Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Sorted! Diy

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Sorted! Diy

Article excerpt

Byline: Julia Gray

TOP TIPS FOR LAYING A PATIO IF there's one last DIY job you do in your garden this year, creating a patio should be it.

Most patios are located by the house, but you need to decide where you'll get most benefit from yours -if there's a sunnier spot elsewhere in the garden, you may prefer to put it there. If you want your patio to have shade and privacy, you may need to erect fencing and trellises or plant trees and shrubs, so include these at the planning stage.

Patio paving comes in all shapes and sizes, including concrete slabs, slate, brick and stone. If you want to incorporate decorative shapes, such as stone circles, it's easiest to buy these as kits. When calculating the amount of paving required, allow for spaces of around 10mm between the slabs, and buy all the slabs at the same time to ensure colour uniformity. Remember to get around 10% more than you need for wastage, mistakes and wear and tear.

Draw a plan on graph paper first, marking on everything on and around the patio. Once you're happy with your plan, mark it out in the garden with string and pegs or spray paint. You then need to decide on the base for your patio - the type of soil in your garden will largely determine the type and depth of the base, as the softer the soil, the firmer the base should be.

To prevent the patio affecting your home's damp-proof course, its surface must be at least 15cm below the course, although you can reduce this to 10cm if you put a 30cm-wide row of gravel between the patio and the house. The patio must also slope away from the house for drainage. When laying the patio, the first row should be at a right angle to the house and the second row should be next to it to form the length and width of the patio. Continue laying the slabs, row by row, until you've finished. The patio shouldn't be walked on for at least two days so that it can set properly. The final stage is pointing the joints, which is like grouting tiles and should stop the slabs from moving. …

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