Paver Patio Excavation Help

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-16-13, 07:37 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Exclamation Paver Patio Excavation Help

We are putting in a paver patio that is about 20' x 32'. Fortunately, the yard is already very level and graded for drainage, so we were planning to just dig down the 7" that everyone recommends. Unfortunately, after two hard days of work, we are worried that we did a terrible job!

Our soil is filled with nothing but clay and rock (it's a new build and the builder dtripped off all of the top soil), so it is incredibly hard and digging was REALLY difficult. Also, and more importantly, it was nearly impossible to get the digging even and smooth. Throughout the space, it is dug down between about 7"-12" but it is very unevern with little dips, treches and valleys all over. We are wondering whether we have to even this out (which will require bringing in a professional) or if, once we get the gravel in, the unevenness of the ground below will not matter at all and all that will matter is that the gravel (and then sand) is even. I want to make sure I'm not over-thinking this, but I also want to make sure that we are laying a proper foundation for our patio so it holds up for years and years.

I am attaching two photos, though they are admittedly tough to see the actual leveling of the excavation, but hopefully you can at least see that it's really uneven.

What are everyone's thoughts?? We need help ASAP!
 
Attached Images   
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-16-13, 08:00 PM
J
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 4,294
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sure does not look like 7" across the whole thing to me.
Someone with a skid loader could have had that whole thing graded out in an hour.
 
  #3  
Old 06-16-13, 08:11 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
We definitely learned a lesson and if we had to do it again, we would have hired someone to do the excavation (though it would have cost us $1000 more than we paid to rent the equipment). We don't mind the manual labor. However, that is now a moot point. We have measured and the whole space is definitely at least 7" but some places are quite a but deeper, closer to 12".

The question now is whether we can leave it as-is, which will cause the gravel in some places to be 3" and in other places, it would be closer 8". If in the end, the surface in the end is level and graded properly, will the different thicknesses in base material (gravel) affect the final result of the patio?
 
  #4  
Old 06-16-13, 08:14 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I should also add that we did rent and use a skid loader, so we had the right equipment, but it was tough work because the ground was so hard with clay and rock (and a little wet from rain). My brother did it and he has some experience with skid loaders, but it was just really difficult to get the ground level due to the soil (if you can call it that) quality.
 
  #5  
Old 06-17-13, 09:01 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 24,005
Received 684 Votes on 631 Posts
You want to remove any loose or disturbed soil but it does not need to be exactly smooth or even. When you start adding stone it will just be deeper in some areas than others which will not cause a problem if it's properly compacted. Put down a couple inches of stone, screed it out to be roughly level and compact. Then add another couple inches of stone, paying more attention to getting it level (with proper fall) and smooth and compact. Basically as you build up closer and closer to your final elevation you want to get more precise with your leveling.

Oh, and I feel you pain when working with tough soil. I had to use a track hoe to break up the soil before dig. In some places it was so bad I just had to scrape back and forth with the teeth of the bucket until it eventually wore/worked it's way down to the depth I needed. A tough job even with diesel power.
 
  #6  
Old 06-17-13, 09:19 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Pilot Dane - Thank you so much for the reply. We had the exact same experience - we first rented a mini back hoe to break up the soil (the mini skid loader couldn't just dig out the undisutrbed ground - it would just spin its wheels or stall out) and then we went back over it with the skid loader to do our best at smoothing the ground out and removing the excess dirt. Despite all of that, it was still a really tough process and it was simply impossible to get level. I suspect that even a professional would have struggled.

We will just order some extra gravel to make up for the deeper-then-planned grooves and focus our energy now on compacting and leveling the gravel.

Thanks again!
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: