It has been a part of the construction industry for 1000’s of years and yet we still get this simple to apply build wrong. Why? Well before answering why, lets take a look at what is required to correctly lay paving stones for a simple garden patio. Firstly, take the right approach. Many mistakes are made in the building game by trying to take the easy route. I say trying, because in the long term its usually the hardest route. Anyway, first get your attitude right. Think to your self ‘I’m going to do this right’, and that starts with the foundation.
You may think that laying the paving slabs on a bed of level sand will do, its quick and fairly cost effective, but once you take into this the British weather plus the constant use by people walking on it you may need to think again. Rain is an enemy of any building construction and its no different with a garden patio. Rain water will errode away the sand beneath the slabs over time leaving the foundation weak if there at all. This is when you would notice the corners of the paving stones jutting up and the uneven look of the patio itself. So just a sand base isn’t eneough. Whats needed?
First, excavate the ground to approx 15 – 20 cm from where you want to have your patio reach in height. Level this area off as best you can, but it isn’t so important to get it perfectly level as this will be done once the conctrete foundation is being poured.
Then it is recommended for the foundation of the patio is a 100mm concrete base interlaced with steel mesh. This perfectly level base is the best foundation you could lay. It will not crack and split leaving an uneven base. Then use sharp sand to cover followed with cement. This is when you lay the paving slabs down and level these off. Having provided this perfect foundation for your patio will ensure it will stay weather proof and level for decades to come