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Old 03-18-2019, 02:25 PM   #1
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Paver Patio Project


I'd like to replace a tired ground level deck that comes off the back of my house with a paver patio. The patio would be about 550 sq. ft. I have done a very small paver patio before and know it is pretty straight forward but it's hard work that always takes way longer than anticipated.



I got 4 bids ranging from $12-20K depending on how fancy I'd like to get with lighting at accents. 3 quotes came in right around $12k demo and hauling of the current deck and for the basic patio without extra sitting walls, lights, or anything else. They all had a 2-3 week timeline to finish the work.


There is very good access to the back of the house via a driveway so deliveries and movement of material is good.



I calculated the cost of dIYing, hiring day laborers, renting dumpster, renting back hoe, getting material delivered, etc. using the same brand of pavers and came out to $9K including the DIY fudge factor.



For those that have DIYed a paver patio, would you do it again? If so, what would you do differently? If not, would $3-4K in savings DIYing change your mind? How long did it take you, how long did you expect it to take?



Your thoughts and experiences are greatly appreciated.


See pics of current deck and yard.





Paver Patio Project-img_20190213_132943320.jpg

Paver Patio Project-img_20190213_132931517.jpg

Paver Patio Project-img_20190213_133025496.jpg
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:36 PM   #2
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Re: Paver Patio Project


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Originally Posted by jmvar44 View Post
For those that have DIYed a paver patio, would you do it again?
That's a trick question, this is a DIY site. But I haven't done a big one in like 10 years, so my back might protest now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmvar44 View Post
I calculated the cost of dIYing, hiring day laborers, renting dumpster, renting back hoe, getting material delivered, etc. using the same brand of pavers and came out to $9K
For a $12K bid, they should be no more than $4-5K materials. If you calculate only $3K short of their $12K and have a quick timeline, then maybe it should be hired out.
------
Why the laborers if its DIY? Why the back hoe? Can you demo the deck yourself? What's that little Nissan Hardbody good for hauling, like 1000lb payload? Also, you'll need to rent a tamper, twice.

What are your plans for the 26" change in grade for the paver patio (it looks like a good 16" up to the main platform, and the lower another 10" down to the driveway)? If raised, will there still be a dropoff where the fence is now?

I have to say, I really like how your deck was conceived with the platforms and built-in planter.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:59 PM   #3
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Re: Paver Patio Project


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Originally Posted by 3onthetree View Post
That's a trick question, this is a DIY site. But I haven't done a big one in like 10 years, so my back might protest now.


For a $12K bid, they should be no more than $4-5K materials. If you calculate only $3K short of their $12K and have a quick timeline, then maybe it should be hired out.
------
Why the laborers if its DIY? Why the back hoe? Can you demo the deck yourself? What's that little Nissan Hardbody good for hauling, like 1000lb payload? Also, you'll need to rent a tamper, twice.

What are your plans for the 26" change in grade for the paver patio (it looks like a good 16" up to the main platform, and the lower another 10" down to the driveway)? If raised, will there still be a dropoff where the fence is now?

I have to say, I really like how your deck was conceived with the platforms and built-in planter.
@3onthetree , you have a good eye


I don't have a tight timeline, I'd like to have it done by memorial day just because I'd like to have the time to do other projects and enjoy for summer.


Laborers and back hoe are to get it done in a decent amount of time. We really enjoy the deck now. We are out there almost every day at some point in the day. Unfortunately it is sagging and all the treads are splintered and it's rotting in places. I work really slow and if I don't get some help I will be at it all summer.



The plan is to demo myself with the help of the laborers. I was going to rent a dumpster even though I do have the Nissan as you noticed in the pics. Payload on the little red rocket is 1,400 lbs and I use it all the time to go to the garden supply store and the dump. I don't think it will be efficient to haul away the deck with the little red truck. My local dump is pretty close to me but the lines for weighing in and weighing out get really long and you can loose a lot of time waiting in lines to dump and pay. I calculate that it would take a least 10 trips to the dump to get rid of the deck material. Then I would have to still deal with the dirt I am going to dig up.



When we first bought the house in 2017, I really liked the design of the deck. My plan was to replace all the treads and put a support under the beam that is sagging. After some use I found it's deficiencies. The multiple levels look really cool but really limit how you can use the space. I asked every contractor that provided a quote why people design outdoor spaces with multiple levels when it limits the versatility. The answer was always that it was for looks. My issue with these designs is that you always have to watch where you put chairs so you don't fall off an edge. Especially if you have a lot of chairs out around a fire pit or a table. If you some guests sitting around a table, you can't have others around the fire pit.


If I am way off base with any of this please let me know. I am open to all suggestions.
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:22 PM   #4
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Re: Paver Patio Project


Any thought to rebuilding the deck the way you want?

