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Tips on paving a patio or drive.

In CategoryTim Whitcombe
ByGardenAdvice Tim Whitcombe

The GardenAdvice Team are often asked by clients to provide advice on paving areas around the house and garden. Listed below are the team’s top tips if you are considering creating or repaving a drive or patio

  • Drainage – a paved patio or drive will act as a collection area for rainwater and even if the area allows water through the surface which is the case when using brick paving during a heavy rainfall the water will sheet across the paving to the lowest point. So when planning out the paved area you need to figure out how to direct the water to a new or existing drain or a soak away in a flower bed or lawn or a French drain at the side of the paving.
  • Creating the correct fall on the paved area – so that the drainage water flows away from any buildings. Ideally the fall on paved areas should be between 1:100 to 2:100 starting with the fall away from two bricks or 4 inches below the buildings damp course away from a building. If this is not possible it’s possible to install a strip drain between the paving and the building.
  • Solid base – The base for a paved area needs to suit its purpose in relation to its use. An area of paving created for a drive will need to have a substantial base created from road stone or a concrete pad on which the paving is laid. When creating the base at this stage create the levels for the area as this is easier than trying to create the finished levels when laying the surface paving on an eleven base.
  • The bedding material – on a patio or path you can use grit sand dry mixed with cement to lay the paving slabs or paving bricks but on an area of heavy traffic you need to use a wet mortar mix to bed in the paving and form a solid base under the paving.
  • The weeds –  the area will need to be weed killed and deep rooted plant roots removed by hand and then a weed fabric installed under the base to create a weed proof layer to stop weeds or invasive plants such as bamboo which might be growing in the borders around the paved area spreading under the newly paved area.
  • Purpose of area  – consider what type of traffic the area is going to receive for example if it’s a foot path on a slope riven slabs could used to make a less slippy area in frosty weather.
  • Quality paving materials in paving – as with most items your purchase for the garden you get what you pay for with paving its normally down to the materials that are used to create the paving for example the amount of cement used and the quality of the sand used resulting in a longer lasting hard wearing paving the more expensive the slab or paving brick is. A good paving supplier such as easypave.com will be able to take you through a range of paving slabs and bricks and explain the differences in quality in relation to prices.
  • Colour – once you have chosen a paving slab or brick from a catalogue or from a supplier’s yard/show area. The purchase one and take it most to check you are happy with the colour.

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