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  #1  
Old 08-22-2012, 09:57 AM
ramu3527 ramu3527 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: MI
Posts: 26
Questions about advice.

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
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  #2  
Old 08-22-2012, 04:06 PM
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Stuttering Stan Stuttering Stan is offline
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Location: Chesapeake, Va
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramu3527 View Post
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.
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  #3  
Old 08-23-2012, 06:24 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
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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???
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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  #4  
Old 08-23-2012, 07:02 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Location: DFW, TX
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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.
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  #5  
Old 08-23-2012, 10:06 AM
ramu3527 ramu3527 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: MI
Posts: 26
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!!

Ray
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  #6  
Old 08-24-2012, 10:16 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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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...
__________________
*
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2012, 02:23 PM
ramu3527 ramu3527 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: MI
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
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
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2012, 02:41 PM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: DFW, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramu3527 View Post
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. 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.
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2012, 04:39 PM
ramu3527 ramu3527 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: MI
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duekster View Post
Small Ax does that to a lot of people. 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
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2012, 04:47 PM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
Posts: 9,746
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...
__________________
*
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
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