Last Updated on August 9, 2022 by Real Men Sow
Lay a patio now and you’ll enjoy the benefits each time you’re out in the garden. It’s not a difficult job, so put aside a weekend and you’ll soon be entertaining friends, or enjoying a well-earned rest on your new patio surrounded by pots and plants.
Planning The Garden Patio
- After you have decided on the location of your patio, create a plan that is scaled on graph paper. All dimensions for the patio area should be included.
- Permanent fixtures are those that will be marked on the plan. These include the walls, fencing, and manhole covers. Covers can be obstructive and may affect the level of your patio. You should also mark large trees.
- You don’t have to cut slabs if you prefer a chessboard layout or one of the ranges with half-slabs.
- If you are laying random patterns of different-sized blocks or staggering paving, then you will need to cut slabs for a straight border. Before you begin cutting slabs, get advice.
- Your patio should be at least 150mm beneath the damp proof course of your house to ensure rain doesn’t bounce off the walls.
- To ensure that water drains away from your house, the patio should slope gently towards it. You can also install a drainage channel or allow for a drop of 25mm every 1.5m.
Materials For Laying Garden Patio
- Building sand
- Cement mixer, optional
- Wooden pegs
- Spirit level
- Plank of wood
- Wacker plate
- Rubber mallet
- Bolster chisel
- Pointing trowel
Steps in Laying a Garden Patio
Lay the hardcore
Clear the patio area to a depth 15cm. This will allow for mortar, hardcore and paving slabs. Use a rake or a shovel to spread the hardcore and smooth out any bumps.
Compact the hardcore
Use a wacker plate. Although it’s not necessary, it stops the rubble from moving while you lay the slabs. This makes the base more solid.
Level the patio
Hammer wooden pegs into ground. They must be the same height as the patio’s surface to indicate the level. You should ensure that they are level with the existing paving or manhole covers. To make it even, place several of them on the patio.
Patio Slabs Arrangement
Arrange the patio slabs
Several slabs can be placed on the ground for a random design. This will help you to decide which shapes work well together. You can also cut pieces of paper into slabs that are smaller and then create a plan using your scale plan.
Lay the patio slabs
Mix five parts building sand and one part cement to make a mortar mixture. For small areas, you can use a wheelbarrow. However, an electric cement mixer is better for larger areas. Lay slabs of mortar on a 5cm- to 8cm thick bed. Tap down or press down with your fingers.
Level the slabs
A 1cm space between each slab must be left, which will later be filled with mortar. You can use your spirit level, or a plank made of wood, to make sure the slabs match the pegs that you hammered into the ground earlier.
Final Touches When Laying Garden Patio
- Edge the patio – Place pavers on a layer of mortar between 5cm and 8cm thick, putting them together. To ensure a perfect fit, you can use a hammer or bolster chisel for breaking up paviours.
- Wash the patio slabs – After you have finished cleaning the slabs, make sure to remove all mortar splatters before it sets and stain the paving.
- Fill in the gaps in the patio – Use a pointing trowel to fill in the gaps. Avoid mortar being applied to slab surfaces. This can cause staining if it is allowed to set.