6 Things to Consider Before Installing a New Patio

sandstone patio paving Essex

Patio in Essex

There are many benefits to installing a new patio in your garden.

Not only are patios practical in that they provide a suitable hard standing to walk on and to put your garden furniture on, but they can also completely transform any garden, large or small into a beautiful outdoor room.

If you have recently decided to have a new patio installed, before you proceed, you may find it useful to run through this list of considerations.

As you’ll learn, there are many different options to consider and it’s very important to take your time to properly plan every detail of your patio to ensure that your new paving transforms your garden into the garden of your dreams.

So, let’s have a look at our list of 6 things to consider before installing a new patio.

1. What type of paving should you choose?

Eclipse Natural Granite

Probably the biggest consideration you’ll have to make when having a new patio laid is to decide upon the type of paving you would like to use.

You have a choice of either block paving or slabs to create a traditional patio or you could even use resin bound gravel.

By far the most common form, and best suited in our opinion is to use paving slabs.

Here, the choices are endless.

There are many different types of paving to choose from including Indian Sandstone, Yorkstone, Granite, Limestone, Porcelain, Concrete, Slate or Marble, just to scratch the surface.

All of course coming in various styles and colours. But there is something to suit every taste and environment.

2. What pattern will your paving be laid in?

patio installation in essex

Depending upon the type of paving that you choose, there may be a wide range of possible laying patterns that your paving can be laid in.

Deciding upon the best pattern to use is purely a question of taste as there is not normally any structural advantage by choosing one pattern over the other.

For quite some time now, a popular laying pattern for most types of paving is a ‘random pattern’ which involves using different sized slabs to create what appears as a random layout.

This design choice was popularised by the huge demand for Indian Sandstone, which is most commonly found in project packs.

However, in more recent times, there has been a bit of a renaissance for single size paving patterns once again, which is mainly due to the ever-increasing popularity of Porcelain paving.

To help you decide on the best pattern to use, take a look through your chosen supplier’s brochure or website to learn about the different laying patterns.

3. Do you want to seal your paving?

Although certainly not essential, sealing your patio will help prevent its lifespan, make it easier to clean and prevent staining.

The sealing process can either be carried out prior to laying the slabs or alternatively a few months further down the line.

It’s very important that you don’t attempt to seal your paving immediately after laying as you don’t want to seal in any potential efflorescence that may appear on your paving.

When it comes to sealing your paving, we highly recommend Resiblock’s range of sealants.

4. How should your patio be pointed?

When it comes to pointing you have several options.

Firstly, pointing can be done the traditional way, using sand and cement. There are various styles that can be achieved using sand and cement including ridge or bird beak pointing, grooved pointing or weather struck, to name but a few.

Indian Sandstone Patio Chelmsford
Patio Pointed Using EASYJoint

A more modern alternative is to use a resin jointing compound. For the homeowner, these types of resin have several advantages. It doesn’t crack, it’s cheaper to install and comes in a wide variety of colours.

For the contractor, it’s great because it can be applied even in the rain.

sandstone patio paving Essex

Another option is to use kiln dried sand. However, this is only a viable option if your paving is ‘butt-jointed’, i.e. laid so that each slab is touching the next without leaving a visible join.

Finally, you can also use an exterior grout. This is becoming an increasingly popular option due to its incredible strength and long lifespan. It’s also available in a wide range of colours.

When considering a patio, it’s very important to consider which type of pointing will suit your paving and your budget

5. Will you need a retaining wall?

Sandstone Retaining Wall

If you are looking to create a raised patio, then you’ll need some form of retaining wall. How high it will need to be of course depends on the level you want your patio to be.

Retaining walls are vital to prevent the sides of your patio from collapsing.

You can create a retaining wall using a wide variety of materials.

The most common form of retaining wall is constructed from brick. You have many choices when it comes to brickwork and you could go for the same brick as used on your property or something complimentary.

Bricks don’t have to be man-made either, you could choose something like the Marshalls Natural Stone Walling.

You can even apply render to your wall and paint it any colour you can think of.

Or for a softer look, you may wish to use sleepers.

Either way, for raised patios, retaining walls are a key element and shouldn’t be overlooked.

6. How will you manage drainage?

In an ideal world, all new patios would fall away from your property and channel any water that hits it onto a lawn or flower bed.

However, the levels in your garden may mean that this is not possible. But you needn’t worry if your patio will fall towards any buildings as there will be alternative methods of handling the surface water runoff.

For example, you may need to install a ACO drain or hopper along the length of any buildings that can then be connected to a storm water drain or soakaway.

An important thing to remember when deciding upon the finished height of a patio in relation to any buildings, is to ensure that it will be 150mm (2 brick courses) below the damp proof course (DPC) in order to comply with the regulations and avoid damp getting into your property.

Rest assured, with properly planned and installed drainage, puddles and standing water won’t be a concern for your new patio and you won’t be getting any damp issues in your home.


paving chelmsford

As you’ll have learnt, they are many different options to consider when installing a new patio. But it’s important to get right as a new patio is a big investment for any homeowner and if it’s correctly installed, it should last over 20 years.

We hope our list of considerations will help you in planning your new patio and if you are in the Essex area and you’re considering having a new patio installed, then why not give us a call?

Our friendly team will arrange your consultation and we can discuss the various options available to you when deciding upon the perfect patio for your garden. We’ll also take away the stress by working with you to advise on best practices and help you design the garden of your dreams.

To arrange for your site consultation and written quote, call us today on 01245 697 688 or contact us here.

If you have any questions or think we have missed something form our list of 6 considerations before installing a new patio, leave us a comment below.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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Will Crozier, Managing Director

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Welcome to our garden design and landscaping blog. Here, you’ll find how-tos, expert gardening advice, ideas and a wealth of informative guides written by our team of knowledgeable garden landscapers. We also share our expert guidance on hard landscaping issues such as block paving, patios, decking, pergolas, driveways and paths.

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