Not sure my reasoning is all logical but I’d take on a deck build but probably wouldn’t touch an equally sized paved patio... the excavation needed is part of it and just hauling all that material in and away.. amount of dirt that needs to be moved shouldn’t be underestimated . plus it would likely take me weeks to set all the pavers and knowing me I’d get some torrential downpour and make a disaster of the whole space...and it looks like you have some slope to deal with..

Based on the pictures that deck seems like it has some design issues that contributed to the rotting... it appears to have little to zero space for ventilation.. that is a challenge with building low level decks that leads to premature failures... of course saying all that I just build a low level deck myself.. so I guess I’ll found out first hand how long it lasts..

You might be able to rebuild yours with enough ventilation on the high side to avoid major issues. And that deck build is a job you could do entirely by yourself with a single helping hand from time to time.. and for way less than $9k
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:43 PM   #5
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Re: Paver Patio Project


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Originally Posted by ryansdiydad View Post
Any thought to rebuilding the deck the way you want?

Not sure my reasoning is all logical but I’d take on a deck build but probably wouldn’t touch an equally sized paved patio... the excavation needed is part of it and just hauling all that material in and away.. amount of dirt that needs to be moved shouldn’t be underestimated . plus it would likely take me weeks to set all the pavers and knowing me I’d get some torrential downpour and make a disaster of the whole space...and it looks like you have some slope to deal with..

Based on the pictures that deck seems like it has some design issues that contributed to the rotting... it appears to have little to zero space for ventilation.. that is a challenge with building low level decks that leads to premature failures... of course saying all that I just build a low level deck myself.. so I guess I’ll found out first hand how long it lasts..

You might be able to rebuild yours with enough ventilation on the high side to avoid major issues. And that deck build is a job you could do entirely by yourself with a single helping hand from time to time.. and for way less than $9k

Yes I thought about rebuilding the deck, probably not enough though. I know it has issues, and I know I will uncover more as I tear it down.



I have a sneaking suspicion that the ledger under the sliding door is rotting, and possibly rotting the lower header on the door.


I remember how much digging I had to do for the tiny paver patio I put in at my old townhouse, that is why I am budgeting in a back hoe rental and helping hands.


Maybe I should consider building a new deck, I may price it out to see what the difference is.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:33 PM   #6
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Re: Paver Patio Project


How high is the deck now? The area around the slider?
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:20 AM   #7
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Re: Paver Patio Project


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Originally Posted by ryansdiydad View Post
How high is the deck now? The area around the slider?

As @3onthetree keenly pointed out, there is a 28" drop between the bottom of the sliding door and the driveway. On the other side of the deck, parallel to the playset, it gently slopes down.


My plan was to have a raised patio with a couple steps down close to the driveway to deal with the change in elevation and a couple steps with a landing going up to the sliding door. On the side parallel to the playset it would go from grade level to a couple of steps as needed as the grade drops.


Similar to what is seen in this random pic I pulled off the web.
Attached Thumbnails
Paver Patio Project-wonderful-raised-paver-patio-outdoor-design-suggestion-1000-ideas-about-raised-patio-pinteres.jpg  
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:30 AM   #8
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Re: Paver Patio Project


A few comments.
1) $12K is a lot for 550 sqft of pavers installed from a quality company. I'm not sure if its where you're located, something about the job, or if the demo is involved, but thats $22 sqft. Does that include stairs as well? are you getting a wall or a fire pit?

2) you shouldn't need a backhoe to do a paver project. You shouldn't be going that deep.

3) I did a small paver area in my last house, it took me way too long for what was essentially 25sqft, in my current house, we hired it out. You're talking 25% cost savings... not worth it. Also, I'm not sure how you estimate, but I've never done a DIY job and come in under budget.... Cheaper than a pro, yes, but I'm always finding other things I didn't consider, and material creep.

4), have you considered what siding repair is needed when you remove the deck?

If this were replacing the deck, I'd say, definitely go all in and DIY... pavers.......find the right contractor.

If you want to DIY part, do the demo and repair the siding and see if that affects the quote.

if you're talking straight normal flatwork you should be closer $11-14 for quality pavers. I paid $12 sqft for my 425 sqft patio with a circle and a curved edge. the steps and platform were an additional $3800. I had a demo crew take out the existing which added to the job cost.

To comment on something that wasn't mentioned, if you're considering doing steps out of decking material, I'd suggest you go with the paver/brick option. I priced out doing the steps/platform myself. Yes a bit cheaper doing with composite board... however, not by a whole lot and not the same end look.

FWIW- the patio was done in 1 day and the stoop took another.

