What have I gotten myself into? (pavers stone/concrete etc)

durkpietJuly 14, 2009


First time DIYer when it comes to decks and patios. We have an older cedar deck that I'm tearing out as its not very functional, and the previous owners painted it a rust color and the paint is peeling off. (I'm planing the boards to use as lawn furniture) We live in the Pacific NW (Mukilteo, WA). It rains a lot. We live in a colonial style home.

In its place we are leaning toward a paver's stone patio (see drawing) with a pergola built on one side that we can put the hot tub, bbq and seating under. We'd like to cover the pergola so that we can use the hot tub when it rains.

From looking at the photos does anyone have any suggestions or ideas before we start this project? One issue I'm trying to figure out is if we can span pavers stone over the existing concrete slab (that is next to the fence) and then keep going with it into the existing yard (presently dirt/grass)? The house was built in '92 so I'm thinking as long as water doesn't drain toward the house at all there shouldn't be much more settling of the ground.

I'm worried that the pavers stone on the sand will shift or settle at some point and it will be at a different elevation than the pavers stone on the concrete.

After taking the boards off the deck, I noticed it was a bit wet/moist underneath close to the house. The dirt has settled and it's lower then the yard. The yard itself is pretty flat but you can tell from the last picture that I'll also need to consider water drainage and level it correctly. IF the concrete is angled away from the house correctly, I think I can match that with the rest of the pavers stone and it'll be ok. Someone mentioned a french drain?

Also, the pergola dimensions will be around 9ft by 30ft. Does anyone know if concrete metal brackets will suffice for the beams? I'd like to use polycarbonate panels or similar to cover the pergola, so I'm wondering about weight, etc. as well.

For the porch, I was thinking of having a simple small concrete porch pored and then add on brick/pavers stone on top to finish it and match the patio below. Does anyone know a less expensive way to create this other than pouring a concrete porch if there is nothing there yet for support, or is this the only way to go? Something like this:

or this:

Here are some pics to give you an idea of what I'm up against:

Here's my slightly pathetic drawing:

I'd love to learn from anyone who has been there/done that.

Thank you for reading this post!

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Looks like a fun project! This is the type of work we do all the time! Although we don't work in the Northwest, our knowledge of proper paver, patio & structure (pergolas) installation should suffice.

The overall design looks great. There are a few SOLID pointers to building anything outside.

1. Solid foundation or footings. This goes for both the pergola & the paver or concrete patio. The pegolas structures usually needs a large footer (at least 18' x 18' wide, and usually 18' to 24' deep). This will ensure the new structure is solide. The pavers & patios should also have a good foundation, which we call the BASE. A well prepared paver base should be 6' of ABC (engineered backfill) - this ABC is usually crushed rock, granite or stone, and contains many sizes of aggreggate (not dirt) - this BASE is compacted firmly, and if done deep enough, should keep ALL your patios from settling over time.

Here is some information on how we do our pavers - directly from my company website - Patio Pavers

Concrete patios usually don't get this sub-base prep work, but if you are looking for a long term project, or concrete that won't crack - it's worth doing a 4' sub-base preparation for any concrete areas.

Sometimes, we actually lay pavers over concrete - this is not the most cost effective way for new paver installation, but it's a great REMODEL tip. I noticed some asphalt areas there - pavers should be able to go directly over the top (with using some sand to get them to drain away from the house)

2. DRAINAGE - you've mentioned french drain, and you are on the right track of thinking. Proper drainage is KEY for a long term patio & landscaping project solution. Getting water away from the foundation of your house & pergola is very important! French drains are a great way to spread water and rid water over a long pipe run, for patios, it's all about getting water out into your grass area - it can dissappate from there...

The patio beds up against the house will make a nice 'softening' of the house with some color & plant texture, just be sure you don't create a way for water to enter back under the house. Make sure your roof doesn't drain into these planters, and if it does - you'll need some guttering to push water away from the foundation.

OVERALL - you should be able to see some of our pergola & patio cover pictures on my company site. I've found a few issues when building free-standing pergolas.

1. It will need SOME sort of block or foundation around the base of each column. Just having it sit on a footer tends to not help with the 'wobbly-ness' of the new structure.
2. Normal framing SIMPSON brackets are fine. The local home depot can supply many of these T-braces, lag screws, etc.... You should be able to see some of our Pergola construction techniques here. Otherwise, visit our landscape portfolio PERGOLA page on the same site. Lots of individual pics.

Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns - i may be able to post some construction diagrams of our pergolas, if you'll find that useful?

Here is a link that might be useful: UNIQUE LANDSCAPES Homepage

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 3:01PM
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