install a fence in a paver patio

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Old 05-23-07, 09:22 AM
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Question install a fence in a paver patio

Hi all,

Wow, this is the first time I've ever posted to one of these forums - I'm excited!

Here is my situation. I am installing a brand new concrete paver patio on a well-compacted sandy soil foundation. I live near Calgary (Alberta, Canada), so cold winters, but quite dry as well.

I am not excavating for my patio. I plan to build up from the current base, so will require a short (approx 12 to 18") retaining wall around the patio.

All that seems quite straightforward to me. The tricky bit is I want to install a windbreak fence around this patio. This is going to require sinking 4' concrete footers and installing a bunch of 6x6 PT posts, etc.

I'm not sure where I should be putting these footers. If I put them outside the retaining wall, do I need to put them a certain distance away (and if so, end up with a big gap between the wall and the patio "floor")? Does it make more sense to install my fence within the patio itself? If so, how do I screed around these footers?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks! GR
 
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Old 05-23-07, 10:42 AM
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Fence goes outside of the patio

First, you want to have the fence utside of the patio. It makes no sense to build a patio and loose valuable space to a fence that is inside of the outer perimeter of the patio.

Second, you say you are going to sink 4' concrete footers. You aren't saying you are going to make the footers 4' thick are you?

The bottom of the footer should be 4' below ground level (I assume given your location this is frost line depth for your area). You then lengthen your fence posts accordingly to go from the top of the footer to finished height above ground.

I don't see any reason you can't put the fence posts right against the outside edge of the retaining wall. If you leave a space, it is a hazard where somebody could fall off the edge of the patio and even though it is only 12-18", that's plenty to twist or break an ankle. Also, if you leave a gap, it is a collection point for leaves and other debris to blow into which you now have to bend over and fish out instead of just sweeping it off of the patio surface.

Good luck on your project.
 
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Old 05-23-07, 09:37 PM
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You're not going to bury the wood posts in the concrete are you??

Use steel posts -- THEY DON'T ROT!!

Think about the replacement project 15 years down the road. Do you want to be digging all of that concrete up, or simply be replacing the wood components that are above ground??
 
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Old 05-24-07, 02:13 PM
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Question PT posts go on the concrete footer

Hi and thanks for your responses!

Sorry if my description about the footers was confusing. I intend to pour concrete into a 1'x 4' sono tube sunk 4' into the ground (so the top of the concrete hits ground level). Then I put a metal bracket into the concrete and attach my PT post to it. This is my current plan anyway ...

Re: installing posts outside the retaining wall, I agree that it makes more sense but my spouse doesn't like it. He says it is a shame to hide the lovely stone of the retaining wall behind a fence.

So I guess my next question is, if I do put the fence within the patio, do I need to put it "x" amount of distance away from the retaining wall? And how do I screed around the concrete?

Thanks for your help GR
 
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Old 05-24-07, 02:37 PM
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install a fence in a paver patio

No matter what kind a bracket you insert into the concrete, you will never be able to use the strength of the post that is attached to it. - There will always be some "give" because it is nailed or bolted.

Your PT posts will shrink and the nails/bolts will work loose in short order as the wood ages and goes through the annual wetting/drying and freezing. Wood is just wood and you cannot change it.

If you want the full strength, embed steel posts into the Sonotube concrete while still wet (brace temporarily, of course).

If you have a real interlocking concrete paver patio, you will have some edge restraints (plastic, steel, aluminum, concrete) around it. Put the posts outside this and the use bark or rock under the fence if the patio is already in place.

Where are the pavers relative to the retaining walls? Are the walls restraining the pavers? If the are, posts should have been put in after the walls and before the pavers, but that does not help now.

The ideal situation is to have the posts just behind the top of walls before the walls are built, but that is not always practical. This usually gives you the best use of the property without obscuring the retaining wall.

Dick
 
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Old 05-24-07, 07:20 PM
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I'm with Dick on this one, and he'll probably agree with what I add.

There are two things that you don't want to do.

One is the method you are proposing, with the footings and embedding a post anchor, then attaching the post in the anchor. That's weak, and that's why every mfgr. (like Simpson and US Steel Products) tells you not to do it. Their post bases are NOT designed for a non-top supported structure, like a fence.

The other thing that you don't wat to do is embed wood in the concrete footing. It will rot, and you'll have no way to replace it, other than replacing the footing.

The solution is to use STEEL (i.e. chain link fence posts!!) posts. You CAN embed them in the concrete, and they won't rot or rust away.

There are a couple of ways to attach your wood fence to theose posts. One is to use Simpson PGT's. The other is to through-bolt your wood rails to the posts.
 
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Old 05-25-07, 08:26 AM
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Thanks and planter opening

Hi guys and thanks for the information.

I had no idea that my footer/post strategy wasn't kosher - gee, and that wasn't even my original question! I appreciate your catching it and letting me know.

And thanks for the strategy for putting the fence inside the retaining wall (and yes, the retaining wall is being built to hold back the pavers - so kind of a "raised" patio - only about a 1' above grade). Nothing has been built yet and I know my spouse's preferred approach is to do just what you suggested - put the posts smack up against the inside of the retaining wall.

And sorry to barrage you with questions, but this one I'm more just curious about. If I want to put a planting bed within my patio somewhere (say a circle), how would I do that? GR
 
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Old 05-25-07, 06:01 PM
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Gopher Rancher,

We do what we can to not only answer the questions being asked but to point out other flaws in the plans as we see them.

As far as the planter area somewhere in this patio, simply leave out the pavers. If you want to raise it, use Basalite's keystone or garden wall blocks. (There are other mfgr's. of this type of product as well.) These are the six sided blocks that are inter-locking and don't require mortaring them in. Google "basalite.com" and search the web sites. Being 6 sided, you can form them into a circle. The orange tree in my fron yard is in a 10' ring that was formed by using the keystone blocks, 2 tiers high.
 
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Old 05-26-07, 09:23 AM
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what about the crushed rock under the pavers?

Hi Lefty,

I had a chuckle (an envious one!) reading about the orange tree in your yard! Sigh, I'm growing a mandarin orange tree in my house and it is a challenge (we had a dump of snow here yesterday, May 25th - outrageous! )

Re: the bed, you said leave the pavers off but won't I then be looking at 6 inches of crushed rock at the bottom of my bed? Or do I dig that out and put in soil? I don't want to have to make a raised bed.

Thanks!
GR
 
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Old 05-26-07, 11:48 AM
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Dig out the base in the open area, installing some landscape bender board to keep the remaining base from sluffing off into the planter area. Then fill the planter area with soil.
 
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