Latest Discussions : Lawn & Garden


03:24PM | 09/08/02
Hi! I live up North (the frost can go as deep as 48") and I am replacing a walkway made of interlocking concrete pavers because it has settled too much with the thaw-unthaw cycles. The "fly-by-night" landscape contractor who installed them 10 years ago used 18" of crushed gravel (0-3/4") as a foundation under the pavers, and he had to come back twice the same year he installed them because it was already starting to settle...

Now I bought some new pavers from a place where they only sell brick and concrete pavers, and the brochure made by the manufacturer of the pavers recommends 12" of crushed gravel for clay soils (which is what I have). The clerk at the store said that only 5" of base material is more than enough, and thicker may just cause the installation to be more prone to movement. (Could it explain why my walkway with its 18" foundation looks ugly after only ten years?) I personally think that thicker is better. Could you please tell me who is right? Thanks.

PS: when the lowest bid is 1000$ lower than the three other contractors, either the three other are ripping you off, or the lowest bidder is rounding off corners...

Jay J

03:41PM | 09/22/02
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi Wolley,

2 things. 1) Whenever you've got differences in bids, and you're at the point where you need to 'decide', your only course of action as to finding out why 1 bid is so far off of another is to 'confront' the Contractor and ask why. This is why a Materials List is so important. Maybe the difference is in the Labor. Again, ask why. It's OK to show 1 Contractor the bids you got from other Contractors. Again, get a materials list. This will help now, AND in the future should you find that your base is sand and NOT 3/4" modified gravel!

2) As to who is right - I'd go w/what the MFGR is saying. Besides, they're the ones (in a sense) guaranteeing your pavers. At least that's who the Contractor is going to have to go back to for replacements. Also, I'd insist the Pro do what the MFGR says. If not, find someone else. And if this increases the cost of the job, so be it. At least you're making decisions on sound advice.

And order a few extra pavers. My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: God Bless America!

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