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RM Contractors / Patio installation help

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by stoney, May 8, 2013.

  1. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    Contractors in RM, I need help with Installing a patio. Attached is a simple layout of our proposed patio and backyard.
    We are torn between installing a flagstone patio and walkways or pavers. I have about 100sqft of flagstone, can get another ~500sqft from a colleague for about $1000, and edging strip for another $500. Pavers look nicer, but the quotes we are getting are coming in around $6500 for pavers alone. Currently we’re looking at $1500 vs. $6500 for surface alone. Isht is crazy expensive.

    Regarding install. We are in the process of getting quotes and including materials are north of $13k. That is WAY too rich for my blood. Because the prices are so high for install, I am most likely going to be doing this myself. Fundamentally I understand the process of putting in the patio.

    -Frame out area
    - Dig footprint ~7in deep
    - Level footprint and fill ~4in deep with road base
    - Place 1in tamped sand bed on top of road base
    - Place flagstone and edging for appropriate fit

    The parts I am having trouble with are the best way to keep a level fill given that my property is on a slight slope. I figure that I need to still be 7” deep at the top of the slope. When I am increasing the height at the lower areas, what is the best way to add that height? My initial thoughts are to use extra strip to create an edge to build up that corner, but I am concerned that it won’t have sufficient strength laterally.

    Once I have the base built and surface stone laid, is there any particular secrets that I should know about getting a solid set using polymeric sand?

    On the elevated parts of the patio, the edging is only really being held in by the polymeric sand. Iis there anything I should do to make sure it stays in place?

    Denver-area monkeys: If you know anybody who does landscaping that is in need of any marketing/branding help, we would love an intro to see about some barter options.
     

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    #1 -   May 8, 2013

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  2. buildyourown

    buildyourown Turbo Monkey

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    Disclaimer: I am not a pro.

    I would skip the sand and use sandcrete. Use dry as you would sand. Set the stones and sweep it in the cracks. A little water and it sets nicely. The "sand" will never come out of the cracks and the stones won't ever rock. I've done it both ways and it works well. The only issue is water will now run off vs drain. This could be good or bad.

    As for the slope issue: I would pour a small concrete wall. Pound a couple rebar stakes in the ground and build a nice 3-4" thick retaining wall. It will look very finished and you'll never have to worry about it moving.
     
    #2 -   May 8, 2013
  3. bizutch

    bizutch Delicate CUSTOM flower

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    Pics of everyone's project walkways and landings. I want to be jealous of you today.
     
    #3 -   May 9, 2013
  4. Colonel Angus

    Colonel Angus Monkey

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    I've put in two flagstone patios and it's a major b!tch. If you are not young and strong you will regret taking this road. You need about 30% more flagstone than you will use just to find pieces that fit together. Bigger pieces look far better, but are WAY harder to move. Smaller pieces are easy to move but they will come loose later. You will move each piece of flagstone about 25 times, trying to get them to fit together. During this process your nicely leveled surface will be totally trashed. And I have not seen the sandcrete method stand up over time. Ever. Better is to use a wet cement grout, work it into the gaps, and clean with a wet sponge, just like grouting tile.

    That said, flagstone looks way better than pavers. If you go with stone, sack up and hire a pro. And if you are in the Denver area, there is a flagstone quarry in Lyons, just outside of Boulder. That's where my stone came from.
     
    #4 -   May 9, 2013
  5. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    My intentions were laying out the stone before I do leveling so that I can get the pieces to line up correctly. A sharpie and notepad should hopefully let me get away with not messing up the level too much. Since we have flagstone and access to quite a bit more for cheap, we'll probably end up going that route anyways.

    Regarding the sand, most of the professionals I have talked to are suggesting laying sand over road bed material, then filling the gaps with the polymeric sand to lock things in place.
     
    #5 -   May 9, 2013
  6. dan-o

    dan-o Turbo Monkey

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    Col Anus is right, skip the heartache and hire a pro.
    Your back will remain intact, the project won't take all summer and it won't be a DIY nightmare.

    Fleece your clients extra hard for a few months to finance the project.
    I don't even use my own crews for work on my house as they're more profitable working customer jobs.
     
    #6 -   May 9, 2013
  7. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    The extra $8k is substantial enough that I would prefer to do the work myself. Time is something that I have and am fully willing to use. I do realize that it's going to be a ton of work.
     
    #7 -   May 9, 2013
  8. dan-o

    dan-o Turbo Monkey

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    I hear you and $8k is a lot of money.
    Just keep in mind that a pro job will (most likely) look and wear better than a DIY project.
    When it comes time to sell your home, it will probably result in better ROI on the project and higher sales price on the home than a DIY.

    At a minimum I'd suggest having a pro to the grading etc and limiting your work to installing the stone.
    Poor groundwork will undermine even the best installation and that type of work is miserable without (and even with) the right equipment.
     
    #8 -   May 9, 2013
  9. Colonel Angus

    Colonel Angus Monkey

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    Another thought. Pour a concrete slab and have it painted by an artist. There are quality concrete paints out there that will hold up for a long time.
     
    #9 -   May 9, 2013
  10. dan-o

    dan-o Turbo Monkey

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    You can do stamped concrete that looks like flagstone, has surface texture etc.
    A weekend with some concrete stain and you're good to go.
    Not as cool as flagstone though and its just painted concrete at the end of the day.

