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Seeking Proactive Advice

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Humble Earth Mover, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. Humble Earth Mover

    Humble Earth Mover LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    I know I posted previously about tackling the design of this stoop. We are finally ready to knock this little job out and I had a couple questions now regarding procedure. We decided to go with dry laid travertine (Andes Manchester in an I pattern with soldier course) and for the stoop and pillars we are doing as masonry with 3 foot footers, cmu block and real stone veneer. The pillars I am thinking of capping with flamed granite, but it's still up in the air. I won't have any problems building the walk, but the stoop is a little more challenging for me. Ok, here are my questions:

    1. Should I tie into the foundation wall or is it pointless on something this small?

    2. Should I dry lay the travertine on the stoop, or would it make more sense to wet lay it? If I dry lay it, then I'm assuming all the existing concrete would need to come out and be replaced with modified because the stone base would be flexible and the concrete rigid....is this right? If I wet lay the travertine on the stoop, then could I just leave a chunk of the existing concrete in there as fill and pour around it?

    3. I was thinking of doing the treads and risers out of travertine, but it may look better with veneer on the risers and matching the treads with the pillar caps....what would you do?

    4. Lastly, the stoop side walls will need some type of cap. These walls are going to be the same height as the stoop itself so they will stop flush with the flatwork. Do you think I should just run the travertine out to the edge and maybe overhang it an inch, or should I use the same stone to cap the side walls as on the pillar caps and/or treads?

    Please give me some input now, to save me some bashing when I post the finished pics. Or, feel free to point out any glaring errors in my design layout as I'm really trying to avoid mistakes on this one as I need to get this done in under a week to make decent money.



    Here's a cutout of my design and a before pic with a render I did in photoshop. Not the best, but you get the idea.

    Kemp walk cropped.jpg

    kemp stoop.jpg
  2. Captains Landscape

    Captains Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    This is going to be hard to explain, but I'll try. The first impression is that the pillars will be too confining and seem cluttered, but I'm guessing the customer wants some sort of pillar. I think I remember that from the original thread.

    What if you extended the landing area out 2' more, and place the pillars on the sides? Doing so, the pillars should tie into the trim columns on the home, open up to a bigger entrance way, and the brick circle would be at the foot of the first step making a half circle instead.

    Just a idea.
  3. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    I agree with Captains, I think that the pillars 4 feet apart will make for a "going through the narrows feel"

    I think that you should cap the side walls with the same material, but change the pattern. I also like the idea of the step risers matching the columns.

    What did you use to do the design (plan)

  4. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    I was wondering what you used for the plan design too?
  5. Captains Landscape

    Captains Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    I'm also waiting for that answer, it looks perfect for hardscapes.
  6. Humble Earth Mover

    Humble Earth Mover LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    I used Pro Landscape's CAD module. It has a nice feature that allow you to snap a line to a circle of a specific radius size at up to 72 different quadrants. So in order to draw a serpentine you can just place a bunch of circles touching each other and trace them, then delete the circles. I'm still learning the program. I wish there was a better variety of patterns to fill in your pavers with, or the ability to do a soldier course. Herringbone and running bond is about it from what I've gathered. The nice thing is that once you draw it out to scale, you can define the heights of the walls and the program will tell you face feet for walls and square and linear feet for flat work. Makes estimating a lot easier than the graph paper days!


    Do you mean bring it out 2 feet forward or make it wider? I'm afraid that would make the whole stoop too big and it will overpower the walk which is quite small (150 sf tops). I was thinking maybe I should wrap the bottom step around to the front of the pillar. Is this kind of what you mean? As I have it now, the pillars will be 4 feet apart and stretching the bottom step out to the front will make it a 6 foot wide step. The pillars are meant to be small and not too overpowering. They were originally going to be planter boxes that extended around the stoop, but the customer wanted pillars instead. Thanks for the input!
  7. Captains Landscape

    Captains Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    Not so much make it wider, The area marked "residence" is 12.5' long. Square the ends of the pillars to the the corners of the entrance way and bring the landing out to compensate. Bringing the landing out flush with the face of the pillars. This would put the pillars on the sides of the landing and allow for a full length first step. There would be a gap behind the pillars if you can picture that. Nice place for a Alberta.

    Honestly, what you have seems nice. If the customer has seen your plan I would go with it. look at your photoshop drawing and move the pillars under the vertical trim work. thats what I was trying to say.
  8. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    Be careful using photo imaging exports like that to sell a job. The perspective is seriously racked in that picture, and I had actually typed up a long reply about why I thought 3-4' tall columns were out of scale, until I looked at your plan again and saw they're 24" columns. I don't think you can build what you have on plan and make it look like what's in the picture. That's not necessarily a bad thing (no offense, but I just don't like photo imaging), but don't get stuck with a homeowner saying "that looks nothing like the picture you showed me- you built the columns too short!"
  9. ZX12R

    ZX12R LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    I also like Captains idea.If after the job is done and you or the customer feels the pillars are too short,just add to them.....piece of cake at that point.:)
  10. Humble Earth Mover

    Humble Earth Mover LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    I agree. I know the photo render is cheesy and not reflective of what the job will look like. I did the photo edit in about 3 minutes in photoshop just to show you guys what I had in mind and I would never show the customer something like that. We demoed the walk today and took off the step. I decided to keep the stoop there and cut off the concrete lips all the way around. The pillars will be 2'x2' with a 2" cap. I ordered the travertine and decided to do the stair treads out of travertine bullnose (12x6x1"), which ran me $9 a piece. (yes, that hurt) I think I'll end up doing the risers with the natural stone veneer, unless I can find a good deal on 6x6 trav. tiles.

    Tomorrow we will pour the footer for the pillars and bottom step.

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