Here we Show you a guide on how we install all of out patio areas. We follow british standards on every job to ensure quality is high.
Step One: Site Prep
Arrive to the job on the date which is agreed by the customer arriving between 7:30-8am. Once we have access to the job in question we inspect the area to become familiar with garden area. We run over the job with the customer to give the client a run down of what is ahead on the first day so he/she has a picture of what we will be doing.
Step Two: Excavation
Next is the excavation of the patio area. If there is sufficient access we will use our company owned digger to dig to the correct depth or if no access is available we will use shovels.
The excavated depth should be 150mm or 6 inches from the finished patio level. Measure the depth making sure it is 6 inches or more with a tape measure
If we find soft spots in the soil from a clay patch or a void under the ground we will further excavate the area until we find a workable surface. Once removed we will backfill with a sub base to make sure it avoids any movement. We check all 90° corners and depths thoroughly before putting down the sub-base material.
Step Three: Sub Base
We use a Geotextile Membrane if required before laying the sub base. We apply this to soil to stop and growth from underneath.
Having tipped the sub-base material into the laying area, rake into position to a consistent depth of 100mm or 4 inches making sure there is a fall away from the house area.
We then compact the area using a Vibrating Plate Compactor, making sure the entire area has been compressed at least twice. Check again for any sinking areas. If this occurs, an extra depth of sub-base material will be considered.
Once the sub-base is smooth, flat and to the appropriate level, check the drainage slope with a straight edge and spirit level.
Step Four: Laying of the Flagstones
Using a mix of 5 parts Building sand and 1 part sharp sand cement mix we begin to lay the patio slabs.
We like to keep the patio off the building unless the customer says differently. We use a aluminum bar to help keep the width the same along the building. This also allows us to lay off the house keeping the patio square.
We start either in a corner or furthest point away and we trowel a bed of mortar to cover the area intended for the first paving flag. The depth of the mortar bed should be approximately 35-40mm. We lower each slab down individually making sure they are laid without making the slab dirty.
We then compact the patio slab using a rubber hammer getting the slab down to the approporate level. We use a spirit level to make sure the slabs have the correct fall which usually is level along the building line with a slight fall out to the garden area. This ensures no flooding or puddles occur at the clients home. If the flagstone is a little high or not running the correct way we amend this by compacting more with the rubber hammer until the correct fall is achieved. We repeat the above step until the full patio area is completed.
If cutting is required we choose to cut as we lay to ensure the slabs fit in square but if some slabs cannot be cut until the next day we will leave the remaining patio to dry until the next day.
We lay all the patio slabs allowing for a 10-15mm gap inbetween each slab which will allow for pointing in once fully laid. This follows usually the next day.
If Indian sandstone is used, please be aware that the slabs are natural stone and will not all be identical in colour or size. This means some slabs may be raised in the middle of the slab but level when checked against all surrounding slabs.
We allow the slabs to cure over night to allow pointing in to commence early the next day.
Step Five: Pointing
Once the patio has had overnight to dry we can complete the patio. If cuts need to be finished and laid this will be done before pointing the slabs.
We mainly use a mixture of 5 parts building sand to 1 parts cement mix making sure the mixture has a damp, semi-dry consistency. If the mix cannot be use we use a brush in mixture in colours such as buff or grey depending on the patio colour.
We then use a trowel and lay the damp cement mixture on top of the slab joints and firmly push it in to completely fill the joints and use a pointing iron to create a smooth, neat groove. Once this step has been completed for all slabs we leave the patio to dry for an hour or until it is ready to remove the excess mixture.
Once the cement mixture has dried we remove the remaining excess pointing material using a soft broom making sure the joints are left intact. The residue will be brushed off leaving the patio clean.
Step Six: The finished Product
If you want to choose Acre Driveways for your patio area please contact us and we will be happy to visit your home and give you a no obligation quotation.