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First paver patio install...for my wife!

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Raymond S., Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 996

    Hi guys. I'm not usually over here on this side of the world but I have been reading more and more on the hardscaping end of the business. My wife has been talking about doing some work at our house for a few years now and well, I guess the time has come. First, a little background.
    I have been in the maintenance end of things for about 10 years. I am extremely busy with maintenance work and have had very little time to dedicate to landscaping in general, let alone hardscaping. I have done a few small projects such as stone steps leading down to a lake, tiered retaining wall for a walkout basement (my house), and quite a bit of concrete flatwork. Bottom line is, I enjoy hardscaping but I'm not highly educated in it. So I have some questions.
    We are looking to put a roughly 16x32 paver patio on the back of the house. It will have a circle kickout on one corner roughly 14' in diameter for a fire ring. The front side (away from house) will have a sitting wall. Also thinking of a sitting wall around the fire ring, not sure yet. The kicker, we are planning on a hot tub. So obviously that's a question.

    1. Can a properly prepare paver patio support a hot tub?

    My plan is to excavate down (I own a skid steer) about 8-10" below finished grade for the patio. I will then bring it back using a 6" base of crushed concrete (fines - 3/4) vibratory packed in 2" lifts. Then set 3/4" conduit pipes (1" OD) and screed with sand leaving 1" leveled sand prepped for pavers. Set pavers, compact, sand joints, sweep, sand, sweep, etc.
    I plan on setting the wall first using the same method as above, then laying TO the wall with the pavers. So, more questions.

    2. How far below the finished grade of the pavers do I need to start the initial grade of the sitting wall? I want to lay to the wall with the pavers to make it look better. Is 6" enough base for the wall? When I did my walkout I laid 2 blocks below grade. Do I need to go 2 blocks below for the sitting wall? I don't think I can just set the wall on the same base as the pavers, can I?

    3. I did not mention fabric. Is this for weed protection? I have heard it mentioned before but not necessarily it's purpose.

    4. Do I want to use mason sand for the joints or a polymer sand? If using polymer will it be necessary to reapply each year?

    5. Finally, assuming I use all commercial grade material from the local supply house, what kind of $$ are we looking at per sq. ft.? I know there are alot of variables in products, but taking labor out of the equation what is a base price for a job of this nature. I have a skid steer, dump, etc. I will be getting materials at cost and aggregate from the pit about 1 mile away.

    I appreciate the input of people in the know. Like I said, I have many questions but I'm confident I can tackle this. Just need some tweaking on my process and any tips of the trade you might offer. '
  2. TomG

    TomG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    Answers are in red.
  3. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I would add that you would be better off pouring a concrete pad @ 4" thick using 4500psi w/air. Add wire mesh as well. Your patio will eventually sink with the weight of a hot tub on it. Also you want to ensure your hot tub is level, which won't be possible unless you shim it, cause your patio should be sloped at 2%.
  4. Gilmore.Landscaping

    Gilmore.Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 645

    I don't agree with that.... you can simply lay the paver area under the hot tub at no slope and just grade the rest of the patio away property.

    Generally I will still go 8-10" of base for a patio, but this also depends on what your existing soil condition is, if its all sand then 6 might be ok. You really only want to be doing this once so a little deeper might not be so bad.You have access to skid and a dump so I would go deep.

    Also soil condition will dictate the need for geo grid or not.
  5. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Hot tubs belong on concrete slabs, only amateurs and inexperienced hardscapers put them on pavers.
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,602

    We have have many a hot tubs on our patios.

    Not once have we poured concrete for a hot tub.

    No problems ever.

    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 996

    Existing soil is sand. No topsoil, no clay, pretty good base material (there's a gravel pit 1 mile down the road). I have no problem going 8" base if I need it, I mean who couldn't use an extra 2"? I can pour a slab for the tub if I had to but what about when you get rid of the tub? Or are you saying pour the slab as base material and lay pavers over top? Seems to me that with 8" (even 6") of compacted stone underneath it shouldn't go anywhere. I mean that's alot more than any flatwork concrete we've ever done.
    I appreciate the dialogue about this.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    The weight of a spa is spread uniformly over the entire area of the entire base of the spa. For example A spa measuring 7'x7' is approximately 50 square feet. If this spa with water weighs 3000 lbs and 6 people weigh 1200 lbs then you have a total weight of 4200 lbs.

    just for fun lets use a bigger number and say the total occupied weight of the spa is 5000 lbs. Then you will have about 100 lbs per square sitting on the ground. A typical allowable soil bearing pressure for a foundation of a building is 1000 lbs per square without a soils analysis. That's 10 times as much weight as your spa with 6 big fat sloppy beer drinking people in it.

    Another way of looking at this is that you could support such a spa on a raised deck with only 5-6 12" square pier footings under the area of the spa. "Your" 6" thick slab represents 10 times as much support as you really need but would add about 75 lbs/square of pressure on the ground.
  9. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,602

    Yep. Thats right.

    I've always viewed it in relation to a water bed. Although a water bed is heavy.......the weight is evenly distributed. And I've even used the waterbed example for prospective custimers.

  10. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    Do you pour a slab for a driveway too or do you just tell the customers not to park on them because many suv's and trucks weigh more than a hot tub and the weight is distributed over 4 tires not nearly the distribution of the hot tub.

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