Is hand tamping a patio base enough? Or do i really need to rent a power compactor?

I am building a 300 sq ft patio and have already dug out the lawn to about 4 inches and backfilled those 4 inches with about 4 tons of "#21 A Crushed Bluestone".
I have a few weeks between now and when i will be putting sand and pavers over it. So nature will be raining on it and what not for a while.
I bought a 10x10" hand tamper and have been basically wetting the stone and hand tamping. That, in addition to the rain and weather, seem to have already solidified the base pretty well.
The question is, do i really need to rent a $75 / day power compactor to level the base?
or is what i have done already enough?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Masonry321 wrote:

There are several approaches. Some are faster some easier, some more suitable for certain soil conditions and some more suitable for certain materials . It is difficult to make a blanket statement.
However I will say, in general, the power compactor is a quicker easier and more expensive (if you don't count your time and doctor bills.) method, but not necessarily a better one.
I am assuming that you are tamping the the various layers of the base as you go.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Joseph Meehan wrote:

After the other comments suggesting that hand tamping is not a good options based on results, I would only comment that my personal experience (three jobs at three homes over 30 years) is that under the conditions I have encountered hand tamping works well. Even the 30 year old job is still in use in good shape and to the best of my knowledge has not been re-tamped. Part of the drive where cars turned in has been adjusted a few times do to some movement, but that is about it.
Your mileage may vary.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Two suggestions, based on having completed some similar jobs around my house:
(A) You probably don't need to use anything other than the hand tamper, especially since you'll have foot traffic but no vehicular traffic -- it's not a driveway and not subject to those stresses. A 15 x 20 patio made with interlocking pavers that are 2 1/2 inches thick should hold up well with only hand tamping. OTOH, if you have the time and $ to use the power compactor (and the patio area is not an unusual, hard-to-tamp shape) it can't hurt to use the power compactor. All tamping is probably helpful to some degree. So the basic question is how certain do you want to be that your patio will stand up over time.
(B) Instead of sand, consider using "screenings" under the paving blocks. This can be levelled like sand, but will compact, harden and create a firmer patio. Then you'd just need sand to go into the joints between the paving blocks. Regards --
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Absolutely yes, unless you want to pull up all the pavers in 5-10 years and re-level the base because it became all wavy.
You might have done enough but $75 will give you piece of mind that settling is far less likely to happen 5-10 years down the road. (less likely because I don't know what you have, creep may be inevitable). Really, what are you paying for the pavers, like $2k-$4k plus another $500 for the base material. (I'm assuming $0 for labor and you did it yourself).
Get a vibratory compactor, not a jumping jack and a half day rental at HD otta do it. You'll need it again after the pavers are down so this is good practice on a surface you can't damage.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
-snip-

Compute the hours that you already have invested. If you are willing to do that again in one or two years-- then save the $75.
I was going to hand tamp mine-- but as it worked out, I was at the stone place on a saturday about noon & the owner asked if I'd rented a tamper yet. I said no & he said he'd charge me a 1/2 day if I got it back monday morning.
I'm *so* glad he offered. The next time I'll rent it for the day. Places where I'd hand tamped 4" of base-- layed out in 2 passes- got compressed another inch or so.
After 3 NY winters my patio looks as good as the day I finished it. I doubt it would look so good without the power tamping.
When you consider the whole job-- materials and labor- $75 is a drop in the bucket.
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Masonry321 Wrote: > I am building a 300 sq ft patio and have already dug out the lawn to

I installed about 250 square foot of pavers last summer. I put down a nice base and leveled the sand pretty well by dragging a long 1x4 accross it. I rented the vibrating compactor from the Depot. I had a rough time running it properly. If it was going in a straight line it was OK, however it was almost impossible to turn or backup without digging in and tearing up a big patch of sand. Not sure I would bother with it again.
--
ashroyer

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.