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Topsoil on top of patio then gravel?

We are looking for some advice please! We have dug up the small lawn in our garden (the previous owner built a brick shed and the soil he dug up created these very odd mounds of earth) we need to level this dirt area now then plan to put gravel down. there is patio consisting of small paving slabs leading down the side of the house and along the back before the area where the lawn was. We want to gravel all of this area  also and  use big stepping stones however we are unsure of a few things. Firstly the patio areas are uneven, they actually slope towards the house currently which isn't great for drainage so understand we need to have a slight slope away from the house. We thought using the topsoil we have dug up to bring the levels up would be a good idea- can this be put directly onto the patio areas then put the gravel on top or should we remove the patio slabs first? Also will it be ok to build soil up next to the house on the two sides to make the level high enough to have a slope away from the house? Confused! 


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,743

    Once the rain soaks into the soil and hits the slabs, it's still heading towards the house. 

    Sometimes , to do the job properly, you just have to put in the effort.

    I have no idea what you plan with gravel on top of soil either. Could you explain ?

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,853

    Agree.   Remove the slabs of the old terrace and pats and then level the soil so it slopes very gently away from the house and making sure that you do not raise the level above your damp proof membrane and/or any air bricks.   Keep this level in mind for later if you decide to put slabs on top in the future.  You may prefer to dig more out rather than put some back.

    You can use excess soil to create raised beds away from the house and further down the garden or just to improve borders away from the house and its drainage systems.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Hi thank you for your responses. We were going to use the excess soil we have to create the slope away from the house as it's currently a lot lower where the patio areas are than the lawwn part of the garden that we dug up, so it needs to be built up, probably by a good 6 inches next to the house. The damp proof membrane and air bricks are higher than this so we should be ok?

    That's very helpful about removing the slabs anyway if you think it will still drain towards the house even if they are underneath the sloping soil. We want gravel everywhere but the soil is just a way of creating the levels underneath as we have about 2 tonnes of it!  

    So to clarify you suggest taking up all of the patio slabs, then using the excess top soil to level everything out, making sure we have a gradual slope away from the house? 

    Thanks again :)

  • Another question, in one corner next to the side of the house and the fence we have a drain, which currently is at the level of the patio - which all needs to be raised up like I said. Do you know how I tackle keeping the drain clear whilst raising the ground around it? 

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,669

    Pictures would help

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    You need to raise the hopper by inserting a length of drainage pipe (called a riser) to connect it to the gulley.  How that is done depends on the type of drainage pipe and hopper (the bit with the grid) you have.  A photo may help but a plumber/builder is your best bet if you want to avoid problems.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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