Aug 14, 2011

Completion of Boulder Raised Paver Patio and Steps

Raised Brick Paver Patios have many options to choose from for construction

When designing a Raised Brick Paver Patio, a good qualified brick paver specialist will consider many options for materials & products to achieve a homeowner's needs & appearance. This homeowner in Ypsilanti, MI wanted a more natural and random appearance to their paver patio & steps. The combination of fieldstone boulders, tumbled pavers, sienna steps, and modular retaining wall blocks & caps achieved this objective.

A properly installed raised paver patio & paver steps begin literally "from the ground up".  The first setting of the bottom wall block, boulder, or step stone must be determined properly because it will set the finished height of the doorwall step, brick paver patio, or interior planting beds.  Through continued checking, forethought, and calculations, an experienced & knowledgeable brick paver contractor will be able to achieve success.

Brick Pavers require proper compaction of base materials to help insure long-term success & appearance.  I have witnessed many landscape contractors just filling up the gravel behind the modular retaining wall system or boulder walls without compacting in 4-5" lifts.  When they complete the job, everything looks fine. But over several months & years, the entire paver patio will begin to settle resulting in negative water flow, erosion, gapping, and in some severe conditions, collapsing. 

Whether you use a modular retaining wall block & cap system, boulders, timbers, or stacked flagstone, for a raised paver patio installation, it is imperative that a geo-textile blanket be installed behind the patio retaining wall.  This filter fabric material should allow moisture to go through but help reduce any base material from seeping through the walls.  If base materials seep through the walls, settling & erosion will quickly deteriorate the performance of your paver patio installation.

This raised boulder wall patio is a common concept in the industry but is usually poorly executed by many contractors.  Boulders or stacked stone offer their own unique challenges of construction.  Unlike modular retaining wall blocks & caps, natural stone does not have set measurements to go by when constructing such a challenging patio installation.  One must channel their "artistic" mind instead of their "engineering" self.  The beauty is that the two mind sets can achieve a functional, unique, and ascetically pleasing result.

Most of the raised brick paver patio repair work we perform daily is from the complete disregard by installing contractors from properly compacting and using the right materials for the job.  Blocks & caps are not used properly or incorrectly made to fit resulting in poor cuts, appearance, function, strength, and performance.

Though we started with a scaled drawing as our beginning reference, many adjustments are needed due to the variances in products.  This is one main reason why experienced and knowledgeable brick paver contractors are needed for your interlocking brick paver & retaining wall installations.  There is no better value than foresight & perseverance.  Repair, installation, cleaning & sealing of brick pavers, retaining walls, and pavers steps ALL have unique & custom challenges.

This raised brick paver patio was installed in 4 days by an experienced crew, proper tools & equipment, efficient site planning, and a functional & aesthetically pleasing design.  Most contractors can do "flat work" (on the ground) installations, but when it comes to more complex raised paver patios & paver steps, a qualified brick paver specialist is a must!

Raised paver patios & steps require some minimal maintenance over time, but the aesthetic and functional value out weighs any other products in the patio market.  Poor contractor installation and homeowner neglect are the only things to fear.  Start with a qualified brick paver specialist to design, install, and perform on-going maintenance services. Then as a diligent homeowner, keep an eye on signs of movement & failure and address them as they appear and most of all, keep your paver joints filled with joint sand!