How to build a patio at ground level
If your patio is to butt up to your home the top of
the pavers will need to be 6" (150mm) below your damp course level
(DPC). In other words, you want your new patio to finish at the same
level as the path, lawn etc. that is there at the moment.
You need to dig out 6" (150mm) plus the thickness of
your chosen paver. If you are going for a big patio construction, consider hiring a
mini digger for the day.
Mark out an area with lines and pins that is 6" larger
on all sides than your intended patio. Extending the base like this will ensure
the paver slabs on the edge remain stable.
Fill the area with approx. 3" (75mm) of hardcore and
compact down. Repeat until the hardcore depth is around 4" (100mm). It needs to be solid and even. Hire a
plate vibrator if its a large patio construction.
If the patio is butting up to your home it needs to slope
slightly away to ensure rain water doesn't settle against your property.
1" (25mm) for every 6ft (1.8m) will suffice for an average climate.
Mix 4 parts builders sand to 1 part cement with no
water. Tip the first barrow full in a corner that butts up to the
property and level off with a straight edge such as a length of timber. The dry sand
and cement mix needs to be about 1" think and fairly compact but not so
packed down that you can't
tap your paver down with a rubber mallet into a level position.
Once you have laid a few rows of paver stones, brush some of
your mix into the joints before laying more. You may have to do this several times as the
mix settles. Finally, install an edge restraint on any exposed
sides to prevent movement. Don't walk on your new patio for a few days.