During the warmer months of the year, you can’t beat sitting in the garden and soaking up the sun. It should be an area that you take great pride in, so you will want it looking its best for the times that you are able to be outside.
Transform Your Garden
There are a few different ways to do this, but one of the most effective ways is to replace your nasty old paving. People often focus on buying new garden furniture or painting the shed, but replacing the paving can transform and rejuvenate your garden and make it a pleasant place to be.
The first stage involves picking out new slabs and deciding on a pattern. Places like Travis Perkins will be good places to shop, as suppliers like this carry natural stone paving and decorative concrete paving. Once you have decided on a style and size, you should draw up a plan of your garden to work out the measurements. The paving that you currently have will need to be torn up so that a new base can be created.
Preparing the Base
Next, you will want to lay the paving slabs out to check that everything is in order (trim any that need cutting to fit). Dig the area to at least 300mm below the dam proof course. For the base, use a concrete mix of 6 parts in 1 ballast with 1 part cement and mix water so that it binds together. Next, cover the area to a depth of 75mm and level and tamp down. The video below is a great step by step walk through which will help if you have not used marker pegs or spirit levels before.
Laying the Paving
Create a mortar mix of 6 parts sharp sand to 1 part cement and add water until it is damp. Lay each slab on a full bed of mortar (not just the corners). Set up 2 string lines to guide the level and line of the paving, with 1 running the length of the area and the other side to side (one including the fall for drainage).
Spread the mortar larger than the slab area and carefully place the slab down. Using a rubber mallet, tap the slab down until the flag settles to the correct level and it is in the correct position. Check that it is level with a spirit level and move on to the next slab.
Once every slab is in place, leave it to settle for 24 hours. Finally, joint the paving with a mortar mix of 3 parts soft building sand and 1 part cement. Slowly add water until it is smooth. Add into the joints with a trowel and press down and smooth it over. Leave to dry and your new paving is ready to be enjoyed.