With the temperatures rising, and the sun well and truly out (with no sign of that pesky snow or ice returning now) now is the perfect time of year to complete those outdoor projects and make the most of your garden.
We’ve already covered how to paint your fence, and the best way to lay turf as well as some fantastic offers on our building materials for outdoor projects – next, we offer up some essential advice for laying new paving.
1. Plan Your Patio
It’s essential before you stay laying down mortar or cutting any paving slabs that you plan your patio. An accurate scale drawing is a good starting point, and marking out the size and position of your patio-to-be using string and pegs is a must before you begin.
One you’ve got your size, dig out the ground to a depth of 150mm to give plenty of room for hardcore and mortar mix under the slabs.
2. Lay Down & Compact The Hardcore
Using a depth guide (such as your wooden planning pegs), lay down between 80-100mm of hardcore and use a rake to ensure it is distributed evenly.
Compacting the hardcore (using a compaction plate) is not necessarily essential, but it will provide you with a much more solid base as it evens out any lumps, and will generally make laying the slabs easier.
3. Prepare Your Mortar Mix
You can either use a pre-made mix or make your own with five parts building sand to one part cement. Mix in a wheelbarrow or, for larger patio or paved areas, in an electric cement mixer.
4. Lay Your Slabs & Apply Finishing Touches
Start laying once your bed of mortar is at least 50mm deep – press down firmly and tap into place using a rubber-headed hammer. You might want to cover the slabs with a cloth where you tap, to avoid leaving marks or blemishes on the surface. As you lay down each slab, leave a 10mm gap between the slabs for mortar later and check with a spirit level to make sure they’re straight and flat.
If you’re looking at completing any outdoor projects this summer, and are in need of building supplies, aggregates and paving supplies then look no further than M.J. Ryall. Take a look around our website, or call us direct today on 01462 730169 to find out more about what supplies and products we currently have in stock.
We’re open seven days a week and also offer free local delivery in Hitchin and some surrounding areas – contact us for more information.