As promised, here is Part 2 of the post dealing with this new patio construction at a place which challenged us concerning the original soils and their ability to hold things in place for The Duration – which is how I view projects. Surfaces like driveways and patios, done right, should last longer than the homes they serve. Sure, I have overbuilt things before. But that error is one of caution and the results have spoken for themselves. This is the primary method of getting yet more work. A happy client is a beautiful thing.
And so it begins….We start at the house on the major portion, bearing in mind the stubbed up pipes and electrical paraphernalia and providing for those things by making precise cuts in the bricks. At this stage, we screed out the sand over our compacted base, then add pavers. It gets fairly simple from here on out, bearing in mind the pattern we select for laying them.
(click all images to enlarge)
The saw shown here gets ample use from this stage out. In a crew like ours – 3-4 guys – we generally have one guy dedicated to bringing the bricks around and placing them for the “layer” on the ground. Another will usually be cutting pavers in order to conform to our needs. Another – that is often me – will work ahead of this pack, preparing for the next round of laying.
Since I believe in curves in landscapes, naturally I make it harder on us. But my sense of things reflect a respect for Nature’s curving lines. I rarely make anything square.
Here is Jason cutting away and in the next picture, the reason for someone constantly cutting. The bricks used here come in very tight, straight rectangular shapes. We find that by making very exact straight cuts, we can usually induce a nice gentle curve out of the straight product.
Building our way out now…. We approach the outer edges. Note the cavern where the water feature will sit. We need a basin to hold water, needless to say, on top of which we will rest the bubble rock. But the pavers are still the focus at the moment.
Nearing the end of the line for the major portion of pavers, in order to finish, it will require the building of the water feature first. It is designed so that the edge of the feature itself will meet the pavers. Thus, we have now put i the liner, as the picture below illustrates. Next, we’ll fill the hole with rock and with supporting bricks and or rocks to place the actual bubble rock itself. Once that is adjusted and tweaked enough for the perfect fit, we will add the hardware – like the pumps and any underwater lighting we opt for. Only then will we consider finishing off the edge itself.
We get the rock in place – a nice big juicy 600 pounder which was quite an experience to bring inside – and begin the finishing cutting, then placing the edge restraints. We are getting closer. For those who wonder, the house in the distance is owned by a Casino Owner. He thanks us all for our contributions.
We complete an area of bricks which then allows us to begin planting and bringing in the new soil.
Rake some, add a bit of bark mulch…..
And spray on the sealer, which gives a mildly “wet” look and acts to preserve the color and finish.
In a year, the barren areas which seem so vast will be over run with the very plants you see here. It looks so bare, I admit, at this stage. Our job was to make her happy with it all, of course, but the plants are the easiest part of that. It’s the patio and its long term stability which was the goal. We made that happen, in spades.