Step 1: Planning is essential
Time spent doing a bit of advanced planning before you choose your paving material or start any work can result in a more economical use of material and less effort on your part.
Plan its size – so you can determine quantities and not pay for more materials than you need.
Survey the site – where water persistently lies during or after rain, you may need to put in agi-pipe or strip drain before paving.
Plan the levels – if it’s a patio or path and the surface joins the house, allow a gentle fall away for drainage (see Step 2). The paving must also be a least 150mm below the dampproof course. This is a horizontal layer of material, usually black, fixed in the brick wall about 3 or 4 courses above ground level. If you pave above the 150mm level, you may end up with a serious problem of rising damp.
Plan its use – must it stand up to light or heavy traffic? Clay pavers in either 50mm and 65mm thicknesses are available for domestic use. 50mm pavers are suitable for garden paths and patios, but use 65mm thick pavers for a driveway.
Choose your pavers – normal rectangular bricks remain one of the most popular but brick manufacturers have come up with a range of natural clay pavers specifically made for the job. Today you can choose from square, hexagonal and interlocking design (Fig.1). Not all Mitre 10 stores stock pavers.
Plan your design – stretcher bond, herringbone, parquet, basket weave – you have a variety of interesting patterns to add charm and interest to your property. Check the brick or pavers manufacturer’s brochures for others, or ask at your Mitre 10 store.