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How To Lay A Garden Patio

by Patrick Blair on October 1, 2011

In honour of the amazing weather we’ve been having over the last few days, we thought we’d throw a quick blog post out there about how to lay a garden patio. You’ll probably want to reserve doing such a job for the summer months, but considering the last few days have been the best of the entire summer, you may as well give it a go.

Getting the basics right, and what you’ll need

Laying a garden patio is a fairly simple DIY task but some of the materials involved can be quite heavy so it may be useful to have a helping hand. You could rope some friends of family members in with the promise of a BBQ or a cold drink at the end of the day.

Along with your choice of paving slabs, cement and building sand you will also need, a spirit level, a spade, a club hammer, a pointing trowel, wheelbarrow, a builders square and screeding float. Make sure you also have a bucket some wooden pegs and some string.

Planning, then off down the shops

The first thing to do is plan the layout of your patio, draw a detailed plan and mark the dimensions. Bear in mind that a patio should be 150mm below the damp course level and slope slightly away from the house (or you’ll need a drainage channel). Once you’ve measured up calculate the amount of slabs you need. There’s a number of great places to find the right type of patio tiles such as Simply Paving and Marshall’s but there’s also great selections at the likes of B&Q, and the other usual suspects.

Time to get your hands dirty

Mark out with the string, pegs and builders square, mark the pegs with the intended level of patio surface. Put a level of hardcore as a base, distribute evenly and compact down before adding a layer of bedding mortar (a mix of building sand and cement about 3:1, with water added sparingly) lay down enough mortar to lay one row and lay one slab, tap the slab with a piece of wood and a club hammer into place, the first one is the most important, continue till you have finished laying all the slabs.

To finish off mix some more mortar (4:1 sand to cement, with just a little water) and press into the gaps between the slabs with a trowel. Brush off surplus and wash off any cement on the slabs. Then, all that’s left is to let it dry for at least 24 hours.

If all this sounds too much like hard work, give us a call and we’ll show you our full range of landscape gardening services.

More information
UK TV’s Step by Step Guide”
iVillage”
UK Builder’s Guide”

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