How to lay a Patio

2014-02-03 12:38:14

Laying a patio is pretty straight forward providing you follow some basic steps and work in a methodical manor.

 When planning your slab layout allow 10mm-30mm between slabs for natural stone or riven slabs and leave 10mm-15mm for straight edge slabs.The patio has to have a slope away from the house to ensure that all water drains off. Allow a gradual drop of about 25mm in every 1.5m or if this isn’t achievable install a drainage channel to pick up the water.Is the surface of your patio is at least 150mm below the damp proof course of the house ? This is important so rain doesn't bounce off and hit the wall above.There are some primary things you need to consider.Once you have decided where you are putting your patio the best thing to do is to draw a plan to scale on paper and put in all the measurements of the patio area. You also need to mark on any areas you need to pave around for example manhole covers as they can affect the level of your patio. If you do have a manhole then recessed block paving or paving manholes are great as they allow you to pave inside the cover.

Using your plan calculate the area of your patio in square metres. For example if your patio is 5 metres wide by 3 meters out then (5 x 3 = 15) your patio area would be 15 square meters (15m2). This calculation will need to be made to ensure you buy the right quantity of paving.

Remove all soil and grass to a depth of about 150mm to allow for the hardcore.Making sure the marks for the top are level with any manhole coversMark lines on the wooden pegs to show the depth of working of your hardcore, mortar and the surface of the patio slabs.The next step is to transfer your plan on to the ground with wooden pegs, a builder's square and string line.

For the bed of your paving you first need a layer of hardcore to a depth of between 50mm to 80mm. Even out the hardcore and any bumps. Hiring a powered wacker plate to compress the hardcore is always a good idea and will help give you a more solid base.

We would always advise that with the next step you lay a full bed of mortar down, and avoid using the dot and dab method as this can lead to broken slabs and eventually an uneven patio.

Once your bed is down you can start laying the slabs, check with a builder's square that the string guide lines are square to the house and if not adjust the guide lines to suit.

The first slab laid should be one that is next to the house and preferably in the corner It's important that the first slab is positioned accurately as this will allow you to work in line. When positioning and setting the slabs gently tap the slab to the correct level with a rubber mallet, checking the alignment of the slab with a spirit level as you work. Once you've laid all the paving slabs always do a final check to make sure they're all level

If you follow these instructions you will be able sit back and relax on your patio furniture in the knowledge that your patio will stand the test of timeOnce your slabs are laid, leave the mortar to dry for at least 24 hours before you point them. Pointing is the final step and sets the paving tight and prevents weeds from growing through. For this, traditional mortar can be used or jointing compound can be used. We would always recommend Rompox Easy Paving Mortar for jointing as in our experience this is the best product of its kind available..


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