Power screed

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by FlaRipper, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. FlaRipper

    FlaRipper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I'm new to hardscapes. Just wondering what types of screeds are out there? I thought I heard something about a power screed, but was not sure.
    You guys without a skid steer just level your base out by hand?
  2. MarcusLndscp

    MarcusLndscp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    All of our bases are leveled out by hand and we have 5 skid steers. You want your base to be pretty close to perfect otherwise your pavers will become a direct reflection of the contours of your base. Take the time and put in some grade stakes and shoot grades onto them marking both the top of your base and the top of your finished patio. Run strings lines from one set of these marks, I prefer to run them from the finished patio marks and then I make a guage marking the thickness of my pavers plus the depth of my sand. I usually do 3" not 3 3/8" to allow for compaction when your done. My guage is a grade stake flipped upside down with a notch in one side at the 3" mark, I then run it all around the string lines to see if the base is high or low. You'll do this a number of times raking out highs and filling in lows until you're within say a 1/4 inch. As far as screeds go, for any project I've ever done a set of (3) 1" O.D. rigid electrical conduits and a screed board has worked out fine and I've done paver work jobs up to 5,000 S.F. at a time. Start small and simple and once you get the feel of it paver work is quite easy. Ideally you could work with someone that knows what they're doing before you get in too deep. Good Luck
  3. FlaRipper

    FlaRipper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks for the pointers!
    Where can I find a screed? ;)
  4. orionkf

    orionkf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    A very straight 2x4 will work. There are sets of magnesium or aluminum screeds around too. Anything straight and ridgid will work fine, but the lighter the better. Check around your big box store, or concrete contractor supply store. I have a special 2x4 that i always use for screeding sand or concrete. I even put handles on it to make it less fatiguing (sp?)

  5. JRAZ

    JRAZ LawnSite Member
    from NW
    Messages: 143

    Handles...that is a hell of an idea. I never thought of that one. Head must be in my arse!
  6. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    In the concrete industry, we call it a "rod", usefull both for setting the base grade before a pour, and for leveling off the poured concrete before finishing.

    Anyways... I dont do paver work, but I've leveled off slab floors, and I've used up to a 15' long 2x4 with two guys on it.

    Rodding/Screeding takes practice.

    Just out of curosity, how many guys use a laser to check your grade heights on your hardscapes?

    FYI, Power screeds exist, My company had a truss skreed like the one pictured below.

    Only really usefull on HUGE pours.


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