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Shoring up a raised patio

Hello gardeners, can anyone help me?

I've dug out the weed-riddled turf of my small lawn, which sits below the level of our patio.

Hopefully you can see in the picture I've tried to upload, the concrete that runs along the edge of the patio has just crumbled away, and now the outer part of the patio is coming loose and falling out!

It seems to me that this was never a great design...shallow amount of concrete on earth... But then I know nothing about what to do when a raised patio meets a lawn!

I want to fix it properly. Any idea what I should do??

Thanks to anyone who can suggest a course of action. Winter is coming (and I'll be sleeping in the garage if I don't get this job done as promised!)

Adam

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,145

    Hi Adam  - I can't see your pic, but going by what you've said, there are a few options. 

    It will depend on your budget, but ideally, you'd  put in a proper retaining wall for the patio. That can be brick, block, stone or timber, depending on the height required and your finances. It also depends on what else you have in the garden, as you really want to keep the number of hard landscaping materials to two or three at most. 

    Alternatively, if the patio's a bit rough, you may want to remove it and start again. Again, your budget will dictate, but if it's small, and you're physically capable, you could tackle it yourself. What you replace it with will also be based on budget.

    You could forget about the exisiting patio, and build a simple deck over it. It's fairly easy to do yourself if you have the tools. 

    The cheapest and quickest way to deal with it, would be to patch up the edges using a basic timber edge as shuttering and some of that ready prepared concrete. It really depends on how smart you want it to look. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Adam18Adam18 Posts: 8

    imageimage

    Sorry missed the pics!

  • Adam18Adam18 Posts: 8
    Wow thanks for the fast reply Fairy Girl!
    Now I've managed to upload the pictures, does this change anything in your recommendation? The difference in height between the patio and the lawn isn't very big - maybe 5 inches - but the bricks at one part of the edge are now completely loose. To be fair, that concrete shoring did look naff anyway and I'd like it to be smarter looking and done to last if possible.
    Many thanks for your help image

     

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,145

    Ah - the pix help Adam.

    I got the impression that the whole patio was concrete, but I can now see what you mean. Doesn't look like  a very professional job unfortunately. The paviours should have been laid on a really decent, solid base, and the edging should have been sufficiently built too, considering their purpose. 

    I think a new, sturdier edging is the best solution. You could probably do that yourself, but I don't think it would be too expensive to get someone to do it, especially if it's not too big an area. That would help stabilise the patio paviors too, assuming they're ok, and not shifting. If you got someone in, they could advise on how stable they are.

    If you renovate the grass by adding a load of topsoil and reseeding or turfing, that would help hide the edging too. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Dave HumbyDave Humby HampshirePosts: 1,131

    Pavers are not laid on a bed of concrete, only the perimeter is with the addition of 'haunched-up' concrete on the outside. The internal pavers are set on a bed of sand which is normally on top of a type 1 base after excavating the soil so that you have a solid base. It's not easy to see in your photos but it looks like your pavers are sat directly on to soil which will move over time. So it depends on how far you want to go in addressing your problem. The outer perimeter will need to be retained in some way and the method used in your case is standard practice but not ideal if you then have a drop down to the lawn level. You could (after sorting the paved area) put in a small span of stones / cobbles etc To hide the haunching. You would still probably need a (second) retaining edge to separate this new section from the lawn but there are plenty of options available to make up the difference in height. 

  • DyersEndDyersEnd Posts: 730

    Sorry to intrude on your post Adam 18 but I have a similar problem except my patio is huge and fixing it myself is way beyond my capabilities. Given that I need to employ someone, should I be looking for a landscaper or a builder?

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,890

    DyersEnd - if it's a similar issue, so it just needs a fixed edge, then probably a landscaper will be cheaper. If you need a wall built - i.e. if it's a bigger difference in level, then a builder.

    Adam - if that was mine, and bearing in mind I don't know what the overall shape/length is, I'd dig out a shallow trench in the soil next to the haunching and lay a line of concrete blocks- nice and heavy so they won't move but easy to put down your self (compared to pouring concrete). You could mortar them together with ready mixed mortar (buy it in a Wickes or BandQ type places) if you feel up to it, for greater stability. You want the top of the blocks to sit level with the surface of the patio, ideally, so around half their depth is then buried. Then fill in the width of the collapsing haunching with some concrete as a repair and set a row of pebbles or summat into the surface of it so it's less ugly. I wouldn't have loose gravel/stones next to paving but set into the surface of the concrete would be OK. A second possibility would be heavy 'railway sleepers' as a timber edge in place of the blocks. Looks better but only if your patio is completely square so you don't have to attempt fancy jointed corners.

    Or take out all the haunching and replace with a row of concrete blocks lying on their flat sides, with the top surface level with (or slightly below, to allow for the thickness of the mortar) the underside of the paviors. Then mortar on an extra couple of rows of paviors over the blocks to make a nicer edge. You would need to compact the soil and possibly - depending on how stable your soil is - put down some hardcore under those blocks so they sit firm and flat and don't move when it rains hard.

    Done properly the second option will give you a much more stable job. The first option is a bit more DIY and may need more running repairs from time to time.

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • DyersEndDyersEnd Posts: 730

    Thank you raisingirl - think I'll get advice from both as it's a bigger drop than Adam's but not sure it's wall size.

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,890
    DyersEnd says:

    Thank you raisingirl - think I'll get advice from both as it's a bigger drop than Adam's but not sure it's wall size.

    See original post

     It's always a good idea to get a couple of quotes anyway, so yes, probably a sensible approach image

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • Adam18Adam18 Posts: 8

    Thanks so much to everyone who's provided advice and helped me to understand what the options are to fix this!

    We've had a groundwork contractor recommended so not going to do the work myself, but I am now more comfortable with what I'm asking for and don't feel as anxious as I would have in explaining what we want (and what we'll accept).

    I've only just started getting green fingers this year (planting flowers, plants, trees... and keeping them alive!), so I'll certainly be asking this community more questions in the future (about actual gardening!)

    image

    Thanks again everyone

    Adam

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