May 22, 2011

Paver Patio Steps Repair in Belleville

Raised Paver Patio Steps needed to be reconstructed to be functional & safe to use

My team and I reconstructed some poorly designed & executed Paver Patio Steps leading into this bay doorwall this past week.  An inexperienced landscape contractor originally installed these paver steps so poorly, they had almost completely collapsed. Not only where these paver steps unsightly, but became dangerously unsafe to use. This has been an ongoing issue in the brick paver industry for over 25 years.

When it comes to bay (overhang) doorwalls, Paver Steps need a "back wall" constructed with the same blocks & caps to support the structure.  For many years now, unqualified & inexperienced contractors attempt to "box in" the bay doorwall overhang.  This is a recipe for failure. It is not only impossible to properly compact the base under this "overhang", it is not advised to close in this area from airflow. There can be long term problems with flooring inside the house that is directly above this overhang due to moisture & rotting wood.

Landscapers & inexperienced brick paver contractors usually do not have the expertise or knowledge to tackle these challenges.  Some will be reading this blog to finally gain some insight. Last week alone I had 2 calls from Landsapers who wanted to pay me for an on-sight visit to instruct them how to install some paver steps. Boy, if only their customers knew they hired someone who was "learning" on their job. 

This homeowner's paver steps not only where designed wrong, but the contractor used some cap units (not blocks) as riser units within the structure. Also, this modular retaining wall & cap system, Fendt Country Manor, requires fiberglass pins to lock them together. There were no pins any where throughout the structure. They just glued the block units together.

The biggest issue facing these block steps & caps was the collaspe under the bay doorwall which compromised the entire step system.  There was NO back wall to support these paver steps and therefore they were doomed to fail. It took 6 years before they were completely unusable, but signs of failure where evident to the homeowner after the first year.

When this landscape contractor returned for warranty work, they simply and wrongfully plugged gaps & holes with caulk and plastic bags!  Yes, they stuffed plastic bags in gaps & holes!  Due to the failure of this contractor performing professional work, this homeowner had to spend $1,150 to completely rebuild these Patio Paver Steps.

My team and I not only constructed the proper "back wall", but we used the required fiberglass pins for this wall & cap system, wrapped the interior with a geo-textile fabric, and installed the proper corner units to solidify this step structure.  We also increased the foot tread to 12" wide to allow for more safety by using a better cap unit then the previous installation.

The one area that separates the good brick paver contractors from the bad is the capability to design & install quality paver steps.  Paver steps are never really cheap because they require expertise, time, and attention to detail to give long-term success.  Paver Steps are always custom designed & installed.  Make sure your contractor can handle the challenge when it comes to patio, walkway, or porch steps.