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ramu3527
08-22-2012, 10:57 AM
Hey folks,

I'm a HO who's a member on this site doing research on a possible lawn cutting business to supplement my income.

I'm also going to be doing a raised paver patio in my backyard. I've never done this before.

In looking for forums dealing with hardscapes I discovered this site, which I already belong to, has a section for hardscapes. I have noticed though, the pros (you guys) aren't too chatty with DYI HO's like me. I guess I can understand.

My questions is, am I reading you guys wrong? Would some of you be willing to help a guy out? The thing is, I'm a professional firefighter and I can't afford to pay the pros and have the time to do it myself. I also love to take on new projects and learn new things.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

Ray

Stuttering Stan
08-22-2012, 05:06 PM
Hey folks,

I'm a HO who's a member on this site doing research on a possible lawn cutting business to supplement my income.

I'm also going to be doing a raised paver patio in my backyard. I've never done this before.

In looking for forums dealing with hardscapes I discovered this site, which I already belong to, has a section for hardscapes. I have noticed though, the pros (you guys) aren't too chatty with DYI HO's like me. I guess I can understand.

My questions is, am I reading you guys wrong? Would some of you be willing to help a guy out? The thing is, I'm a professional firefighter and I can't afford to pay the pros and have the time to do it myself. I also love to take on new projects and learn new things.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

Ray

You are not reading us wrong. We are reluctant to let Joe HO know the secrets of the trade, which we have worked many years in the trenches to learn. It's all about paying your dues, investing years of sweat equity, and hundreds of hours behind a computer researching the ins and outs of the industry.
If you want to install a patio yourself, then go ahead. It will be a great learning experience. If you make a mistake, redo and learn from it.
I'm also a professional firefighter, so I'm sure that you can relate to paying your dues. Down time at the station is a great time to browse this site, read as much as you can, and soak up the information like a sponge.

Smallaxe
08-23-2012, 07:24 AM
I've done several different hardscapes with pavers, stone and the like, and never with a pro that had trade secrets that made him better than me... in fact I disagree with conventional wisdom on some issues and over the long term, I appear to be correct...

What is it that you wonder about as far as a raised patio??? How high do you want it to be??? Is it to be outlined with treated beams then filled with masonry sand, or concreted???

Duekster
08-23-2012, 08:02 AM
It seems many fire fighters get into different part time jobs.

Construction is a decent one.

I have no problem with that concept provided you price the jobs as if they were your main source of income.

As far as helping HO's I also have no problem with that either. We have some HO's that post here regular and participate all over the forum.

Sometimes it is clear the HO is way over their head, it is too much problem to provide step by step details to a complete novice.

ramu3527
08-23-2012, 11:06 AM
Thanks guys,

I have no interest in getting into the hardscaping business. I don't have the skills or the manpower.

As far as other side gigs, I try to stay as commonly priced as I can. I'm not looking to run around underbidding everyone. It's a shady way to do business and reflects more than just business practices. It's a character thing.

If I was to start a lawn cutting business (currently researching it), I would be looking to run a pretty legit business.

As far as step by step, no, I'm not looking for that at all. I have an idea of what I'm doing and know some folks who do also. But I have used these forums in MANY different genres anywhere from motorcycles to power tools. The pros always know best and I totally respect that. It'll be specific questions about certain aspects of the job. I have been on the Internet researching for a while and other than the pros (you guys) all I can find is a bunch of DIY sites. The pros are the ones to get the info from.

I plan on making the patio one step down from the door. then approximately one step to the grass or concrete slab (which will be on one side). So the retaining wall is only going to be a couple of courses high.

I have a condition on this job. I have waterproofed the basement in this section of the house and I backfilled the hole with pea. I have read pea is not a good base for concrete or paver patios because it will move and work it's way into the soil under heavy loads, causing the pad or pavers to sink.

What I was thinking was to remove about a foot (deep) of the pea and backfilling it with the base I'm going to use (which brings me to another question for later...lol), tamping it down very well and just proceeding with the job from there.

I have included some pictures. The patio is going pretty much where the plywood is leaning against the house. I just wanted to give you guys an idea of what I was talking about.

