The correct choice of paving material can enhance the pull of your valuable outdoor furniture, whether its aluminum, wicker, teak or resin.
There is a huge range of different paving materials to choose from.
It can constructed either of stone, brick or concrete and range in shape from block to slabs.
No matter what material you choose they have to be laid on a well-constructed base.
This base is usually made up of compacted sand, mixed with 10 to 20% of stone fragments, all bound together using a cement mortar.
Once this material is evenly spread over the paving area, it then has to well compact until it is uniformly dense with no soft spots, making sure that the final surface is level.
One thing to keep in mind, that the final surface has to have a slight "fall" in it so that surface waters can run off (slope the surface away from any structures and direct the surface run-off towards some drainage system) and not pool on the surface.
When doing the compacting, don't think that you can simply compact the substrate material using manual methods, but spend the time and money and use a good quality compactors.
These can be hired for a few hours from any corner equipment hire center and will quickly generate a level and consistently dense base on which to lay the paving material, plus save you from any unnecessary back injuries.
The more load that the surface is going to carry (such as parked motor vehicles), the better the quality of the paving surface material and the base has to be.
Poor quality paving or thin paving material will easily crack under the weight of the high loads and quickly degrade the appearance of the surface.
If you are going to have heavy objects on the paving, such as automobiles, then you should use paving material that are at least 100mm (4 inches) in thickness.
If the surface is only going to experience light foot traffic, then it is sufficient to use much thinner pavers, even as low as 25mm (1 inch) in thickness.
You will have to remember that natural paving materials have a much higher chance of cracking especially around the edges.
This is to be expected as it's an all-natural product that will contain imperfections (such as hairline cracks and joints) but this all adds to the natural charm of the material.
Brick paving comes in an incredible range of colors, finishes, sizes and styles, so there is a look for everyone and every patio area.
Selecting the right color and size of brick paving can create a very relaxing atmosphere.
But, choose carefully because if you put the wrong type of brick paving down, your paved area can start to rapidly look like a car parking area rather than a "human" friendly relation zone.
A good rule of thumb here is the bigger the paving blocks, the less it looks like a car parking area.
Also darker surface colors can get much hotter in summer than lighter colored material, but are currently much more popular at the moment than the traditional cream colored pavers.
What ever you choose, a paved patio area can become a real focal entertaining point of your home for many years to come.