A paved patio area is a traditional garden feature and, done properly, it can look great. With the arrival of summer growing ever closer, you may be considering either creating a whole new patio area in your garden, or simply refreshing the existing patio area. Whatever the case, if you are spending time, money and effort on your patio area, you will want it to be of the highest quality possible, and this guide will provide you with tips on how to do so!
As with any other project, if you want the perfect patio area you need to get planning because it helps to avoid any nasty surprises along the way. Of course, no plan should be so rigid that it has no room for compromise, but it should be enough for you to envisage the final result. Your planning should include everything from your budget, preferred stones and colours, as well as sizing and who will be installing the patio.
Buy All Materials At Once
Your plan should inform you of all of the materials that you will require, which means you can buy enough before you begin the project. It is advisable to buy all paving slabs at the same time, that way you reduce any risk of there being colour or texture variation.
Mark Out The Area
You should mark out the planned area of your patio on the ground using wooden pegs, a builder’s square and string. Not only will this act as a guide for when it comes to laying the slabs, it means that you will be able to physically see the space it will take up, meaning you have the chance to find out any logistical problems before it is too late. Be sure to mark wooden pegs with lines to show the depth of your work, including the hardcore, mortar and paving stones.
Ensure You Have A Solid Base
Regardless of the quality of your paving stones, if the base they are laid on is not of good quality it will show. You should ensure that your layer of hardcore is both completely flat and compact in order that it is solid and so that the bedding mortar can lay on top properly.
Lay The First Slabs Properly
The phrase ‘start as you mean to go on’ is relevant here, because it in order for all of the paving slabs to be installed correctly, it is important to lay the first few slabs precisely. Continue to ensure that the slabs are laid square to the house because just one wrong move could ruin the whole appearance of the patio area.
Be Sure To ‘Point’
Pointing is a vital step in laying paving slabs in a patio area because it will stop the slabs moving and will prevent weeds from growing between them.
Allow It To Dry Properly
Using your patio area before the cement and mortar is fully dry could result in wonky paving slabs. In summer, you should take care that your mortar doesn’t dry out too quickly, and in winter that rain or frost doesn’t prevent it from drying properly by protecting it with sheeting.
If you have any doubts about laying your own patio area, you should at least seek professional advice. This will prevent you from wasting any time and money and will ensure that you get the best result possible.
[Photo Credit: Wonderlane]