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  • Writer's pictureDanny Mann

From a Fish Pond to a Porcelain Patio!

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

This really was one of the biggest transformations we've made on a medium sized patio, the existing garden featured a raised decking area which covered over the previous owners massive 6 foot deep pond.

Whilst at first appearance it seemed like a nice, well built wooden decking area, it was soon apparent that it was quickly falling to pieces.

Infested with Rats, Spiders and Fox bones this definitely wasn't a job for the faint of heart, however we we're more than up to the challenge!

The wooden decking was becoming more and more dangerous for the owners, especially in the wet when it would become incredibly slippery, and was also rotting away in many places, an accident waiting to happen!

After ripping up and recycling the old wooden decking we then started work on removing the inner lining of the pond and breaking out the existing walls which we then used to infill it. Unfortunately it took a lot more than just that to completely fill it all up, so through a combination of crushed concrete, mesh reinforcing grids and 10mm concrete we fully filled the pond and got it back up to level with the rest of the patio area.

We then started bringing up the concrete walls for around the patio area, as well as a much larger feature wall to go at the far end. These would later be covered with Nordic Grey Tier Walling.

We even took on some new equipment to help shift all the materials! (The new labourer wasn't much use)

Although getting some of the machinery round the back was a bit of a tight squeeze!

We then screeded the entire area with concrete floor screed to ensure only a minimal amount of adhesive would be needed to bed the slabs down, ensuring absolute strength and long lasting sustainability.

With the concrete base up to the correct level, and the walling finished it was time to lay the slabs. The customer wanted the patio to have a modern, angular aesthetic. We recommended the Elegante Porcelain range from Bretts in the Driftwood colour which gives a contemporary, sharp design using high quality, Italian made Porcelain slabs. We decided to lay it on a 45 degree angle from the house, which whilst more time consuming because of the extra amount of cutting required, meant that you would never be looking down the lines of the slabs from the conservatory or the garden steps, giving you a better view of the paving.

With the patio ready to be laid the last step was to finish the walls. We used Tier Walling in the Nordic Stone colour which gives a natural yet contemporary look. And added two Collingwood spotlights on the large feature wall to show it off at night.

We used Bretts Alpha Silver Haze blocks for the border with a single Porcelain slab used as a stretcher bond as well.

We felt this suited the patio because of the size of the patio area, a small border in a large patio can seem lost and insignificant, whereas a larger border makes more of an impact and also helps retain the modern aesthetic the customer wanted to keep.

With the help of both 5mm joint spacers and height equalising spacers the slabs quickly go down, with a flat man-made slab like the Elegante Porcelain slabs even a 1mm difference in height can be noticeable, which is why we use the height equalising spacers to even out any minute differences between slabs. We used Jet Black Easyjoint to brush into the joints of the slabs to give a nice contrast with the lighter slab colour, and finished it all off with a specialised porcelain sealant to help protect against any future stains.

For the step down onto the customers grass lawn we used Bretts Charcoal High Kerbs, and added Collingwood LED lights into the steps for the final touch.

And finished! Well, almost. The copings we're going to be using for the tops of the wall have yet to be manufactured and will take a few more weeks before they arrive in the country, but apart from that this patio is now ready for the Great British Summer!

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