here we go again!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by steveair, Jun 23, 2002.

  1. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    hello,

    A few weeks ago I had posted about a job involving a concrete pool patio that needed to be overlayed with pavers. Well, about a day after I finished that job, I got another call.

    Guess what. This time, its 3 patios that are already poured concrete that the people want done in pavers.

    I was just at the job today, and got a good look at the job. It consists of 3 main patios, 1 large area about 2000 sq feet, and two smaller ones about 600 sq feet ea. All are already ROUGH finished concrete.

    The homeowner was going to use natural flag stone in concrete, but now that the project is coming into its final stages and the budget is starting to be a concern, they are thinking pavers to cut some costs.

    Not sure what exactly to do yet on this one. The concrete was poured rough because it was initially planned to be covered with the wet layed flag. Very bumpy, so I'm gonna have to screed something over it to smooth it out.

    My first question is how much dust would you think you could put under the pavers/on top of the concrete? I may have to bring it up a bit to meet the door sill (almost 3 inches) and trying to predict any problems with having that much dust sitting on concrete/under the pavers.

    Next is drainage. For two of the patios, I can drill holes into the footing, fill with small pea gravel, then cover with fabric and hopefully get drainage out of it. The big problem is the third patio............its elevated above the 2nd one coming out of the second story......not sure what to do with this one yet.

    I talked with the builder today, and he thought we should maybe bring a mason in to pour a level base of concrete over the rough base already to both bring them up to grade and to give a smooth surface to maybe just bond the pavers directly too. I said if we do that, we might as well just wet lay them into that layer. However, for some reason, they don't want to do that.

    If your out there Paul, I remember a while back you posted about a parking garage where you were going to overlay concrete with pavers.

    You mentioned screeding sand to a thickness of 3/8 and then compacting to 1/4 inch.......one question, how do you screed sand that thin? and how do you compact it?

    Any input greatly appreciated. Will try and get some pics up in a few days. Big time problem here too, as the people want it done NOW (as always) A very, very high end home, so I want to be on the ball here.

    steve
     
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    Steve,

    How did the other one turn out?

    These high end people often get freaked out near the end of construction. If you give them a good explanation why it needs to be done a certain way, they come around. Even the really dominant personalities adjust to sensibility. If it needs to be wet laid, why compromise your standards or risk having problems to penny pinch for someone that will still have money for a lawyer when you are through?
    I'd tell them that you can not justify Mickey Mousing something just to make a buck. They will respect you and ask themselves the same question. They will do it right if pushed and they will respect you for it.
    You will not make high end your usual customer base (assuming you want to do that) unless you only do it right and be very bold in telling them that you only do it right.
     
  3. PAPS

    PAPS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 404

    Why not rip up all that concrete.??? Thats what i'd do.. i tell them listen... i don't like puttin pavers over concrete, there is gonna be too much prep work in getting this bumpy concrete how we need it to lay pavers, it may make sense just to rip it all up.... I'd rather get a dumpster and rip up all this concrete, and put my own base down and do the pavers the way i like to do them, i'd tell the homeowner, or is riping up that concrete too much work for u?... (for me it wouldnt be because i got the equip.) dont know what to tell you... it sounds like a nice paver job none the less....
     
  4. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    hello,

    talked to unilok today (that is the paver being used). They said that drilling holes, covering with fabric, and using up to 2" of dust will work and that it won't void the warranty on their products.

    what was interesting was what they had to say about adhering bricks to concrete or even wet-laying their products............I just want to say that these people are brain washed beyond belief.

    I mentioned that I may wet lay the bricks. They said NO. I said why not? They said because the concrete will crack and that the bricks will then crack. I said ok, so if a mason contractor wet lays flag stone on top of the concrete, they are going to crack too, and that isn't it odd that people have been installing stone this way for hundreds of years. They said nothing, but then repeated the fact that laying the pavers wet will void the pavers warranty, and for that matter, adhering the pavers to concrete will also void the warranty.....I then asked if it was ok to adhere their pavers to their concrete blocks.......they of course said yes..........I said, 'aren't the blocks concrete though, and doesn't that void the warranty'............they got very snooty at this point......lol.

    Not for nothing, but this really is a racket. Let me ask one question.........Are paver installation guidelines set-up to ensure proper installation, or are they set up to protect paver manufacturers?

