Patio & Path Laying

Patios and path laying services in Oxfordshire

Do you need a new patio or pathway laying in Oxfordshire? Would you like a professional company to advise you on the different options and choices? If you would like to explore the possibilities for new paths and patios, and get a no obligation quote for carrying out the landscaping work, contact us and we’ll do our best to help. We can lay patios and paths with minimum fuss and disruption to you and your neighbours. To give you peace of mind that the work is done correctly, we offer a three-year guarantee.

Experts in patios, paving, and paths!

How do you prepare the ground for laying a patio?

To prepare the ground for laying a patio it is a crucial to make sure that you plan properly. This will ensure the longevity and stability of your patio. When preparing the ground for patios it's best to use the following steps:

1. Design and Planning: Decide on the size, shape, and layout of your patio. Mark the area with stakes and string to outline its boundaries.

2. Gather Materials and Tools: Gather all the necessary materials and tools, including pavers or patio stones, gravel, sand, landscape fabric, stakes, string, shovel, rake, compactor, wheelbarrow, measuring tape, and a level.

3. Excavation: Remove any existing vegetation, debris, or grass from the area. Dig out the soil to a depth that accommodates the pavers, gravel, and sand layers. The depth will depend on the type and thickness of your materials but typically ranges from 10-20cm.

4. Levelling and Slope: Ensure the excavated area is level and has a slight slope away from nearby structures to allow for proper water drainage. A slope of about 2% is usually sufficient.

5. Compaction: Compact the soil using a plate compactor or hand tamper to create a stable base. This step helps prevent settling over time causing the patio to move.

6. Landscape Fabric: Lay down landscape fabric over the compacted soil. This helps prevent weeds from growing up through the patio and provides separation between the soil and the base layers.

7. Base Gravel Layer: Pour and spread a layer of hardcore over the landscape fabric. Compact using a compactor to create a solid and stable base. Check for proper slope and the level.

8. Sand Layer: Add a layer of levelling or coarse sand over the compacted gravel. Screed the sand using a straight board to create an even surface. This layer helps adjust the height of the pavers and provides a smooth surface for laying them.

9. Laying Pavers: Start placing the pavers according to your desired pattern. Gently tap them with a rubber mallet to ensure they are seated firmly in the sand.

10. Cutting Pavers: Use a masonry saw or paver splitter to cut pavers as needed to fit the edges of the patio.

11. Fill Joints: After all pavers are in place, spread fine sand over the surface and use a broom to sweep the sand into the joints between pavers. This helps lock the pavers in place and prevents movement. Alternatively, using a pointing compound, which will prevent weeds from growing through the cracks.

Remember that these steps provide a general guideline, and the specific requirements may vary based on factors such as the type of pavers, and soil conditions in your area. If you’re not, sure contact us for a free no obligation quote for laying your patio.

Is it better to lay a patio on sand or cement? 

The choice between laying a patio on sand or cement depends on several factors, including the intended use, climate, budget, and personal preferences. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. We’ve put together a breakdown of both options for you based on twenty years of patio laying experience:

1. Advantages of a Sand Base:

Flexibility: A sand base allows for some flexibility, which can be beneficial in areas with soil movement or freeze-thaw cycles. This can help prevent cracking.

Drainage: Sand allows for better drainage, which can prevent water from pooling and potentially causing damage to the patio over time.

Easier Repairs: If a paver becomes damaged, it's generally easier to replace it in a sand base than in a cement base.


Disadvantages of a sand base:

Less Stability: Sand doesn't provide as stable a base as cement, which could lead to pavers shifting or sinking over time.

Weed Growth: Weeds can grow between the pavers if proper weed barriers are not used, which might require regular maintenance.


2. Advantages of a Cement Base:

Stability: A cement (concrete) base provides a more stable and durable foundation for your patio. It's less likely that the pavers will shift or sink over time.

Longevity: A cement base can provide a longer-lasting patio, especially in areas with heavy use or extreme weather conditions.

Weed Prevention: Concrete bases can help prevent weed growth between pavers more effectively than sand.


Disadvantages of a cement base:

Less Drainage: Concrete doesn't provide the same level of natural drainage as sand. Proper drainage planning and installation are crucial to avoid water pooling.

Potential Cracking: Concrete can crack over time due to settling, freezing and thawing, or other factors. Proper joint spacing and reinforcement can mitigate this risk.

Harder Repairs: If a paver needs to be replaced, it's often more challenging to remove and replace it in a cement base.


Ultimately, the choice depends on your priorities and circumstances. If you're looking for a more flexible, budget-friendly option that might require a bit more maintenance, a sand base could be suitable. If you prioritise durability, stability, and are willing to invest in a longer-lasting solution with potentially less maintenance, a cement base might be better. If in doubt, we can help with patio laying in our local area, contact us if you need a professional patio laying service in Oxfordshire.

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