Hi All- I posted on here a month or so ago asking for help about selecting color and pattern for my patio. Got a few responses, and I appreciate that. The patio turned out very well - have a couple of pictures I'll post first to show how it turned out (did a little more work since to get it completely done). I'm not 100% sure the color is appropriate with the brick, but it looks better in person than it does in the pictures (and even better yet once the sand was in). The problem is that the wife and I work, and this patio took a long time to complete ourselves (don't have the equipment, etc.) But I did take my time, research it completely, etc., and really did it correctly. Wife's patience was running out (mine, too) so we called a landscaper (recommended to us by someone who used him to build a drywell) to finish up and lay some pavers outside of the patio to clean up a little. We did leave that area a mess after we finished our part of the job. Well, the landscaper shows up, we explain very carefully what we want, and he tells us "I'm a paver pro". The whole job is a short wall (one place maybe 3 feet high), grade and install about 250 square feet of pavers, and crusher run for a small parking area (if we get a trailer or beater truck). The first day I show up after work, and they've started just randomly setting the wall. Cheated in the lines where I specified the wall would be, I think to save material. This screws up the fence line, and looks awful. I explain this to the landscaper, who seems ready to please. I even help decide a new layout that will preserve most of what he's done. But at this point I'm suspicious, and see that he's just setting wall block on graded soil. I mention this, and he swears there's gravel underneath. To finally cut this story short, he finished, and the job looks like it was done by kindergarteners. There's a huge dip, about 2.5" in the middle of the patio, which he explains is 'drainage' (how can it drain if it's in the middle of the job)? He talks about how hard it was, with 'angles going everywhere'. The pattern in some places is just randomly cut pieces of paver, some installed with the cut sides UP! The wall, which should have been set perpedicular to the driveway, was set with the base course perpendicular, so the bows in badly. If you tried to park on it, your tire would probably go off the edge. So I explain all this, and he's getting mad. And at this point, I know he's just not capable of doing the work. So I tell him what I think the job is worth, and we agree the he should tear it all out and just quit. I'm not sure if he thinks he did a good job or not. He was running water on the thing with my hose to see where the water sat, so he must have known. And there's no way you could miss that 2.5" dip in the middle. But he insisted that he'd never had this happen in his 30 years of landscaping, etc. He should have looked over at the job my wife and I did and notice that the level of craftsmanship was night and day, and we at least knew a little bit about how this kind of work is done (and should be done). Sorry for the long story, but wanted to share. After the job was pulled out, I saw there was no compactible gravel underneath the wall block at all - just sitting on newly graded dirt. At least there is some rough fill in there, which really helps us. That's the hardest part for us to do - the heavy moving. I agreed to pay him $1800 for what he did, which I regret, because it's too much (he left the wall block, the pavers were mine to begin with (to match what we already did), too my drain pipe, and wasted 1.5 bags of my expensive Techniseal HP polymeric sand). Funniest thing was the he wanted me to have a gentleman's agreement with him that I wouldn't talk about him. He also said then he wouldn't talk about me, either. Just wondering what on earth he thought he would say about me. Well, best of all, I made sure to take some pictures of that disaster. Just examples, you'd have to see the whole thing together to appreciate it. First some pix of the patio my wife and I built, before we finished the step into the yard and sanding the joints.