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Compaction strategy raised paver area

2516 Views 51 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Mitty87
Doing a big job where the lower section is retaining wall and 25x25 paver area. The top is 4” base and bottom is 22”, so about 10” average really.

it’s way in a backyard and down a bit of a hill. I do have a 17g excavator there now so with a chain I can move around a compactor, but want to be fairly efficient.
Basically need a machine that can cover 8” lifts if possible. Does anyone know what machine I can rent that can do that?

or should I just do a jumping Jack machine on the bottom 200’ sq where it’s the deep road base
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Honestly I could have done it with 3-6” or whatever and took my time but we had to bring all the base at once. It was originally a $15,000 lawn tear out and new soil with seed. Then 3 weeks ago it’s oh I hav a small change before you start, 60k hardscape job
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Jumping jacks aren’t good for stone, only dirt.
I’m not really sure what you’re asking. You want to pack 8” at a time? There is no shortcut to packing a base. It just takes time.
well it’s just a long treck from driveway to backyard and was wondering most efficient way to compact. I’ll probably end up just spending a full day shuffling piles around and using the 300lb machine with 3” lifts
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Yea I think the hassle of carting a big compactor down and back up with a rental not worth it to save 2 lifts. It is what it is, will update pictures once I get going
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While were here wanted to get some second thoughts on tapering side wall on raised patio areas. Or crowning the pavers. I did one fairly large 2 foot tall raised patio around 1800 square feet but otherwise haven't really done one. That one was rounded and I dropped the grade for drainage. This one is a bit taller about 3.5 feet or 5 blocks and a cap. I remember a thread here from a few years ago where some were saying angle the walls or put a garden bed along the front of the wall. Not really an option on this plan.
Yea its Allan Block like these ones but the 18" wide and 12" depth ones (80 lb blocks) and the pavers would be flush with wall

basically a 16 foot straight run straight from big concrete existing retaining wall and bottom of stairs, then a curve in front. Only its 5 blocks high plus the cap, not 2 like in the above picture
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Im on a Facebook hardscape group and most people are using the 3/4 inch sized clean base and then the 1/4" roughly sized clean base instead of sand. Funny how things change like that, quite a bit different from road base. I know a couple people in the industry who wont change their ways though.
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So I have my upper area done, all with clean gravel and open grade. Lower area does have road base.

So my wall actually tapers into natural boulders so I stop it at some point - on lower area I’m working on. Does anyone think it would be noticeable to have the bottom half of my wall flat but use a 1” per 8 foot slope for the upper half? Total area is about 26 long x 24 wide.
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Looks great Mitty. Nice work. Reminds me how much I used to enjoy cutting soldier course pavers on a wet table the winter.
I doubt anyone would notice a 1% sloped wall. I see companies do that and more like 5% around here all the time.
It will be a worthwhile experiment to report back on...
I'm real curious what I assume to be railing post brackets in the caps. Are they concreted in or just drilled into the caps?
well I already built the wall flat but the upper half is surrounded by natural boulders. So I was going to make the patio flat, or just have 1% grade on the top half of patio and blend it into flat. I don’t think it would be noticeable. I have 9” block buried but there is a natural rock step that I wanted an extra inch of paver on because it’s a tall step.

those brackets - I let them homeowner do it but he didn’t mention it until 2nd to last course. So it’s a 12” rebar with bracket and concrete in the top 2 rows. Then I notched caps around it. I know technically they say 3 rows.

I told him to make sure the rail is like 3’ tall or less and 1 side will be fastened to the house.

he is going to build something that hopefully won’t promote people sitting on it.
Yea the brackets are square and looks like he welded the rebar onto them. His weld probably breaks/fence breaks before 2 rows of block filled with concrete is ripped out
Well he did the weld and he set them in concrete himself, building the rail as well. So I’m not too worried about it - only thing I’m worried about is our wall not failing. I haven’t actually touched anything - except cutting in the caps around it.
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Lost time to snow but anyway should be another 6-8 days. All free hand. Just had to have curves and be raised.

the hand rail he built is nice but not super solid But don’t think people will be hanging off of it

Don’t buy sledge from Amazon, you can see on the pallet it’s already falling apart after 3 months
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Oh and the wall does have 1 percent slope and going to crown up in the middle of patio but only about .5”, can’t notice it

slope starts from the straighter stretches so I added the slight crown from around steps where I left it flat
I do have a almost 1% slope on lower wall, then I raised it very slightly towards the middle like a crown. Not noticeable to look at it but you can feel walking across it a little bit. Either way a lot of paver cutting
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Looks great!
But yeah, tons of cutting! Field pavers, soldier course, wall caps....
I burned myself out one year on a bunch of high volume cutting jobs like that. I always try to convince my clients now that straight lines and corners look better! Thankfully my lead guy seems to bizzarrely enjoy cutting pavers and caps....
well I think this job will be 350 man hours and had 35,000 for labour. Bought myself a 220 lb whacker and crappy rigid tile saw specifically in my material cost for this job too. I don’t have a good husq or IQ saw which I should get to speed it up.

I think about 25% of that time is table saw cuts, 1 at a time
The shoe is a good idea, I have 2 of those big saws but don't use very often anymore because I can't do free hand cuts without swerving. We don't have harbour freight but a couple other stores like that. The rigid saw is ok for 700 CAD, the blade lasted for 1000 square feet of cuts and 130 wall caps. Just barely goes through a cap. This job would probably have been closer to .33 hours per square foot if I had to do excavation. I had an excavation company that the homeowner paid and did not include the dig out in my quote, he paid separately for it.
So the tile blade that came with my rigid saw worked for the 130 caps and maybe 500 paver cuts, finally changed out for a masonry blade and it’s about double the thickness of the original blade.

the time blade cut pavers a lot quicker and more accurate, because it’s thinner. I prefer the tile blade
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the masonry blade is segmented, but its also some crappy "exchange a blade" brand which I haven't used before, was only one available. It probably doesn't last as long, the tile blade, but I like how accurate it was. I can easily adjust for the wider masonry blade, but when I was fixing up my cuts and shaving off tiny pieces, it seemed to work well for that.
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So after a week of heavy rains - maybe an inch per day without a break. Also a king tide washed away part of their front yard.

thr lowest corner of my upper wall had water pooling infront.

built lowest block sitting about 4” above their drain tile - a solid 4” pvc. It comes out and goes under concrete.

I can see on their clean out on concrete patio the level is high and backed up, also a stream coming out the corner of the wall.

At least I noticed before I finished up but looks like I have to take apart 3 x 6 blocks and 4x3 paver area, dig out 3 yards of backfill, repair the pipe, hopefully that’s it, then rebuild.

probably cost me a week
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I didn’t take anything apart but did some diagnosis. They have solid pipe I think for gutters and perf pvc 2” below. It runs to ocean but king tide washed away 5’ of beach and probably blocked drainage now.
100’ snake didn’t fix it so have to find where it drains on beach.

when I pumped water out, the water level In clean out went down as I pumped it down, so the perimeter house drains are just backed up, nothing wrong behind wall, but it will fail without issue being fixed

my picture proves it’s perforated pipe as the level in clean out is 6” lower after I pumped it down
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