Whataya think folks?

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Whataya think folks?

Joined
Oct 1, 2017
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Edinburgh Scotland
When my house was built they laid two rows of nice, riven finish, 3ft by 2ft 50mm thick, slabs from the pavement up to my garage door. Just long enough that I can park the car without the back end hanging over the pavement but still open the garage door without skelping the front of the car. This pic gives you some idea:

P1090600.JPG

Shortly after buying the house (which was a new build) I realized the gap between the two strips of slabs was almost exactly 3ft so I bought a whole load more of the riven slabs and laid them sideways down the middle of the existing two strips with another complete row laid same way on the other side. Then I did a large patio with the same slabs in the back garden. This was not quite 40 years ago so I was young, fit and stupid back then!

I thought I had enough slabs left to pave the front completely including up to the front door but I'd miscalculated and broken a couple of them when tamping them down. So I ended up with enough to lay a row from the front door to the pavement one length ways then one crossways then one length ways and so on - a sort of castellated effect. I filled the area between the garage slabs and the path slabs with agate chips and very nice it all looks.

Back then our other car would be parked at the kerbside in the road but with many more cars now parking in the estate we've taken to parking Becky beside Twink with her N/S wheels on the slabs to the side of where Twink is and her O/S wheels on the gravel. This works well for parking but has two problems. The darn gravel sticks to the O/S tyres and are dragged into the road every time you go out and it's not great for working on Becky if she needs to be jacked up - also the gravel is dirty and uncomfortable to wriggle around on:

P1090601.JPG

A few years ago I had a real bit of luck when one of the neighbours decided to lift all his original slabs (same as mine) and lay block paving in it's place. He allowed me to "acquire" about a dozen of the used slabs for nothing! Almost unbelievably I found the distance between the path slabs and the garage slabs is exactly 3ft so these slabs will just slot straight in! I couldn't believe my luck as I didn't deliberately try to get this spacing when I laid them all those years ago. Every year I promise myself I'm going to take up the gravel and lay these slabs so Becky can have a hard standing all of her own and every year the summer comes to an end, the weather becomes less attractive and I've still not done the slabs!

Now, at 75 years old, I'm finding I can barely "walk" these slabs let alone think about laying them and I'd just about given up on using them. Day before yesterday though a chap turns up next door with a transit pickup towing a trailer with a mini digger on it! That looks interesting I thought! so I lurked about on my side of the fence in the back garden and it turns out he's going to landscape and install a large patio next door! I caught him and my neighbour, who I get on with very well, as he was returning to his van and asked him what he might take to lay my single row of slabs.

So here's the question. Dig out a found with his mini digger. line with hardcore and compact. Lay the slabs (8 of them) on mortar with me standing by to give help with the slab lifting if needed (think I can manage that, just can't do them on my own). He recons to do it in one day and says £200 to £250. I think this includes materials but I'm not quite sure. What do you think folks? should I be biting his hand off?

So what do you think on his price? Sounds very reasonable to me but I haven't payed anyone to do something like this in over 30 years so I'm just wondering?
 

chris3234

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Oct 22, 2017
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West Yorkshire
Definitely sounds good price for. Days work the materials Will probably be at least £50 of that
Probably use another £20-30 of diesel's in pickup the stuff up and running the digger delivering it ect
Just look how much it costs to hire a mini digger for the day
 
OP
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Pugglt Auld Jock
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Edinburgh Scotland
Thanks chris. I've been thinking about it and that's the conclusion I'd reached too. In fact I think it's still worth it even if I have to pay for the hardcore (called No1 I think?) and sand and cement. I just know if I don't go for this it's going to just drag on and on and on and I'll never do it!
 

Toisich

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Sep 1, 2021
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Fife, Scotland
When my house was built they laid two rows of nice, riven finish, 3ft by 2ft 50mm thick, slabs from the pavement up to my garage door. Just long enough that I can park the car without the back end hanging over the pavement but still open the garage door without skelping the front of the car. This pic gives you some idea:

View attachment 220930

Shortly after buying the house (which was a new build) I realized the gap between the two strips of slabs was almost exactly 3ft so I bought a whole load more of the riven slabs and laid them sideways down the middle of the existing two strips with another complete row laid same way on the other side. Then I did a large patio with the same slabs in the back garden. This was not quite 40 years ago so I was young, fit and stupid back then!

