A paved area provides a place for entertaining or relaxing in the garden. It's also low maintenance - the most it usually needs is the occasional sweep.
In small spaces issues can arise with runoff and flooding. One way to avoid these problems and create a landscape feature is to elevate your paved area. A simple way to do this is to build a raised box frame to carry your paving. We used timber sleepers as plates, then dressed them with merbau decking.
Gather your supplies
200 x 75 x 3000mm H4 treated-pine sleepers
Bugle-head batten screws
Quick-set or regular concrete
Hardwood decking such as 90 x 19mm merbau
65 x 3.15mm decking nails (helical thread) for attaching hardwood to pine
Pavers (we used 400 x 400 x 50mm Palazzo Charcoal)
Long level and tape measure
Digging and paving tools
Vibrating-plate compactor (can be hired)
- Step 1: Set out the ground area by measuring and marking the external limits of the frame. The sleeper face plates will be held by short sleeper posts that will be concealed behind the plates. Each sleeper will require a post at each end and in the middle - mark the spots for your posts with set-out paint.
- Step 2: Dig post holes. Position and level sleeper face plates. Use bugle-head batten screws to join sleepers. Drop posts into holes, they only need to be about 300mm in the ground below the bottom edge of the sleeper plate. Attach the posts to the plates with batten screws.
- Step 3: Once all plates and posts are fixed, check levels, allowing a slight fall to one side for runoff. When ready, add concrete to the post holes to lock it all in place.
- Step 4: Dress the plates with the merbau decking, using exterior nails. The strip along the top edge should finish flush with the front of the plate, leaving an overhang to the inside. Predrill the decking so hammering is easier and to reduce the chance of splitting.
- Step 5: Evenly fill your box frame with road base to about 80mm below the finished top edge. Thoroughly compact the road base with the vibrating-plate compactor.
- Step 6: Add and spread paving sand to bring the level up to about 50mm below the top edge. With a piece of paver, establish the desired finished height - the top of the paver should be level with top of the merbau.
- Step 7: Use your level to determine the amount of extra filling required, and add sand where needed (remember the runoff).
- Step 8: Using a level and a screed, or a suitable straight edge, level the sand bed.
- Step 9: Now you can start laying your pavers from one of the front corners. Work in straight rows towards the rear.
- Step 10: To prevent water pooling, stop the pavers short of fences or walls and add a small gravel strip drain.
- Step 11: Spread fine sand over pavers, allow to dry, then sweep into the cracks to finish.