Last edited by Spyder; 03-19-2019 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:06 AM   #9
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Re: Paver Patio Project


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Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
A few comments.
1) $12K is a lot for 550 sqft of pavers installed from a quality company. I'm not sure if its where you're located, something about the job, or if the demo is involved, but thats $22 sqft. Does that include stairs as well? are you getting a wall or a fire pit?

2) you shouldn't need a backhoe to do a paver project. You shouldn't be going that deep.

3) I did a small paver area in my last house, it took me way too long for what was essentially 25sqft, in my current house, we hired it out. You're talking 25% cost savings... not worth it. Also, I'm not sure how you estimate, but I've never done a DIY job and come in under budget.... Cheaper than a pro, yes, but I'm always finding other things I didn't consider, and material creep.

4), have you considered what siding repair is needed when you remove the deck?

If this were replacing the deck, I'd say, definitely go all in and DIY... pavers.......find the right contractor.

If you want to DIY part, do the demo and repair the siding and see if that affects the quote.

if you're talking straight normal flatwork you should be closer $11-14 for quality pavers. I paid $12 sqft for my 425 sqft patio with a circle and a curved edge. the steps and platform were an additional $3800. I had a demo crew take out the existing which added to the job cost.

To comment on something that wasn't mentioned, if you're considering doing steps out of decking material, I'd suggest you go with the paver/brick option. I priced out doing the steps/platform myself. Yes a bit cheaper doing with composite board... however, not by a whole lot and not the same end look.

FWIW- the patio was done in 1 day and the stoop took another.

$12K includes demoing the deck, hauling all old material and dirt, paver landing in front of sliding door, paver steps down from sliding door, raised patio to match elevation, paver steps down to driveway elevation. Cost is probably due to location, Washington DC suburb, stoop, stairs, and raised elevation of the patio.


I looked into demoing the deck myself, just the dumpster cost is $500. The contractors line item for demo is around $1,200. Doesn't seem like it's worth the DIY of just demo since I know there will be other costs.


I had a couple guys come out that just do demo and excavation. 3 different guys came out and the prices for just demo, excavation and hauling was between $1,600 and $3,600.

Last edited by jmvar44; 03-19-2019 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:39 PM   #10
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Re: Paver Patio Project


$12K doesn't seem too bad then including the steps and demo.

They'll probably dig about 6" at the house giving you about 14" each for steps at door and drive. Make sure the spoils they use for fill at the low end is compacted with the skidsteer, then again compact the whole soil area as they'll probably remove some deck posts too. Don't let em re-use any compostible organics in that fill.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:59 PM   #11
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Re: Paver Patio Project


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmvar44 View Post
$12K includes demoing the deck, hauling all old material and dirt, paver landing in front of sliding door, paver steps down from sliding door, raised patio to match elevation, paver steps down to driveway elevation. Cost is probably due to location, Washington DC suburb, stoop, stairs, and raised elevation of the patio.


I looked into demoing the deck myself, just the dumpster cost is $500. The contractors line item for demo is around $1,200. Doesn't seem like it's worth the DIY of just demo since I know there will be other costs.


I had a couple guys come out that just do demo and excavation. 3 different guys came out and the prices for just demo, excavation and hauling was between $1,600 and $3,600.
Ok, the bids are starting to make sense. raised patio is more $, steps cost $ too. Demo and disposal cost $.

IMHO, if that is what you're looking for, write the check unless you're really experienced.
what you're describing is not a typical ground level patio, which is nice. point being, unless you have experience to deal with all these aspects, you're likely going to spend a lot of $ for a less than professional output, which is fine when its 1-2K but a different equation at 9K
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Old 03-19-2019, 02:01 PM   #12
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Re: Paver Patio Project


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Originally Posted by 3onthetree View Post
$12K doesn't seem too bad then including the steps and demo.

They'll probably dig about 6" at the house giving you about 14" each for steps at door and drive. Make sure the spoils they use for fill at the low end is compacted with the skidsteer, then again compact the whole soil area as they'll probably remove some deck posts too. Don't let em re-use any compostible organics in that fill.

Thanks for the tips. The guy I would most likely go with says he would pour a proper concrete footer for the stoop and steps at the door.
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:30 PM   #13
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Re: Paver Patio Project


DIY projects, at least to me, are ones where you already have most of the tools and some degree of experience...if you have never done a paver floor like project and never will again, then it's probably best to outsource it, esp where it's not level, multi-tier, different grades and a pre-project work [deck removal and disposal].

One other thing to consider is maintenance. All stone like floor requires maintenance, unlike a Trex-Deck or similar. If I were you, I would consider a bid from a trex-deck type material...to me, your house looks way more suited for a fine deck rather than a paver patio...There are plenty of colors to chose from to blend w your house...either way, it's your money and your decision - good luck either way.
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