Jul 25, 2011

Patio Building: Compacting Gravel

There was a mad rush to get all of the gravel down because we only wanted to pay for one day of the compactor rented from Home Depot.  Once the gravel had been evenly distributed, we wet everything down with the hose (it helps with compaction) and brought the compactor back out.  While Mike had mastered the plate compactor to compact the dirt base, it was my turn to take it for a spin on the gravel.

The compactor did everything in about 20 minutes and created a super solid rock hard surface.  I can honestly say that while the compactor was big, heavy and difficult to turn - it was much easier than ever attempting to do the whole thing with a hand tamper.   It did a beautiful job compacting the gravel base.  The cons are that it’s incredibly heavy, difficult to turn, and off switch and speed controls are out of reach when you are in a tight spot.  Despite its size and weight, I only had one mishap where it ran amok under the deck.  I found that it was impossible to do the corners with the plate compactor, so we were glad to have the hand tamper on hand to finish everything off.

My experience with the plate compactor just reinforces our recommendation - anyone who’s building a patio should definitely rent one for a day and save yourself a lot of trouble.  If I can wield one successfully without incident or injury (and I’m incredibly clumsy), anyone can.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! It already looks like a patio! NICE.