircle seat wall in the neighbor’s yard. and you should build what they want.
Every so often a customer says I don’t want Bob has. Now you have it -- put it in your portfolio. We did a fairly large, bluestone/granite cobble project this year and I tried to talk the owner out of using fans in the layout of the granite cobble. The owner didn’t listen to the experienced hardscaper and we installed the fans. I was dead wrong the fans were not to “busy” and actually add to the project.

An aside: I was watching a TV program called shark week or swimming with the sharks, I don’t watch that much TV. In the program one of the sharks told an entrepreneur that he would rather stick needles in his eyes than invest in the product. After the other sharks had declined to invest, giving more reasoned arguments such as market saturation, and larger competitors. They called out the comments of the shark as inappropriate. And he said something to the effect that this is how it is in the big leagues. Don’t believe it, that is just an excuse for unprofessional behavior and comments.

Finally, I noticed in your post that you’ve used a product called brock paver base. None of the veteran pavers have asked about it. So either I am way behind the curve (which is typical) and everybody is using it or they didn’t read your post.
It looks like a big time saver, if it holds up.
Have you used it in the past on other projects?
Do you need anything extra in the base for heavier elements added such as, benches as pictured, or a fountain?
Do you purchase it directly or from a vendor?
Thanks

scagrider22
09-24-2011, 05:05 PM
I like it. Yes I would replace the pointed piece of bluestone.
It�s different. If you were a landscape architect no one would question what you�ve done, for example, the raised lip would be a �structural element delineating the landscape area from the hardscapes�.


I would be a bit careful when �educating� your clients. Don�t underestimate your customer. Often they are going to say �I want what Bob has� and point to the unilock, belgard, techno whatever, patio/semicircle seat wall in the neighbor�s yard. and you should build what they want.
Every so often a customer says I don�t want Bob has. Now you have it -- put it in your portfolio. We did a fairly large, bluestone/granite cobble project this year and I tried to talk the owner out of using fans in the layout of the granite cobble. The owner didn�t listen to the experienced hardscaper and we installed the fans. I was dead wrong the fans were not to �busy� and actually add to the project.

An aside: I was watching a TV program called shark week or swimming with the sharks, I don�t watch that much TV. In the program one of the sharks told an entrepreneur that he would rather stick needles in his eyes than invest in the product. After the other sharks had declined to invest, giving more reasoned arguments such as market saturation, and larger competitors. They called out the comments of the shark as inappropriate. And he said something to the effect that this is how it is in the big leagues. Don�t believe it, that is just an excuse for unprofessional behavior and comments.

Finally, I noticed in your post that you�ve used a product called brock paver base. None of the veteran pavers have asked about it. So either I am way behind the curve (which is typical) and everybody is using it or they didn�t read your post.
It looks like a big time saver, if it holds up.
Have you used it in the past on other projects?
Do you need anything extra in the base for heavier elements added such as, benches as pictured, or a fountain?
Do you purchase it directly or from a vendor?
Thanks

I recommend you both stick with cutting grass.

desert rose gardening
09-24-2011, 08:55 PM
Hayes, Why don't you do a poll on this?

DVS Hardscaper
09-24-2011, 09:01 PM
I think Hayes has left the building.


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zak406
09-25-2011, 01:04 AM
Imo the patio looks pretty good. The fire pit is not my cup of tea and I tend to agree the benches are to far apart and to far away. I think this job would look a bit better with some landscaping around it, imo its to far away from everything its kinda like its swimming in the lawn per say. I would have built the fire pit out of castle blok with a steel insert. I also think this would have been a good fit for pavers but it is what it is!

JimLewis
09-26-2011, 10:36 PM
Well, I have a hard task. You've asked for only constructive criticism. Which is my challenge, because honestly I hate about everything I see in that photo. But I'll try not to mention all the things I don't like and instead try to focus on more constructive thoughts.... ;)

Ok. Um, first thing is; if you have to use more than one variety / color of rock within a project, make sure the COMPLIMENT each other, rather than clash. In this case, the stark white/gray color of the benches really doesn't compliment the stone used in the rest of the patio. So that's something I think you should consider in the future.

Second, you should vary the size of your flagstone a little more. All of the pieces used in the patio are all the same general size. Now you can say, "Well, that's all that had in that variety...." or some other excuse. But if it were me, then I just wouldn't use that variety in that case.

I know you mentioned that the customer wanted something unique. I appreciate that. But two things about that. 1) The customer isn't always right. and 2) There are ways of being unique that are beautiful and creative and other ways of being unique that are just plain odd. Yours is in the latter and I wouldn't have gone there, no matter how much the client liked the idea. When I say that the client is always right, what I mean by that is; I'm not going to do something that the client absolutely LOVES but I know is going to look pretty crazy to everyone else who sees it. Then I get a bad reputation when their friends, family, neighbors come over and are thinking inside "Who the he|| built this ugly......" but out of courtesy are saying something more like, "Ummm...Yes...That's quite unique. I bet you are very happy...." :rolleyes: Bottom line is; if what I am about to do is something that I know the NEXT homeowner probably would consider an eyesore, then I'm probably not going to take on that job.

There are ways of being creative without being odd. A simple search on the internet would have shown you all sorts of ways of building a fire pit that was unique and still very attractive. For instance, this is an example of a fire pit made with flagstone (http://www.lewislandscape.com/photos/gallery/albums/samples/Firepit.jpg) that is very unique but still very attractive. Also simple to build.

My thought on the border is this; I don't think you needed to have that odd border like that. For one, it will likely trap standing water. But for two, if your point was to retain the mulch bed that will be around it, then just build the whole thing up 1-3" higher than the grade around it. The entire patio would be higher than the mulch bed in that case. It's the same way most of us construct paver patios, etc. around lawns or mulch beds. Just build them a tad higher. No need to have some odd looking lip on the outside. And I imagine that lip would also be a tripping hazard.

My final thoughts; relax on Cooltype and DVS. They can be less then complimentary at times, I agree. But they speak the truth. I tried to keep my comments as polite as I could here because you don't seem to be very open to much criticism. And I can understand that. But just because they are saying they don't like it at all, doesn't mean they are jerks. I think if you were to take a broad poll, I think you'd find that most people anywhere would agree with their assessment. The good news is we've all installed some stuff we were proud of at the time, but later looked back and thought, "Oh damn. I'm glad I've grown a lot since I installed that!" I think you're at the earlier part of that learning curve. In 10 years you'll probably look back and agree. But it's hard to see that perspective after you just spent some long hard hours building something that your customer loved and you thought was pretty good too.

DIXIECONTRACTING
10-26-2011, 08:59 AM
Sorry no you got paid for that ?