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Old 04-24-10, 07:59 PM   #1
SonataInFSharp
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Opinion on Laying Pavers/Bricks without Compactor

Bought a house--if all goes well, we will be moving in within the month (quick close, unrelated).

Right now the lawn is completely woodchips with a sidewalk going out to the garage. We want to lay pavers or bricks on one side of the sidewalk/lawn to put a patio set or something.

I know the process for laying pavers, but here is the deal: we got an opinion from an inspector about laying pavers and he said that because of a large, old tree in the area, that if we use a compactor, we will certainly kill the tree.

So, is there a way of laying pavers without a compactor? What will happen over time? Is a compactor really necessary in the first place for our particular application? We will use it simply for sitting, a table, and that is about it.

My thought is that the bricks won't lay even over time, they may spread apart, or maybe nothing will happen.

I know there are pro landscapers here, so thoughts are welcome.

Also, apparently the grading at the house was really bad but it was "fixed," but the inspector said it's still really bad. Is grading/backfilling a DIY project? Do you just add dirt around the foundation to 6" below the siding, or is it more complicated than that?
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Old 04-24-10, 08:08 PM   #2
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Just my opinion - You're in MN - freeze/thaw is going to move the pavers around over time no matter what you do.
As far as foundation grading - you want it sloped away from the house about 6 feet. I did it myself when I bought my house. I had a quad axle of field run top soil dumped and borrowed a skid steer. A 3 foot asphalt lute or landscapers rake works good for finish grading. Be aware the soil will settle over time so take that into account. If your gutters and downspouts need work fix those too.
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Old 04-24-10, 08:09 PM   #3
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if the ground isn't compacted to start with, then it will over time and any large slab of rock can become unstable and crack.

how about laying cobblestones?
they can be done in a decorative fashion too.
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Old 04-24-10, 09:28 PM   #4
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I'd get an opinion from a good arborist (unless the inspector was one). Some trees can take a degree of compaction- beeches definitely cannot. AEO's suggestion is a good one- cobbles are prettier too, IMHO.
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Old 04-24-10, 09:54 PM   #5
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Use wet sand to bed them.

Compaction with wet sand is near 100%. Sure, they'll move as the ground heaves with freeze/thaw cycles, but you can maintain them over the years as needed.
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Old 04-24-10, 09:55 PM   #6
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Get a good magic wand and wave it around and everything will take care of itself.
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Old 04-24-10, 09:58 PM   #7
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Lets see,40"+ possible frost line up there,anything can move/heave as stated by dedhed.
Dig the soil out 12",6" of medium gravel,4"rough finish concrete,then mortar the bricks in.
Much cheaper to slap a wood deck in that area.Plug that car in at night

Pretty country up there and kids make it into the NHL right out of highschool.
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Old 04-24-10, 10:15 PM   #8
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I thought cobblestones were the same as sett, but apparently they are different.

I meant setts/belgian blocks. similar to bricks, but much nicer patterns can be done.
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Old 04-24-10, 11:04 PM   #9
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Agree with the sand comment above. Shouldn't hurt the tree, easier to repair later, pretty good results.
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