I thought I had enough slabs left to pave the front completely including up to the front door but I'd miscalculated and broken a couple of them when tamping them down. So I ended up with enough to lay a row from the front door to the pavement one length ways then one crossways then one length ways and so on - a sort of castellated effect. I filled the area between the garage slabs and the path slabs with agate chips and very nice it all looks.

Back then our other car would be parked at the kerbside in the road but with many more cars now parking in the estate we've taken to parking Becky beside Twink with her N/S wheels on the slabs to the side of where Twink is and her O/S wheels on the gravel. This works well for parking but has two problems. The darn gravel sticks to the O/S tyres and are dragged into the road every time you go out and it's not great for working on Becky if she needs to be jacked up - also the gravel is dirty and uncomfortable to wriggle around on:

View attachment 220931

A few years ago I had a real bit of luck when one of the neighbours decided to lift all his original slabs (same as mine) and lay block paving in it's place. He allowed me to "acquire" about a dozen of the used slabs for nothing! Almost unbelievably I found the distance between the path slabs and the garage slabs is exactly 3ft so these slabs will just slot straight in! I couldn't believe my luck as I didn't deliberately try to get this spacing when I laid them all those years ago. Every year I promise myself I'm going to take up the gravel and lay these slabs so Becky can have a hard standing all of her own and every year the summer comes to an end, the weather becomes less attractive and I've still not done the slabs!

Now, at 75 years old, I'm finding I can barely "walk" these slabs let alone think about laying them and I'd just about given up on using them. Day before yesterday though a chap turns up next door with a transit pickup towing a trailer with a mini digger on it! That looks interesting I thought! so I lurked about on my side of the fence in the back garden and it turns out he's going to landscape and install a large patio next door! I caught him and my neighbour, who I get on with very well, as he was returning to his van and asked him what he might take to lay my single row of slabs.

So here's the question. Dig out a found with his mini digger. line with hardcore and compact. Lay the slabs (8 of them) on mortar with me standing by to give help with the slab lifting if needed (think I can manage that, just can't do them on my own). He recons to do it in one day and says £200 to £250. I think this includes materials but I'm not quite sure. What do you think folks? should I be biting his hand off?

So what do you think on his price? Sounds very reasonable to me but I haven't payed anyone to do something like this in over 30 years so I'm just wondering?
Hi Jock,

Wouldn't have a clue as to prices for things like this, so it may well be a good price for the work. A couple of things to think about though

Have done similar to create a drive in my front garden, though without hardcore or cement. Took me maybe about 6 hours to do 2 lines of 4 slabs by hand. Not an expert by reckon it should only 3-4 hours with the digger, and he shouldn't be asking you to help.

Ask for quotes on local pages on facebook, if you're on it. You might find someone will give a better quote, more so if you quote this quote.

If you're able to, try to remove as much of the gravel as possible yourself before getting any more quotes, even a slabs worth a day. Less time they're on the job, cheaper for you.

I reckon, again no expert, that ground underneath should be firm enough to just require sharp sand for levelling.

Or maybe I'm just a cheapskate :)

Chris
 
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Pugglt Auld Jock
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Edinburgh Scotland
Thanks for waking me up on this Toisich. You've made me realize I wouldn't normally jump on a quote like this without checking others. Also I was intending to remove the gravel myself as it'll be useful in other areas of the garden. The ground hasn't been disturbed since the house was built some 40 years ago so, as you say, the ground will be well compacted by now.

I've done a fair bit of slab laying in the past so I'm happy with the process but these slabs are really heavy duty and very heavy - like the old 3x2's councils used to lay but stopped using due to health and safety (or, at least around here, they're not using anything bigger than 2x2's and often smaller) Mrs J worries I'm going to do some serious damage to myself attempting this and I think she may be right.

Perhaps I should just slow down the process and start by removing the gravel, preparing a small area and having a go at just one slab to see how I get on. If I can't manage then I can look at getting a contractor involved? I actually get considerable pleasure from doing this sort of thing and I'm feeling sad and depressed at the prospect of not doing it myself, Maybe having a gentle go at it will help me get my head round whether I'm up to this sort of stuff or should be limiting my ambitions to things more in line with my age related physical capabilities?

In fact, yes, I think this is a really good way forward. Thanks folks for helping me bounce this around inside my head. I'm feeling much more positive about it all now!
 
