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A very long weekend


Hey ho everyone ….

When i last seriously blogged it was the end of last year and this was how the garden ended up after 5/6 months work.

Well, i did say that there was more to do but i didn’t quite know what.

Well, the most important thing that had to be done to keep OH happy was to try and make the bungalow end a bit more user friendly so a patio was the first thing to come to mind.

So i started about taking up the old rotten decking …. with a little help of course ….. notice the “I’m having my photo taken stance” ….!!!!!

Then when all the rubbish was cleared to the other end of the garden i set about getting ready to make my creation.

This was the first delivery of materials….

4 x pallets of slabs – 30 slabs per pallet
2 x ag bags of scalpings for footings
2 x ag bags of sharp sand for the base
10 × 25kg bags of cement

Did you know that you can get cement in waterproof bags these days…?

And this was where everything had to be moved from the front of the house to the back.

So now i set about laying the first few slabs. Always a worry about where to start, how to get your levels right and where to end up.

We have a drain cover near the back gate ….

…. so this had to form the basis of the level for the rest of the patio.

I didn’t want to start at the drain end so i checked the levels all the way across and started by the back door with the corner of the bungalow.

Having laid patios before i knew that i didn’t want to end up making loads of cuts to fill in so the plan was to lay to a full slab at the edges and infill with shingle to about 6" and create a border up the left hand side …. theory….!!!!!!

After creating a base with scalpings and mixing my first load of cement in my brand new mixer – (cost £250 off of ebay …. much cheaper than hiring everytime i needed to mix cement) – i laid my first few slabs.

The cement mix i used was half a shovel of cement to 5 shovels of sharp sand …. mixed in the tub for about 5 minutes and then a small amount of water added to just to make it damp and manageable.

The mixer took 15 shovels of sand which fortunately was just about a barrow load when it went in and came out.

This is called a dry mix as apposed to a wet sloppy mix for laying bricks.

As the cement drys out under the slabs it sucks the slab down firmly and makes a solid connection. The idea being that the slabs don’t move once laid.

… and some more

… and some more

Unfortunately, i had started laying late in the day on Friday and the clocks didn’t go forward until Saturday so this was all i got done on the first day.

Day 2 …..

Day 3 …..

Day 4 ….

… and that is as far as i got this last weekend.

I’m amazed …. no back ache …. no sore knees …. no naggging from OH ….

We have just ordered the next load of materials which are ..

half x pallett of decoaritve bricks for use as low walling

1 x pallet of block paviers for edging and path edging up the garden

80 x slate blocks to form a surround for the front garden

2 x pallets of paving slabs to finish the patio off – hopefully.

My next time off long enough to get any work done is going to be the Easter break approx 12 days so hopefully there will be more blog to come then.

In the meantime … back to the grind in the office … no sun … no fresh air …

catch you all later

More blog posts by tony1247

Previous post: Half Term Holidays & Free Child Labour

Next post: Glorious Spring



Think that looks wonderful Tony, well done there, look forward to the next set of pics. Keep up the good work!

30 Mar, 2011


Looks great Tony. Cant wait to see the finished effect. Good luck

30 Mar, 2011


Its looking brilliant, your garden is gorgeous, i love the backdrop of the trees, that patio is going to look amazing when your finished, good luck. looking forward to the next blog..

30 Mar, 2011


What a difference already ... the slabs are a lovely pale colour ... so much nicer than decking! I hope you receive lots of Easter eggs for all your hard work. : o ))

30 Mar, 2011


lots of hard work going on there Tony well done ,it will look great when you hav finished it..look forward to your next pics..i gather your daughter enjoys having her photo taken :o)

30 Mar, 2011


My goodness Tony - you have worked hard and how neat your garden looks. Best of luck with your next jobs.

30 Mar, 2011


Your garden looks great Tony and sitting on the patio, (which is coming on a treat) admiring the view is something to look forward to on those gorgeous summer days we all deserve......
Well done, looking forward to the next stage.......

30 Mar, 2011


that is fantastic ~ a great guide to laying slabs too. the colour is beautiful and it looks soooo neat. you must be pleased with it.

30 Mar, 2011


That looks good. It's nice to have a cement mixer. I hired one once, years ago when I built some steps in the garden where I lived then. It's much easier and quicker than mixing it yourself.
Nice to know you haven't got any aches after doing it lol.

31 Mar, 2011


Looks really good and no aches and pains - that must be a big bonus, I think your bungalow and garden look great, keep up the good work it all looks lovely and I especially like the poser. bless her.

31 Mar, 2011


Well ... thank you all so much for kind comments.

YoungDaisyD ... that backdrop of trees leads out into around 20 acres of woodland where we have 4 deer roaming freely, foxes, badgers, rabbits ... oh... plus me and the dog...

Shirley Tulip ... if i ate the easter eggs i would never be able to lay any more slabs ...

Joanella ... thanks for the wonderful complement ... but she is my 8 year old granddaughter and i retire next year..

Lincslass .... don't think i am ever going to have the time to actually sit on the patio ... but nice thought

Stickitoffee .... thanks .. itry to be helpful because i know what it is like when you want to do something but can't find any decent info about it.

Hywell .... the cement mixer has seriously saved my back ... i used to mix by hand but am too old and fragile to do that any more ... the idea is that when i have finished everything that needs cementing i will sell it on for around £100 so the overall cost will be well under that of hiring..

Olive Oil ..... just .... thanks...!

31 Mar, 2011


With all you have done since moving in and the work going on at the moment, you`ll be sitting twiddling your thumbs when you retire, lol.......

31 Mar, 2011


Look ahead Tony, with all the work done last year and ongoing now, when you do actually retire you`ll be sat on that patio admiring the view and twiddling your thumbs, lol......

31 Mar, 2011


I know old and fragile lol. Yes I agree it's a good idea :)

31 Mar, 2011

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