Outdoor Living Spaces

Lay a Patio in a Weekend

Laying a patio is one of the easiest and fastest DIY jobs around, and it can be done with tools you probably already have. If you have two to three days and the interest, read on for detailed instructions on how to lay a patio.

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Cutting a Curve Into a Slab

Although pavers are available in a wide range of shapes, you may have to cut them to size, or to accommodate a curve in your design. Pavers, which are usually made from stone or concrete, are surprisingly brittle; to prevent them cracking when they are being cut, lay them flat on a fairly deep, level bed of sand.

Protect yourself with goggles, ear protection, anti-vibration gloves and a dust mask. Mark the curve on the paver with chalk, then, using an angle grinder fitted with a stone-cutting disk, slowly cut part-way through the paver, going over the line several times (image 1).

Mark out parallel lines on the area you don't plan to use, using chalk. Cut along the lines part-way through the paver (image 2), again going over each one slowly several times. Make sure you don’t cross or damage your neatly cut curved line.

Starting on one side of the paver and working across to the other, tap firmly along the length of each cut strip with a rubber-headed mallet (image 3). Make sure that the paver is well supported.

Grip each strip firmly and snap it sharply along the cut (image 4). Remove all the strips in this way. Trim off any roughness along the curved edge with the angle grinder.

A few shapely curves can completely transform a rectangular patio. Here, the corners have been opened up to form a planting pocket and to give a gentle sweeping curve to the adjacent area of lawn (image 5).

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Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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