Paver form

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I bought one of those random repeat forms that end up with a paver walkway of what appears to be random sized stones, but there is a repeat in it. You get your base prepared, lay the form on there, pour concrete in the holes, pat it down, and immediately remove the form. You have approx. 2 sf of pavers. You fill in between with sand, or let the grass grow in there.
Anyone ever use one of these? It is surely going to take a lot of 80# sacks to do this job. Suggestions/caveats appreciated.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

If you plan to do 20 sq.ft. of pavers, you should be good to go. If you plan to do 200 feet, I would re-think the plan; actually, I'd buy the stone or pavers. And if you are doing pavers and buy them, I would opt for clay rather than concrete as eventually the color in the concrete will disappear unless it is "color through"; in either case, the aggregate in the concrete will eventually be exposed, looks like hell IMO, YMMV.
In either case, the base is all...good base, the results will last. Around here (central Florida), 3" of compacted base - crushed concrete is often used - is standard for light duty. You also need something to contain them laterally; various aluminum/steel/plastic landscape edging is often used but I like concrete better.
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dadiOH
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Steve B wrote:

If you plan to do 20 sq.ft. of pavers, you should be good to go. If you plan to do 200 feet, I would re-think the plan; actually, I'd buy the stone or pavers. And if you are doing pavers and buy them, I would opt for clay rather than concrete as eventually the color in the concrete will disappear unless it is "color through"; in either case, the aggregate in the concrete will eventually be exposed, looks like hell IMO, YMMV.
In either case, the base is all...good base, the results will last. Around here (central Florida), 3" of compacted base - crushed concrete is often used - is standard for light duty. You also need something to contain them laterally; various aluminum/steel/plastic landscape edging is often used but I like concrete better.
--

dadiOH
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On Sat, 17 Sep 2011 09:09:58 -0700, "Steve B"

My sister used the 'flagstone' ones for a sidewalk at her place. Her husband did the mixing and she did the filling/forming and whatever else it took.
I saw the results a couple years later & was impressed, actually. They are in the woods in NY with less than ideal subsoil and lots of frost that comes and goes several times a winter..
Between your hard caliche and winters that get cold and stay that way[if I remember your area right] - it should work fine for you.
I'm with DadiOH on the pavers though-- So much more forgiving and easier to change later. And probably cheaper if you're buying bagged concrete. [especially vs used pavers which are abundant on Craigslist]
Jim
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Steve B wrote:

If you don't mix the concrete correctly (ie - if you use too much water) then the minute you remove the form, the concrete will ooze together and the gap between stones will disappear.

Assuming this form is 3" high, then 2 sq ft x 3" is about .5 a cubic foot of concrete (without taking the gaps into account).

I haven't.

I've mixed an estimated 420 cubic feet (15.5 cubic yards) of concrete using a small 1.5 cf electric mixer over the past few years. I buy sand and stone right from the quary and load it into my pickup truck myself, so it costs me about $20 a ton for 1/2" crushed stone, and washed brick sand is twice that. Cement costs about $12 a bag (40 kg or 88 lbs).
If you buy sand and stone already pre-bagged as 30-lb bags, then it's going to cost significantly more to make concrete.
I also use pigments, super-plasticiser and air-entrainment agent, but I won't take that cost into account here.
Taking only the cost of sand, stone, and cement into account, I figure it costs me about $3.42 per cubic foot to make cement (equates to $92 a cubic yard).
So going by those numbers, it would cost roughly $3.50 to make enough concrete to do 2 of your forms (4 square feet).
You can make about 5.5 cubic feet of concrete with one 80 or 88 lb bag of cement using a standard mix formula, which would be enough to fill your form about 7 times.
Your average paver might be 6" x 6" and it would take 16 of them to cover 4 square feet, and they'd have to cost 22 cents each to be cost-equivalent to the concrete-in-form method.
The form method has a nice advantage in that your top surface will be nice and even and flat, something that can take a while to do when you're putzing with pavers. But you have to get the consistency exactly right if you want to remove the form right after you pour the concrete and not have the gaps get filled in right away. Even then, I would suggest you have the sand ready to pour into the gaps when you remove the form.
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Home Guy wrote:

Correction - 11 times.
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That would be if I used cement, sand, lime, sand, and aggregate. How many cu. ft. in one 80# sack of premix?
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

You won't need lime. And you don't need to use sand twice. :)
The aggregate is just crushed stone. For something with small details like your paver form, I'd use 1/2" crushed stone - not the standard 3/4" size.

