Having a professionally paved patio can make a tremendous difference to how your
outdoor entertaining area is valued and the right look can really complement and
enhance the appeal of your valuable outdoor furniture, not matter if its aluminum,
wicker, teak or resin.
The paving material can be stone, brick or concrete and come in block or slab
forms, and must be laid on a very firm base. The base is usually made up of
compacted sand, mixed with stone fragments and using cement mortar as a
binding agent. The base then has to uniformly compacted until there are no soft
spots, and then has to be level using a screening material such as a layer of fine
sand. Don’t try to do the compacting using just your feet, but hire a good quality
compactor that will quickly and easily generate a level and consistently dense base
on which to lay the pavers.
You should be prepared to spend as much time as need on this process, as the
better the base is prepared the easier the whole paving process will be. This will also
result in your paving remain neat and level for a very long time.
The more weight that is going to be loaded onto the paced area (such as parked
automobiles), the better the quality of the paving and the base must be. An inferior
base will quickly show dips and hollows under the high loading.
Poor quality block paving that are too think will easily crack under the weight of
the parked vehicles and quickly degrade the appearance of the surface. If you are
going to have heavy objects on the paving, such as vehicles, then you should use
pavers that are at least 100mm (4 inches) in thickness.
If the surface is only going to experience light loading (such as general foot traffic),
then it will be safe to use much thinner paver, even as low as 25mm (1 inch) in
Natural materials (such as rock slabs or paving stones) create a much more
informal look, but you must also expect the occasional crack to occur around the
edges of these slabs. This is due to natural imperfections (such as cracks and joints)
in the material) , as well as the material not being of a uniform in thickness. This
all adds to the natural charm of the material.
Brick paving comes in almost unbelievable range of colours, styles, finishes and
sizes, so their should be a style for everyone. But, choose carefully because if you put
the wrong type of brick paving down, your paved area can start to rapidly look
like a car parking area rather than a “human” friendly relation zone. A good rule of
thumb here, is the bigger the paving blocks, the less it looks like a car parking area.