decking, paving, block or concrete?


Hi,
Price aside, what are the pros and cons of using any of these for patios? I have an existing concrete/hardcore patio which I want to make bigger, to a size of roughly 15 square metres. Which would be the easiest to use and/or give the best results, and is there anything (beyond normal DIY knowledge) that I should be careful of? I have taken care of buried cables, etc. Thanks.
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Hi
preparation is the key
lay 6 inch of scalpings over a black plastic membrane hire a wacker plate and level the area and firm it down after that i find paving slabs 450x 450 the easyest to lay use a dry ish mix sharpsand to cement about 5 or 6 to one make sure it level and bobs your uncle i tend to tip each slab just slightly and groute using sharp sand so any water runs off and doesnt sit on the slabs hope this helps
oh work on about 15 30 a sq mt for the slabs and base and you wont be far off thats using B+Q or Wicks Slabs
regards Dave
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mentalguy2004 wrote: :: Hi, :: :: Price aside, what are the pros and cons of using any of these for :: patios? I have an existing concrete/hardcore patio which I want to :: make bigger, to a size of roughly 15 square metres. Which would be :: the easiest to use and/or give the best results, and is there :: anything (beyond normal DIY knowledge) that I should be careful :: of? I have taken care of buried cables, etc. Thanks.
Being a bit of a specialist in this area I would have to ask you what effect are you hoping to acheive? 1 - do you want it to look the 'bees knees' or do you just want somewhere flat to have the odd barbie and store junk? 2 - do you want it to blend in with anything else which maybe in your garden already, such as a weeping willow close by, or have it littered with fancy ornaments and expensive plants? 3 - do you want it just as a parking space for the kids' bikes or to erect a 'playground' (plastic slides, swing etc)?
secondly, is there anything to work around such as rainwater gullies, manholes or other drains?
Wooden decking can be *very* slippy especially if it's not getting a lot of sun, it also has downsides with relation to height - if your back step from the house is only eight inches or less, forget it as you need at least this just to have it level with the inside floor, it's better if your patio is a foot or more below dampcourse (house floor level)...ideally with any outside surface, there should be a clear six inches clearance (IE a step up into the house) from patio to house, this is minimum - the more the better, but this applies to all materials of patio construction, it's just that decking is an inch and half thick and sits atop six or seven inch beams....meaning you may have to dig out quite a lot....the plus sides are obvous, it's cheap(ish), natural and virtually maintenance free....probably your best bet for option 1, the odd barbie and to have a few pots and a patio set but will probably end up home to bins, buckets, bags and various other crud like mine.
Flagging is probably your best bet if you don't want to spend a lot and you are interested in option 3 above...you can still use it for barbies and everything else you would with any other patio but flags always look a bit 'council estate' to me (I live on a council estate before anyone brings it up!)..unless you buy riven stone looking ones or slate effect which are obviously a *lot* more expensive than bog standard grey squares, block-paving has the same effect (IMHO) as a good quality 'fancy' paving flag...you can even get them to look like cobbles and some of the more expensive flags are odd shapes and sizes to give a haphazzard effect like Yorkshire stone.
Concrete is the worst form of kak, it's ugly, it dusts up in summer and is like an icerink in winter, it cracks, doesn't allow water penetration (unlike the other 3) and it looks exactly like what it is - cheap. You can of course get the 'imprinted concrete' which mimics block-paving or flagging but this is usually coloured and glazed, both of which wear off after a short while...the other downside to imprinted concrete is that it's strengthened with steel mesh to stop it cracking, but if you ever come to dig up a drain or have any other kind of underground work done it cannot be patched up...with flags or block you can take up what you need , do the job and replace the same materials to blend back in as they are all weathered the same and are the same colours.
As far of 'ease of laying' is concerned, preparation is the key...main points to note: 1) will the finished surface give you at least a six inch step up into the house? 2) is the prepared surface running *away* from the house wall? (it only needs to run maybe 3 or 4 inches downwards to keep the house side dry at all times) 3) make sure the ground is compacted and at least 2 inches of hardcore is compacted on top of that *before* you put down any sand/or timber. 4) don't forget if you are laying flags or blocks, your starting surface (beofre you put anything at all down)needs to be at least a foot down from the dampcourse...you want 2" hardcore, 1" sand and 2" blocks....you'd be surprised how many people start and then realise that the blocks/flags are going to be higher than the dampcourse....this causes all manner of nasty things to happen indoors and will have to be rectified prior to any house being sold later on.
HTH
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Phil L wrote: <snip>

Appologies for hijacking this thread. I've been thinking about putting a deck which would lead off the patio doors at the back of my house. It has a four step drop so I have the required height above ground level to easily get the joists/deck level with the interior floor. Unfortunately, I've probably been thinking about it too much and not actually done anything about it.
My question is this, most of the sites I've seen say that the *deck* should be at least 6 inches below the damp proof course (DPC). How then do you achieve both i.e. level with the interior floor but not adversely affect the DPC by damp bridging. I've so far come up with the following ideas. 1. Build it freestanding i.e. not fixed to the house at all. Problems with this I see are too much work and difficulty getting post in close to the house/foundations 2. Put a membrane of some sort between the ledger and the wall to minimize any damp bridging. 3. Stop worrying and just fix the ledger direct to wall as the flow of air in/around the deck will keep things relatively dry.
My undersatnding of the six inch rule of thumb was that this was the sort of height you could expect you average rain drop to bounce and any less than that would cause the wall to get over wet. Obviously they didn't take your average West of Scotland raindrop stoatin' of the ground.
Given the way decks are thrown up I take it no-one else bothers about these things?
Mark.
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http://www.pavingexpert.com/index.htm
Chris S
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