(for later...) One other question is, what should I use for my aggregate base? I hear, class V, crushed limestone, 411. I don't know who to believe. I live in the Detroit, MI area (yeah yeah, I know) so winter and drainage are a concern. Will any of these work and just go with the best price or is one much better than the rest.

Thanks for any and all help folks. It is very appreciated!! :usflag:

Ray

Smallaxe
08-24-2012, 11:16 AM
I would refuse the job unless the pavers are at footing level, not foundation brick wall level, of the house... This is a better situation for a deck, because you are raising the ground up against the wall of the house...

water-proofing doesn't replace drainage...
Think about this a bit before you jump into it... If you are saying what I think you're saying, this could be a huge mistake... :)

ramu3527
08-25-2012, 03:23 PM
I would refuse the job unless the pavers are at footing level, not foundation brick wall level, of the house... This is a better situation for a deck, because you are raising the ground up against the wall of the house...

water-proofing doesn't replace drainage...
Think about this a bit before you jump into it... If you are saying what I think you're saying, this could be a huge mistake... :)

I have to be honest, I don't know what you're saying.

It's not a job to be refused. It's my home.

'Footing level'? The house is on a basement, the footing is 6' down (+/-). And what is 'foundation brick wall level'? The patio is going to be sloped away from the house as is the grade all the way around which drains the water away.

I guess I'm missing what you're saying here.

Ray

Duekster
08-25-2012, 03:41 PM
I have to be honest, I don't know what you're saying.

It's not a job to be refused. It's my home.

'Footing level'? The house is on a basement, the footing is 6' down (+/-). And what is 'foundation brick wall level'? The patio is going to be sloped away from the house as is the grade all the way around which drains the water away.

I guess I'm missing what you're saying here.

Ray

Small Ax does that to a lot of people. :laugh: He is a good guy however.

Have you searched over in the hardscape section. I think I have seen some discussion about steps, problems with them settling and such in that section.

ramu3527
08-25-2012, 05:39 PM
Small Ax does that to a lot of people. :laugh: He is a good guy however.

Have you searched over in the hardscape section. I think I have seen some discussion about steps, problems with them settling and such in that section.

Well, I originally posted this in the hardscape section but it got moved here...lol

Smallaxe
08-25-2012, 05:47 PM
The wall of the house then... the top of your basement wall has a plate upon which the house's outside wall sits upon... placing a patio up against the wall isn't a good idea even if sloped away...
This is a problem in snow country, but perhaps Kentucky it's not an issue...

Duekster
08-25-2012, 05:50 PM
Well, I originally posted this in the hardscape section but it got moved here...lol

I know because it is homeowner advice section but your solution is over there. I have seen threads on it just a few weeks ago.

ramu3527
08-25-2012, 05:50 PM
The wall of the house then... the top of your basement wall has a plate upon which the house's outside wall sits upon... placing a patio up against the wall isn't a good idea even if sloped away...
This is a problem in snow country, but perhaps Kentucky it's not an issue...
Ok, well I'm in snow country (MI), why is it a problem? What will happen?

Duekster
08-25-2012, 05:53 PM
Ok, well I'm in snow country (MI), why is it a problem? What will happen?

Frost line, soil movement and other things.

There is a special way to work up against a house too. Your steps are not too high but you have to go deep to compact the soil.

Duekster
08-25-2012, 05:56 PM
You don't you try to get a good part time job with a hardscaper.

ramu3527
08-25-2012, 06:04 PM
Frost line, soil movement and other things.

There is a special way to work up against a house too. Your steps are not too high but you have to go deep to compact the soil.

I guess I'm missing what you guys are saying.

What does the frost line have to do with anything? The frost line around here is said to be 42". What soil movement and what does it have to do with putting a raised patio against my brick? The soil has been undisturbed for a few years. My soil is high in clay content. I plan on putting about 6" of base (at least) with the sand on top of that. That should drain well enough. I can go deeper on the base if need be.

Can you guys tell me, specifically, what the issues are?

Duekster
08-25-2012, 06:24 PM
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=381542

Read that one. These guys know more than me.

ramu3527
08-25-2012, 06:59 PM
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=381542

Read that one. These guys know more than me.

OK, I read the thread. I'm not sure how this applies to me. I see what they're saying about building it on an over-dig and on fill and such. I still don't see how that has anything to do with putting a patio against my house, against the brick. I'm only raising it one step from grade. It will only be covering about 3-5 courses of brick. I'm not installing steps. It will be one step down out of my house right on to the patio, then one step off the patio to the lawn or concrete depending on what side of the patio you're stepping off of.

