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Old 06-06-2009, 08:50 AM   #1
Weedwaka
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Default Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

Anybody using stone pavers for your walks, patios, driveways etc in a cold climate ?

We would like to use paving stones for our driveway and walks. I love the look but I am worried about maintenance and the effect the ice and cold would have on all the seams. We get a lot of snow.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:35 AM   #2
Gary S
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

I built a couple of walkways out of pavers a couple of years ago. They are too new to know how they will stand up over the long haul.
I had over 8 feet of snow last winter and temperatures down to -44. The walkways show no damage or shifting yet.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

My previous house had a pair of walkways made out of standard sized pavers. Winters would get them moving around a little, upward and downward. Over the coarse of 12 feet, we're talking an inch of undulation max.... not a big deal for a walk, but would look goofy for a driveway. About every fourth year, I would lift them all up, re-pack and level the sand underneath, and re-set them.

They came with the house, not sure how fancy the prep work was. Shoveling snow was hard on the shovel - kept catching brick edges.

Along those same lines, a friend of ours had a brick driveway.... he got sick of the maintenance and paved over the thing a few years back. He has a good sized Deere with a thrower on the front. I think that thing contributed to his problems also. The asphalt kinda holds all the bricks together nowadays.

Last edited by sammerdog; 06-06-2009 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:49 AM   #4
Stuart in MN
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

I have a concrete paver brick sidewalk, and it's held up very well for 20 years in Minnesota. It's all in the preparation of the base - if that's done well the pavers will stay in place. My next door neighbor used conventional bricks for his driveway; it's only a couple years old but it appears to be staying nice and flat.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:59 AM   #5
Frank Elson
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

I built a patio, 15ft by 50ft out of what we call paving slabs here, pavers for you.
It sits under snow for a month or so every year. That's a day here a day there. Then it's wet a lot. Then it just freezes a lot, have to be vary careful on my way to my workshop.

Hasn't moved or lifted yet, been down nearly 20 years. Like the man said, it's all in the laying. I use a lot of cement for bedding down and a lot of dry mix brushed into all the cracks as a grout.
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

The surronding soils and drainage will be the key to making it work. Clay would be the killer.
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

Thanks for the reply's !!

We are on gravel. I would do a lot of prep work prior to laying them down for sure.

Getting the snow off is also something I have been pondering.
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Old 06-06-2009, 05:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

Used all the time here in NE not a problem if the pad is done righ.
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Old 06-06-2009, 05:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

I love the look of the Stone Pavers too; had a outfit come out to do a estimate and (I have a small 2 car driveway) they quoted $18,000 .. eventually they came down to $13,000 which was still too much for my budget ..
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

Wow that is crazy. I love how they dropped 5k off the top.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by -B- View Post
Used all the time here in NE not a problem if the pad is done righ.
Ding, ding, ding... We have a winner!

-B- is absolutely right. pad prep is the key to success.

I'm west of Boston. Three years ago, we installed a 4x20 front walkway, and a 16x20 patio out of pavers. Make sure you compact the surface every step of the way; compact the sub-soil, compact the crusher run, compact the pavers after they're in. Also make sure you use edge retainer strips.

FWIW, last winter, it was cold, wet, with a LOT of snow - much nastier than usual. Pavers never budged.
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:56 PM   #12
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

It is all about the base. The more varied soil condition you have across the paver stone area, the thicker the base have to be to isolate the varying soil condition. The soil will heave in the winter. Pack the soil base tight. Then pack the gravel/stone dust base tight, thin layer at a time. Do not dump 12 inches on the soil and expect to pack it tight. Pack one inch at a time. Any variation in flatness, or lack of, will show up on the paver surface. No amount of sand will help you. The sand will fill the fine gaps between the bottom of the paver stones and the top of the base.

If you'll be running shovels over them, choose pavers with rounded edges so they won't catch.

Surrounding soil should e able to drain water or else the patio will be like a bowl holding water. If your surrounding soil has lots of clay, build the patio slightly higher. "ramp" the edge to transition to the lawn.

Not rocket science. Just lots of sweat labor. You can go read on this topic till the cows come home.
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

BTW stone dust sucks I prefer a 2/1 mix of fine sand to mortar mix.
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Elson View Post
I built a patio, 15ft by 50ft out of what we call paving slabs here, pavers for you.
It sits under snow for a month or so every year. That's a day here a day there. Then it's wet a lot. Then it just freezes a lot, have to be vary careful on my way to my workshop.

Hasn't moved or lifted yet, been down nearly 20 years. Like the man said, it's all in the laying. I use a lot of cement for bedding down and a lot of dry mix brushed into all the cracks as a grout.
Agreed. With the right footings, the pavers will not budge...EVER. We have three patios and two walkways that were put down 15 years ago. Everyone snickered and said our stone mason was over-building and over-charging for the job. Well, they've all done, re-done, and re-re-done their jobs several times over at far greater expense and aggravation. Our Portuguese stone mason comes back to our place a lot, but never to re-do a job. He's too busy doing new work, "over-building" each one of 'em :-))))

Last edited by quatroad; 06-06-2009 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:10 AM   #15
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by quatroad View Post
Agreed. With the right footings, the pavers will not budge...EVER. We have three patios and two walkways that were put down 15 years ago. Everyone snickered and said our stone mason was over-building and over-charging for the job. Well, they've all done, re-done, and re-re-done their jobs several times over at far greater expense and aggravation. Our Portuguese stone mason comes back to our place a lot, but never to re-do a job. He's too busy doing new work, "over-building" each one of 'em :-))))
Do you have any pics of your paving stone work ?
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:16 AM   #16
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

we have a lot of pavers in the long island NYC area and they seem to hold up fine. One of my buddies that was in construction even comented that it's all in the prep, if the contractor or person doesn't do it right they'll be back every couple of years.
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

The base is certainly the key, we did a couple of paver walks at my mothers house a few years ago and there is absolutely no movement at all. They were filled inbetween with poymeric sand, which goes in like reguilar sand but hardens up like a grout once it gets wet. The workmanship and durability is outstanding.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:44 PM   #18
kirk.g
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

Why does your Portugese stone guy keep coming back.?....should I look for a Portugese installer?...would a Polish or Italian work?
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:48 AM   #19
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

As everybody said prep is the key.
But it is backbreaking work.
This is one of the times I would find an experienced local guy with good references.

For snow removal I would go with a blower not a plow.
You can set the height of the scraper bar easier so you don’t keep nicking the edges.
If you pick a darker color the sun will finish off the snow removal.
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Old 10-23-2011, 02:14 PM   #20
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Default Re: Stone Pavers in a Cold Climate ?

I need to fix the driveway,Its been a few years since it was ripped up down one side of the house to do weeping tiles.The guy with the backhoe shows up early and I didnt get a chance to get a saw.However ive priced some paving contractors and the job is 1000$ and thats with them doing the house 4 doors down at the same time.Its about 4 ft wide down the side of house its may be 175 ft sq.......Ive priced out the low end paver stones at 2$ sq ft. I need to get the house appraised soon and It would be nice get the driveway looking alittle better.............I used to be able to go to a local asphalt plant and pick up a small amount in a pickup.But they have since got a larger silo its too high and the guy says if he drops aton or more then that would be the end of my pickup box.....................Im thinking 400$ for pavers plus aton of limestone screening 40$ edging ? specialized sand 40$? ashalt saw rental 40? plus how much time ? and its getting colder out....................and I should prob buy a wheelbarrow?................i dont know?....Kirk
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