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How To Lay A Patio For Beginners

Place Your Patio Slabs

How to Pour a Concrete backyard Patio Slab [Beginner Guide]

It doesnt matter if youre using RF Pavings sandstone, granite, porcelain or limestone slabs they all go down the same. Place the patio exactly the same way you did in the plan if you change the arrangement now, its unlikely to fit the space youve prepared.

Starting in the corner, place your first slab down. Make sure it sits 1-1.5cm deep in the sand, and leave a gap of roughly 1-1.5cm for the next piece. The patio slabs should fit together snugly. If youre worried about following a straight line, then use your string markers again.

Whatever you do, dont kneel on your patio pieces. Instead, kneel on the bed of sand. This way, you only need to re-screed the sand thats been kneeled on, and you wont end up with an uneven patio as a result of the pressure.

Laying A Patio Base: Creating The Support Layer

The first layer of your patio is the support layer, called the sub-base. It consists of a 75-100mm thick layer of hardcore .

Spread the hardcore out and level it off so that it slopes down towards your garden or drainage channel.

Minster Tip: Compact it with a vibrating plate compactor until it lies 50-75mm below the level at which you want the finished patio to sit.

Easy How To Lay A Patio Guide

Laying a patio can be done quickly and easily with our step-by-step guide.

Laying a new patio can enhance the visual appeal of your garden as well as create an inviting area for entertaining guests and enjoying leisure activities.

Youve already found;inspiring patio designs and ideas;and you cant wait to create your own patio. You might also want to have a look at our wide range of garden paving slabs;to use for your project.

To show you how to;lay a patio in the correct way, weve shared our expertise below. This is an in-depth and thorough guide for beginners looking to start their first garden project.

See Our Full Range Of Garden Paving Slabs

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How To Mark Out The Height Of The Slabs

  • First decide how high you want the patio slabs to be once they have been put down.
  • Place wooden stakes around the edges of the patio area you have marked.
  • Make sure one end of the stakes allows for a slope so that the rain water will run off the slabs away from the house.
  • Tie string around the stakes to help you know which height the slabs are to be laid.
  • Make the sand damp before you use it.
  • Spread a layer of sand across the area evenly. This should be two inches thick.
  • Cut the weed suppressor to size and lay on the sand.
  • Lay each tile down on the ground for the patio


    Lock The Bricks With Sand

    How to lay a patio for beginners

    Spread;sand over the bricks, then sweep across the patio surface with a push broom to work the sand into the cracks. Sweep in multiple directions to reach all cracks, adding sand as you go until the cracks are filled. Gently spray the patio with a garden hose to settle the sand in the cracks. Spread and sweep more sand into the cracks, and spray again, until the cracks are completely filled and the sand is settled.;

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    Tips For Building A Brick Patio

    If you need to cut some bricks to fit your layout, you can use a hammer and masonry chisel or a circular saw with a masonry blade. But if you have a lot of cuts to make, it’s worth it to rent a brick splitter or a masonry wet saw for half a day. These tools make much faster, cleaner cuts than a hammer or handheld saw. The best blade to use for saw cuts is a diamond blade. Alternatively, you can use an abrasive blade, but it may wear down quickly and won’t cut as cleanly.

    Paving Slabs Patio Designs And Ideas

    When choosing your paving slabs, it really helps to see examples of patio designs in order to get those creative juices flowing. Seeing the pavers in a real situation can help visualize how they will look.

    It’s also great if you can get your paving at a really good price!

    A few years ago I discovered an;online supplier;that not only sold paving slabs at a fantastic price but who also provide really excellent customer service and a great website, which has many pages of patio design ideas.

    They sell paving in all shapes and sizes, from natural pavers, manufactured slabs and block paving, to patio circles, shapes, walling, edging, coping and building supplies.

    It’s really worth taking a look. The ‘Gallery’ has lots of inspirational ideas for patios.

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    Excavate The Patio Area

    Remove all grass and other vegetation in the patio area , then excavate the soil to a depth of 6 inches plus the thickness of the flagstone. For example, if the flagstone is 2 inches thick, excavate a total of 8 inches. This is to make the patio flush with the surrounding ground; you can dig less deep if you want the stones to lie higher than the ground.

    Measure down from the strings to gauge the excavation depth. It’s usually easiest to dig to full depth right under the strings, then clear out the soil in between, checking with a long, straight 2×4 and a level to make sure the ground is level from side to side . Tamp the soil with a hand tamp or a rented plate compactor.

