We often explore topics relating to the yard in effort to help you update your landscaping.
Today, however, we’d like to take a moment to explore how you can enhance your home with beautiful paving. We’ve heard interest in learning more about this from our customers, so we thought we’d share some helpful tips to keep in mind when taking on a paving project.
Let’s take a look.
The Benefit of Paving
One of the most common reasons homeowners want to update their paving has to do with the look and feel they want to achieve.
In addition to providing you with a solid flat surface where you can enjoy dining outside with the family, paving also diversifies your landscaping. This makes it a little more interesting to the eye, as it balances both softer surfaces (artificial grass and garden) and harder surfaces.
So where do you start?
First, you need to select which type of paving stones you want to use.
Choosing Paving Stones
If you feel that paving stones is something that you would like to invest in for your home, it is important to choose the best quality paving that your budget allows. There are a few factors to consider when choosing what stones you would like to use, including:
Style—This allows you to think about how you would like your outdoor space to blend in with your indoor space. If your house is very modern then you can choose a contemporary style of stone or, if you are a traditionalist, you can opt for a classic look.
Colour—There are dozens of colors to choose from so that you can truly compliment the rest of your landscaping and existing walls.
Function—This is an important aspect to think about when choosing your paving stones as you will need to consider the footfall and the amount of traffic that will be walking over them.
Budget—Generally, the more that you pay for your stones the higher the quality of stone you will get. You will need to consider the total cost of laying, including the cost of other materials and tools as well as labor costs, if you do not plan on installing them yourself.
How to Lay Paving Stones
If you are fit and are able to handle manual work then paving stones are easy to lay either by yourself or with the help of a friend.
Follow our simple do-it-yourself instructions and you can begin enjoying your new garden in no time. It is important to read all of the instructions ahead of the job so that you have all tools and materials at hand. If you feel that the job is too labor intensive for your capabilities then you can look for reputable landscapers in your area.
Tools you will need
- A shovel
- A mallet
- Taut String line
- Spirit level
- A trowel
- Building sand
The first thing that you need to do is to ensure that the area that you are laying paving on is clean and free of debris so that the surface is flat. Dry laying your paving stones, that is laying them down as you wish them to go, will allow you to see what the finished outcome will look like and you can ensure you have enough stones.
You will begin by creating a strong foundation using a concrete mix of six parts all in one ballast with one part cement and enough water to dampen the mixture to allow it to bind together. Once the mixture is ready to use you should cover your area with the mix at a depth go 75mm and level it using a length of timber.
Now is the time to lay the paving slabs on a mortar bed that supports the whole slab and not just the corners. The best mortar mix to use is six parts sharp sand and one part cement, mixed together with just enough water to bind them together.
Set up two string lines to guide the line and the level of the paving. 1 line will run the length of the patio or paving area and the other will be at the side. Starting from the corner, spread out the cement mixture slightly larger than the paving stones your are using.
Lift each paving stone into place being careful not to catch the corners. Using your mallet, pat the stone down firmly but not too hard. Once it is firmly in place, check with a spirit peel to ensure that it has been layer correctly. Repeat with all of the paving and allow for 24 hours for them to bed in and for the mortar mix to harden.
The final thing that you need to do is to use a mortar mix of three parts sand and one part cement then use a trowel to use in the joints, keeping it smooth at all times. Once all of the mortar is hard you can sweep the area and you are ready to use and enjoy.