What happened here?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Sarge2914, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    respectfully, it's settlement.

    not plumbing or anything along those lines. I can assure you there are no plumbing lines in that corner, it would take 2 days to drill through the concrete in a corner.

    That pool drain (the white drain at the edge of the concrete) is probably filled with settlement and not functioning. Everytime we do pool decks and we rip up those drains - they're packed full with sediment.

    The reason some pavers are higher is because the poured wall is not of consistant texture. I'll use the word "barb". The pavers are clinging to "barbs".

    The patio needs to be re-done by a competent, EXPERIENCED contractor.

    I can NOT stress the importance of prospective clients being well educated on paver installation, settlement, and so on, and the archives of this forum contain many posts from me stressing this.

    All our prospective clients are provided with the following link. If your price providers are not locatable via this link - THEN DO NOT USE THEM:


    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    I'm curious...for this job...

    Did you obtain multiple bids for this project?

    Did you choose the cheapest installer?

    If yes to above, was the contractor significantly cheaper than the other bids?

    Did you get a price per square foot for the install?

    Did you find out how long this contractor has been performing this type of work?

    Did you visit any of the contractors previous jobs?

    Did you speak with any of the contractors previous customers?

    Did the contractor provide you with a warranty?

  3. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 601

    I agree with Both DVS and Stone face, all good advice. Though to me there's only so much to be learned from photos, and not defending your guy, becuase there's most always a way to not creat a pitch like that, it's outright dangerous if snow or ice covered. Anyway, is there something off to the left if the pictured area that explains why he created the pitch, was there something there he needed to meet the height of somehow? If so I think he picked the wrong way, but at least there's a reason. Also Stoneface makes a good point, I'll buy the possibility of those "odd" pavers being caused by a water/ice condition, however the whole right side of the patio has a belly about midway between the poured walk and the house, thus I believe a combination of problems. Either way the fix is the same, removal and re-installation, proper excavation and compaction are big here, and you'd get a chance to fix that ridiculous pitch too, patio does not appear large from pics, but again, they only show the problem area.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  4. Sarge2914

    Sarge2914 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    The person, and right now I couldn't even call him a contractor or a man of his word because of the work he performed, did provide pictures and a list of happy customers, but guess what, they went out of business shortly after my patio was done. I should have done a lot of things different, namely one would have been to sit all day with these guys and watch what they were doing. They told me how they were going to perform the job, but through an engineering evaluation, this was not the way the job was done. When this mess gets torn up and redone, you can bet I am going to have a list of things that I am going to require the new guy to initial as well as looking at work that he did a few years ago, and not just finished. This company went out of business, and now I have an open claim with the DLLR. Your evaluations have helped me tremendously. If you guys did the job, would you have leveled the patio and put something like a French drain in for rain water to run off. This slant is ridiculous and one which I have been fighting about since day one. The contractor said it was necessary. The drain at the top of the steps that you see in the picture (white) is open and clean, but my worry is that this contractor buried the sump pump drain and I fear that it was never connected to anything and is simply dumping out its discharge underneath the pavers and not draining anywhere, just sitting there. Yes, this was the cheapest estimate, but he was a local contractor and said since I lived in the area, etc. I know, I know, I should have done my homework. This is definitely the most expensive lesson I have ever learned. May I state one thing? When I have contractors come to my home and I ask them to put things in writing when I am getting estimates for jobs; i.e., length of warranty, how long the job will take, when the job will start, etc., I have gotten some pretty weird remarks and no one wants to put stuff in writing. From now on, if it is not in writing or if they refuse to put something in writing, their not doing the job! I trusted the contractor and took his word, now look at the job I got. Can you believe that when the original contractor saw this patio as it looked in the above pictures, he said it only needed some pavers taken up and some handfuls of sand put in. I think they need to re-evaluate his license. Thanks to all of you. Do any of you guys live in Carroll County Maryland and want to do this jobthe right way?
  5. greatinmulchbeds

    greatinmulchbeds LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    I have my MHIC and ICPI cert. references from 5+ yrs ago but i haven't done any work in carroll county, mainly harford, baltimore and cecil. Whats the sq footage of your patio? DVS thats your neck of the woods right?
  6. Sarge2914

    Sarge2914 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    The patio was a 13 x 24, and I would like one without the exaggerated slope, please!! Only kidding. Yes, I live in Manchester, MD.

  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    Sarge -

    Please read the following with an open mind:

    There are good police officers. And there are bad police officers.

    There are good doctors. And there are bad doctors.

    And so on.

    Ok, we contractors are screening prospective clients just as you mentioned screening contractors.

    A good contractor will put most stuff in writing. However, keep in mind.....as you're asking for all this stuff in writing - you're also raising red flags. In other words, as you're saying "ok, put that in writing, and put this in writing", your contractor i saying "yes maam, no problem"......but he is also adding monies into the proposal. These monies are unofficially know as the 'PITA factor'. You can do the math as to what PITA means :)

    I do feel your pain. Believe me. I feel it because I go to great strides to EDUCATE a prospective client. Many of them hear what I'm saying and they respect me for what I'm talking to them about. And.....many of them think I'm full of it and look at me as if I'm trying to sell them and old rusty worn out car for the price of a new one!

    We have a speciality service we offer that is more along the lines of excavating services. Last week a prospective client sent me an e-mail with about 8 questions in regards to the work proposed. At the end of the e-mail he stated he wanted me to address his questions in the proposal. Well, one of his questions was a liability concern regarding a potential to property damage. He wanted me to write in the proposal that in the event a certain type of damage is inflicted - we could assume liability. OK, well we DO have liability insurance. But NO insurance claims are up to the policy holder as to whether or not the ins company will cover a claim. In the event something is damaged, we file a claim, and the insurance company takes it from there. As a business owner, there is no way I can promise anyone that all claims will be honored.

    So, what I'm gettin at is - yes, watch your back. But at the same time tread lightly - as you will scare the living daylights out of a contractor. They'll still price your work....but they will PAD the heck out of the estimate, that $5,000.00 re-do will be marked up to a $7,000.00 re-do.

    Again, the biggest thing is for you to make sure they are licensed in the state of MD. If you use an unlicensed contractor - the state of Maryland will not do anything for you. If you do use a licensed contractor and they do you wrong - the state of MD will back you 100%.

    We do serve all of MD.

    But "right away" :) Ummm...do you want it done right or do you want it done right now? :)

  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    Also, in all reality a detailed contractor will already have everything in writing on their proposal. The detail that they yput into a proposal will say volumes about them. Our proposal is usually 3 pages in length. 2 of those pages get very detailed in terms of exactly what we're proposing to do.

    yet, I've seen other proposals that say "build patio - $5000.00 - 1/3 down - balance when done" And thats it!

  9. Sarge2914

    Sarge2914 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    That is exactly what my estimate said, about 10 words and how much it cost. I have learned so much. When you say the state of MD. will back you 100%, it is not 100% guaranteed, even if he is licensed. This has been ongoing for quite some time, and I am still writing letters, taking pictures, answering letters from the DLLR, etc. It is a long and tedious course, but if it will help one other person from having to deal with this same contractor, I would stay up for days filling out forms just to report him. I did go to him first just to be fair, and then when he couldn't or WOULDN'T see anything wrong with the patio, that is when the big guns came out. I don't know how this guy sleeps at night! I just want my patio done right, but it doesn't have to be done in one day. I am a fair person and that is all I wanted in return, a good job for the money I paid. Some people just have no conscience! Thanks again, guys. Anne
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  10. greatinmulchbeds

    greatinmulchbeds LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    so you have his license number and nobody from the state tried to help?

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