Joined
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Aye Jock, like yourself I like a bargain, but again like yourself, these kind of jobs ain’t as easy as they used to be. I’m lucky, my son in law doesn’t live far, and he helps me out in times of need. Just a thought, but is there a men’s shed club near you, like minded geezers of a certain age, you could go along and enrol some help. Some are only too eager to help. Best of luck.
 

DaveMcT

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That sounds like a labour only price but sounds good to me. Ask your neighbour how he chose the guy, but it sounds like a good deal to me.
 
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Pugglt Auld Jock
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Thanks for all your thoughts folks. I think I'll lift the gravel and see what that does to me. If that proves too arduous then I'm never going to cope with the slabs am I? Anyway, I think there's a drain rodding point hiding under the gravel which I'd hate to see damaged by his digger!
 

The Panda Nut

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You should get someone to do it or at least the lions share. I'm 64 butquite large, and I find these big slabs getting unmanageable too. I have just the same at the rear of my house as a patio. I am soon to rejuvenate this .... by just laying a new lot on top. £200 seems a fair price for a days work these days. I have paid a bit less, and certainly quite a lot more recently for days worked on my daughters in Manchester. Big issue is the quality. As long as this is OK your good. Don't wreck yourself doing things tat would be better done by a younger hulk!!

Good luck with it.
 
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Pugglt Auld Jock
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You should get someone to do it or at least the lions share. I'm 64 butquite large, and I find these big slabs getting unmanageable too. I have just the same at the rear of my house as a patio. I am soon to rejuvenate this .... by just laying a new lot on top. £200 seems a fair price for a days work these days. I have paid a bit less, and certainly quite a lot more recently for days worked on my daughters in Manchester. Big issue is the quality. As long as this is OK your good. Don't wreck yourself doing things tat would be better done by a younger hulk!!

Good luck with it.
Aye, quality of work and care taken is a big issue these days in my opinion - or am I just becoming a "grumpy old man"? The good thing with this chap, if I decide to get him to do the donkey work, is that he'll be doing my neighbour's new patio and landscaping first so I can keep a good eye on what he's doing from my bathroom window!
 

Toisich

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Fife, Scotland
Aye, quality of work and care taken is a big issue these days in my opinion - or am I just becoming a "grumpy old man"? The good thing with this chap, if I decide to get him to do the donkey work, is that he'll be doing my neighbour's new patio and landscaping first so I can keep a good eye on what he's doing from my bathroom window!

Hi again Jock,

Aye, I'm in a council house and whenever there was work being done - most recent was a bathroom replacement a year or so back - I watch them, offer a cuppa, ask questions and gain tips.

I turn 52 next month, and with taking 'semi-retirement' 2 years ago to care for my wife Tracie full time, I'm beginning to feel aches and pains of not being so active. With that in mind, and partly stemming from a jokey comment from Tracie, and jimboy's comment about the men's shed, I have a proposition for you.

Since we are not too far away, I propose when there's a decent day sometime over the week or two, I pop over to Edinburgh and help you lay the slabs. Bonus if the good day was a Sunday, I could drag my 6' 1" almost 30 year old along with me, works b/shift during the week, and plays rugby for Glenrothes on Saturdays.

It doesn't come quite for nothing though. It'll probably you cost a fortune in tea, coffee and biscuits. Oh, and one more thing - I'm probably not going to to be doing anything of note to the GP until the start of next year now except try to keep the inside as dry as possible over the winter - so all I ask in return is for your wisdom and knowledge in a reciprocal visit to Glenrothes to either get this grand old girl to run, or beat it to bloody pulp to match it's rosso passionale colour.

Chris :)

P,S, We all become grumpy old men. Some are just a bit better at hiding the symptoms.
 
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Chris, you sound like a top bloke(y) just for the record, I was OK until I reached my 60th birthday, it was like flicking a switch, down hill bit by bit :cry:
 
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Pugglt Auld Jock
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Hi again Jock,

Aye, I'm in a council house and whenever there was work being done - most recent was a bathroom replacement a year or so back - I watch them, offer a cuppa, ask questions and gain tips.

I turn 52 next month, and with taking 'semi-retirement' 2 years ago to care for my wife Tracie full time, I'm beginning to feel aches and pains of not being so active. With that in mind, and partly stemming from a jokey comment from Tracie, and jimboy's comment about the men's shed, I have a proposition for you.

Since we are not too far away, I propose when there's a decent day sometime over the week or two, I pop over to Edinburgh and help you lay the slabs. Bonus if the good day was a Sunday, I could drag my 6' 1" almost 30 year old along with me, works b/shift during the week, and plays rugby for Glenrothes on Saturdays.

