NW Austin IG Construction -- here we go!

AustinPool2018

Silver Supporter
Apr 22, 2018
30
Austin, TX
Okay. Picture time. Things seem to be moving quickly -- excavation, forming, rebar, and plumber dropped of pipes today. Had to tell PB that rebar (8" OC, yay!) was insufficient -- supposed to be double curtain over 3' out of grade. Looks like I have a very expensive above ground pool so far :D
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Superflow 360!!
 

AustinPool2018

Silver Supporter
Apr 22, 2018
30
Austin, TX
Hello everyone. It's been awhile since I've posted, I promise to get more pics and videos put up.

However, I need some community help with an issue. We have had concrete pavers (from stonecreekpavers) installed on top of "roadbase". As you can see from the pictures, following the reasonably heavy rain that we recently got, the roadbase apparently settled, and the pavers sunk.

At the point where they sunk the PB said they will fix that area and is likely a result of the heavy water from the new roof extension, which doesn't have a gutter installed yet. They will also install a surface drain in this area (there surface drain in other areas of the deck).

I never saw the contractors compacting the roadbase with any tools. Do you think I am at significant risk of other pavers sinking if we have any sort of heavy rain event? The area where the pavers are have anywhere from 1'-5' worth of roadbase built up underneath them. While the PB states that I would be covered by warranty, the warranty doesn't last forever, so I'm trying to weigh the risk of further delays and hassle versus the likelihood that more pavers could sink in other areas over time and with heavy rains.

Pictures below, input welcomed!



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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
The area where the pavers are have anywhere from 1'-5' worth of roadbase built up underneath them.
Just to confirm.... did you mean to say 1-5 "feet", or was it inches? If it was (5') feet, I'm guessing that's on the pool-side corner by the steps. Well, anything that thick should've ben compacted - IMO. While our season has been exceptionally wet, those rains a few days ago were typical TX-sized rains. We got about 4 inches in one night where I'm at. I would want to know for sure that the slope and drainage was adequate enough to support those heavy downpours. Even if you had gutters, which do help of course, you would've received a good amount of water that was blown-in from those last few storms. So either way water will get under there. I hope they take the steps needed to make it right for you.
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
5,231
Central MD
Ugh. That's embarrassing for on PB's part. We had a paver basketball court installed some time ago. The portion further out had 2-3' of stone dust (our base material), which is basically just the finer material in your gravel road base. They very extensively used a walk behind vibrating roller. We have had just the most minor of settling now 8 years later (and we get 40 - 65" (this year) of rain annually). I'd say at most 1/4"+, and that's really because there is no retaining wall surrounding it like in your case. In your case they should have compacted it to have practically no settling. The base material should be so tight and compacted that it's not really very water porous. Downpours on our patio just roll off. Lighter rains will drain through though.

I wouldn't be able to sleep in your scenario without them lifting the pavers and fully compacting the base. And your retaining walls hopefully have drainage along the inside of them for the water that does seep down through the pavers and base or there will be other challenges.
 

AustinPool2018

Silver Supporter
Apr 22, 2018
30
Austin, TX
Ugh. That's embarrassing for on PB's part. We had a paver basketball court installed some time ago. The portion further out had 2-3' of stone dust (our base material), which is basically just the finer material in your gravel road base. They very extensively used a walk behind vibrating roller. We have had just the most minor of settling now 8 years later (and we get 40 - 65" (this year) of rain annually). I'd say at most 1/4"+, and that's really because there is no retaining wall surrounding it like in your case. In your case they should have compacted it to have practically no settling. The base material should be so tight and compacted that it's not really very water porous. Downpours on our patio just roll off. Lighter rains will drain through though.

I wouldn't be able to sleep in your scenario without them lifting the pavers and fully compacting the base. And your retaining walls hopefully have drainage along the inside of them for the water that does seep down through the pavers and base or there will be other challenges.
Ugh, not feeling good about this. There are no drainage holes in the "footers" as the PB calls them, and they didn't compact.

Quick question -- if they have several feet of roadbase fill, is it sufficient for them to compact just the top? Or given the depth (several feet in some cases) do they need to take out some of the fill and compact at multiple levels?

If PB pushes back, and I wanted to get a second opinion, what sort of company would I enlist to reinforce this position? Am hoping this wouldn't be the case.

- - - Updated - - -

Just to confirm.... did you mean to say 1-5 "feet", or was it inches? If it was (5') feet, I'm guessing that's on the pool-side corner by the steps. Well, anything that thick should've ben compacted - IMO. While our season has been exceptionally wet, those rains a few days ago were typical TX-sized rains. We got about 4 inches in one night where I'm at. I would want to know for sure that the slope and drainage was adequate enough to support those heavy downpours. Even if you had gutters, which do help of course, you would've received a good amount of water that was blown-in from those last few storms. So either way water will get under there. I hope they take the steps needed to make it right for you.
Yes, feet not inches. The top of the stairs in the picture above is probably 4 feet above grade. Similar on the far side of the pool which isn't pictured here.
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Central MD
The proper way would be to compact in lifts of say 6”. I suspect a jackhammer type of compactor would be more effective for a single compaction effort.

Also know that I’m a homeowner, not an expert. So my comments are made based on my perceived view of best practices. And to get the conversation going with options and considerations.

