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Old 05-01-2011, 09:21 AM   #1
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Brick paver gravel question


I am preparing to sell my house and I had recently put in a back door in my basement and wanted to put in some sort of small patio so it didn't seem strange the door just opened to grass. So I felt a brick paver and sand was the easiest and cheapest but still look nice.
Seems like most of the instructions I find recommend a very fine gravel under the sand. I have some larger gravel and broken concrete cinder blocks from the I broke out to put in the door. I was thinking of crushing the blocks with a sledge hammer and using that as the gravel base but I doubt I will get the peices small like the crushed gravel I see in pictures.
My question is what will happen if I use a larger gravel than a finer crushed gravel? I am trying to balance economy and quality and trying to figure out what is acceptable.

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Old 05-01-2011, 08:04 PM   #2
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Brick paver gravel question


Best case--it'll work fine and no one will notice...

Worst case--you won't be able to get it level, it will like crap, and the potential buyers will ask for a concession (or replacement) of the patio...

Most likely? Somewhere in between... it will be OK for now, but a year or two from now the pavers will be un-level, maybe some will break... when the new owners re-do it they'll be cursing you out for what a hack job you did.

How much does the stone cost? I bet it's just a relatively small fraction of the entire materials list. The biggest headache is getting rid of the concrete debris you have now...

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Old 05-01-2011, 08:19 PM   #3
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Brick paver gravel question


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Originally Posted by wvphysics View Post
I am preparing to sell my house and I had recently put in a back door in my basement and wanted to put in some sort of small patio so it didn't seem strange the door just opened to grass. So I felt a brick paver and sand was the easiest and cheapest but still look nice.
Seems like most of the instructions I find recommend a very fine gravel under the sand. I have some larger gravel and broken concrete cinder blocks from the I broke out to put in the door. I was thinking of crushing the blocks with a sledge hammer and using that as the gravel base but I doubt I will get the peices small like the crushed gravel I see in pictures.
My question is what will happen if I use a larger gravel than a finer crushed gravel? I am trying to balance economy and quality and trying to figure out what is acceptable.
I wouldn't advise it, honestly. It's just not apt to work.

What size patio are you talking about? I recently added on to our existing patio, using Holland Pavers.

The gravel/substrate cost $28 per ton. The fine sand cost $18 per ton. 4"x8" pavers cost me 31 cents each.

What I'm saying is that the gravel part of the project is not going to cost you much. Pay a little bit of money & get the right gravel/substrate.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:27 PM   #4
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Brick paver gravel question


Its a 7x10 area, Where are you buying stuff, at lowes brick paved gravel and the sand are both 3.50 for a 0.5 cubic feet. The bricks I want to get are 1.38 for a 12"x12". By those numbers is is the contrary and the gravel is by far the largest cost of the project. I have broken up some of the blocks already, and they break up quite well with a sledge hammer, I can even get down to just a powder if I take the time. I can check around some of the other stores around here but I would think the prices would be of similar value.

Last edited by wvphysics; 05-01-2011 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:42 PM   #5
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Its a 7x10 area, Where are you buying stuff, at lowes brick paved gravel and the sand are both 3.50 for a 0.5 cubic feet. The bricks I want to get are 1.38 for a 12"x12". By those numbers is is the contrary and the gravel is by far the largest cost of the proect.
Have you ever done a patio like this before? If not, be sure to study up on it good, before you start. It's not tough if you do it right. But if you do it wrong, it simply will not look right.

I've got a truck, so I went to a construction materials place & got the gravel. Any ready-mix concrete place will probably have it for you. The difference between "buying in bulk" like that, and buying the stuff in bags is staggering.

Also, there are a few simple tools that will be very important to have and use.

Good luck with this project! Feel free to ask any and all questions. There are a lot of people here who are a whole lot more knowledgeable about this than I am. They'll be a lot of help.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:48 PM   #6
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Brick paver gravel question


What size gravel am I going for here? Some pictures look like a little more than a powder. The gravel at lowes was about the size of a pea or a little larger, with what looked like quite a bit of powder inside.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:52 PM   #7
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What size gravel am I going for here? Some pictures look like a little more than a powder. The gravel at lowes was about the size of a pea or a little larger, with what looked like quite a bit of powder inside.
Do you have a pickup, or have access to one? That'll make a huge difference.

