The winter months have finally passed and the sun is shining bright – perfect weather for an afternoon outside enjoying a barbeque and friends. It is possible to enjoy the day with seats and a table propped in the garden; however, a patio is always far more comfortable and practical. Unfortunately, not all homes are equipped with ready-made patios laid out for use. This means you either have to suffer grass or build your own patio. This article will provide information on how to complete the latter
activity and build a patio in your garden.
1. Planning The Patio
Building a patio may seem like a very challenging task; however, with the correct planning it can be quite manageable. Once you have decided where the patio will be placed, it is necessary to draft a detailed plan on graph paper. It is recommended that the plan be to scale with all dimensions marked accurately in order to avoid confusion during the building stages. It is also recommended that you note all existing fixtures on the plan (house, walls, shrubs) so you can arrange your garden paving and landscaping.
2. Measuring The Area And Materials
This step should be completed in conjunction with the first step of planning the patio. To create an effective garden patio, it is necessary to calculate the overall area of the patio accurately because the amount of paving slabs purchased must meet this calculation. Using the calculation of the area, you will know how many paving slabs need to be purchased. It must be remembered that the patio should have a gradual slope running away from the property to ensure water drains off. This will contribute to the area calculations. It is recommended that you contact a professional if you are unsure of how to complete these measurements.
3. Preparation Of The Patio Base
Once the plan has been drafted and accurately measured, the area for the patio must be outlined. Using wooden pegs and string demarcate the area for the patio; furthermore, the wooden pegs should be marked to show the depth of the patio. Be sure to accommodate the slope of the patio when placing and marking the pegs so that you have a level surface from the garden paving and landscaping.
When the area has been demarcated, it is time to prepare the base for patio slabs. Remove any plants or initial paving in the area and dig to a depth of approximately 150mm. After this, you will be required to lay a solid base for the paving slabs using a layer of hardcore measuring a depth of approximately 80mm. The hardcore base can be spread using a rake removing any bumps. Finally, a layer of bedding mortar must be placed atop the hardcore.
4. Laying The Paving Slabs
Before placing the garden paving, it is essential that you ensure the string guidelines are square to the property. This can be done using a builder’s square and is necessary to avoid any misplacement of slabs. After re-checking the string, the first paving slab is placed against the property at the corner. Gently tap the slab with a club hammer to the correct level. To avoid any damage to the slab it is recommended that you use a block of wood to cover the slab before hammering. Check the slab with a spirit level to assure it is at the correct level, allowing for the gradual slope from the property. Continue in this manner until all slabs have been placed. You can then landscape around your new patio.