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  #71  
Old 08-27-2012, 11:14 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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Thanks DVS. Your answers are much appreciated. Hardscaping is definitely hard work and takes more craftsmanship than a lot of other landscaping tasks. Base is so important and I know it was preached into my head but now I can fully understand why.
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  #72  
Old 08-28-2012, 04:58 PM
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Day 2, definitely my last hardscape job I'll ever do. I feel like the blind leading the blind................When this is done I cannot wait to leave it behind me. Hardscape pro's, it's all yours, I want nothing to do with it.
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...........But if another job comes my way I'll feel a little better prepared in understanding what should and shouldn't be done........... Posted via Mobile Device
Funny how your attitude has changed now that you can invision the finished project. I think the majority of us went through this in the beginning, the first time you tackle something like this you have all the hickups and don't think the end will ever be in sight. Once you get towards the end you start to see that you can have a future in it.
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  #73  
Old 08-28-2012, 07:24 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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Yea I was in panic mode at that point. Not knowing when that next step would move forward. Ya know the 3 year old coming out in me But thankfully helpful and knowledgeable people here can help. They cannot do the work for you but can surely offer suggestions whether it is before, during, or after the project.

Hoping for completion this weekend, at least of the hardscape. Still lots of clean up and other finishing touches after.
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  #74  
Old 09-01-2012, 10:36 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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So today was a cut and fill day. Final rental of the wet saw to get everything cut. The stairs are up but I still need to get sand under the pavers. I have them in the area because I needed to get everything cut today so thats why it looks like that on the top. Finished the walkway and just need to sweep in poly sand on the entire patio/walkway surface. Cutting takes much longer than you would think. The holes I needed to fill the walkway in were easy because it was basically just splitting the rectangle paver in half. But corners, curves, and angles just take time. Just some updated pics of the progress. For those wanting to dabble in hardscape my suggestion....do a simple 10x10 patio first. This was crazy for a first job. Lots of things to get done and for one person this was A LOT of work. Also this was my first experience with the tools to get the job done such as the compactor, wet saw, pavers, and other misc things. Lots of on the job learning. Wow the mistakes.....

Have a great labor day everyone.......if you get the holiday off.
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  #75  
Old 09-01-2012, 10:46 PM
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big daddy b big daddy b is offline
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Looks alright.
I do not like that pattern, there are some long lines as stated before, and it just looks bad in my opinion.
Could you have done a random pattern with that brick, or would it have not worked out?

You can see in the first picture the lines aren't really straight.
What kind of edging is that?

In the stoop picture, is there no over hang on the caps?
One of my biggest pet peaves, not over hanging caps on walls and steps/stoops.
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  #76  
Old 09-01-2012, 11:53 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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Big daddy b, I wasn't about to attempt my own random pattern on my first job but yes I hate that pattern now too. Just lends itself to not look good without A LOT of work. I will say this my brother laid the majority of the patio and walkway that is showing in the pics looking from the walkway up to the patio so blame him I think the edging is called Sure Foot. It's what they gave me. I was under the impression to not overlap on the steps or very little according to code but I agree it would look better with some overhang. They are not glued down yet so maybe I can give a little bit?

Again I know my aesthetic mistakes I made and am thankful to my brother as he doesn't care. I also have a better idea of the base prep, which again was the first time ever. Base is by far the most critical step. I''ve never laid a paver until this project remember.

Thanks everyone for the criticisms, tips, suggestions, and the limited compliments (keep them all coming). They all help make for a better second project should it come.
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  #77  
Old 09-02-2012, 09:57 PM
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If they aren't glued down yet, myself I would over hang them a little bit. I usually do 1", but you could go only a 1/2". It just looks better in my opinion, as far as I know there aren't any code restrictions to due with that.
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  #78  
Old 09-02-2012, 10:10 PM
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Not the best photography. Poor angles. But from what little I can see it doesn't look too terribly bad.

I lucked out with our first paver patio. One of my employees had a background in excavating. So grading, installing the aggregate and leveling the aggregate, was a non issue for our first time. At the same time i had another employee that is super smart and a perfectionist. Always striving for achievement. So with his smarts and determination our first patio was a success.

Hardscape installation now only accounts for about 38% of my gross sales. Like you said "others can have it at". I got better fish frying.

.
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  #79  
Old 09-02-2012, 10:54 PM
MDLawn MDLawn is offline
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DVS, sorry cell phone pics and I'll be honest I took the patio ones from the best looking angles. The bond lines in areas are real bad and a little wavy in areas. But my brother actually laid a lot of those while I was cutting so I wasn't watching him. That's not a fish tale either, he was helping me and has no clue about the lines. So instead if stopping evey so often and looking he was having trouble enough following the pattern!!! I won't lie this patio is nothing I'd be showing pictures of to prospective clients although most wouldn't know any better. My biggest problem with this project was and still is time, i just dont have enough and need thus project done asap. Not the best thing to keep quality under control, hence using my brother to get stuff done. Also having zero experience doesn't work out well for a semi complicated first project. Working with specific grades (not just laying a patio behind a house on flat land), walkway & a patio construction, and stairs. Not enough brain know how for that many things quite yet. Worked, yes. Worked well, eh it's just ok.

Just out of curiosity if hardscapes are down are you just doing more landscaping??
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:35 AM
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DVS.....

Just out of curiosity if hardscapes are down are you just doing more landscaping??
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No, we only done one landscape install job this year. We have ventured into more of an excavating related field. We are 60 miles north of DC and our work is now outside the Dc area and we do a lot in Northern VA. Where before all our work was concentrated within 20 minute of our shop. The recession has been a blessing, went from having to borrow money from dad to pay the company insurance bills, there were a few nights we had to eat peanut butter and jelly for dinne- to a a change for the best.

You can do anything you set your mind to. It takes passion and determination. My kid is in his first year racing Motocross, not the fastest rider, about middle of the pack, and he's getting faster and faster. Our moto is "No Excuses". I dont care if he come in Last, as long as he TRIES hard and enjoys it. I'm even going to have stickers made that say "no excuses" and they will be placed on his front fender, as a constant reminder that his destination is in his hands. Same mentality goes for business. If you have the determination And know how to succeed - you will succeed, no matter what it is.

You can make money with hardscapes. But once the market becomes saturated with competition - its more work than its worth, let the others beat each other up on prices. Countless hrs meeting with dead end clients, doing dean end designs, etc etc.
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