The gravel/substrate I used was called "crush run" and was approximately 3/4" in diameter. It was not smooth, but crushed limestone. It packs down extremely well. Provides a very nice base that won't move or shift.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:56 PM   #8
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Brick paver gravel question


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Originally Posted by DrHicks

Do you have a pickup, or have access to one? That'll make a huge difference.

The gravel/substrate I used was called "crush run" and was approximately 3/4" in diameter. It was not smooth, but crushed limestone. It packs down extremely well. Provides a very nice base that won't move or shift.
I'm resourceful and can figure something out about how to get the gravel. The good news is the 3/4" is about what I get by manually crushing the pile of block I have so it can reduce how much I'll need. Thanks.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:58 PM   #9
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I'm resourceful and can figure something out about how to get the gravel. The good news is the 3/4" is about what I get by manually crushing the pile of block I have so it can reduce how much I'll need. Thanks.
Dang - I guess I'm just too lazy to do that!

But hey, if you can get it crushed down that fine, you should be okay. And it will provide a good share of the fill you need.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:13 AM   #10
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Brick paver gravel question


Another question related to the gravel. I have seen indri toons that say use a tamper and some that say to use a power compactor. Obviously the power compactor is better, but would the hand tamper be sufficient if I put in the time and effort?
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:39 AM   #11
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Brick paver gravel question


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Another question related to the gravel. I have seen indri toons that say use a tamper and some that say to use a power compactor. Obviously the power compactor is better, but would the hand tamper be sufficient if I put in the time and effort?
Yes. I bought (for $26) a 10"x10" hand tamper for my recent patio. But you'll certainly have to do "time and effort." And get ready for your arms and shoulders to burn!

Remember... This is not rocket science. The "bed" of substrate and sand you lay down is going to determine how good the final product is.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:11 PM   #12
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Brick paver gravel question


Easiest and cheapest doesn't equate to any worthwhile brick project.

I'd hire it out and have a concrete pad put in , seeings how you plan on selling it.

Save your sweat equity for your next place.

BTW crushed gravel that's properly compacted is about as dense as concrete

as the angular shapes interlock with one another , busted up concrete is

not the same.

5 yards of gravel delivered to my ditch is around $120.00 but they're only

traveling a few miles.

I've bought it by the yard at a landscaping dealer but it takes a 3/4 ton truck to haul it.

I wouldn't do any brick project if I couldn't enjoy looking at it for yrs to

come , to much work involved.






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Old 05-04-2011, 11:57 PM   #13
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Brick paver gravel question


Definitely get the 3/4 minus gravel base stone. It packs great. Your battle is against settling. The more you can pack (settle) your base, the better it will look. I doubt the concrete chunks would do the job properly. I had 5 tons delivered for less than $200 and my retaining wall looks great as a result.
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:12 AM   #14
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I wouldn't do any brick project if I couldn't enjoy looking at it for yrs to come , to much work involved.
I completely understand, but don't agree. It's a lot of work. You can understand why the professionals get paid big bucks!

On the other hand, if I could do - for $500 - something that could increase the value of the house by $5,000 I'd do it. It'd also give me good practice for my next house.
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:25 AM   #15
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Brick paver gravel question


There are a few reasons why I am doing this myself. They include saving money but also part of it is the learning experience. I also finished the basement, put in a bathroom, knocked out part of the wall to put in a door, and learned slot that could be useful later like how to make repairs.
Concrete pad is out as cheap because I am on a slope and the only way to bring in a truck is through other people's back and side yards or somehow pour from the front and get it back around. Either way not cheap.
I did find a place that sells 3/4" crushed for $20 a ton, and I do have friends with SUVs with hitches. Uhaul rents open trailed for under $20, so I think I can grab a trailer and get the stone, dump it on my driveway, go back and get the sand and do the same. The crushed block would only give about 15% of what I need so now throwing it in just helps me need have to get rid of it. On a side note, the block does crush down to similar shape and size of crushed rock, I would think the biggest concern would be structural strength where the concrete gravel could break more under weight.

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