I finally finished the patio. A lot of effort, but it looks great (photo from a slightly odd angle, but gives a good impression – the white thing is parasol base, and the smallest stones are 1 foot square, which gives an idea of scale) :-
Some lessons learned :-
- I should have got someone else to do it. It was neither particularly fun, nor something I can do better than an average tradesman. Good feeling of achievement though.
- I sussed out how to use a laser level to get really accurate levels. I used a water level first to establish a really good level on several reference posts. I then measured the distance of each post from the wall and used that to calculate a correction so that the patio would have the right fall. Then, each time I wanted a level I used the laser level on a tripod and calibrated it to the reference posts. After that, anywhere I aimed the laser would have a very accurate height above the desired patio level. This sounds a palaver, but it worked superbly well.
- The Indian sandstone looks good, but some of the slabs were a little thin which made them hard to lay. I might have done better with yorkstone or similar which comes in thicker slabs
- Laying on a dry-mix full bed was pretty easy. Lots of material to shift, but it is reputed to be much much better than spot-bed over the long term – less chance of wobbling.
- There’s a really good web site with loads of useful info – www.pavingexpert.com