    Whats The Purpose Of Your Patio

    How to lay a patio

    The first thing to think about is the purpose of your patio. It may seem something that is obvious, but its something that is often forgotten in the excitement of choosing materials and furniture for your new patio. Is it going to be a small, cosy area for just two people to enjoy? Is it going to be a space for family gatherings or is it going to be an outdoor room for dinner parties and entertaining lots of guests? The answer to this question should help you to dictate the exact size of patio that you require. To give you an idea, for a patio that is big enough for a table enough for four people, 3m x 3m is adequate

    Not sure what you want to build yet?

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    How To Make The Correct Mix To Lay The Slabs

    It is best to make enough mix to lay just six slabs at a time. That way you avoid it getting hard and unusable.

  • Place one part cement with six parts of sand into a mixing bucket.
  • Mix together until perfectly blended.
  • Add water gradually until it is completely blended and damp to the touch.
  • Lay the slabs onto the ground.
  • Place the first paving slab into place on top of the sand.
  • Press down firmly to around 15 mm into the sand.
  • Lay the second slab next to it at the same depth.
  • Keep 15 mm between each slab.
  • Continue like this until you have put down your last slab.
  • How to lay a patio in the garden


    What You Will Learn

    Paving is our bread and butter at Acorn Landscape Gardening, there is rarely a week goes by that we dont see ourselves laying paving. As a result we have developed a lot of expertise in getting it done fast and flawlessly.

    There are a number of methods for laying paving however we have experimented most of them and found this to be the winner for quality finish and speed.

    This how to guide will show you how to lay your new paved patio, or path perfectly. The good news is that this can usually be done with very little equipment. The bad news is that it will be harder if you dont have some of the equipment.

    This guide will work if you are laying on most normal garden surfaces including already existing patios, concrete, tarmac, grass or mud.

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    Where Is The Patio Situated

    Most patios are often laid next to the house because this is a convenient area which makes it easier to go and come with drinks or foods from the kitchen. Also, it can save you and your guests from walking across muddy and wet grass.

    However, you can lay your patio elsewhere to meet specific needs. For example, if you want to have a large place to socialise with guests, then its better to choose a spacious area in the garden or back yard.

    Privacy is also the main factor to consider as you might want to keep your neighbours or walkers from overlooking. A good compromise idea is to lay a patio next to your house and build smaller ones around the garden.

    Set Up The String Line

    All The Tips And Tricks On How To Lay A Patio For Beginners

    Before you begin to lay the paving you need a reference point to get the surface of the paving at the correct height. Using pegs, the string and a spirit level or line level, set up a string which is level and runs precisely down the line you would like the edge of the paving to follow.

    Choose one fixed edge and a corner to use as the orientation for the paving. Lay down this edge first then go from there. If the paving is touching/near a house, use the house as the fixed edge.

    When laying, line up the edge of the paving so it is almost touching the string. Then use a spirit level to bring the rest of the paving to where it should be.

    Read Also: How To Install Flagstones

    Start With The Correct Preparation

    Make sure to identify a suitable area for your new patio. You want to choose a large, reasonably level area that doesnt suffer from drainage issues. Of course, you want it to be in a scenic, convenient location, but in this case, make sure that suitability takes priority over style. Get the gravel and sand foundation right, and your patio will last for years with minimal maintenance.

    Double-check that you have all the correct equipment before you get started as well. Wheelbarrows, framing, spirit levels, spades, rakes, and screeding bars are the bare minimum youll need. But on top of that, garden rollers, tape measures, and string lines will all come in handy.

    So once youve got all your tools, RF Paving patio slabs, your sand, and your gravel, these are the steps to follow when laying a patio on sand.

    Lay The First Row Of Bricks

    Lay the first bricks, starting in one corner and running along the edging to complete a row. Alternate each pair of bricks so that;two are horizontal, then two are vertical, and so on.;Press the bricks gently into the sand, and put them together as closely as possible. Tap the bricks with a rubber mallet to settle them into the sand, if necessary.

    Run a mason’s line across the first row, aligned with the leading edges of the bricks. Pull the line taut and secure it at the ends with stakes, or simply clamp them to the edging. Straighten the bricks in the first row, as needed, so all leading edges are even with the line.

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    Why Should I Lay My Patio On Sand

    So hang on why should you lay your patio on sand instead of using mortar? Well, if youre not securing your patio with mortar, then youll need to lay it on a bed of sand and gravel instead.

