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How To Lay A Patio

May 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 453

Building a patio in your garden allows you to make far more use of the space. Patios are the ideal space for entertaining in good weather, and even when the weather is less pleasant, a patio can be used as a play space or just somewhere to sit outside with a coffee and a book. Patios add value to your house, and are not difficult to lay with some preparation and basic DIY skills.

Planning

The sky is the limit when it comes to patio design. A patio can range from a few slabs to a much larger paved area, and can be any shape. Patio slabs are available in a huge range of colours also, and before jumping in and buying the first slabs you see, take time to look round various different shops to see what is on offer, and look in magazines and on the internet for inspiration. Draw out plans on paper to get an idea of the size of project you are contemplating. For beginners, go for a simple design which will not involve too much cutting of slabs.

Purchasing

Once you've decided on the dimensions of the patio, you can start to prepare the ground and get it level. A layer of hardcore will provide a good, solid base for laying the slabs on top of and will ensure the patio looks great for many years to come. Sand and cement will also be required to lay the slabs on top of. Staff in a DIY store will be able to help with quantities required and many also rent out equipment such as cement mixers and stone cutters.

Laying the Slabs

Once the area is levelled and the hardcore layer is down, the next stage is to mix up the sand and cement mix to put the slabs on. Mix up the mortar in small quantities so it does not have the chance to dry out before the slabs are laid. Once the mortar is down, it is time to get the slabs laid. Start in one corner and work in straight lines. Use a hammer to gently knock the slabs into place, and check with a spirit level that the patio is sloping very gently away from the house to help with drainage. As more slabs are laid, keep checking the alignment and the level so that they are all uniform.

Pointing

Once all of the slabs have been laid, the final step is to fill the gaps between the slabs with mortar. This is known as pointing. This should be done the day after the slabs have been laid, to give the mortar a chance to dry out. Press more mortar into the gaps between the stones using a trowel, then brush off any excess. After the pointing is completed, the patio should be left for at least 24 hours to make sure it dries out properly. In wet or cold weather, it may be better to cover the patio with a plastic sheet to protect it as it dries.

Olivia Reynolds has written many articles about building, construction and home improvement having worked in the industry for many years. She is currently working with Top Tradespeople, the website where homeowners can find a tradesman for home improvement work, including flagging and paving tradesmen and other local tradespeople.

Source: EzineArticles
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