Thursday, March 06, 2008

Getting Ready for Spring

Now that the snow is all melted (finally), I'm starting to think about outdoor projects I never got around to last year. Number one on the priority list is the backyard patio. One word best describes it: disgusting! It is in horrible bad that we never even set foot on it last summer. It was sad, but when there are literally potholes in your patio, you really have no choice, but to avoid it.

The two photos above were taken last March, so it has actually been cleaned up a little since then, but you get the idea.

I've already gotten two bids to have the patio demolished and hauled away. The first one said it would cost anywhere from $800-1,300 for this, and another $3,000 to replace it with a new paver patio (they don't pour concrete). Yikes!!! That price seemed very steep to me. Plus, I just plain can't afford to spend that much. Anywhere from $3,800-4,300? No way.

The second bid came from a smaller company that specializes in residential concrete work. He checked everything out and said that it would cost $1,375 total to demolish and haul away the old patio, and pour a brand new "broom" finish patio. $1,375 for everything! Seems too good to be true, compared to the first bid anyway. I'm reluctant, though, to hire him. Does that price seem a little too low...sketchy even? Oh well, I guess we'll see.

The next project on my radar screen is replacing the fence next to the patio. This one may be a little easier as I have several fence contractor connections...we just can't decide on what type of fence to put up. Probably wood, but there are so many other options. Anyone have any ideas?


Jennifer said...

I would get a couple more bids, just to make sure... poured concrete IS cheaper than pavers.

StuccoHouse said...

My dad is a structural engineer that specializes on concrete. Here's his advice to me when I was having my sidewalks done.

Make sure the bid & contract specify: thickness of slab (4" is pretty standard), psi of concrete (4000 std.), size & placement of rebar, location of control cuts, length & coverage of warranty. Make sure they allow the new concrete to cure slowly (i.e. keep it covered & wet for days).

My bids were all over the place. I actually ended up going with the lowest bid and I think they did the best job.

Good luck!

Josh said...

Besides your aesthetic preferences between pavers and poured concrete, you might also consider the issue of water/runoff. Any contractor should know how to grade the patio away from the foundation, but with a solid concrete pad that water all runs to the edges where additional regrading may be needed in the yard to prevent ponding on or alongside the patio. Pavers allow some of the water to sink through the joints, and special permeable pavers have even bigger spaces to manage runoff.

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