Poured cement patio
Just had the first contractor over to discuss putting in a concrete patio in our backyard. We are total novices at this, but want to make the most knowledgeable decision. We have saved our money for this project and it's a long time coming, so it's important that we get the most for our money, but I want it to look good for a long time, so quality matters.
This guy says for an approx. 23X19 patio he will put expansion joints where the concrete butts against the house and garage. He will excavate the first day to get it somewhat level, there is a significant grade. That first day he will also bring in 57 stone and compact it. Next day he will pour the concrete and use 6x6 grid steel wire mesh. He will also cut joints to help prevent cracking approx. 1/2 way through the 4" depth of the concrete, and will make sure there are no areas larger than 10x10 without the cuts. The patio will be along the back wall of our house, which is brick and along the detached garage wall, which is cement block. It will have a serpentine curve to the outer edge. And we are thinking of having a pattern stamped or the edge stamped with a pattern.
I wanted to know how this sounds to others. What other questions should we be asking when we speak to him again, and to other contractors we see? I did bring up a concern about the grade, because the area where the table and chairs will be is currently an obvious slope. I said that I didn't want to be sitting at the table and feel like I'm on a slant. He didn't give me a clear answer, just said the grade will be less, that's what all the excavating and stone base will do, there will need to be a bit of a grade for water run off and he would "try" to have that not happen. What do you all think of what information I have so far? Oh, he also said he cannot guarantee it won't crack, even if it happens right away, which I find surprising.