HOW TO LAY A PATIO - Creating a patio area in your garden requires hard work and planning, but the end result is so rewarding. A patio creates a space where you can sit, enjoy a BBQ or entertain friends and family. In this guide we’ll show you how you can lay a patio that will give you years of pleasurable use.
Before you get started with the video and the instructions for laying a patio, have you considered the design of your patio? In this first video you will find some excellent information that will give you some great ideas. If you have already got your patio design all worked out then skip this video and scroll down to the next.
Be prepared for some hard work and be careful of your back. This job is best done with the help of a friend or two.
Plan your patio area. Get yourself a tape measure and stake out the area you intend to convert to a patio. It’s important to consider what you want to use your patio for, its location in your garden and overall size. You might find it useful to draft a rough plan to help you decide what you want. You will need to work out the square footage so you can order sufficient materials.
If you are going to lay a square patio then stake out the four corners of the area. Run string along to each state. Take a builders square and make sure each corner is in fact square. Lastly measure the length diagonally from stake to stake – if the area is square these measurements will be identical
Once you have your intended area marked out, take a garden spade and from the OUTSIDE of the line cut a line in the turf. Do this all the way around the area you have marked out. Remove all of the turf within the area and dig down to a depth of about 125mm. This will give you 50mm for the Sub Base, 50mm for the Mortar Base and 25mm for the paving slab or paving stones.
The last thing you really want is weeds growing through your patio, so treat the ground with a weed kill and lay a membrane down that prevents weed growth.
Now that you have the area prepared you need to consider rainfall. If you are laying a patio next to the house then the patio will need a gradient slope to channel water away from the house. You can do this by hammering pegs into the ground within the area you are laying. Start with pegs near the house, these should be the highest and then work away from the house lowering the pegs by a few millimeters until you have a slope of about 20 Degrees that slopes away from the house.
Pour in the Sub Base material and compact this. Remember to follow your slope line.
Now add a 5mm layer of builders sharp sand and level in the same way as with the Sub Base.
Mix up some mortar that you will use to fix the paving slabs into place. Mix the mortar 5 Parts Sand and 1 Part Cement.
Using a 5 SPOT technique to fix your slabs in place – this is basically a spot of mortar in each corner of the slab and one in the middle. Start laying your slabs with the first slab being fitted in the corner of the house wall.
Place your 5 spots of mortar on the base and then place the slab on top. The slab can then be tapped down and into place. Use a spirit level to ensure you maintain the slope away from the house wall.
Once you have laid all your slabs avoid walking on them for at least 24 hours. You need to let the cement cure so that the area is strong enough to take the weight without the patio sinking.
After letting the cement dry for 24 hours it’s time to fill in the gaps between the slabs. Make up a DRY mix of 5 Parts Sand and 1 Part Cement. Take a pointing trowel and work the mixture into the joints.
When you have completed filling all the joints take a soft broom and clean up any sand and cement on the patio area.
To retain the good looks of your new patio consider sealing the patio. It’s not a difficult job and will help prevent any stains from marking the patio area.
Acknowledgements: Video – B&Q