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How to lay patios

How to lay patios

How to lay patios

The somewhat unreliable British summer can leave us neglecting to make the best use of our gardens. Yet with the simple addition of a garden patio you can keep off the wet grass and still enjoy all that extra space outside.

Patios are the perfect place for outdoor furniture, barbecues and even gazebos if Mother Nature isn’t being too kind.

You can choose from plenty of different materials to get the look you want, from luxurious marble and British sandstone to woodstone sleepers, helping to ensure the design’s in keeping with the rest of your home. You could also mix up your materials to create an eye-catching pattern – the options are endless.

You can use our paving planner to make your patio project run more smoothly. It works out how many slabs you’ll need using the measurements of the size of patio you want, saving you time and hassle.

Once you’ve formulated a plan for how you want your patio to look, help is at hand via our list of accredited installers – experts when it comes to laying patios.

But if you’re going to take on the challenge yourself, here’s a guide to show you how to get the job done.

 Prepping the area

If you’re upgrading from current paving slabs then you need to get them up and have a look at what’s underneath. If you’re starting afresh, you’ll need to get the grass up and dig to a depth of around 150mm across the whole area, making sure it’s all level.

Then you need to put down a base aggregate on top of the soil to provide structural support and drainage.

Use a spirit level and track lining to ensure that the surface is level for the slabs. Once everything is down, you can compact it using a wacker plate (available for hire from most building suppliers).

Laying the patio

Before laying paving stones you’ll need to prepare a concrete mix for the paving, which is about a 3-1 mix. That’s three buckets of sand to one bucket of cement, and the addition of some water.

To create the best consistency you need to source some sharp sand. It’s best for patios and gardens and will prevent any pesky moles or rats from tunnelling beneath your slabs.

Set out your track lining to determine your finished paving level. Next, spread your concrete down for the first slab at a thickness of around 30mm. Before you lay the slab down, make sure you dampen the back of it so that the fresh slab doesn’t dry out the cement too quickly. Use a rubber mallet to level the slab to your track lining and spirit level.

Repeat this with the next slab, leaving a 10mm joint in between each one for the Weatherpoint that you will put down later. Once you have laid your entire patio down, spray the whole area with water until it’s completely saturated.

Then, brush the Weatherpoint compound into the 10mm joints. You will need to use a pointing tool to compact the Weatherpoint into the joints once you’ve brushed it in.

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Finishing touches

You may want to put a decorative border around the edge of your patio using some sea washed aggregate or black polished pebbles.

Now is the best time to start planning your patio; you’ll ideally want to start working on it in the spring when the ground should have dried and thawed out enough. A patio could transform your summer fun this year, so get planning now.


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