Once you've decided where your patio is going, draw a detailed plan. Put in all the dimensions of the patio area.
Mark permanent fixtures on the plan - the house, walls, fencing and manhole covers. You have to pave around the covers and they can affect the level of the patio. Also mark on trees and large plants.
If you don't want to cut slabs, go for a 'chessboard' layout or one of the ranges that come with half-slabs.
Staggering paving or laying a random pattern of different sized blocks usually means you'll have to cut slabs to get a straight border. Seek advice before you cut slabs.
The surface of your patio must be at least 150mm below the damp proof course of the house so rain doesn't bounce off and hit the wall above.
Your patio must have a gradual slope away from the house to ensure all water drains off. Allow a drop of about 25mm in every 1.5m (fig. 1) or alternatively install a drainage channel.
Allow 10mm-30mm between slabs for fettled edge, natural stone or heavily riven slabs. Leave 10mm-15mm for straight edge slabs.
TIP: Think practical and how you are going to use the space.
Measuring up your patio area
Calculate the area of your patio in square metres. Each pack of paving slabs shows the area it covers.
If you're using different size slabs, the calculation is more complicated and you should ask for advice.
Marking out the patio
Transfer your plan to the ground with wooden pegs, a builder's square and string.
Mark lines on the wooden pegs to show the depth of working
Make sure the marks for the top surface are level with any existing paving
Remember to allow for a gradual slope away from the house when putting in your wooden pegs
Planning a patio project can be difficult and very time consuming, getting every stage of the project perfect is crucial to ensuring a long lasting patio. We think that the best way to start your patio design is to plan how you intend to use the area, is it going to be for table and chair, play area for the children or to place your new BBQ for the summer, all of this is important to insure you make the most of your patio.
If all of this sounds too difficult to plan yourself then you can always speak to us your local driveway in company in Clacton, here at Kestons We are a well-established family run business based in Clacton-on-sea near Colchester in Essex. We pride ourselves on the quality of our work and customer service. We have a wide range of services including building, landscaping, home insulation and traditional driveways in Clacton and surrounding areas.