Help some people out...

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by jbailey52, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,095

    After going thru some threads here.. it seems some people (who are looking to get into hardscaping
    0 are skipping the fundamentals. They are worried about how to cut, edges, ETC.. while talking about not using a loose sand bed or enought compacted base....

    Also, they dont understand they idea of pitch and slopes...

    If you were going to do a hypothetical 20 x 20 patio on relatively level ground, level with the ground off of a house.. what is the best way to ensure the pitch at the end of the patio? (Dont just say use a string line) althought myself and most people who have experience know what this means, those that dont are saying.. USE A STRING TO LEVEL?? HOW!?
  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    That's easy. I'd use our grade laser to set the sub-base. Check it very closely for the pitch that is deemed appropriate (probably no more than 2%, unless there's other variables playing in to it), then set screed rails and go to town.

    Now, with only a laser level, it's a matter of doing some math (which I've found some people here on LS can't seem to do :rolleyes:) to figure out how many inches of drop you need to have over the length of the patio. 2% is 2 inches over 100 inches, or a little less than 2 inches every 8 feet. So for the ease of simplicity, I'd call it 2 inches of fall every 8, or 5 inches over 20 (which is an actual pitch of 2.083%).

    Set up the laser level, get a reference mark on a story pole against the house (where the patio hieght will end up being), measure *up* the pole 5 inches and that's the pitch from house to yard. From there it's a simple matter of (again) doing simple math to add/subtract as necessary your paver hieght, sand bed, and base depth to get to soil subgrade depth. This last step would be the same even with the grade laser, but the grade option takes out having to figure pitch...

    Now, without lasers it's a lot more involved, but still pretty simple. Pound stakes, stretch string *tight*, and using a string level level the strings. Probably wouldnt have any stretches of string more than 10 feet if possible to avoid string sag. Once the strings are level, then you (again) do your measurements and go to town...
  3. waltero

    waltero LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206


    I am not sure from your post if you already know this or if this is a question?

    I mostly use concrete forms and a laser level to obtain the correct pitch on a patio or walkway. It works very much like a string line in that it shows me the pitch and height that the patio should be at, but I can also drop a screed board down on it to help level the area.

    If someone didn't have these tools availible to them and needed to learn how to run string lines, I suggest looking at the following website. It covers alot of things that anyone doing hardscapes should understand. I think it mostly follows ICPI, so it is not confusing. These two links just talk about string lines but from there you can use the site map to learn anything you want to about pavers and other topics relevant to landscaping. Best part is that it is all free. If you are just starting out, relatively new or not certified yet, it will give you enough information to get you started on your own patio.
  4. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,095

    ha.. no no I know.. just the lack of basic foundation work on here makes me wonder what type of jobs some do with the questions they ask.
  5. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    You can tell by the pics some of these guys post. It really separates the "pros form the Joes"

  6. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    A lot of times you don't even have to see the pictures. :rolleyes:

    I've come up with a saying- "Hire a LANDSCAPER--let Tom, Dick, and Harry cut the grass!"

    Chris- sent you a PM.
  7. GroundScapesIncorporated

    GroundScapesIncorporated LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 386

    I think that is a qoute originally from W.T. Sherrill

    " Hire an arborist let Tom, Dick and Harry cut the grass"
  8. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    Yep, caught me on that! :D

    I've actually got the bumpersticker!! But, there's no reason it can't be modified for our purposes...
  9. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Ummm, 1" per every 8'. 20/8' = 2.5" Set the further string line from the house 2.5" lower than the first, proceed from there? Other than getting more simple than that I can only offer it in different languages? :rolleyes:

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