Backyard Patio Project in January 2012

We had our patio extended to the back fence in early January of 2012. This post has some pictures and some comments on the project.

The grass behind our patio didn’t grow well because it didn’t get enough sun. Also, the sprinklers got the patio and the posts for the patio cover wet, which caused rust to the post fasteners. We’ve been thinking about extending the patio for years and finally did it. It’s a relatively small area (a little over 500 square feet), so not really a big deal.

We got three quotes and selected Miguel’s Landscaping, a local company in Chandler AZ. They did a good job on the patio, but not such a great job on the irrigation. They completed the patio in about one day. There was a crew of about 5 guys, and I was impressed how well they worked together. Everybody knew what to do without much communication. Clearly, they’ve done this many times before. They first measured and outlined the area with strings. They quickly removed the sod with a large gas powered sod cutting machine. They put down a layer of Aggregated Base Course (ABC), tamped it with a large gas powered tamping machine, then another layer of ABC, tamped again. This was followed by a layer of sand. They smoothed the sand to the right level using the strings, and using 2x4s to do the smoothing, and again tamped with the machine. The result was a smooth and firm surface for the pavers. Then they laid the patio pavers very quickly just eyeballing the pattern. The pavers extended just past the edge marked by the string. Then they marked the bricks and cut them with their electric saw. They marked a curved area around our tree, and did a good job cutting the bricks so there are no gaps. After the pavers were laid they put the concrete edge around the patio to hold them in place. They then swept sand over the patio to fill in cracks between the pavers.

The speed and quality of the work was impressive to me. I put a paver patio in at the old house on Calle Rosa. It took me many weeks (working on weekends and nights when I could), and I didn’t do near a good a job as they did. I think it was worth having it done.

Here are a couple pictures of the results (click on the picture to enlarge; click the arrows or use your arrow keys to navigate between the pictures; click on the picture to return to here):

Irrigation Issues:

When we were negotiating the price they agreed to re-route the underground drip hose (the 1/2″ hose) around the patio so that the herbs in the back would still get dripped. They also agreed to cap off the PVC to the sprinklers under the patio. Here are the problems we had with that:

  1. The guy that capped the PVC didn’t clean the pipes before he applied the glue, so there was dirt mixed in with the glue. I was worried the joints might not hold, but they couldn’t test them because they couldn’t wait 24 hours for the glue to cure.
  2. After they were done, the drippers on the herbs in the back didn’t work. I dug it up and and found that they didn’t route the drip line around to a point before the drippers. I fixed that.
  3. When I dug it up I found that instead of using a right angle elbow on the 1/2″ drip pipe, they just bent it. There was a severe crease in the pipe, which was a leak waiting to happen. I fixed that by putting in a right angle elbow.
  4. The drip hose ran underground next to a sprinkler. They completely broke the sprinkler. The case was cracked, and the top was missing. It was a fountain when I turned on the water. I replaced the sprinkler.
  5. One sprinkler leaked around the top. I had to take it out and clean it. It was OK when I put it back. They didn’t change the spray pattern on two other sprinklers, so they sprayed directly on the patio. I had to fix those.

I fixed all the irrigation issues rather than calling them back. I just wanted to get it done. My main concern was the patio, and I can easily fix the irrigation problems.

Come on over and help us break it in!

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