May 13, 2010

Paver Repair and Installation #1 Tool

The number one tool in repairing or installing brick pavers and retaining walls is the simple "contractor's level" or "transit".  It amazes me how most landscapers and "wanna-be" brick paver installers do not utilize this amazing tool! It is a minimum requirement for installing or repairing interlocking brick pavers and modular retaining walls.

Brick paver patios, walkways, driveways, and retaining walls require some expertise in dealing with grades, slope, and pitch.  When properly used, this contractor's level or transit can solve a lot of these challenges with ease.  Landscapers and brick paver contractors who "eye ball" or use string lines with bubble levels are asking for trouble, which in turn, means trouble for the homeowner!

We are currently finished a brick paver patio repair in Saline where the center of the patio was installed 5" above the height of the basement walkout. The water pitched back to the house and water has seeped into the basement.  When the homeowner called the landscaper who installed the paver patio, their solution was to install a drain box at the doorwall to catch water flowing back towards the house.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Install the paver patio with a positive pitch!  The drain failed and because these homeowners were not the original owners who hired this so-called brick paver contractor, there was no warranty on the workmanship.

When installing a paver patio, the good rule of thumb is to achieve a 1inch pitch or slope per 10 ft to insure a perfect pitch without noticing the slope to the naked eye.  This pitch ratio is not etched in stone and factors may modify this parameter.  In the end, positive pitch is the minimum requirement for a good draining brick paver installation. Here you will see our finished paver patio with a new positive pitch out into the yard!

The contractor level or transit is the first tool a "real" brick paver contractor needs to use when installing a brick paver or retaining wall installation.  We also use it with most of our paver repairs so we can better solve our customers paver repair problems. It is usually the first item we set up on our interlocking paver installations, repairs, or patio replacements, well maybe second to setting down our lunch boxes & coffee thermos!