    I think you know my answer now, but would like to hear a few responses.


    steve
     
  5. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Posts: 164

    I've been following this thread but was reluctant to post because I had received the same warnings from Unilock that Steve last posted. I've lost a couple jobs because of their warnings, but have also seen the product laid over concrete.

    What I did in one case was to glue the perimeter bricks in place and dry lay the center, then glue the sides on as well. I told the customer that I couldn't warranty that part of the job as it was against Unilock policy and they were OK with that. To date, 2 years later, the only problem has been one of the glued perimeter bricks has come loose, I just re-glued it. I'm curious how you'll make out, I have a job that I had declined in the past I might reconsider. Sure makes for easy prep work!
     
  6. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    Yet another twist..........

    Now the builder of the house is saying that he wants the pavers around the pool (another part of the project) to be set on concrete because he doesn't want them settling.

    This is getting interesting. Quite honestly, I don't see it as being that bad of a idea because as we all now, new pools are areas prone to settling. The only twist here is that the pool was sprayed in.......therefore, they did no backfilling, just dug the hole, shaped it, and sprayed in the gunite. So technically, there shouldn't be any settling, but I guess if you think about it, a concrete slab would be a insurance policy.

    Everyday its something new!

    I think what I am really looking for in this post is someone to tell me that they have seen, or they have actually had an experiance where pavers were on top of concrete and they failed miserably. I have yet to hear any stories, and as Pelican so politely mentioned, he has had good experiences. So lets put all this manufacturer 'approved' thought processes aside, and tell me what 'really' happens when pavers are on top of concrete, not what 'in theory' happens.

    steve
     
  7. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    Steve sorry for the delay, we used 3/8" ground rods as screed rails. Compaction was done after the bricks are laid.

    As far as pavers set on concrete you shouldn't have any problem. But I don't like to set pavers in "mud". I would look at using a good epoxy glue for the edges, they have some very good ones now that allow you to set brick even if there is water around or on the surface.

    I recall a few years ago paver manufactors where allowing you to cut bricks down to install over stoops we have cut them as thin as 1/2" thick to prevent trip hazzards.
     
  8. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    Paul,

    I kind of figured you meant that you compacted the pavers and not the dust first, but wasn't sure. Thanks.

    I still have tech guides describing how to 'veneer' pavers onto concrete by cutting them down in width to meet final grade. I have guide that shows 'approved' methods for redoing concrete stoops/steps on front of houses where they use adhsive on all of the blocks.

    I don't like the idea of wet laying either........mainly because I don't do it and I don't make any money then!

    What brand epoxy do you use. I used a brand that came in a regular style caulking tube that had a handle you pumped about thirty times to mix it and then just poped it out and use the build in nozzle in a regular caulking gun.......it worked good but time was critical.......lost a lot of epoxy as it was hardened in the bottom 3rd before I could use it.

    How much time do the guns that mix it with the 'spiral' nozzles give you? Can you save unused epoxy in those tubes? I've used small guns, but they were very small tubes, and those you could just snap off the disposable nozzles, and then put a new one on when you wanted to use the rest.

    Were gonna have to epoxy the stones around the border, so I'd like to get the epoxy and gun soon so I'm read to go.

    steve
     
  9. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Posts: 164

    Steve, the glue I use is Liquid Nails Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive, I've had very good luck with it. My oldest jobs are 5 years and still holding. I've gone back to a job or two to make changes where the original job had to be dismantled and where I've used glue, the concrete pulls apart rather than the glue failing. It does seem to be moisture sensitive though, it doesn't bond real well to wet areas.

    I don't doubt that epoxy might be stronger, but it's much more tempermental as you've stated.
     
  10. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    We use a couple of different epoxies, one is a double tube that needs a special gun and replacment tips (tips cost a buck apiece) but the glue is good for all day or the next month. One other we use is a two part mix that can be troweled on with a notched trowel ( we use 3/8" or 1/4") set up time is 4 hours once troweled on but can "heat up" if too much is mixed at one time.

    As far as brand names that I will have a hard time with, I call my local construction supply house for the best one for the type of job we are doing.

    The real trick with pavers that you have to remember is to glue the joining brick together, near the end of the brick about 1/2" in. This allows sand to be swept into the joints and stay there, no wash out this way.
     

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