I mentioned this in my previous post, but just to answer it here, and assuming 5 lbs of water, then your 80 lb bag will give you about .58 cubic feet of concrete.
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wrote:

I use 2/3 cu.ft. per bag to size forms and come very close.
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Reading the directions (WTF do they know?), it suggests one form per 80# bag, which sounds a little fishy, but I won't know until I am into it. I want to have stained concrete, so if I get a consistent setup going, I can just use the same amount of water, and the same number of spoons of colorant, and it should come up close.
The 80# bags are right at $4 per bag in my area, making it $2 per square foot. Pavers are $.59 and $.99 respectively for the 5.5" and 5.5 x 8". Doing fast math on that, that's $3.27 per sf for the biggies, and $2.80 for the smaller. Correct me if I am wrong.
Still not sure how to go.
Steve
I may, however, check out the craigslist paver thing, though, as I do like the look of them much more.
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Steve B wrote:

They're talking about a bag of pre-mixed concrete, which you just add water.
Concrete weighs about 145 lbs per cubic foot. An 80 lb bag of pre-mix would give you about 1/2 a cubic foot of concrete.
You haven't said how high your form is - I'm still assuming that it's 3" high, and it requires 1/2 a cubic foot of concrete to fill it. As the instructions say - one 80 lb bag of pre-mix would fill the form, so it must be close to 3" high (probably a little more, maybe 3.25").

How many pours do you intend on doing?
Do you have a mixer?

The concrete you're making with the pre-mix is costing you $7.25 per cubic foot. That's about double the price if you were to buy the sand and stone in bulk and mix it yourself. It all comes down to how many sf you need.

If you mean that the small ones are 5.5 x 5.5, then you need 4 of those per sf (and even then you won't exactly get a real square foot unless you have big gaps between them). If they cost 59 cents each and you need 8 of them to cover 2 sf, then that's $4.72 for the small ones.
You need 6.5 of the larger ones to cover 2 sf, so at 99 cents each that's $6.43.

My numbers are for 2 sf, yours are for 1 sf - and they seem off. Unless you're taking their exact size into account.

Using the pre-mixed stuff, it's almost the same price per sf as using the 5.5 pavers. If you factor in the cost of the pigment, you could easily double the cost of going the concrete way (pigment isin't cheap).
Again it comes down to how much of this you need or want to do.
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800-1,000 sf.
Steve
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On Sat, 17 Sep 2011 19:52:53 -0700, "Steve B"

Then personally I think you're nuts. [in a nice way- and I've been there, too. But still--]
Cost alone, you're certainly going to be able to make a better deal on Craigslist with a little patience. I've seen patios free for the removal. Too far away for me to haul in my 1/2 ton trailer-- but tempting.
.50-$1. is the usual asking price & if you show up with a truck a few greenbacks those things are negotiable.
The only way I'd be tempted to make my own pavers for a job that size would be if it was a pattern/color that I just couldn't live without. And then I'd probably make them first and lay them like pavers- not as a pour-a-foot-or-two at a time job.
I think those things are good for a small job where you mix a batch by hand each day for a couple weeks. For your job you'll want 3-4 forms, mix in the mixer-- and then clean it out 2-3 times a day, trying to keep the mix uniform through all kinds of weather.
Jim
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wrote

