How to Prepare a Sub Base

4th January 2018

Natural sandstone

Whether you’re putting in a new patio or a driveway, getting the preparation right is key to a successful outcome and an installation that is built to last. At the Leicestershire Paving Company, we understand the importance of a good sub base before getting down to the main design.

Here’s a quick guide on what preparing a sub base involves:

Make a Plan

The first thing you certainly want to do is make a quick plan of what you want to achieve, including the dimensions of your paved area and where it’s going to go. That involves measuring the space that you have and pegging out the area with some string to act as guidelines for your initial excavation.

If you are building a patio, you need to ensure that you have a run away from your home – that means there’s a slight slope so that, if it rains, the water heads the outwards and doesn’t start pouring into your property.

Prepping the Site

Excavating the area is going to take some hard work, so make sure that you’re fit enough to do it in the first place. You want the excavated depth to be about 6 inches from where your patio or driveway is going to finish. You’ll need to compact the ground down with a vibrating plate to make sure it is flat.

The one thing you need to be certain about is that you have excavated properly. That means ensuring the depth is uniform all the way round and that corners are at a 90° angle. Once you’re certain you have it right and the ground has been flattened you can start putting in the sub base.

Laying the Sub Base

This involves pouring the sub base into the excavation hole and raking it level to a depth of about 4 inches. You again need to flatten this using a vibrating plate compactor, going over it at least twice to ensure all areas are compacted. You may find places where sinking occurs and have to add more sub base to bulk it up before flattening again.

Once you have finished this, it’s important to check that you still have a drainage slope by using a straight edge spirit level. The next step, of course, is to start laying your paving flags or whichever stones you are using to create your patio or driveway.

While preparing a sub base is a fairly simple process, getting it right can take a good deal of hard work. While you might like to do this yourself, calling a professional team in will ensure that you have the perfect base for laying your stones.

At the Leicestershire Paving Company we’ve got a lot of experience building all sorts of patios, driveways and paths. If you’d like to find out more, contact us today.

Barry Randall

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Barry Randall

Barry Randall is the Managing Director at Leicestershire Paving Company. He’s been active in the landscaping industry for over 20 years, developing a reputation for outstanding quality and efficient management of garden transformations. He’s worked on some extremely large commercial sites and some incredible domestic garden transformations, even finding time to offer services to DIY SOS on the BBC and Richard Hammonds Secret Service on ITV.

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