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Patio area for new construction: Pour slab and modify later, or something else?

Patio area for new construction: Pour slab and modify later, or something else?

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Old 03-06-14, 10:28 AM
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Patio area for new construction: Pour slab and modify later, or something else?

Hi all! We're close to signing contracts on a new construction home in the Indianapolis suburbs, and I'm looking for advice on our back patio area. We've got about a 12 x 12 area off our sunroom where the builders normally pour a concrete slab for $450. I'm wanting something nicer than that, but not ridiculously expensive. I've been doing research the past couple days and come up with these possibilities on my own. I'd love opinions on these, or any other options!

Have them pour slab for $450, then modify later:
1) Install pavers over it. The advantage here seems to be that I could probably do this myself and save $.
2) Install like a "click/lock" system over it. Again, I could likely do this myself.
3) Install wood deck in that area, although I'd have to hire this out. I'm also hearing it's a bad idea to install a deck anywhere near ground level -- even over existing concrete

Have them skip pouring slab altogether, and just start from scratch with something else:
1) Pavers. Without the slab, I'd likely want to hire this out. How much more expensive would it be to hire it out from scratch as opposed to having the slab poured, then laying pavers over it myself?
2) Some type of stone. Again, probably hired out.
3) Ground level deck. Probably hired out.

Thanks for any and all opinions!
 
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Old 03-06-14, 05:06 PM
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If you aren't sure, save the $450 & decide later. You can lay the pavers yourself without the slab. I don't why they told you that a low deck is a bad idea.
 
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Old 03-07-14, 01:55 PM
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Decks built too close to the ground tend to rot out sooner than those having more air space under them, simply from members drying out with improved air circulation. Also less likely for mold to grow and thrive when the wood members are not as wet over prolonged periods of time.

If you can live with the sea of mud that will be present, doing nothing initially will work. I personally wouldn't want to do that, but everyone has different priorities.
 
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Old 03-07-14, 04:10 PM
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Thanks for the replies! I've pretty much decided to NOT have the patio poured, and then to do pavers myself. I'm slightly intimidated, but there's a lot of guidance online...I think I can handle it.

Question for everyone: one of the concrete guys I talked to told me I should hold off on doing anything for a year, in order to let the ground settle. One of the other concrete guys I talked to told me it shouldn't be a problem to do it right away this summer, as the builders are going to grade everything and were going to pour the slab right away anyway. Anyone see a problem with me laying pavers virtually right away?
 
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Old 03-07-14, 06:41 PM
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Unless you (or someone you trust) can be there when the backfilling is done, I'd hold off on immediate placement of anything. Waiting at least a year gets my vote. It's way too easy for builders to dump in 3' and 4' lifts of "iffy" material, with little compaction other than a few quick passes with a bobcat. I've seen the results of that having been done (meaning settlement of several inches, or more), many times. Both on tract homes and even at higher-end houses.
 
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