Jim, you would have to understand my wife. She knows how to do very little, but knows how to do everything so well that she can tell me or you exactly how to do it, and how easy it is.
When she saw this cutesy little paver form, she just had to have it. Make that I just had to have it.
So, I come here to ask questions, much like I'd like to ask a couple of basic questions before setting off for a few months in Antarctica. It's just common sense.
I can see that I will in no way be using this thing to do two square feet at a time, taking at least ten minutes per two square feet. That's 5,000 minutes, or 83 hours, and that doesn't include bathroom breaks, water breaks, or just passing out.
Then there is buying and moving 500 80# bags, then hoisting each one into the mixer. It says it takes one 80# bag per two square foot form. And at about $3.75 per bag, that's $1,875. That little $18 form is getting expensive.
So, after serious consideration, I have decided to take it back to Ace, and trade it for some fishing gear. A guy can never have too much fishing gear.
I'm not sure what we will end up doing with the yard area. It is above a leachfield, so cannot block it off too much.
I thank you all for your input. It has helped me to reach a reasonable (and explainable) conclusion. When I present this to my wife, it will be much easier, especially when I explain that it will take her help to do this project, and the 83 hours, and how easy it is to break those expensive fingernail jobs.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

Ah, *NOW* I understand. :)
I long ago stopped asking my wife's opinion - or listening to her wants - about construction things. I think it was when I was getting set to make a bunch of passage doors for our house and she wanted me to make one "so I can see how it looks". Yeah. Right.
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Steve B wrote:

Just to clarify, your form has a volume of .29 cubic feet - if it is (as you say) 2 sq feet in area and 1.75 inches high. That much concrete would weigh 42 lbs. It would take even less in your case, considering voids built into the form to give internal separation between the blocks.
An 80 lb bag of premix concrete would therefore easily do 2 of your forms - not one.
You would therefore need 200 to 250 bags, not 500.
You should look into the cost of pigment because that's not going to be cheap.
And this would be the kind of project where you buy a small electric mixer - not rent one. Once you buy it, you use it at the pace you want. Not under the gun to bring it back in a few hours or by 10 am the next day.
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I have a vintage mixer that works beautifully. Not an issue. And 250 @ 3.75 ($937.50) certainly does sound better than twice that. It's the labor that I'm having trouble wrapping my brain around. 80# sacks, 250 of them ........ and me having broken my back, a knee surgery, two shoulder surgeries, and chronic neck pain.
Wait, wait. I know the answer to this .......................
Steve
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.

Most of us knew you knew the answer and were sneaking up on it in your own time.
I'm not sure of where the pavers are going and other constraints/ variables, but I'd be _sorely_ tempted to go with a poured slab and stain it with some acid stains. You can get some pretty nice looking stuff that way and it would be done with minimal fuss and muss.
You said ~1000SF, and with a 4" slab that's about a dozen yards of concrete. Not sure what the prices are like where you are, but that would probably be about the same cost as the bags of concrete mix alone.
Pick your battles. Rule number one in picking your battles is saving your labor for the skilled stuff that costs more, not the grunt work that's low paid. Rule number two is to save your body so you can do the skilled work.
R
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-snip-
We're shit-outa-luck then. I haven't understood *any* woman since KE & I quit being buddies in 1st grade.

That part I understand. My wife keeps away from that sort of thing-- but I get lots of weird cooking implements of varying degrees of uselessness. They mean well.
I think for your purposes, as you've said, the pavers are a better choice. But I'd do some more looking into putting them over a leach field. They aren't as porous as you might think. Look at permeable pavers & see if they'll work for you.
Jim
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Damn. I hate reading reading a reply post and realizing I missed something in the thread. A leaching field you say...? Okay, maybe a monolithic concrete slab wouldn't be the best thing over a leaching field.
I do like the permeable pavers, though. I've used Turfblock (brand name, but it seems to be a generically ubiquitous term) with good results. I used some earth-tone concrete stain to cover up the gray.
As Steve said he'd like to show off his talent by doing something interesting, I'd think the "pre-formed almost-talent" paver forms would be the death of that. Maybe a combination of pavers or stained concrete and Turfblock would be the ticket.
R
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