    One local historic town here, tired of plows tearing up the brick pedestrian crosswalks, had the crosswalks paved and then faux-painted to look like brick with cobble borders. Looks pretty trick and was simply a matter of some stencils and different color paints; not too unlike screen printing a shirt.
     
  11. johnbryanpeters

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    Try it now.
     
  12. dan-o

    dan-o Turbo Monkey

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    That line is best reserved for when Stoney gets a quote for $18k to redo the half-completed patio.
     
  13. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    One of the issues I have w/ the stamped concrete is cracking. Our temp changes and clay based soils make for quick work apparently. The stone/pavers is making up a VERY large portion of the costs, so looking into that is what is next on my list. If I can get my stone costs down (see existing flagstone), the bid gets far more reasonable, imho.

    Good call on having the base put in professionally and placing the surface myself. My largest concerns were with the base anyways. There are a lot of companies on craigslist offering just the labor part for prep work.
     
    #13 -   May 9, 2013
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  14. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    This FTW.
     
  15. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    just lay out a grid of woks
     
  16. bean

    bean Turbo Monkey

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    Yeah, this can work really well. The one possible drawback that I've experienced is that some of them are incredibly slippery when wet. It's possible this was a materials or installation problem.
     
  17. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    So just for ishts, I called a local distributor of the pavers. They quoted me $2500 delivered vs. the $5800 the contractor quoted. These are for the exact same stones. They will also work on the price with me because it is a large order. If I get the bed material from them as well, they will give me even more price flexibility.

    I'l still need to hire some Mexicans to haul everything down to the backyard, but I will more likely than not end up doing this myself.
     
  18. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Dude... :disgust1:
     
  19. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    PC? I could care less. I'd hire some neighborhood kids, but I doubt they would work as hard for as little.
     
  20. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    ftfy.
     
  21. kazlx

    kazlx Patches O'Houlihan

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    Undocumented Canadians are harder to find.
     
  22. in the trees

    in the trees Turbo Monkey

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    Exposed aggregate is a very nice option.
     
  23. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    Especially at the Home Depot.
     
  24. johnbryanpeters

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    So after watching for a while...
    7" bed is inadequate if you're on clay soils subject to freeze/thaw and to moisture variations. Excavate 18", put in road fabric, curtain drains, and backfill with gravel is more like it. Setting stones level in the gravel with no grout is a PITA, but will tolerate whatever movement you get, and you'll still get some.
     
  25. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    Not sure if I trust the mustache... Everyone I have talked to for help, including contractors and the HD guys, are saying 7".
     
  26. jdcamb

    jdcamb Tool Time!

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    Dig a hole 7" deep X a square foot. Put your base materials down in said hole. Put your top material down on top of it tamped or loose set. Come back in a week. If it hasn't moved you should be good to go. My Uncles rule of thumb is the base layer should match the span. So a 18' span needs a 18" base to stay put.
     
  27. Westy

    Westy the teste

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  28. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    dig a deep hole, park your subaru in it, and flood it.
     
  29. N8 v2.0

    N8 v2.0 Not the sharpest tool in the shed

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    #29 -   May 10, 2013
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  30. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    Resurrecting this one. We decided to go with a contractor after getting a few more quotes. The final quote that we are going with is going to be ~$8900, but will include moving some sprinkler heads, pulling out a dead tree, and laying new sod. He's also doing it based on a pattern style that we like vs. the straight line the high bid contractor gave us.
    I'm still not stoked on the cost, but it will be very nice to have a properly finished yard to have guests over.
     
  31. Willy Vanilly

    Willy Vanilly Monkey

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    I was going to say that if you're on expansive soils then it wouldn't be a bad idea to presaturate the subgrade prior to laying down the aggregate base. That way, when the subgrade picks up moisture (and it will) it will already be in the expanded condition. Johnbryanpeters has a good idea with the subdrains but you'll have to make sure you have the drop to have positive drainage somewhere away from the patio.

    But since you're going with a contractor, I guess these are moot points.
     
  32. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Smart smart smart smart smart!

    With age comes wisdom...
     
  33. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    stoney's hand must be cramping from all the checks he writes. #fwp
     
  34. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    Nah, with age come time constraints and back problems.

    Tell me about it. We also just discovered that our deck is not properly stabilized. That I will be able to fix on my own, but a pain in the ass none the less. The prior owners definitely took low bid on everything, and the work reflects it. It doesn't help that they were horrible at maintanence.

    I still need to refinish the deck, as winter was not nice to the existing finish.

    The last major project that I have for this year is replacing a cheap looking, curved brick styling wall in the front of the house with flagstone. We have a LOT of stone from pulling up the existing walkways in the backyard, so I will be using it for the wall.

    Hopefully before winter I am able to have a door from the garage to the side yard installed too. That will allow me to not have to store the trash cans in the garage, which take a ton of space.

    Yeah for home ownership. Thankfully however, the inside of the house has been totally finished, so it's just outside work that I can handle.
     
    #34 -   Jun 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  35. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    I'm glad to hear you paid someone else to hire Mexicans from the Home Depot. :rofl:
     
  36. SkaredShtles

    SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    Potato/potahto. ;)



    Heh. It *is* Highlands Ranch, after all.

    Yeah - summer is pretty brutal on decks around here too. We're getting ours completely redone in fake wood to avoid it always looking $hitty *and* needing refinishing...
     
  37. stoney

    stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    Yeah.. I'm not coining up for that one anytime soo. I do need to redo the bracing though, as it's pretty shaky.