This winter, my husband and I decided it was time to do a little home improvement before the spring comes. So after the New Year started, we shopped around for some estimates to have our patio redone. Our first estimate came in at $10,000 which was far more than we wanted to spend. Other estimates came in a bit lower – at around $8,400 but one came in with the best price, $6,000.
Being that it was outside and we figured most the cost was labor anyways, we decided to go with the lowest bid. Hindsight is 20/20 of course, but we should’ve known we’d have a little bit of problems with the work being done. But oddly, it didn’t quite come where we had expected.
Our original bricks were installed by the previous owner of this house and although he was a pool installer, we felt that the work was very poorly done. The pavers were cemented to the ground, but just a smudge to keep it down as if it was meant to be temporary. They were popping up and coming apart in lots of places and we didn’t like how they had aged at all.
So the first thing the installers had to do was to remove the old pavers, which took just a few hours. Underneath them was the old original patio which was really just a concrete slab with imprinted lines on them to give it the appearance of large tiles. We actually thought it looked better than the new pavers that the owner had put in.
So after the old bricks were removed, the new tiles were installed. First the installers put down sand as the base to keep the bricks in place. We also had the border around the pool redone at the same time. If there was to be a problem, I had thought the problems would be around the pool. But that was done perfectly and it turned it excellently.
The bricks were installed quickly enough and to seal the cracks between the bricks, they used sand which is supposed to harden and keep everything from moving. Sand naturally has its side effects. For days, we were dragging this stuff into our house. I am cleaning this up from the house – it’s become a cleaning nightmare.
We were told originally that the sand would simply harden and keep the bricks in place but instead, it has dried and become a messy beach on the back patio. About a week or two after the project finished, we had our first rain. As the rain hit the bricks, we had little explosions of sand all over the patio. After the rain stopped, the patio looked like we were carpet bombed. Since then we live like in the sand box. Needless to say, we are pretty unhappy about it. We called our contractor to talk about this problem, but of course, he has yet to make the time to come back and take a look at the problem or talk to us about solutions.
And now that the sand has finally dried, we have a new problem. Ants have decided to use the sand to make an anthill on our patio. Not fire ants – thanks God – tiny little ants are scooping up the sand and making a mound near the pool. A perfect topper for this project, I guess.