As we get closer to the peak summer season, garden and home renovations seem to be taking up the majority of time on weekends for busy homeowners. With this in mind, if you are keen to save some money and do the hard grafting yourself, we wanted to share our knowledge and expertise in creating a patio area.
Where to start…
Clearing the area
In order for your patio project to be successful, you need to start with a good base, this means clearing the area as best as you can before any groundworks take place. You want to make sure that you’ve done the following:
- Mark out the area of your garden you want your decking/patio
- Get rid of weeds, plants and rocks
- Remove any turf that is already laid
- Even out the space with a rake and use a spirit level to check the level of the ground
If you’re replacing an already existing patio area, this part should be relatively simple.
Need help clearing the area?
Skip bags are a perfect solution if you are just getting rid of a small amount of green waste; for the bag and collection, you’ll only need to pay around £56*.
Green waste skips start from £192* and are a cost-effective way to remove only this waste stream. We have green waste skips available in 4, 6, 8 and 12-yard options depending on the size of your project.
*Prices correct at the time of the article being published.
What you need for clearing the area:
Next up… building your base
Once you have your level base ready and marked up, you need to lay the sub-base aggregate. A sub-base aggregate is an aggregate or aggregate mix that forms a sound, load-bearing base layer for applications such as the construction of roads, paths, patios and pavements.
We stock large quantities of sub-base aggregates suitable for patios, with the most popular and recommended aggregate for this purpose being:
How to calculate how much sub-base aggregate you need:
- Measure the length and width in metres of the area you wish to fill with a sub-base aggregate e.g. 20m x 10m
- Multiply the length and width to find the area in square metres.
- Multiply by the depth e.g. 150mm
- Multiply by 2 to get the tonnage required
Or visit our aggregate calculator here.
Once you’ve covered your area with the base aggregate, use a whacker plate to compact it (these can be hired from your local building merchants).
What you need for applying your sub-base:
- Sub-base aggregate
- Whacker plate
Make your concrete
You’re now ready to make the mortar needed to lay your patio. For this, you want to mix 4 parts of sharp sand (which can be purchased online from our shop here) either bagged or loose depending on the size of your project with one part of cement.
If you’re laying a large patio area then consider using a concrete mixer to save you some time, otherwise, you can do this by hand.
What you need to make your concrete:
- Sharp sand (buy here)
- Cement mixer or hand mixer
Lay your patio
Your concrete mix will only last a couple of hours so you will need to get started pretty quickly. Start from one corner by spreading some of the mortar on the sub-base and place your patio slab into position. Gently tap the slab with your mallet to get rid of any air bubbles.
Use your spirit level to ensure that your first slab is correct before moving on to the next one. Add spacers to the edge of the slab and then repeat the process in your desired pattern.
Once you’ve finished the patio slab placing leave for around 48 hours before moving on to the next step. You may want to cover it with a tarpaulin if the weather is forecast to rain.
Top tip: Wet the back of the slabs, this helps the patio slab to stick to the concrete a bit better.
What you need to lay your patio
- Patio slabs
- Spirit level
- Mallet (rubber so you don’t damage the slabs)
- Spirit level
Point in your patio
Once your patio slabs have been set it’s ready for the final step before you can place your garden furniture and relax (you deserve it!). Pointing the slabs is quite simply filling the gaps with a concrete mix which is around 5 parts sand and 1 part water.
Similar to the concrete you made for laying the patio, you can use sharp washed sand for this which you can buy in bulk bags from AMS here.
What you need to point in your patio:
- Pointing trowel
Congratulations… If you’ve got this far, chances are you have a brand new patio which you should be very proud of! If you want to take your garden to the next level, don’t forget about your flower beds, laying new turf, improving your pathways or if you’re keen to do a bigger project, how about a new driveway?