Now, laying garden paving slabs for a patio on soil isn’t something that should be scaring you off. It’s a task of medium difficulty that you could easily tackle on your own, especially if you are the type of handyman who likes to spend a lot of time shaping his own garden. With this in mind, below you will find a few very carefully laid out steps that you might want to take into account when it comes to it.
Planning your patio
The first thing that you need to do is to draw out the detailed plan of your patio on a piece of paper. You should put in the dimensions as well as make the permanent fixtures in the garden – these include fencing, manhole covers, the house and the walls and other amenities that you may have. You need to be paving around those and that’s something that you should account for in advance.
Another thing that you need to account is the surface of your patio – it needs to be at least 150mm below the damp proof course of your home because otherwise rain can bounce off and go right back at it.
Do the measures
This is the next integral step that you need to consider. Calculate your patio’s area in square meters and divide it into paving slabs which will cover it. If you are going to use a single size slab, divide the entire area by the coverage of the slab and you will have the exact estimation of the required materials. This is very important as you don’t want to end up missing half the slabs halfway through your patio.
Once you are through the measuring phase, you need to start marking. You need to transfer the plan to the ground with properly installed wooden pegs. While it might sound like something overly complicated, it really isn’t. Make sure that the mark for the top surface is properly and carefully levelled with any paving and manhole covers which already exist. This is something critical because the alternative will result in quite a lot of complications.
You should also remember to allow for a gradual slope away from your house. This should happen as you are carefully laying down the wooden pegs.
Preparing the base
In order to properly prepare the base, you should remove the turf as well as the plants. You should also dig down to about 150mm in order to be able to lay down the foundations. The first layer is the hardcore foundation – it should be laid down to about 80mm of height. After that, you have to add the bedding mortar and above it you will be laying the paving stones. There is nothing complicated – it’s just time-consuming.
Laying your paving slabs
The first slab that you lay down should be at the corner of your house. Make sure to check the alignment with the overall string guideline that you’ve stretched during the measurement phase. This is very important as this first slab is going to navigate the remaining pathway. It would be a good idea to use a club hammer or one made out of rubber or something soft in order to hammer down the slabs so that they don’t break. Carry on aligning different slabs until you have done so for the entire project.
Filling the gaps
There are going to be gaps when you are through. In order to fill them, you need to use the same mortar bedding that you used for the second layer of the foundation. This is going to make up for the gaps between the slabs and it’s going to provide you overall patio with a proper and finished appeal. You can finish it up with a towel or a rounded edge in order to bring the best appeal.
In any case, these are the overall steps that you need to take in order to properly handle your patio slab alignment. As you can surely see, there is absolutely nothing complicated and this is definitely something that could be carried out by a skilled DIY type of person.
Of course, once you are through with all of the aforementioned processes you would need to maintain the patio perfectly. It is a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions for the materials that you have used for the slab alignment. This is critical for the overall performance and it’s going to prolong the life of the paving. Keep in mind that certain elements might actually affect the colouring of the paving so this is something that you should account for. However, apart from that, there is absolutely nothing serious and complicated for you to be overly worried about – it’s rather straightforward once you get the hang of it.