Homeowner - First DIY project

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by mizzouguy77, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. mizzouguy77

    mizzouguy77 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Hi all! I've been reading these forums for some time now collecting advice for my first installation. Now that I'm a fair way along I thought that I would share some pictures for feedback and advice from the pros. I've got a ton more pictures of the project from start to present on my personal blog....http://sylvesterville.blogspot.com.....if you're interested in taking a look.

    I'm specifically looking for advice on what to do with the existing concrete step from the sliding glass door. I had considered veneering them, but I'd like to keep the step heights consistent. Does anyone have experience with concrete stains or any other ideas on what to do?


    (Please note that the coping has not yet been cut or glued, nor have the last few levels of the columns. We just set them in place to get an idea of what the finished walls would look like.)

    DSC_0003[1].jpg

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    DSC_0006[1].jpg
     
  2. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,066

    Are those grade stakes laid out in a grid format to help you achieve proper base height? Looks Great!

    I would leave your steps right there and do an overlay. You have enough clearance at the top. You need to set your base at the right height now so your step rise will be equal. If both of those doors open, you should make the porch twice as wide.
     
  3. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Posts: 1,209

    With the amount you are spending on block remove the concrete steps and build new steps the width of the slider out of wall block. For my designs I would never have a set of stairs smaller than the width of the door.

    looks like you are having a good time. nice work.
     
  4. pshields

    pshields LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    What are you doing out in the front between the two pillars? Will it be a step down? I would consider pulling it in so it is inside the front of the pillars by a few inches, a little cleaner look in my opinion and makes the pillars standout.
     
  5. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Posts: 1,209

    you should line the inside of the fire pit with fire brick or it will not last very long. the heat will quickly destroy the concrete.

    Why doesn't anyone have any trees in their yard?
     
  6. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Just rip the stairs out!
     
  7. cedarcroft

    cedarcroft LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 442

    I wouldn't use that PVC pipe for firewood, it gives off a nasty toxic smoke.



    :laugh:
    looks nice
     
  8. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,066

    Those are left over Mortar tubes from the 4th of July!
     
  9. mizzouguy77

    mizzouguy77 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the kind feedback and advice. I'll try to answer some of your questions - and ask a few more of my own:

    "Are those grade stakes laid out in a grid format to help you achieve proper base height?"
     
  10. mizzouguy77

    mizzouguy77 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the kind feedback and advice. I'll try to answer some of your questions - and ask a few more of my own:

    *****"Are those grade stakes laid out in a grid format to help you achieve proper base height?"*****

    - Yep. We were fortunate enough to be able to borrow a transit to accurately set the heights.

    *****"With the amount you are spending on block remove the concrete steps and build new steps the width of the slider out of wall block. For my designs I would never have a set of stairs smaller than the width of the door."

    - I agree that this would be the best setup, but what would be the best way to remove the existing stair? That's a large hunk of concrete to bust out and haul away!

    ******"What are you doing out in the front between the two pillars? Will it be a step down? I would consider pulling it in so it is inside the front of the pillars by a few inches, a little cleaner look in my opinion and makes the pillars standout."********

    - It's actually going to be 3 steps down as there is an 18 inch height difference from the patio surface to ground level there. I had considered recessing the first stair behind the columns as you suggested, but then the highest step would be a foot or more behind the back of the columns, and I wanted to avoid that.

    ******"You should line the inside of the fire pit with fire brick or it will not last very long. the heat will quickly destroy the concrete. Why doesn't anyone have any trees in their yard?"

    - Where could I locate firebrick? Any idea what it would cost, and how best to install it? As for the lack of trees, we're in a brand new subdivision, and few of the homeowners have gotten around to landscaping their backyards at all.

    *****"Those are left over Mortar tubes from the 4th of July!"

    - I was actually using the PVC pipes to cover the grading stakes to make them more visible/avoidable. We had some friends over with small children one night for our inagural fire, and I didn't want anyone tripping over the stakes in the dark and injuring themselves.


    I actually started laying pavers this past weekend, so I'll work on getting some more updated pictures here again soon. Thanks again for your help!
     

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