07542 006 060

block paving for job harrisons patio in cambridgeJon Harrison gave us a call a couple of weekends ago with concern over his patio area in his home. The patio area had been flagged around 3 years ago by his father but the patio was really not a good sight due to the damages that were highly visible, namely flags had sunk and the area had becme uneven over time. Before starting on the patio, we needed to consider the shape and size of Jon’s property, how he intended to use the patio and get an idea of what he wanted in terms of design. From this, we were able to determine the placement, shape, size and paving materials that were required for the patio. Block paving is always a better option for any type of surfacing, be it a driveway or a patio, after running through the varios benefits of a block paved patio over that of flags block paving was decided and we were onto design and material choices.

Benefits of a Block Paved Patio

By installing paving blocks, your outdoor space can be completely transformed. Of course we know that there are other installation methods but here are some benefits of paving of Paving blocks

  • 25 year guarantee – From date of purchase we guarantee the structural integrity of our paving blocks when used in residential schemes.
  • Paving your driveway  or patio adds value to your property
  • Quick to install – paving an average patio can be completed in 1-2 days (including preparation)
  • Appearance – Paving enhances the look of any property
  • Varity of colours, textures and finishes – Paving  to complement both traditional and contemporary surroundings
  • Durable – Paving bricks are long lasting and extremely durable with little maintenance
  • Bespoke design – There are so many variations of designs and patterns in laying paving, no job is the same as another
  • No costly repairs – If a paving block gets damaged in any way, it’s easy to replace

The Design of Jons Patio

Jon decided on the colours he wanted to use and the type of block we were to use and we were soon underway with our work We began by marking out the area that needed to be excavated and we dug the area to the desired level which was 150mm below the damp proof course in the brick of any adjoining buildings. The excavated area needed a slight slope to aid the dispersion of standing water, we constructed 1:40 fall across the width of the patio area and a 1:80 fall along the length.

Edge restraints

Using a concrete mixer, we mixed the first part of cement and 6 parts ballast to create the concrete foundation, which should be 100mm thick in depth. Our kerb unit sat on top of it at the required level using a straight line and spirit level. Once the kerb was in position, we launched the back of the units so that the concrete reached halfway up the rear of the kerb.


Laying the MOT type one inside of the edge restraints and raked to the desired level in layers of 50mm. We levelled and compacted it using a vibrating plate. The roadstone should be at least 100 mm thick after compaction and the vibrating plate passed over the patio area at least seven times ensuring it’s thoroughly compacted.


A layer of slightly damp sharp sand, to the depth of 50 mm, needed to be applied and compacted with the vibrating plate. Another second layer of sharp sand to a level of 20 mm then needs to be applied on top of this. Using the string lines, screeding rails and straight edge, this second layer of sharp sand needed to be levelled to correct falls.

Paving Installation for the New Patio

We proceeded to lay block paving from the bottom of a slope, preferably starting from a right angle or a straight edge. Placing the blocks on top of the laying course ensuring blocks are around 10-15 mm above the desired finished level. Using 3-5 packs at once to minimise any colour branding and when the full blocks were laid we cut an amount of blocks to fill the smaller gaps left out using a block splitter. The end result? A professionally laid new patio area which Jon and his family will be able to enoy for years to come. If your considering a block paving project for your patio or driveway and you live in Cambridge contact the team at Northern Drives Cambridge today

Next Post: Block paved driveway repairs