Screed advice

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by G_Dubs, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. G_Dubs

    G_Dubs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    Looking for some different techniques on
    screeding a wide area.

    It's a simple 25 x 45 rectangular patio with probably
    Unilok camelot or something else on the low end
    Of the price range.

    Also , I was taught by an old school guy that swears by strings/line levels but think I need to add, not substitute, a laser into the mix.

    Any advice is appreciated.
  2. alexschultz1

    alexschultz1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,588

    Lay PVC pipe a couple of feet across from each other then take a 2x4 and run it along the top of the PVC to level out the sand.
  3. big daddy b

    big daddy b LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    PVC? Wouldn't that move too much, too much flex in it?
    When we used to use pipes we used 1" EMT Conduit, it worked pretty well. We would get an 8' or 10' 2x4, spread the pipes about 7'8" or 9'8" apart and screed, in wide open areas.
    Now we only use string lines and a board, no pipes. Much faster, better end result, no worries about tamping around pipes and so on. We set all the string lines with a laser, then mark the 2x4 at the elevation of the brick and screed along a string line to keep the same plane.
    Takes a lot of practice to get good at this technique, but it's worth it.
  4. Birchwood

    Birchwood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    I agree pvc has too much flex, we have used it if we have to have a curved transition to a sidewalk or crest of a hill. Otherwise we use 3/4" iron gas pipe.

    I cant imagine using string lines and a 2x4 could be easy. it sounds too time consuming.
  5. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    PVC is a mistake I made once, conduit is ok, I use galv pipe or black pipe. 3/4" or 1". Much more ridgid.

    Line levels lie if the lines aren't tight enough.
  6. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Avoid PVC ..... I use string mostly on wall work or when necessary
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    for screeding we use 1" o.d steel pipe.
  8. big daddy b

    big daddy b LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    Yeah I said the exact same thing when I first started doing it, it took way too long, but there was a learning curve. You no longer have the support of the pipes to rely on, so you have to pay more attention and not dig into the dust.
    Now, 4 years later I can fly through a screed much faster than setting pipes and screeding. By the time someone is done setting pipes and screeded the area, I'd already be laying pavers. Not to boast, but that's just how much time it saves us, and in my opinion it gives us a better end result.
  9. G_Dubs

    G_Dubs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I've been using the 1" steel pipe already, but wasn't sure if there was another way to get it dead nuts accurate.

    For the 25 x 45 patio, I was thinking of crowning the center 3/4" for the water to run, moving the 10' sections of pipe and re screeding as i go....that's the most efficient way i can think to do it, unless there are other techniques.
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    What are "dead nuts"??

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