12. Does the contractor use virgin material with proper gradation or will they use recycled base material? We use virgin material on 95% of our jobs. What’s the difference you ask? Recycled material is made up of old crushed up concrete. It’s not the crushed concrete that is the problem, it’s all the other adulterated garbage (i.e. dirt, clay brick, grass clippings and sometimes auto fluff) that’s mixed with it that causes issues. All of these adulterants stop water from flowing freely through the base material back into the water table. What does that mean? It means that your base is very weak and holding water in the winter freeze-thaw cycles and it makes your pavers heave more and not support the load your putting on it. My Grand father's old saying that 20 tons of virgin stone, and 1 ton of dirt equals 21 tons of garbage is true! Virgin stone has a stronger load bearing capability than recycled stone and drains much better. Why do other contractors use recycled stone? Because it’s cheaper of course. Make sure that the contractor is using your investment for your project, not to line their own pockets.
13. Will the gravel base be compacted with proper water moisture and in equal lifts to achieve the best compaction?We compact every 2-3 inch’s and wet the stone as we are going up in lifts. Most contractors put all their stone in at once and only compact the top. Why do you ask? Because it will take 4 times longer to do it in lifts. Therefore saving 4 times the amount of time and labor. By doing each lift, we achieve 97% compaction or greater. This means no soft spots and no sinking or moving of finished brick. Using sub-standard compaction methods guarantees that you will be fixing their work in a couple of years at double the cost of the original installation.
14. Will the plate compactor used produce a minimum of 4,000 pounds of force for pedestrian pavements, and 7,000 pounds of force for vehicular pavements. What does this mean? The trench plate compactor that we use cost $13,000 dollars new. It puts out 19,000 PSI at 30 inches deep, insuring that the compaction of our stone is greater than 98% at up to a 8 inch lift! Other contractors either rent or use a 5 HP plate compactor that cost $1,200 dollars. Now who do you think is more serious about doing the job right and guaranteeing their work?
15. Does the contractor use ICPI recommended torpedo sand for bedding not more than one inch to 1-3/4 inches thick? We use angular sand ASTM-C-33 cement sand. 95% of other companies use number 2 round torpedo sand. What’s the difference you ask? Round sand moves freely like ball bearings and angular sand locks together to give you a more solid setting bed.Why do others use round sand? Most cases they don’t know the difference. But the main reason is because round sand cost 5 dollars a ton, and angular sand cost 20 dollars a ton. Quality never equals cheaper.