suitable fill for pavers

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by sadmac, Mar 10, 2001.

  1. sadmac

    sadmac LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Hi everybody, I have been lurking on this site for a couple of months, listening to the many voices of experience here.
    I recently moved my business from a booming city in Alberta to a not so booming city in British Columbia (hello fellow canucks). I picked up a fairly large (for me) paving stone job and was just informed that rather than put the patio at ground level, the customer would prefer to have the patio at the same level as his pool, approximately 3 feet above existing grade. So I am planning to build a retaining wall of 3X6 cedar on three sides of the patio area (800 square feet) and don't know what to use as a base to fill in the first 2-2.5 feet. The guy at the quarry suggested sand, but I am not convinced. If anybody has built anything similar I would appreciate your advice.
    p.s South Vancouver Island has very litte concern about frost. Thanks in advance
    Keith
     
  2. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    First, I would suggest something stronger and longer lasting than 3x6 wood for the wall. In our area, walls must be 6x6 pressure treated timbers. However, a segmental unit retaining wall would last longer and create fewer headaches over all. You could then fill with compacted lifts of crusher run gravel.
     
  3. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Definetly use something stronger for the walls as she mentioned, i.e. retaining wall block. You wouldn't want to have to replace those timbers after they rot away (especially being next to a pool would probobly speed that process up!). I'd imagine if you did have to replace them that it would ruin your paved area also.

    Now for the fill. I don't believe someone from a quarry told you to use sand???????? :( Thats definetly not a suitable base course, and its especially not good fill material at all. I'd use gravel or a base course material to fill in and get your height and than start as you usually would from there.

    Try to compact your base material in 6"-8" lifts when you fill it. It will make for a much better compaction so you won't have much settling later on down the road.

    Hope this helps!!

    (Damn it feels good to be back! HI EVERYBODY!!)
     
  4. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 543

    Guido,
    Don't be so quick on what a quarry will tell someone. Have had them tell customers the same thing here. Also had them tell them to use pea gravel for base. I think your fill should be 3/4 t0 1" clean chips with no fines. You're looking for drainage here not just fill.If you have to do wood look into some of the new composite products and definitely 6x6's. Segmented concrete can't be beat.
    Scott
     
  5. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    I know exactly what your saying. It might have came out the wrong way. I was just shocked the quarry said that. It probobly sounded like I meant I didn't believe sadmac. Some people rather save face and spit out an answer to someone they think doesn't know any better than tell them they don't know.

    Anyway, sorry about the confusion, and yes, there are many stupid "experts" out there! ;)
     
  6. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 543

    Guido,
    Not a problem. Most of these guys look at it as just "fill" and don't realize the structural or drainage aspects. Good to see ya' back in the forum. Been out on bivwac?
    Scott
     
  7. sadmac

    sadmac LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Thanks for the info, The 3X6 cedar will be laid flat, 6" side down, much less than half the price for 3X6 as compared to 6X6. I agree that modular block systems are stronger but the aesthetics of the place require wood. Guido, The quarry guy did highly recommend sand and because I haven't worked in this area before (lots of rain, no real winter) I figured he should know what he is talking about. That said, is there any reason I couldn't use blast rock for the first foot and a half and then cover with road crush before I put the screeenings on. That is how we used to build driveways in Northern Ontario.
    Thanks again,
    Keith
     
  8. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    If Blast stone is what I'm thinking of (what I call ballast rock) it would be okay too. Your basically looking for something that will let water drain down through and keep stable. Those are both very important factors here. Let us know what happens!
     
  9. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    Guess I am going to be diferent here:)
    for a 3 foot fill I would use 3 inch stone as my base course up til the last foot or so, 3 inch stone drains well and does not move as much as smaller stone. After the 3 inch stone I would put down a layer of fabric and then use 3/4 inch minus stone for my base for the pavers.

    I would use something other than wood for my wall, a large size retaining wall block like Vers-lok or Pisa II would be a better choice. Are you building it around an above ground pool? post more and we can put our heads together.
     
  10. sadmac

    sadmac LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    The pool is in ground but the site is sloping (10" over 10 feet), presently the pool is skirted with cement (about 6') and outside of that are planting beds with really old style stackable walls. We are removing these planting beds to make the patio as wide as possible but these retainers are used throughout the property. I don't think adding a different style of stone retainer would look good in this setting. Also we are building a an arbor out of cedar to cover the new patio. The patio will be 65 feet long and 12 feet wide with the arbour posts inset one foot on each side and spaced 8 feet apart, we are also going to install some inground planters to break up a possible landing strip effect. Hope you can get a better mental picture with the added info.

    Paul, kind of fabric are you referring to?
    Guido, I think we are on the same page, Blast rock here is basically rock they blast out when they build a hiway, jagged edges irregular size, also be called rip-rap in other places I've worked.
    Looking forward to more input,
    Thanks,
    Keith
     

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