The early planning stages of adding paving to your outdoor space are just as crucial as the installation. Taking the time to think about the wants and needs behind your paving project will help to ensure that the finished result is exactly how you would want it.
In our guide, we offer some key things to think about when planning your paving project. These considerations will help you to invest in a paving project that’s exactly what you were hoping for, without any hiccups or concerns along the way.
Think about the main reasons for your paving
The first thing you’ll want to think about is why you’re choosing to add the paving to your space. Is it to create a walkway between the front and back of your house, to enjoy some al fresco dining and socialising on warm summer evenings, or perhaps to position a hot tub and some loungers for a spot of sun soaking? The main reasoning and focus for your paving project will greatly impact the next steps, as well as the finished result.
Decide on the best positioning for your paving
Once you’re set on why you’re introducing some paving into your outdoor space, you can begin to think about where’s best to place it. Are you wanting to make the most of the sun in your paving space, or perhaps you might prefer the make the most of shady areas in your garden? Of course, when it comes to using paving as a pathway, you’ll want to think about where the path will start and end, as well as where abouts in the space it will cut through.
It makes sense to create a template that displays your garden layout, to help you pick the best positioning for paving in your garden, before you start working on the installation.
Begin with measuring up the area to be paved
When the positioning of your paving has been finalised, you’ll want to start measuring the area that you’re planning to pave. Once you have the measurements noted down, you’ll be able to narrow down your search as to what paving is best for you, depending on your budget.
Top Tip: Always measure the space at least a couple of times, to make sure you don’t buy too much or too little paving – this will only add more time and effort to your paving project. It’s also wise to make a note of the measurements in different units or types of measurements, such as cm or inches, for example.
Choose your paving
With the initial preparations carried out, it’s time to browse the various flagstones on offer, to narrow down your search and to find the best paving choice for you.
Everyone’s tastes are different, as are their budgets, however you’re bound to find a fantastic paving choice for you, from our broad range of paving options. Take some time to peruse the different materials, styles and shades of paving we have available, to find a paving that’s simply perfect for your own outdoor space and budget.
Think about anything else you might need
Getting your paving level and in the right position requires some additional tools and equipment, so it’s well worth making sure you have each of these to hand, before starting your paving installation.
Wooden pegs and string will help you to line the paving precisely in the area you have previously decided on. You’ll also need some gardening tools to strip away any grass and a hired compactor to flatten the soil across the soon-to-be paving area.
If you might need to cut any of your flagstones, you’ll not only need an angle grinder and diamond disk, but safety goggles, gloves and ear defenders, too. Other essential tools include a brush, a mallet, a spirit level, a trowel and a rake, all of which can easily be acquired before beginning to lay the paving.
Prepare to lay the paving
Once your favourite paving stones have been ordered and delivered, it’s time to prepare for their installation into your outdoor space. Start by gathering all of the tools and additional materials needed to get the job done, making sure they are all situated in one place that’s easy to reach from the paving area. This will make sure you’re fully prepared to start the job as soon as you have a good enough day to tackle it.
There are three steps and levels to get through, before you can think about laying your new paving stones down.
- The first is known as the subgrade, where all grass and topsoil is removed from the paving area, to reveal the stable soil underneath, AKA the subgrade soil.
- This is followed by the sub-base, which creates the foundation for your paving to sit on. This isn’t always necessary and depends entirely on the paving project you are carrying out (for example, it’s a must if you’re paving a driveway, but isn’t a requirement for a paved pathway).
- Finally, there’s the bedding layer which supports the paving and determines the height of your paving stones, too. Sand or a mortar mix are the most commonly used bedding and the one you choose depends on the type of paving you are using.
Once these two or three layers have been installed, you can finally move on to adding your paving stones to your space!
Who is going to do the job?
Not everyone is suited to tackling a paving job, and if you don’t think you have the skills to carry out the job yourself, it’s well worth hiring a professional in the trade to do the job for you. We have a vast number of paving tradesman listed in our trade directory, all of whom come highly recommended by other homeowners who have had paving added to their garden.
Taking the time to carefully plan out your paving project and take the necessary steps, one at a time, will result in a quality paving space in your garden that’s exactly what you were hoping for.