Another contractor that is respected in the area might be your best local expert. Perhaps one would be willing to give you a paid consultation. Paid may better than free in this case.
 

AustinPool2018

Silver Supporter
Apr 22, 2018
30
Austin, TX
The proper way would be to compact in lifts of say 6”. I suspect a jackhammer type of compactor would be more effective for a single compaction effort.

Also know that I’m a homeowner, not an expert. So my comments are made based on my perceived view of best practices. And to get the conversation going with options and considerations.

Another contractor that is respected in the area might be your best local expert. Perhaps one would be willing to give you a paid consultation. Paid may better than free in this case.
Thanks. Spoke to PB this morning. For this section, it appears that they're going to fix it properly -- take off pavers, let the roadbase dry out (including taking some/much of it out). Also confirmed that manual tamping is insufficient compaction, so will get that compacted. They will also install a french drain (I think they should have done that anyway), a surface drain, and another drain for the downspout that isn't there yet.

Am still working to get them convinced to open up the rest of the pavers that don't show any signs of issue, but clear they haven't compacted it, nor does that area have a french drain.
Will keep the forum posted, thanks for the support, keep the comments coming!
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Central MD
Glad to hear they are making a good effort on at least that portion. It should give you some solace, if you believe the company will be around long term, that they will also address any future areas of concern. I would, at a minimum, on the other areas, get them to sign paperwork documenting the potential issue, lack of proper subsurface preparation, and that they warrant it for some good long period. The good thing is pavers can be pulled up and reworked, with no impact on the final, reassembled appearance, unlike concrete.
 

RoyR

Bronze Supporter
Jul 31, 2018
184
Escondido/CA
Amazed to read so many incompetant stories of pool builders on this site....tile, paving, gunite, plaster, plumbing....how do they stay in buseniss?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
40,375
Tallahassee, FL
Sorry to hear/see the problem. You are on the right track with pushing for them to remove all of the pavers and redoing the dirt work.

Kim:kim:
 

AustinPool2018

Silver Supporter
Apr 22, 2018
30
Austin, TX
Hello everyone. I wanted to update on the progress. After many weeks of delays and back-and-forth with the PB, they agreed to pop off all the pavers and address the issues. So, they popped off the pavers and started compacting just the top. I'm no expert, but in reading about the importance of compaction for pavers, I knew that this was insufficient, and decided to research a 3rd party for a 2nd opinion. I found the "Interlocking Concrete Pavers Institute" at ICPI.org. They do certifications and drive standards for pavers (who knew??) They also have a listing of certified contractors, so I contacted the closest one to Austin, Stone Deck Texas (http://www.stonedecktexas.com/). I want to plug them, and will tell you why in a second. I verbally explained what had happened, and THANKS TO THE ADVICE OF THIS FORUM, I had a video that showed all of the fill without any compaction, which I also shared. Here is the set of videos, if anyone is interested to see them. Tammy from Stone Deck (in Georgetown, TX, a suburb of Austin) offered to come out to my pool, give her advice, and do it at no cost. I offered to pay at first, and she refused. I also offered to pay afterward and she refused, so I wanted to advertise her company here for pavers work even though I'm not using them.

In a nutshell, she met the PB and the supervisor at our site, and said that the most cost-effective way to address this would be to bring down the fill by ~10 inches, then pour cement over the top, then use this as the base for the pavers. Given her relationship with ICPI, she said this was the recommended course of action by ICPI as well, as she had consulted with them.

As frustrating as this has been, and more than a month of delays, it seems we now have agreement to proceed, in a way that will be properly addressed. Yay Tammy and Stone Deck of Texas -- there are still good people out there!!
And THANK YOU to TFP submissions which convinced me to record everything. That has been critical here, and Tammy even said she would have been speculating as to the best course of action had it not been for the video!!

More to come!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
40,375
Tallahassee, FL
:party: TFP in for the win!!!!

Tammy YOU ROCK! WOW!

Now you go buy her a nice thank you card and put a nice restaurant gift card in it!! I bet she will love that!!!

Kim:kim:
 

AustinPool2018

Silver Supporter
Apr 22, 2018
30
Austin, TX
Well, it has been a long time since I've last posted.101325

Since the last post, they've ripped of the pavers, taken down the fill, compacted the fill, added rebar, poured concrete, reinstalled pavers. Then the steps were cracking and too thin, so they ripped out all the steps, ordered new ones with long leadtime, replaced the steps, didn't order enough, built more steps, and finally we're getting close to completion. It has been painful, but we're nearly to the end.

Yesterday plaster was poured, and today is acid wash. I've ordered my TF100 kit, and here is a picture to share. Hoping to get this done before our Memorial day party, wish us luck!!
 

Poolmama!

Silver Supporter
Feb 20, 2019
74
Dallas, Tx
What plaster/pebble did you get? Don't see it in your signature. Still haven't completely finalized what we want yet, so keeping an eye out for other people's pics!
 

AustinPool2018

Silver Supporter
Apr 22, 2018
30
Austin, TX
What plaster/pebble did you get? Don't see it in your signature. Still haven't completely finalized what we want yet, so keeping an eye out for other people's pics!
I'll have to go find out :) We got PebbleSheen, and I *think* we got the Blue Surf, but it's been months since we picked out colors, so I'll try to remember to come back to verify!