Failed stone patio - Help

Old 08-12-18, 05:42 AM
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Failed stone patio - Help

Dear everyone,
I would appreciate your advice regarding the best practical and financial approach to fix my patio.Previous owners built a raised stone patio and as you can see in the pictures (attached) the retaining lumber walls are bent and dirt/ sand has escaped leaving some sections of the patio unusable.

We have other projects with higher priority but this patio is an eyesore and a probably safety concern if someone steps on a wobble stone. So I am wondering if there is a semi-permanent fix to this eyesore and get a least 10 more years of service. Maybe just covering the spots were dirt is escaping, add more dirt and level it, maybe a weekend work hiring a couple of guys from the Homeless depot?

Plan B. bring the patio to ground level. I would assume that is the forever (permanent) solution but more expensive, will require removing / hauling dirt and lumber and then building the patio. Not in our plans for the next 2 to 3 years.
Patio dimensions: 18 x 16 (288 sq.) Height 1 foot (highest point) 6 inches (lowest point).
Thank you in advance for your comments and ideas.


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Last edited by PJmax; 03-05-19 at 05:19 PM. Reason: resized pictures
Old 08-12-18, 06:14 AM
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I don't think there is a lot that can be saved. The paver stones can be reused but I'd be tempted to do it over, properly. The perimeter is totally inadequate, leaned out and allowed the patio to sink and settle all around the perimeter. The patio also cause the steps into the house to fail inspection because of the inconsistent riser heights.

Before expending much effort I would think seriously about the area. Is this patio something you want to invest the labor or money to fix? Is there something else you'd like in the area?
Old 08-12-18, 06:53 AM
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It's failing because someone had no clue what they where doing when building this.
The butt joints and outside corners should have been notched so the ends would overlap then drilled and pinned in place with long pieces of rebar.
No way should there have been that short piece just patched in like that.
If I had to do this job I'd buying all new 6 X 6's not 4 X 6's like they used.
Figuring what lengths to buy so my overlapping joints set near the middle of the run and where long enough to be notched,
I set them in the yard for at least a week to dry out setting up off the ground on 2 X 4's to see which ones are going to curl and need to be taken back. Once the woods dried out remove those stones that are on the outside edges.
Dig out behind the old retaining wall so the dirt does not keep falling down when you remove the old wood.
Before setting that new wood in place I'd be digging a trench the width of a flat shovel about 4" deep making sure it's level, compacting with a hand tamper then back filling and leveling with #57 stone, compacting again and check for level to form sort of a footing for the wood to sit on.
Build your new wall.
Old 08-12-18, 12:28 PM
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The only question I would ask, does it even need to be raised.

The raised portion using wood to hold it together is problematic, Just take it down to ground level and eliminate the potential issues!
Old 03-05-19, 11:07 AM
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Thank you Everyone for your suggestions. just wanted to close this topic. I ended up redoing the patio:
* removed stone
* removed beans (quite hard to do)
* got rid off excess material and brought patio almost level to ground
*I had to build new steps - this was the hardest part - I got help from a couple of guys I picked up at the homeless depot.
* expanded the patio (now 24 x 16 ')
Took me about 5 months (working on weekends) from start to finish. mostly working by myself. wife and I underestimated the work and money. We spent around $4k. got quotes from local companies in the $16k range.
Would I do it again? not if I had the money.. this was beyond the amount of work that I'm normally willing to put in a project . but I am extremely happy with the end results
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Last edited by Melvin V; 03-05-19 at 11:30 AM.

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