Flowable fill again

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by STL Ponds and Waterfalls, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,177

    Has anyone heard of using FF for a retaining wall base in addition to an aggregate base for added base strength? Maybe using it for a patio base for added strength(thicker base)? What about using it for an over dig on new homes? Since I'm primarly a one man band I'd like to use this stuff as much as possible. This could be a good base alternative for flagstone patio's and such.
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  2. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 515

    Paver Pete was telling us as the techo showcase that it can be used solely as the base for a wall. Just fill the trench, it self levels, then if any block on the first course needs adjustment just scrape the flowable fill down with a flat shovel a little till it sits right. I was a bit shocked watching the videos of this going on as I've never seen it done like this or even heard of doing it this way.

    You can watch the videos of them doing this right on the techo bloc youtube channel.

    Does anyone else have any experience/input on this method? What about heavy freeze thaw climates like up here in MA?
     
  3. SVA_Concrete

    SVA_Concrete LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 467

    Flow fill will not level its self.

    I have not used it for patios and the like because of the material cost..... however, we have used it to fill a porch that needed 20 yards of fill with no access, we were able to pump it very easily.

    If you do start using flow fill... there are various strengths... as well as some mixes are pump-able and some are not pump-able.
     
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,429

    In our area, flowable fill is expensive. The cost does not justify it's use. Not only the material cost, but getting it to the backyard of a home with a lawn, trees, fencing, etc., is another issue. Pump truck. Factor in all the logistics and it's just not feasable.

    To this day we have never used flowable fill.

    To put the pricing in prospective:

    We had a client with water coming into her basement. Her concrete steps leading down to the basement had a void under them that was allowing a stream to flow under the steps. The remedy was to pour concrete under the steps. I was all set to go with flowable fill.......till I found out the cost!!! What I did is we ended up going with footer mix and we watered it down when it came off the truck. Our watering it down made it "flowable". My theory of putting concrete under the steps worked magic, and the lady has a dry basement.


    What good 'ol paver pete doesn't account for is the cost of the flowable fill and how easy / hard is it to get it from the curb to the work zone.



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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
  5. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,177

    I still have not used FF for a lot of the reasons DVS stated, but I would still like to try it out on a job that is easily accessable with a good budget. If anyone knows how to attain one of these jobs let me know. :laugh:

    I'm still curious as to how this would work on a new home build when access is there and the homeowner wants a new patio right away.
     
  6. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 515

  7. SVA_Concrete

    SVA_Concrete LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 467


    This post doesn't make since.

    1. flow fill should be about 25 dollars per yard cheaper than a footing mix

    2. what is the difference wheel burrn' flow fill versus gravel? the flow fill goes straight into the wheel burr out of the truck.
     
  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,429

    Sva - you just made a blanket statement. maybe where you're at ff is $25 less.


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  9. SVA_Concrete

    SVA_Concrete LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 467

    I didn't say that is IS... I said it SHOULD be.

    think about the ingredients in flow fill vs a footing mix.

    a flow fill mix is generally less than 300 psi and therefore far less cement content per yard.

    what makes it more expensive in your area? are you confusing flowable fill with grout?
     
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,429

    SVA - I call for pricing. Dude gives me numbers. Me and my board of directors at Hardscape HeadQuarters sit down and we spend 3 hrs discussing the numbers so that we can make important corporate decisions.


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