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Uneven Patio Suggestions

Hello GW forum. First post and looking for any suggestions please for improving an uneven patio. It doesn't look great, but more it's a trip hazard, it's been fallen on a lot, and the space outdoors isn't getting used. We've done the garden up over the years and this is like the last remaining part.

The slabs which are down are seriously heavy, we just found out at about 7 stone each. The plan was to lift them and relay but even the bottom part of the patio which is the worst bit is 40 slabs - so about ton and half - and have quickly realised after testing one it's just not going to be possible to do ourselves. Neither the skill nor the strength with slabs that big and heavy. We'll tackle most jobs but this one now looks a bit too much. 

The top part of the patio (about another 30 slabs) would have to stay in place because there's a big raised bed built ontop and full of soil which can't be moved. 



Has anyone done a similar job or got ideas please.





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  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 1,673
    It's annoying and frustrating but it won't right itself and there does come a point when you need to employ someone to do this kind of work for you.
    Always best to try and get personal recommendations ( asking round your neighbourhood or using something like the Next Door sites which seem to be everywhere these days).
    Just make sure that you have looked at alternatives ( such as gravel ?) but either way, you obviously need a competant person/company to resolve the issue :)  

  • InBloomInBloom Posts: 4
    Getting someone in to do a full new patio would be my first choice but unfortunately not an option at the moment 
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 1,673
    Not sure what your other options would be unless you can somehow place wedges of some sort to even up the worst bits/those you walk on most. You would still have to do a certain amount of lifting tho.
    Hopefully someone will have a better idea to make your patio safe until you can deal with it permanently. 
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,004
    edited 23 April
    A relay of the existing flags will be cheaper than removal and replacement - more environmentally friendly too!  At the weight described they sound like good quality flags and may be worth reusing and reviving with a stone cleaner.  Consider asking a contractor to quote for a relay to help you decide what to do. In the meantime, identify the most dangerous flags which are trip hazards and place pots or containers on them (planted up!) as temporary barricades.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,114
    edited 23 April
    Have you got a photo of the site? 
    Perhaps it would be possible to have one part done professionally, and have the rest removed, with an alternative surface [like gravel] which could be done yourself. Even having some easy to maintain planting areas instead of all slabs,  could be a viable alternative too. 
    If we could see the layout, that might help with further advice  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • InBloomInBloom Posts: 4
    They are good quality, I think they're fairly old because they're 2" thick. Some for sale now are nearly half that (and half the weight too :/ which at the moment feels like a selling point) but generally have bad reviews online for cracking on installation. 

    I don't have a pic but that part of the patio is just a rectangle at 8 slabs by 5 slabs with a long bench on it which is movable, hedge to one side and little border to the other. That's the 'flat' part of the garden, it then slopes downhill in a long narrow 30ft strip which is gravelled with stepping stones and has the main planting to the sides. There's nothing holding the last row of slabs back so they're beginning to slide down the slope. It's just been badly installed when it was done, but I do understand not everyone can do the expenditure and it's probably been down decades, the one lifted yesterday was laid on earth with a sprinkling of sand. The whole thing comes up in the middle and down at both sides as well as being uneven. There was a huge bay tree and a massive tangle of ivy to the side of the patio which we cut down when we moved in, the bay stump still throws up the occasional shoot so it's not entirely dead, but I suspect there are a lot of old roots causing this rise and heaved them up. I so wish I was capable of tackling this job :neutral:
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,114
    It does sound like they haven't been laid properly at all. Unless the ground is suitable, you can't just stick paving down on it in that way.  :/
    I don't think that's straightforward by the sound of it. I know only too well how frustrating it is when you feel you can't tackle something yourself, but I think you'll have to get someone to lift and relay those properly, amending the base appropriately. It could also be raised by having an edging and laying them on mortar, after sorting the base, but that would depend on the surrounds, and whether there was room.
    I lifted all the slabs here [around 30, also about 2inches thick] pretty heavy, and re laid them elsewhere as paths, but they were manageable with one of those sack trolleys and a bit of elbow grease. I wouldn't want to shift anything bigger and heavier. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Jenny_AsterJenny_Aster Posts: 431
    I'm guessing the slabs are laid on sand and not concreted in? 

    Am I right in thinking that you wouldn't mind replacing them with more modern thinner types?

    If so, you could advertise the pavers on Facebook 'Marketplace' for your area with a buyer collect clause. Which I think would mean that a potential buyer would lift them and cart them away. If they are old they may have some value (£) which could help with the cost of their replacements. 

    Maybe contact a local Reclaim business for a valuation?
    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 
  • Jenny_AsterJenny_Aster Posts: 431
    There are pre-owned slabs on ebay, with buyer to collect, priced at £3.50 - these slabs weigh 11kg https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/154930935999?hash=item24129a78bf:g:-wYAAOSwCAFiSa7j

    Are you sure yours aren't yorkstone slabs, if they are, they are worth quite a bit of money. 
    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 
  • InBloomInBloom Posts: 4
    They're old and concrete, nothing pretty, but weigh 4 times that which is what's making them so hard to handle. I saw tutorials online & thought yeah I can do that! But quickly realised the slabs they had were much smaller, more like the ones you posted Jenny.

    Thanks all for your ideas, I need to have some thinking about best thing to do. I even considered building decking ontop but know that can be slippy / smashing them up hiring a skip and gravelling. 
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