Is it going to affect my brick in a negative way or are we talking about it sinking?

Duekster
08-25-2012, 07:11 PM
Honestly, I do not know but I do know if you need footings below the frost line. I do not deal with a deep frost line in texas.

I spent the time to find you one thread. There are dozens more like that one on other aspects. I know there are proper proceedures for laying up next to the house. It has to do with the base and geotextile and how it is laid down.

Hope someone that knows more than me chimes in soon. I can not offer any more advice I do not have.

I am sure you can do a fine job DYI.

ramu3527
08-25-2012, 08:02 PM
Honestly, I do not know but I do know if you need footings below the frost line. I do not deal with a deep frost line in texas.

I spent the time to find you one thread. There are dozens more like that one on other aspects. I know there are proper proceedures for laying up next to the house. It has to do with the base and geotextile and how it is laid down.

Hope someone that knows more than me chimes in soon. I can not offer any more advice I do not have.

I am sure you can do a fine job DYI.

Fair enough, thanks for your efforts.

Yeah, I'd like to hear Smallaxe explain what he's talking about so I have a better idea of things to look out for. I hope he doesn't think I'm challenging him. I'm just trying to understand.

Thanks again.

Ray

Duekster
08-25-2012, 08:05 PM
Fair enough, thanks for your efforts.

Yeah, I'd like to hear Smallaxe explain what he's talking about so I have a better idea of things to look out for. I hope he doesn't think I'm challenging him. I'm just trying to understand.

Thanks again.

Ray

We would all like that :drinkup:

Smallaxe
08-25-2012, 08:09 PM
Snow up against a wall for any length of time melts from the inside out... this may or may not leak between the seam between the wall and you raised patio... from there it sits in the frozen ground looking for someplace to go... as it creeps over your basement wall, under the plate of your outside house wall will be the first that you notice it... by then your plate and studs are molded, if not rotted...

The top of your ground level needs to be below the plate of your wall, otherwise there will be problems during some winter event... if not this winter, perhaps in 5 yrs... but it is not likely you'll get by forever... :)

Roofs should never leak, but ice dams can cause a brand new roof to leak as well...

ramu3527
08-25-2012, 08:23 PM
Snow up against a wall for any length of time melts from the inside out... this may or may not leak between the seam between the wall and you raised patio... from there it sits in the frozen ground looking for someplace to go... as it creeps over your basement wall, under the plate of your outside house wall will be the first that you notice it... by then your plate and studs are molded, if not rotted...

The top of your ground level needs to be below the plate of your wall, otherwise there will be problems during some winter event... if not this winter, perhaps in 5 yrs... but it is not likely you'll get by forever... :)

Roofs should never leak, but ice dams can cause a brand new roof to leak as well...

Hey man, thanks for getting back.

Ok, great points. I did however waterproof the entire area and in doing so, I dug all the way to the drain tile, replaced the drain tile, tarred the wall, covered it with visqueened and backfilled the hole with pea stone. The top of the plastic is sealed, above the brick-line, with a membrane and tar. That and the fact drainage should be optimal with the pea stone, base and sand, the water should never settle anywhere. It should drain right to the drain tile. In addition to that, it's a covered porch.

Again, not challenging, discussing. Thoughts?

Thanks.

ztman
08-25-2012, 08:32 PM
What these people are trying to tell you, is that you need a proper base, and you need to pay attention to your grade, especially in snow country. Looking at your pics, you current grade is already too high. Grade should never be up to a window, even if it is glass block. Moisture will get trapped. If you have the pitch in the yard, i would drop the grade down so you have another step into the home.

Smallaxe
08-25-2012, 10:20 PM
Frozen ground doesn't drain at all... I know you're not challenging me and I'm not trying to be a jerk... it has been my job for years to look at any given project and determine what might go wrong and talk it through, before the problem becomes a problem, rather than after...
I am always glad when I'm proven wrong, then I know we've analysed it properly, and it can go forward... :)

ramu3527
08-25-2012, 11:41 PM
What these people are trying to tell you, is that you need a proper base, and you need to pay attention to your grade, especially in snow country. Looking at your pics, you current grade is already too high. Grade should never be up to a window, even if it is glass block. Moisture will get trapped. If you have the pitch in the yard, i would drop the grade down so you have another step into the home.

