stone patio help

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by DowntoEarthLLC, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. DowntoEarthLLC

    DowntoEarthLLC LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 121

    ok, so I've got my first patio job... about 5,000 sq.ft. Owner wants it done in field stone so the patio will have that different color look to it, browns, tans, white...that kind of stuff. I've read up on how to do the patio. So theoretically I know how to do the patio, just never actually done one. I will not be using any heavy machinery, just a couple of backs and shovels. I was going to dig out the dirt, lay sand, grade, then lay the stone, backfill cracks with gravel dust. So I guess my question/questions is/are.....

    How many guys do you all use when doing patio's? Size of your crew.

    Do you bid by overhead/materials/time/labor?

    Got any pointers for a newbie?

    Or would you ever consider contracting this out, and try watching and learning from someone else?

    Just looking for some advice.

  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    5000 sq. ft.???? You need some Equipment if its 5K sq. ft. I would consider subbing it out, there probably gonna have to run some kind of drain systems, dig down 12 inches and remove all the material. You need to post more info. and are you sure thats its 5K? I think you should maybe have started a little smaller until you did a few jmo LOL

  3. Gilla Gorilla

    Gilla Gorilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    I am not usually afraid of taking on something for the first time, but that is a hell of a lot of work for your first time laying a patio.
    I would look at subing it out also or at least find someone who is willing to let you work with them and cut a couple of bucks off the bill to you.

    bye the way where in VA are you?

    Good luck,
  4. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    In the old days when someone would ask how many miles per gallon a Cadillac got, the answer was usually, if you have to ask, you can't afford one.

    Seriously, I would say that alot of experienced paving contractors would put a job this large in their top 1 or 2%. Soon to be cousin-in-law runs a million dollar company and does alot of paver and patios and the largest he's done is 3,500'. I know we all get real excited when approached by large jobs and saying no is the sometimes the hardest thing to do, but I sure would hate to bite a bullet on something like that, to add, you better have a way of removing 100's of tons of dirt for that and a way of bringing back that much again. I did one last year that was about 1/10 the size and I think we removed around 36,000lbs, so for that you'd be looking at around 360,000lbs for 6" base. Or one hella lot of shoveling and back work. Honestly, your going to need bobcats with dump trucks just to get started. Price tag on that would fetch alot of peoples annuals. Good luck if you go with, better take some classes, they are offered by manufacturers and are free
  5. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    If you are going to take this job on your self .

    1. You will need to have solid base sand isn't going to do it.
    2. bigggggg machines
    3. lots of bodies at least 5 guys. Even if all they do is stone fetch for you.
  6. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,051

    My fisrt walk by myself was 150 Sqf. and it seemed like a 1500 Sqf one, just cause you read something someplace doesn't mean you can actually do it, I learned this the hard way, most literature skip many steps, they just show you the basics but laying pavers it has lot more things than what it appears.

    a Job that size would require a real good base preparation, and any size for that matter, think of the base as the foundation of a house it done properly it will last years to come, if not eveything will fail.

    I suggest you first do some small jobs so you have a sense of this type of work and also make sure you measured this job right, cause 5000 Sqf, sounds like a very long driveway not a patio.
  7. bcx400

    bcx400 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 77

    Are you sure the square footage is right? 5000 sq. ft. patio would be approx. 62' x 80' or similar dimension. You will need to excavate a minimum of 8" - that equals more than 123 cubic yards of fill soil to remove. Probably closer to 180 cy, since the fill 'expands' when it is removed.

    Whatever the dimension, 'fieldstone' is a generic term for natural stone. Around here, we use it for building walls. I have built small dry-laid patios with Pennsylvania fieldstone, and can tell you, the finished surface is not really smooth. Tables and chairs will wobble on this type of surface - which may be ok. It is a nice look, but (especially dry-laid) not suitable for large patios. If you use fieldstone of any kind, make sure to use large pieces (more stable) that have a flat surface.

    If your client likes that natural, rustic look, maybe you should consider PA bluestone (irregular, uncut pieces). I know this is availble in VA, as well as other types of 'flagstone' (another generic term for natural paving stone). I will attempt to post a photo or two...

  8. bcx400

    bcx400 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 77

    or you could use square-cut flagstone (more formal)

    web philpatio4.jpg
  9. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,309

    I did a patio that was 625 sq ft this past summer and it was a HUGE project for me and a buddy of mine who is a stone worker. Digging it by hand is not an option, not to mention all of the fill that will need to be taken away. Then you have your base material and stone dust that you will have to move around. You will definatly need a tractor of some sort, along with more help. If it is 5000 sq ft I would definatly sub it out.
  10. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 692

    5000sfq ft is a hugh patio. thats about the size of a normal yard

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