There was a time when patios were considered a luxury but today, they have more or less a necessity. Installing a patio not only increases its resale value but also allows you additional room for relaxing and spending some time with nature. However, the process takes time and money and should be done by backyard patio builders. But, if you are on a limited budget and wish to lay down patio slabs on your own, we have some tips that you should go through. Let’s discuss!
Planning Your Patio
The first thing you need to do before you can lay patio slabs is deciding where the patio will go. It is important that you lay down every single detail along with the dimensions of your patio. Furthermore, include permanent fixtures such as fencing, manholes, the house, walls, etc.
The patio should have a slope that must be in the opposite direction of your home’s foundation. So, the water drains off and doesn’t affect the foundation. If the layout of the patio is such that the patio cannot be sloped, you should install a drainage channel.
Once you have laid down everything on a piece of paper, get a second opinion as well, especially if you are a beginner. As mentioned earlier, laying down patio slabs requires both effort and money. So, even a slight mistake can force you to start the project all over.
If you are upgrading your patio, all you will need to do is remove and replace the slabs. You will not need to measure the patio up. However, if you are building a new patio, you will need to measure the entire area. Check the packaging on the paving slabs, each will show the area it covers. Simply divide the area of the patio by the area covered by one pack of slabs to determine how many packs you are going to need.
Marking Out The Patio
Next, you need to mark out the patio. The tools you are going to need for this include a string, wooden pegs, and a builder’s square. Use the wooden pegs and mark the lines on them to highlight the depth of work. This is going to be the finished level of your patio slabs and bedding mortar. At the same time, make sure the top surface marks are on the same level as manhole covers and existing paving.
Once you are done marking out the patio, it is time to prepare the base. The first step is that you will need to remove plants, turf, or paving and dig down to a depth of around 150mm. This will allow enough space for the foundation to take place.
Ensure that you lay down a hardcore layer of at least 50mm to 80mm to install a solid layer of patio slabs. Use a rake and level the hardcore on the area covering and leveling all the bumps and then adding a layer of bedding mortar.
Laying Down The Paving Slabs
Before you can come down to the most important step of the process, you need to check the builder’s square and make sure the lines are correct and re-adjust them if they are misplaced. Then, lay down the first slab against the house at the corner and ensure it is in line with the string guideline.
The first slap is the most important one, therefore, it should be properly positioned, otherwise, you will need to make adjustments later on that will require additional effort and labor. Once the slab has been positioned, use a rubber mallet and tap it down. Plus, use a wood block to protect the slab.
Continue laying all the slabs and make sure they are properly positioned. Once all the slabs have been laid down, inspect the area and tap any slabs that are not level.
Filling The Slab Gaps
After laying down the slabs, give the patio 24 hours to dry and settle down. The next day, fill the gaps between the slabs, which helps prevent weed growth and the slabs from changing their positions. Use four parts building sand and one part cement to make a pointing mortar and make adjustments if necessary.
And finally, pour the mixture into the gaps, brushing off any excess mortar before it dries out. Make sure all the gaps are covered and leveled before drying.
Concluding, laying down patio slabs can be tricky for beginners. However, there is no need to panic. The tips mentioned above will help you get the job done with ease and if not, consult a patio contractor Long Island. Laying down patio slabs on your own may require a helping hand as well. So, request a friend or a relative to help you build the patio of your dreams.