Installing Pavers in overdig areas

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by mbella, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    I'm curious what others do when installing pavers in areas around new homes ( say 2 years old or newer). Specifically, areas that were excavated and backfilled when the home was built.
    I have an overdig detail from a local engineer that I follow (if anyone is interested I will explain it). The overdig detail requires more time and more materials, therefore, more money. When meeting with a potential customer that owns a newer home, I tell them that I will not do the job without doing the work outlined in my overdig detail. I then explain it to them. I explain what it is and why it is important (settlement, compaction). Some look at me like they think that it's a sales pitch and some truly understand. Regardless, I won't do the work without it. What do you guys do?

    Mike
     
  2. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,929

    Mike,

    We also educate our customers as to the "overdig area". We guarantee our work for five years, so I make sure they understand how important it is to treat this area slightly different. I usually build the extra work into my price and explain to the customer all of the extra work and materials that go into that 3 extra feet and it makes me look like i'm doing all of this extra work at no charge (customer perception). If they even hint at not doing it I walk. I've had customers ask me to not do the extra work and forgoe my warranty! At that point I say "I'm sorry, but I will not compromise my work or my company's reputation.....good day!" Most companies in our area don't emphasize it that much, so when I bring it up it makes me look more edumacated!..lol!
    Chris
    P.S. What is your company name? I'm from Reading!
     
  3. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    mbella,

    Yes please explain overdig detail, sorry new guy :)

    Thanks
    -G-P
     
  4. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    Chris, I do explain the extra cost because they are normally comparing the bid to others and I want them to understand where I would be, with regard to price, under normal soil conditions. Then, they can compare apples to apples as far as comparing my price to another contractor that hasn't provided the overdig information. Also, I've provided them with the information, with regard to the overdig, and attached a price to it.
    Absolutely, I will not do a job without the overdig, where I feel it is necessary. I've had people ask me to forget the warranty (5 years also) and lower the price. I say, "my trucks are in front of the house, my name is on the project, no way." If they move and the new homeowners experience problems, the neighbors know who did the work.
    You're right, most contractors in this area don't do the overdig. I don't know if they don't know or just don't care. I do know that I've seen some terrible work. I've seen some work so bad that it has become a liability when the homeowner attempts to sell the house. In my opinion, that should never happen. People have patios installed in order to create spaces where they can relax and enjoy their time, not look at poor craftmanship.
    My company is Bella Vista Landscape Services, Inc. How about yours?
     
  5. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 698

    Please explain the overdig process. I'm guessing it is take out of soil and imput more compactable materials. Please elaborate.
     
  6. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    GP, no problem, don't apologize, I wasn't born with the information. I will briefly explain it. I can send you a copy of the detail via fax if you wish.
    I will use a patio install as an example.
    Normal Excavation Depth, for us, is about 10" (6" 2A modified+1"contractor's sand+2 3/8" paver). However, when following our overdig detail we will excavate to 3'deep and approx. 3' wide (away from the house), along the entire length of the area to be paved. We will then install a geo fab down the foundation of the house, across the bottom of the excavated area, and allow enough extra to wrap the fabric back to where it started, after stone is installed. Then, we install 2B, compacted in 2" lifts, to the normal excavation depth. We then wrap the fabric around the stone, and begin installing the 2A as we normally would.
    I will say that you need to know what to look for upon reaching suggested excavation depths. You need to look for what is considered suitable subsoil. I really don't want to try to explain this (I can help you further, but don't want to explain it here). We have had situations where we did the overdig in heavy clay soil and at 3' the soil was pumping. We talked it over with the engineer and actually excavated to the footer of the house because that's where we finally found suitable subsoil. We've done this under areas where steps will be installed.
    It may sound extreme, but in the big picture it is well worth it. As long as you address the finding of suitable subsoil and extra charges in your contract, you should be fine.
    BTW, here, 2A is 3/4" aggregate with fines and 2B is 3/4 w/o fines (usually for drainage).
     
  7. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,929

    Mike,

    Sounds like your one of the few who know their stuff. I own G&G Landscaping, LLC

    P.S. I've never heard of using clean stone for sub base because of the lack of compaction. If anything I would use all modified because usually your patio butts the home and pitches away, so drainage shouldnt be a problem...just my .02
     
  8. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    CG, I thought the same thing when the engineer spec'd 2b, so I asked him about it. It wasn't used to address drainage. It was used to reduce the amount of pressure placed of the foundation wall of the house. You know that sometimes these foundations are a couple feet above grade. If you excavate to a depth of 3', you're now more than halfway down the wall. His concern was that I would get too much compaction at that depth and risk cracking the foundation wall of the house. He told me that we could get sufficient compaction with the 2B.
    Whether or not the 2A would make a difference, I don't know. Since he came up with the detail, I follow it 100%. I would hate to have a problem and then be asked why I used 2A instead of 2B. I said usually for drainage just to better explain what type of stone 2B is.
     
  9. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420

    mbella,

    That would be great and very much appreciated, I couldn't PM you or E-mail you so here I will leave my fax number

    563-262-1071

    attn:Geoff

    Mike, again thanks a bunch for the great info.

    G-P
     
  10. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,929

    I guess that would make sense.... when you overlap the goetextile to cover the clean stone do you then make another pull that wraps up the foundation to go under the modified? If you have a copy of this detail, I would love to see it.

    Chris
     

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