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Old 04-12-2009, 01:29 PM
shovelracer shovelracer is offline
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Location: North Jersey
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first pillar please pick at

We decided to build a pillar at our driveway entrance. This is my first pillar. Not something I regularly offer to my clients, we are more into maintenance and grading type work. I am NCMA and ICPI certified, but I dont seek large jobs and the small job market has gone the way of Joe the handyman so we have stayed were the money is.

Anyways I'll take all constructive comments as I always like to know where I went wrong. The earlier build picks are on my other computer which has a corrupted hard drive so this is all for now.

Pillar is on a footer 48" deep, 3' x 3' x 8". 1/2" Rebar horizontal in the footer and tied into 4 pieces vertical running through the block. Standard 16" chimney block was used. Ties every 8" or wherever allowed. Built from the bottom up off the footer. Portland mix was used on the veneer, and lime portland for the grout, Type S. The veneer was 2-3" thick fieldstone we pulled off a job a few years ago and have been looking to use for something. The mulch came from some oaks we shredded this winter. All material used was recycled except for the plants, the block, and the pillar cap, and the sand, portland, and lime. I didnt keep record of the time, but I figure I have about 30 hours into it. I think it came out good and the wife loves it. I think I could have been a little better on the corners, and a little tighter on some joints, not sure if the combination of mixes will be an issue later on. The solar lighting is temporary and someday we will incorporate a lighting setup when the rest of the property is ready.

So lets have it. Good, Bad, or just OK?
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:28 PM
Mid-Ohio Scaper's Avatar
Mid-Ohio Scaper Mid-Ohio Scaper is offline
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The limestone cap has a bit to much overhang, but other than that I like it.
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Old 04-12-2009, 04:22 PM
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Bru75 Bru75 is offline
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looks fine except for the cap, it just seems too big.
The corners and grout lines will improve as you get more experience, if you decide to build more.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:12 PM
shovelracer shovelracer is offline
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Thanks, yes I agree there is a little much overhang. It really shows at an angle. There is about 2" to the break line so a little more with the rough edge. Obviously more on a corner. That is why I went with a 3" cap. I wasnt about to try to chop an inch off. If I did it again I might build out a little more or use a thicker stone. I would consider doing it again, but feel I need more practice if I'm charging. I will eventually build a landing and pillars at the front door entrance to match. After seeing the work that went into this one I can imagine what that will take. Anyways keep them coming.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:30 PM
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STL Ponds and Waterfalls STL Ponds and Waterfalls is offline
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I think you better build the house first than the entrance.

Seriously it looks good for your first job, except the overhang as stated.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:48 PM
shovelracer shovelracer is offline
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The house is there. Its on the 3 acres not in the picture. Hardly picture worthy though. The kind of house that should have been knocked down and rebuilt. But we were glutten for punishment so we bought it for a good price. 50 years of neglect can really take its toll. The inside, structural, and electrical have all been coded and above, outfitted for maximum efficiency and future technology, but the outside is still pretty rough. That is the next project. It's a concrete block house so I'm thinking stone veneer bottom apron and hardy panel or stucco upper. Got to start somewhere huh?
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:36 PM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is offline
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pillar looks good, the cap phas to go, way too big.

Also, glad to see your house numbers on the pillar, I recommend reflective numbers.
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:48 PM
shovelracer shovelracer is offline
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I was really digging the metal plates available, but most were either too big or too small. Anything custom sized would have cost a few bucks. They are nickel and match all the other metal fixtures on the house. They arent reflective, but they definitely shine. We have one of those fire station approved reflective number plaques on the mailbox so finding the house isnt a problem.

So I'm glad you all think it is cosmetically pleasing minus the cap. Any comments on the construction part. I know it is hard without pics. Is the rebar too small or is it overkill. I was told it wasnt necessary by one guy and also told to use 3/4" by another. How about the combination of portland for the veneer, mortar, and footer and the use of a type S for the grout? It is the construction part I am most interested in learning where I goofed. Working on the new hard drive so might be able to retrieve the old picks later in the week.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:09 AM
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jblawns123 jblawns123 is offline
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I know nothing about pillars, I think it looks great... agree with the cap being too big but didn't pick up on that till everyone said it.

It seems to be placed in the middle of nowhere though???
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:58 AM
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PerfiCut L&L PerfiCut L&L is offline
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cap looks fine.

Pillar looks lonely though.
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