First timer: Replacing patio

Hi everyone! Beginner here so be gentle :smile:

I'm looking at re-doing my garden and after receiving several quotes, I thought I'd try my hand at it to keep the cost down.  I'm ideally not wanting to spend more than £1000 on the whole project as I intend to either sell or rent the property out in a few years.

I'm going to start by replacing my patio with Indian Sandstone.  It is roughly 16m squared and currently has 'council slabs'.  I've lifted one of the slabs up and it doesn't look to be cemented down and instead laid on a bed of what looks like sand.

What I'm wondering is, as the current patio is level and the sub-base underneath seems to be ok, can I just use that to place my new patio on or is it a good idea to dig it out and start afresh? i.e. Subbase and mortar?

Also, is there any danger if I was to allow this subbase to get wet between removing the existing slabs and laying the new ones.

Thanks
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Posts

  • UpNorthUpNorth South Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Posts: 320
    re the 'start afresh' point......the base should be 'cementicious' not just sand.  so basically instead of mixing a mortar, say 1 part cement to 3 parts sand, you actually mix about 1 part cement, 10 sand.....if you think you have a cementicious base, i'd look to keep that.   Opinion really, but i am convinced a patio looks better with an edging, typically a brick/paver type, which a proper mortar bed and haunching to keep everything in place.  
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 1,783
    Isn't Indian Sandstone put in over a concrete base?  I would just put it over the existing slabs, assuming they are level and solid, with maybe a bit less cement/mortar to account for the existing base.  One of our neighbors put it in over their poured cement patio, and it looks great and has held up fine. 

    Perhaps something else has experience tiling over cement slabs?
    Utah, USA.
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,946
    I may be totally wrong with this but old slabs are quite thick and so could go down on a sand/cement base as their weight kept them in place. Indian sandstone is a lot thinner and so should go down on a more cement based base to keep them in place and level. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 2,551
    If your laying sandstone(or any natural stone) directly on concrete/concrete slabs then make sure you use a flexible adhesive, which will cushion it a little and will prevent it cracking. Indian sandstone is, geologically and structurally speaking, not the strongest.
  • UpNorthUpNorth South Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Posts: 320
    http://pavingexpert.com/layflag1.htm

    Great resource for any work like this
  • bane17bane17 Posts: 4
    Hi everyone.  Thanks for your help and advice so far.  With the nice weather I thought I'd make a start on the garden this weekend.  So far I have just dug out where the extended patio will go and the borders.  As you can tell by the mass of turf on the lawn, I haven't got a skip yet so will be ordering that this week.

    Aso thought it might be an idea to use this as an opportunity to show progress:

    Before (Fence View)



    Weekend 1 Progress



    My Vision
    (Great MS Paint skills :wink:



    My Plan

    1) Dig out borders/patio extension
    2) Lay new Indian Stone patio on top of existing patio
    3) Create a circle patio in the top right of the garden
    4) Use top soil to level the lawn (there is a mound near the washing line)
    5) Lay a brick border around the lawn
    6) Lay stonechips in the borders along with plants
    6) Re-turf the grass

    I am hoping to do all this for roughly £1200-£1500.

    Question
    Am I doing this in the right order and is there anything i may have overlooked? Any advice on how best to achieve the above?
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 1,783
    Thanks for the update, you've been busy!

    The one thing that stands out to me is that you are putting rock chips down as mulch.  I would recommend a bark mulch instead, as it makes it much easier to care for your plants.  You can rake back the mulch to add a top dressing every year around the roots, to keep your plants healthy and happy.  It's also much easier to weed.  Yes, you'll need to top up the mulch every year.. but it's better than trying to work around rocks.
    Utah, USA.
  • bane17bane17 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the update, you've been busy!

    The one thing that stands out to me is that you are putting rock chips down as mulch.  I would recommend a bark mulch instead, as it makes it much easier to care for your plants.  You can rake back the mulch to add a top dressing every year around the roots, to keep your plants healthy and happy.  It's also much easier to weed.  Yes, you'll need to top up the mulch every year.. but it's better than trying to work around rocks.
    Hi Blue Onion, we were looking at blue slate chippings as we read it supresses weeds.  Is this not the case?

    Also, I'm a little nervous about laying the patio having never done it before - especially over the top of my existing slabs.  Am I right in thinking I use the existing slabs as my subbase and then all I'm doing is a mix of roughly 6-10 parts sand to 1 part cement on top of this as my bedding before laying the the new flagstones?
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 1,783
    They will suppress the weeds.. but you'll need some sort of weed barrier under the stones to keep them from disappearing into the soil (due to rain, weather, and watering).  I find many of the more challenging weeds eventually grow right up through the membrane.. even the most expensive ones.  To give your plants their yearly mulch, you'll need to pull back the weed membrane and the slate chips.  The soil under the chips also seems to sour and grow stale and rather lifeless.  Any vegetative matter, such as leaves or blown grass clippings, must be carefully removed so they don't create a soil layer above the membrane.  If you only plan a tree or two, you'll probably be fine.. but if you want a selection of shrubs and perennials, perhaps look at alternatives.  

    Utah, USA.
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