Patio/breezeway/walkway planning

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Old 07-31-06, 09:39 AM
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Patio/breezeway/walkway planning

My home currently has a concrete walkway, breezeway, and patio, all attached. The walkway is approx 144 sq', the breezeway 240 sq' and the patio 256 sq'. The condition of the concrete in the walkway and breezeway is fine. The patio has multiple cracks and has heaved, so the transition from breezeway to patio is inconsistent, some areas are level, others are off by up to 1".

Our desire is to improve the looks of all this surface area through the application of some type of paver, natural stone or tile. However, I do believe that the existing concrete patio needs to be addressed first. I think it needs to be replaced, and in doing so, I'd probably opt to enlarge this area to about double the current size. Since this concrete would not be exposed and would only be acting as a foundation, are there different grades of concrete or finishing methods that would be less expensive?

I wasn't sure if it was necessary to replace the concrete patio with another concrete base, but felt that to have a consistent base in all these areas, that it would be best. ??

Realizing that this is a fairly large area, nearly 1000 sq', I'm focused on keeping the costs in check somewhat. If I have a new concrete patio poured, that's definitely a job for pros. After that, if I go with tile or some sort of paving stone, I plan on doing it myself. If we opt for a natural stone, such as bluestone, it's been recommended that we have pros do that, as it does appear to be a true skill to shape those stones and not waste too much material.

I'm looking for thoughts and suggestions on any of these details. Would you not recommend tile for any reason? Seeing that I'm laying the final product over concrete, are there less expensive options that I could be looking at, such as paver overlays?

Have I lost my mind and ask a family member to check me into a local hospital?
 
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Old 07-31-06, 10:56 AM
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Patio/breezeway/walkway planning

It sounds like you are thinking of overlaying the existing breezeway and walk way and possiblly expanding your patio. It also sounds like you want to use stone or tile.

Two questions:

1.Where are you located and what is your climate?

2. What is the greatest thickness overlay you tolerate for drainage purposes and fuctionality of doors and steps, if any?

If you expand the patio area using something like tile or bluestone. you will have to teat out the existing cracked patio and replace it with a new concrete slab. Mortar set suface products cannot be installed over a cracked or jointed base. Even installing over the old slab and the new slab is a no-no since you will have cracks.

Just replacing and/or enlarging the existing patio with concrete or interlocking paving stones would the most economical. Concrete is probably a contractor job unless you have experience and a lot of friends. Pavers could be a DIY job since you can go at your own rate and do not have to fight with large volumes of a material that can set up quickly before you are ready. With this option the new patio would not match the others, but specialized concrete treaments on the walkway and breezeway could create a stunning appearance.

The climate (durability) and elevation (practicality) are the key factors is your choice of materials and methods.

Dick
 
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Old 08-01-06, 07:10 AM
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I'm in Northern NJ, so we could have some pretty hot days, (like right now) and also have the potential for some very cold winter periods.

The front walk is set down about 3 inches from the breezeway, so while there is an approx 3-3.5" space or step from the front walk into the front door, we probably onlt have about a 1 inch space for the two doors into the house and garage off of the breezeway.
 
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Old 08-02-06, 01:04 PM
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Some additional thoughts as I continue to do my research -

-Is there enough of a cost savings between full thickness pavers and veneers/overlays to justify my taking on the cost of breaking up the current patio area and repouring a new slab of the desired size? Application of overlays/veneers seems to be more like the application of tile, so it would avoid me having to undertake the costs/labor associated with properly prepping a multilayer base for full thickness pavers.

-Are there any feelings against these overlay products? This is not a driveway area, it would be subject to foottraffic only

-If I were to do overlays, most installations say to secure the border stones with adhesive, but then to dry set the interior stones and finish with a polymeric sand. Is this the best route?

-Any suggested manufactorers to look at for these products? EP Henry seems to have some. Who else?

Thanks,
Dan
 
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Old 08-02-06, 02:00 PM
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Patio/breezeway/walkway planning

1. If you have a cracked concrete slab, "overlays" will not work because the cracks will telegraph through the overlay (concrete, tile, mortared pavers).

2. With a freezing climate, there is always the possibility of the overlays separating if excess moisture and freeze/thaw cycles get to the surface.

3. No long term experience with the products.

4. E. P. Henry is a quality producer of block, retaining wall units and interlocking concrete pavers (not clay) and many other similar products.

Dick
 
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