Having a new patio installed can be very expensive. From the stones to the installation of the stones, the costs do continue to rack up. However, you can save yourself a considerable chunk of change if you have the ability to lay the paving stones yourself. While it may initially seem a relatively daunting task for beginners, once you know what to do, it is an incredibly simple task.
You may even be planning on relaying your old paving stones to create a whole new patio area. This can be an incredibly effective way of saving a huge amount of money on your paving while still feeling like you are getting a whole new garden patio area.
What Base Materials Do You Need?
Sharp Sand - This is to use in the Mortar Mixture that helps to keep the paving stones secure and in place. Always avoid using building sand.
Trowel - The trowel is used to fill the paving gaps accurately with the mortar mix that you have created
Wheelbarrow - Used to simply move your materials and stones around your garden. It can also be used to mix the mortar mix in.
Wooden Pegs - Use these to mark out the area in which you want to lay your paving slabs.
Shovel - The shovel is used to level the ground before laying and to help mix the mortar mix.
Rubber Mallet - The mallet is used to help fix the natural stones in place and to ensure that they are secure and will not move.
Spirit Level - this is for you to make sure that each type of paving stone's surface level is correct once laid.
Rake - This is for you to rake the surface in preparation before you lay paving slabs.
Cement Mixer - If you have access to one then it can be a huge help when mixing mortar mix and cement.
Jointing Compound - Jointing compound is the perfect finishing touch to your paving. It helps your paving become fully weatherproof and is a brilliant modern alternative to your traditional grouts.
How To Prepare For Laying Your Pavers?
Before you cast your attention to laying your pavers, you must ensure that your area is fully prepared. There are a number of steps that you must take to ensure that you are ready to start laying your paved areas.
Measure your paved area - Measure out and mark the intended area that you want to pave.
Remove all weeds, roots, and vegetation - Dig out the intended paved area to a minimum depth of 200mm.
Make sure that the area is smooth and flat - use your rake to ensure that the area is fully flat and smooth.
Create your concrete mixture - Mix four parts sand, and one part cement. Add water and mix until a dough-like consistency. You should create a new mortar mix for every individual paver to ensure the mixture does not dry out.
How To Lay The Paving Slabs
Now that your area is fully prepared, you can turn your attention to laying your first paving slab. Being careful and taking your time at this stage is paramount to ensure that you do not make any drastic mistakes. Here is a step by step guide:
1 - You should create a new mortar mix for each and every paving stone to avoid the mixture drying out. Mix four parts of sand with one part of cement by hand.
2 - Use your trowel to create a mortar bed with the mixture for the first paving slab on the sub base and then carefully lay the first slab.
3 - Secure your paver in place by giving the stone a gentle tap with your rubber mallet to make sure that it is perfectly in place.
4 - Before you start laying the next paver, use your spirit level to check that the surface layer of the stone is even.
5 - Repeat this until all of the pavers have been laid securely and perfectly in place. Ensure that each paver is of equal distance from the other between 5mm and 15mm.
6 - Upon completion, you should leave the pavers for around 24 - 48 hours to dry. make sure that there is no foot traffic during this time to avoid the pavers from moving while the mortar and cement mix is still slightly wet.
7 - Once fully dry, you should fill the gaps on your paving stone with a jointing compound. It is super easy to lay, simply tip out the compound and then brush into the gaps in your paving.
Maintenance Of Your New Paving
Once you have completed the DIY installation of your paving project and have a finished patio, your focus should shift to the maintenance of your paving. Keeping on top of the maintenance of your patio slabs is hugely important if it is neglected, then you may start to notice imperfections and damage to the surface of your paving.
For proper maintenance, you should perform a full clean between three and four times a year. This cleaning should include de-weeding the patio, a thorough wash with a jet wash and also a thorough sweep to get rid of any excess dirt that may be on the surface of the stone.