It doesn't come quite for nothing though. It'll probably you cost a fortune in tea, coffee and biscuits. Oh, and one more thing - I'm probably not going to to be doing anything of note to the GP until the start of next year now except try to keep the inside as dry as possible over the winter - so all I ask in return is for your wisdom and knowledge in a reciprocal visit to Glenrothes to either get this grand old girl to run, or beat it to bloody pulp to match it's rosso passionale colour.

Chris :)

P,S, We all become grumpy old men. Some are just a bit better at hiding the symptoms.
Chris, I'm sending you a PM in reply, because I'm going to include some personal info.
Regards Jock
 
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Lucky you Jim :)

Jock.. shifting the gravel sounds like a job worth doing.. :) I was wondering if your 'castellations' leave a uniform width that the slabs need to fill (replacing the gravel).. or the staggering would prove a problem.. I cannot see as there is a lovely Italian car astride the slabs :eek:
 

DaveMcT

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Gravel even crushed stone is easy to lift when its dumped on a hard surface - simply slide the shovel under and lift. When it's been tamped down, especially crushed stone, you need a pick to break it up and a narrow shovel to left the crumbs. It's back-breaking work. Guess why ground work builders use a digger!

A good driver can feel for what he's digging into but saying that, shallow drains & rodding points etc need to be fully marked out.

You need folks who know what they are doing with insurance for when things go wrong and they don't come cheap.
 
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Pugglt Auld Jock
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Lucky you Jim :)

Jock.. shifting the gravel sounds like a job worth doing.. :) I was wondering if your 'castellations' leave a uniform width that the slabs need to fill (replacing the gravel).. or the staggering would prove a problem.. I cannot see as there is a lovely Italian car astride the slabs :eek:

Hi Charlie. I've been a bit busy the last few days with us getting our Covid boosters (see the coronavirus thread for further entertainment) but now I've got the chance to do this whilst I'm feeling "sorry" for myself after the vaccination.

I've been longing to send you a picture of the existing slabs and gravel so you can understand what I'm talking about when I mentioned the "castellations". Mrs J has got fed up with "grumpy me" and gone off to do some Christmas shopping in Becky which means I can get a good pic of the above mentioned area. So here it is:-

P1100076.JPG

The distance between the sideways layed slabs is as near as 3ft as makes no difference (always liked the American way of saying that - Makes no nevermind) and you can see how the new slabs will fit from this one at the top end which I layed some time ago:-

P1100077.JPG

I'm going to lay all the new slabs in this way, "portrait" with them all butted up against the slabs on the left which is where the cars get parked, if you get my meaning? In fact it's only going to take 6 slabs to get to nearly the pavement end, with a half slab being needed to fill in between the last slab and the pavement - So six and a half slabs in total. The pavement end has kerbing along it, which you can see in the pic. The problem with this is that it's shored up on my side of the pavement with concrete which will need to be all chiseled away to allow the slab to go in flush with the pavement. This will be quite hard work and I'll need to find a stihl saw to cut the slab (and it's a 50mm thick slab so no small task) I may just infill with concrete smoothed off flush with the slabs and pavement, Haven't made my mind up yet, probably depend on whether I can get my hands on a stihl saw cheaply.

Now as to the castelated "feature". Once the new slabs are layed I'll have three "slots" where the new slabs don't go far enough across to fill in the castellated bits. At this time I'm just going to reintroduce the gravel to these slots. It's not ideal as people may kick the gravel around although Becky will be almost on top of them so this problem will be minimal. Also thinking in the longer term about maybe some block pavers, old bricks, concrete with smooth pebbles inlaid (I rather like the idea of that) haven't really decided yet but the gravel may just turn out Ok on it's own and although having these slots left over once the new slabs are down was troubling me at first I now think they'll actually act as a feature delineator for the edge of the path?

I mentioned it to my boy when I was out there yesterday on my way to get my jag and he seems really up for it. I can't see my younger boy refusing to help too so we seem all set. I'd still like to say thanks to Toisitch for his kind offer though.

In fact I'm now really warming to the idea of doing this manually with spades and shovels as it should let us find the rodding point which may be hiding under the gravel without damaging it - wish I could remember for sure if it's there or not.

6 slabs, one disgustingly healthy son, one slightly compromised son, and one old Fa**, surely we can do this!
 
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