Yeah, I hear ya, unfortunately that is the low point in the yard. One of the reasons I waterproofed.

I just raised the grade around other parts of the house installing window wells around the other windows. I have had many rain storms since the waterproofing and it floods right there at that low spot by the window and the water just pours into the stone and gone, never seen a drop in the house since I waterproofed.

This is the only way I can do it as far as the grade goes.

ramu3527
08-25-2012, 11:50 PM
Frozen ground doesn't drain at all... I know you're not challenging me and I'm not trying to be a jerk... it has been my job for years to look at any given project and determine what might go wrong and talk it through, before the problem becomes a problem, rather than after...
I am always glad when I'm proven wrong, then I know we've analysed it properly, and it can go forward... :)

I plan on having the correct base, one that drains well. That with the pea in the hole and the sand, it should drain fine, taking the path of least resistance, right to the drain tile. There should be very little, if any, hydrostatic pressure driving moisture into the house as it should run freely right down to the drain tile.

As far as moisture and drainage problems, I'm not that concerned. I see no reason the moisture would go anywhere but south to the drain tile.

I'm more concerned with stability issues and sinking, because of the pea stone.

That and was desiring opinions on the base to use.

I thank you for your time and ideas and will certainly be mindful while doing the project.

THEGOLDPRO
08-26-2012, 12:08 AM
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0764550756.01.LZZZZZZZ.gif

ramu3527
08-26-2012, 11:20 AM
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0764550756.01.LZZZZZZZ.gif

lol, yeah, or I can just talk to you guys...

I have books but they don't answer specific questions. They are general.

eatonpcat
08-27-2012, 01:19 PM
Just do it, take a picture of your work and post it, These guys will be happy to tell all there secrets when they telling you everything you did wrong!! LOL

ramu3527
08-27-2012, 01:57 PM
LOL, thanks for all the input guys...

ztman
08-28-2012, 11:34 AM
Yeah, I hear ya, unfortunately that is the low point in the yard. One of the reasons I waterproofed.

I just raised the grade around other parts of the house installing window wells around the other windows. I have had many rain storms since the waterproofing and it floods right there at that low spot by the window and the water just pours into the stone and gone, never seen a drop in the house since I waterproofed.

This is the only way I can do it as far as the grade goes.

Have you considered putting a window well in where the glass block window is. If you did that you would probably be able to raise the grade and eliminate your step and drainage issue. Your sill should be below your door, and above the glass block window. If you do raise the grade, you just want to make sure the foundation wall is built to withstand the extra grade height

ramu3527
08-28-2012, 03:09 PM
Have you considered putting a window well in where the glass block window is. If you did that you would probably be able to raise the grade and eliminate your step and drainage issue. Your sill should be below your door, and above the glass block window. If you do raise the grade, you just want to make sure the foundation wall is built to withstand the extra grade height

Well, I'm not even sure I have a step and drainage issue. The sill is below the door but about the middle of the glass block window.

The top of the patio is planned for about the same height as the sill. It's very close. I plan to seal the window (and anything else that needs sealing) and going right over the window. I was even thinking of putting some flashing in.

As far as extra grade height against the wall, I don't think an extra 6 or 7 inches will make that much of a difference do you?

ztman
08-28-2012, 04:12 PM
Well, I'm not even sure I have a step and drainage issue. The sill is below the door but about the middle of the glass block window.

The top of the patio is planned for about the same height as the sill. It's very close. I plan to seal the window (and anything else that needs sealing) and going right over the window. I was even thinking of putting some flashing in.

As far as extra grade height against the wall, I don't think an extra 6 or 7 inches will make that much of a difference do you?

It could make a big difference. What is your foundation wall made of , and how much dirt is against it now.

ramu3527
08-28-2012, 10:08 PM
It could make a big difference. What is your foundation wall made of , and how much dirt is against it now.

The foundation is poured. The basement walls are block.

As far as, how much dirt is against it now, I'm not sure how to answer that. It's a basement, it's buried. The whole area has been waterproofed and backfilled with pea-stone so there is much less pressure than before.