    A sand base is cost-effective and doesnt require a huge amount of skill or experience to lay. The sand provides a solid, reliable base, and the gravel takes care of the drainage, making for an effective new patio.

    Sealing And Treating Paving

    How to lay a patio

    Sealing and treating paving can enhance its colour, protect it from dirt and algae and reduce the amount of cleaning it needs. However it can also make it look patchy and ruin it if not done well. Our breakdown of paving and sealing is designed to help you work out the best approach for your paving.

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    How To Fill Up The Joints

    The sand needed for this task should be fine grained to work best. It must also be a dry day for this part of the job to work.

  • Add a little of the sand to the slabs.
  • Use a sweeping brush to slowly bring it over the slabs.
  • Go back and forth so that the sand drops into the cracks of the paving stones.
  • Continue like this until all the slabs have been filled in.
  • Learn how to make a garden patio with paving slabs.


    How To Bury A Time Capsule Under The Patio

    My two grandsons were fascinated watching me working on the patio. Their mother had the great idea of making a time capsule so they could bury it under the slabs.

    A tin was found and they set about filling it with items. They both made a picture with the date and their names on the back of them. They put in a piece of paper with a few news stories from that week which was printed from the internet. Three toys were also added. One for each of the boys and one from their dog. A few coins and a photo of the family completed the box.

    It was wrapped with a plastic bag a few times to keep it water proof. I made the hole and let the boys place it there and then add the soil to cover it. They watched even more excited as it got to the slab which would cover the time capsule.

    Making a time capsule

    This content is accurate and true to the best of the authorĂ¢s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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    How Long Does It Take To Lay A Patio

    I wont sugar coat it, laying paving is hard work and can be time consuming. When thinking of laying some paving you should count the cost and make sure you are up for the job.

    Starting from scratch in a garden you should put down for at least 2.5 hours per square metre of paving. This takes into account all of the preparation right through to completion.

    Tips Before You Start

    How To Lay A Patio For Beginners

    Before you start laying your patio, it might be a good idea to draw out a simple plan of your home and garden.

    This will allow you to identify the areas you would like to be paved.

    Once you have made your plan, mark out the areas with string to outline the dimensions of the proposed areas of your patio. Once this has been done, you can then begin your patio project.

    If youre planning on removing any turf from your proposed patio area, make sure that you keep some spare during the process as you may want to fill in any gaps between the new patio and your lawn.

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    Laying Paving Directly On To Soil

    Many people want to know if they can lay the paving directly on to soil. This is a bad idea, under the cement which supports the paving there needs to be a hard surface. Soil, even when compacted morphs with time, weather and pressure. If you lay paving on soil with no supporting hard base, it will eventually deform and need replacing.

    Laying Sleepers As A Patio Edging

    Note, we’d already removed top soil and laid weed control and aggregate down years ago, but never finished this job. Hence, why I only did some de-weeding.

    But I then started putting some treated sleepers down which were for a border for the grass and the edging for the patio so it didn’t move anywhere.

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    Screeding Sand Before Laying Patio Slabs

    After watching a few tricks online to screed the sand, I cut up some plastic pipes to the width of my patio. Then dumped in the sand, roughly leveled it with a rake and then I use a closest piece of what I could find which was a spirit level to smooth over it. And any dips, I saw I just pinched from one area and dumped it in another.

    Then whacked it again and did that until the whole path was done. By this point, me and my fiance had a system where every time I removed a pipe he just dumped some sand in the gaps and then we whacked that whole area a few times again.

    Note, when it came to adding sharp sand in front of the conservatory, I also made sure there was a slight slope away from it.

    Then I took a tip from my father-in-law and that was to just go over the very top half-inch of the sand with a rake, just to loosen this a little bit so it should help me bed the patio slabs easier.

    An In Depth Guide To Laying Flawless Paving

    Acid staining a concrete patio for beginners how to part 2

    This beginner friendly guide is written by a professional landscaper. Teaching you tricks of the trade we usually keep to ourselves. Its a lot to take in, but getting it right can save you thousands compared to paying professionals.

    This video shows us laying a curved patio. Its a good idea to watch it before you read, then refer back to it during and after reading for a visual demonstration.

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    Alan Titchmarsh Gives Gardening Advice During Lockdown

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    Gardening has seen a resurgence in recent weeks, and many are starting to get their gardens ready for the summer months. Some people may even be looking to lay a new patio.


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