I Need Your DIY Advice…

Help my patio-1

We have reached the job in Project Garden of which I’m most terrified – laying a patio.

It will be going in this corner of the garden and as you can see there are already a few patio slabs around the drains by the wall. The washing line is going to be moved and the patio will come out in line with the wall and be a couple of fence panels long.

We’re hoping to do the bulk of the work on Saturday when the children are out with their grandparents – I hope it’s as sunny as it is today!

Now, I have the super-practical Mr Kat in charge of the operation but he has never laid a patio either.

So I’m throwing out a plea for you to give me your best advice for laying a patio – what do I need to know, what will cause us problems and how do we get it just right?

And yes, if it is even possible our garden is looking more untidy than when we began but at least our quince harvest is looking good.

With thanks to B&Q for supporting Project Garden as part of their Unloved Rooms initiative. For more information about this kind of post please read my disclosure for readers page. Kat xoxo

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  • Reply Abby October 8, 2013 at 11:31 am

    You need to lay a bed of hardcore first and pack it down tight. (I cant remember the name of the tool you use to do this) Then use mortar which is a mix of cement and sharp sand to lay the slabs. Plan the layout and begin centrally and work out from there. Use a spirt level as you go. You may find it useful to put in pegs and string to be able to clearly see the levels. When it has set put a dry mix between the slabs and then water down the gaps to make it set. You need to make sure there is a slight camber so the water runs off. At least it isn’t up against the house so you don’t have to worry about the damp proof course or anything. Hate to say it but I don’t think it will be done in a weekend! Good luck :)

  • Reply Kimberly Hughes October 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    What Abby said ^ ! That’s how we laid ours as well. It’s a lot of work though, you may be underestimating how long it takes hun xxx

  • Reply Lianne October 9, 2013 at 9:12 am

    can felt roofs, paint, tile walls (that’s what I’m doing at the moment)…but a patio…never done it myself. All I know is our patio was already done when we bought the house and it wasn’t supported well enough in some places (no hardcore, just packed sand and blobs of cement), so some slabs have cracked. We’ll prob need to repair or re-lay, so will ask you for advice then! As with any diy job: it will take twice the time you think it will take. Good luck and keep thinking of the first warm and sunny spring afternoon next year when you can sit there and be proud and happy!

  • Reply Alex October 9, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Sand. You’ll need a lot of sand. I usually get through a bag per 4 slabs and at 25 kilos per bag, it’s a few trips. The last “patio” I laid was for our chicken coop. It’s 4×6 slabs and it took me all day to level it, get the materials and lay it. It’s not even mortared in, it just sits on a bed of sand with a weed proof membrane underneath. Having said that, if you edge it properly or have it sunk to grass level, I don’t see why you need to concrete the slabs down. A combination of weight and level will mean they’ll sit perfectly without being anchored in place.
    Alex recently posted…A disproportionate amount of time hunting for thingsMy Profile

  • Reply Rachael October 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    We had our last patio professionally done but I would say you can never put in too much preparation on the hardcore/foundations. Hire a ‘whacker’ to flatten the hardcore. Have fun!
    Rachael recently posted…A September evening in WhitbyMy Profile

  • Reply Kat November 7, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Thank you all so much for the advice – I was definitely getting in over my head. Going to plan it properly and make some time in the Spring.

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