A lot of people like to think that laying a patio is a DIY job that they can get on with over the course of a weekend or two. Although it is certainly true to say that many fine patios, as well as the occasional terrace, has been laid by amateurs, those which last a long time tend to be constructed by skilled individuals. In fact, many DIY enthusiasts find that laying a patio is much harder than they had first thought.
This is why you should turn to paving contractors to do the job for you. Not only will you get a more professional looking job done in the first place, but a properly installed patio won't lead to costly maintenance problems down the line. What work goes into laying a patio that you may not have fully considered?
The Importance of Groundworks
One of the most time-consuming things that you need to get right even before you can lay a single paving slab is to prepare the ground where the patio will go. This means levelling it out so that the patio will be able to sit flat when it is installed. Of course, this may be relatively easy if you already have a flat area of garden – you may just need to remove turf to get the job done.
On the other hand, if you need to raise and lower sections of uneven ground, then it can turn out to be a labour-intensive job. What's more, you need to understand something of soil mechanics if you are to prevent land slipping down onto the patio at a later date as the earthworks settle down. You might even need to construct a retaining wall which is a highly-skilled job!
Designing In Water Runoff
Patios that sit too close to your home and other structures with inadequate water runoff start to generate problems of damp in wet weather. Amateurs often fail to consider how water will flow away from a patio's surface and end up retaining water unnecessarily. Where a patio is adjacent to your home, you will need waterproof exterior walls by either sealing them against damp that has been retained or by preventing water from sitting in one place without somewhere to flow. Paving contractors will be able to factor these important considerations into the original design, of course.
Working With Mortar
One of the most frustrating things that DIY enthusiasts find with patios comes about when they add mortar to the gaps between paving slabs. This is not easy to get right, and you can end up with mortar squashing out and sometimes staining your often-expensive slabs, which makes the whole project look unprofessional. It simply isn't as easy as grouting wall or floor tiles when you are dealing with fast drying mortar and heavy paving slabs!