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Concrete base

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Joe Cement, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Joe Cement

    Joe Cement LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    DVS why are you doing hundreds of patios out of concrete if you yourself is not even sold on it. That seems to me like a bad business practice. Just my thought.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,576

    Turning down income is bad biz.

    People with limited income may want or need a small patio, they're not in a position to afford Pavers. In such cases you sell them what they want, do a good job, everyone is happy.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    I'm not a hardscaper, did a little work with a guy during a dry season about a decade ago though.

    EVERY SINGLE brick paver patio/walk I've ever seen has sunk or settled. No matter how deep you go, no matter how much compaction you do, no matter how thick the base is, it's never straight and level after 5 years.

    Don't even get me started about edges. They're always sagging.

    Moss, grass, weeds growing up through.....What a mess.

    Concrete is great when it's done right. Lasts a long, LONG time.

    I have a 12x20 patio at my house that was poured in 1953. One solid pour. 5" thick. Cinder block footers. NOT ONE CRACK! Hairline or otherwise. If it's done right, its the way to go.

    As far as this thread goes though......

    It's about using a concrete slab as a base underneath a paver patio. I think this is a great idea.

    Who cares about cracks??? You'd never see them, they're UNDERNEATH the pavers. This would be the way to go on a driveway.....Ever see a paver driveway 5-10 years later??? You can see exactly where the tires run. All sunk in. This would eliminate that and disperse the weight of a car/truck throughout the entire width of the driveway instead of over 5 or so bricks.
  4. joes169

    joes169 LawnSite Member
    from WI
    Messages: 236

    First, the corrosion of steel to a point where it affects the concrete's performance is not a well documented issue in RESIDENTIAL concrete flatwork. Yes, you see it in public infastructure that see copious amounts of chlorides, as well as regions close to salt water. These kinds of structures also have vasts amounts of steel near the surface as well. What is being discussed here is residential flatwork, not highways & bridges. As I stated earlier, I've never seen a piece of residential concrete flatwork fail when the concrete & steel was placed properly. Go back & read what I stated.

    Here's a better link from an organization that's not trying to sell the reader something: http://www.nrmca.org/aboutconcrete/cips/25p.pdf
    (Note the emphasis of the article on environment & placement of steel.......)

    Second, unless you're closely monitoring these local roads, highways, and streets, how do you know they're heaving and not returning down in spring??????? The fact is that the service life of concrete roads is several times that of asphalt. Sure they get rough, and are generally better suited for lower speed limit roads, but asphalt roads take a beating as well. Care to explain how you think roads constructed of pavers would fair vs. concrete?

    I'll give you one more example: In my hometown, just two years ago the main street was rebuilt. About 5 miles total of state highway. The original concrete road was over 40 years old, and the main purpose of the project was to narrow the street to allow more green space, as well as make it more pedestrian friendly (easier to cross the wide road safely.) It was entirely engineered to state specs, and the downtown has deco concrete and pavers in the intersections and crosswalks, as well as pavers on the parkway & sidewalks. The parkways & sidewalks have a gravel base, the streets have pavers directly over concrete. I can't think that it's an un-acceptable practice if it passes state DOT specs......

    Excellent points..... :clapping:
  5. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,050

    Are we talking using concrete as a base and then the bedding base or pavers right on top of concrete, if its the first method I have seen it done and think is a good practice those cracks will not show on the surface and there is even cross sections on the ICPI manuals for those that follow ICPI 100%.
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,576

    Comments in blue

  7. Joe Cement

    Joe Cement LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Joe Cement

    Joe Cement LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Sorry bout the double post their I'm still learning the site. I am very happy to see there are other profesionals that are agreeing with the idea of how I do my installs. Which is always with a concrete base. It seems like no one here can give me any very strong reasons why aggregate would be a better choice. And CRACKING means nothing to me.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,576

    ok......I have seen plenty of slabs settle 4-inches and more.

    Slap pavers over it when it's new.

    10 yrs later she settles.

    Now you gotta do a complete demo to bring to proper grade.

    I don't know what else to say. Like everyone else here, I'm in hundreds of backyards a year (through doing estimates and our own jobs), I've seen old concrete in perfect condition. I've seen 18 yr old concrete severely settled and falling towards the foundation. I've seen concrete broken and shifted by inches.

    I've seen pavers improperly installed. I've seen pavers installed with no geo-fabric, and hear people saying "the soil is structural so it's not needed. Can't argue that. But......WHAT IF??? Fabric is $0.09 -$0.15 / SF. Why not use it for piece if mind?

    We have alotta jobs (primarily pool decks) that are installed over concrete slabs. Infact I just fired over a proposal for a 1350 SF pool deck placed over 700 SF of existing concrete.

    Existing properties, over 5 yrs old? Sure we would place pavers over concrete.

    A brand new property?? No way.

    This entire paver job is over a concrete slab with 1.5" of bedding sand. Not a single call back.


    On the other hand, if and when I ever install pavers at my own home - they'll be placed on an aggregate base for reasons of my own.

    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  10. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435



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