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How to Lay a Patio

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A patio is often the perfect addition to your garden, creating a fresh and eye-catching look whilst allowing you to make the most of your outdoor space.
Whilst there are many accredited-expert patio installers around,
if you wish to lay a patio in your garden yourself here is a guide to assist you on doing so.
 
BEFORE YOU BEGIN…
Always make sure you have correctly planned where your patio is going to go, and that you have the correct materials to complete the slab laying process. It can often be a good idea to lay out the paving where you want the finished patio to be, before you start, as from this you can gain an idea of how the fished area will look and ensure you are happy with everything.
 
PREPPING THE AREA
Initially you will need to remove the grass and dig at least a 150mm depth across the whole area. However, if the patio is being put next to a house you should dig a 300mm depth to ensure it is lower than any damp proof course.
Next put a base aggregate on top of the soil as this will provide support and drainage.
Make sure the surface is level using a spirit level/track lining before you lay any permanent foundations and slabs.
 
LAYING THE PATIO
Before laying paving stones you’ll need to prepare a mortar for the paving, of about a 3-1 mix of sand to cement. Course sand is the best kind to use as it will prevent animals from tunneling underneath. Mix and add enough water to dampen the mortar, just enough so that it binds together but does not become runny.
Now you should set out a track lining to guide you on the level and the position of the paving. Start from a corner and spread some of the mortar to cover an area slightly larger than the paving slab. Make sure it is a thickness that will allow the slab to sit at the correct level. Now carefully lay the slab down, making sure you dampen the back of it so that the fresh slab doesn’t dry out the mortar too quickly. Use a rubber mallet to tap down the slab to the level of your track lining, being careful to hit firmly but not too hard. Check it is level using a spirit level.
Repeat the above with the next slab, leaving a joint between each one. Once laid, the patio should be left for around 24 hours to allow the bedding mortar to harden and should not be walked on.
 
JOINTING THE PAVING
Use a mortar mix of 3-parts soft building sand to 1-part cement, adding a little bit of water to get a smooth consistency. Trowel the mortar into the joints pressing it down and smoothing it out. Try to avoid getting any on the paving slabs for this can be difficult to remove.
Once the mortar has hardened, give the patio a good sweep to remove any excess material. Add any finishing touches such as decretive boarders, and then you’re done!
 
For a wide range of patio and building supplies visit Whitchurch Builders Supplies
 

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