Nov 11, 2010

Brick Paver Patio and Steps Restored in Saline

Brick Pavers allow for reinstallation at a minimal cost

In Saline, MI this past week, we restored the original beauty & function of a brick paver patio and paver steps.  After 5 years, this pavers patio needed immediate attention that the customer could not provide.  The original landscape contractor did not provide after market services and the homeowner was at a lost.

This existing brick paver patio was pitching back to the house and the homeowner was experiencing water in the basement.  The brick paver steps were beginning to loosen, settle, and becoming unsafe for foot traffic.  The grass had grown over the outside row of paving stones and the plastic edge restraint had lifted. Both of these conditions was creating a dam for water to flow off the patio, therefore resulting in water stains and moss growth.

The fact that most of this paver patio was pitching back to the house at a consistent level lead me to some possible conclusions.  The original landscape contractor either did not properly screed the pitch out into the yard, or the compaction of the paver base material was not properly executed.  Inexperience brick paver contractors try to "eye ball" the pitch and usually are blurred.  If they lack the proper tools & techniques to install interlocking paving stones, the result will be the same as the status of this brick paver patio.

We approached this brick paver repair and restoration with a complete re-installation of the paving stone patio.   Due to the severe pitch back to the home foundation, it was necessary to completely reinstall the patio.  A "band aid" approach was not feasible since 90% of the patio was below the grade level of the yard. 

 We lifted up all the paving stones, cleaned them off, recompacted the existing base, added additional paver base material, and screeded the bedding course.  While using a builders level (transit), we screeded the paver patio with a 2" slope or pitch away from the house into the yard. We then relaid the brick patio with a similar shape, size, and pattern.  Additional paving stones were needed to complete the cut pieces since most will not fit back in or be usable.

While compacting the newly installed paving stones and finishing with a paver joint sand sweeping, we addressed the brick paver steps that had deteriorated.  The bottom 2 curved paver steps were fine and only needed the block caps re-adhered.  There were some excessive gaps in some of the saw cut caps so we recut in some new caps to close these gaps.

The top landing curved step needed to be completely torn down and rebuilt.  The existing paver landing step had sunk and was tilted forward.  The inset lay of paving stones were below the height of the caps and loose.  We totally reconstructed by removing the caps & blocks, recompacting the the paver base material inside, and reinstalling the blocks, caps, and paving stones.

The homeowner had this brick paver patio & steps installed as a "landscape package" deal  5 years ago. Unfortunately, due to the poor installation by their landscape contractor, this paver patio needed to be unnecessarily repaired and restored.  The contractor did not educate the homeowner on the necessary paver maintenance requirements or signs of distress. To make matters worse, the origingal contractor was not interested in servicing this paver patio

This brick paver patio and step repair service was an unexpected cost for the homeowner but was minimized by low materials cost since we were able to reuse 95% of the current products. They indicated that our price was about 1/3rd of the original cost charged by the landscape contractor. Though they may have made a bad choice of selecting a brick paver contractor, they made a great choice of choosing interlocking pavers & paver block steps for their outdoor patio.