Summer is a time for barbeques, pool parties and outdoor entertaining- does your outdoor area need new paving?

Paving is a simple way to improve the look and feel of your outdoor area, by transforming dull areas into beautiful and inviting living spaces.

Kennards Hire has supplied ten easy steps to help you create your paved sanctuary, pathway or driveway.

You will need enough pavers for the job, road base, bedding sand, and jointing sand.

1) Select the right tools for your DIY job, as this will create an efficient and stress-free worksite.

2) When prepping the paving, mark the area clearly with pegs and string line, making sure its level and free of vegetation. Remember to accommodate for the road base as well as the bedding sand.

3) The area should be kept level but keep drainage in mind, aim for a 20mm slope on the finished pavers to help with this. If necessary, install drainage to carry water away from the paved area and house.

4) Lay the road base over the whole area first, maintaining a 50mm thickness under paths and 100mm or more under driveways. For best results it is recommended to use a plate compactor, this ensures a thorough compaction and a strong foundation for the remaining layers.

5) Spread the bedding sand over the area for an even surface, 50mm in thickness with a straight edge. On larger areas break it down to smaller, more easily managed areas and smooth the next section after you’ve paved the previous section. Keep in mind to regularly check with a builder’s level to ensure the drainage slope is maintained.

6) Install the edge restraints with durable materials, such as timber, concrete strips, or pavers set in mortar, and ensure they match the height of the rest of the paving when finished.

7) Choose a paving pattern and lay the pavers from the corner. Lay full-sized pavers first and then cut smaller pavers to fill the gaps at edges and around obstacles. Pavers can be cut easily on a brick saw fitted with a diamond blade or alternatively on a block splitter. Lay pavers in a strip, a metre or so wide, and work across the area and repeat the process until the whole area is finished.

8) Push pavers firmly into the sand and use a rubber mallet to tap down any that protrude. Make sure the pavers are not touching and are left with a 2 to 4mm gap to be filled with sand later.

9) When pavers are laid, compact them into the bedding sand with a plate compactor. To prevent pavers being damaged attach an old piece of carpet to the compactor.

10) To finish the job, spread the jointing sand into the gaps between the pavers.

To hire plate compactors, block splitters, brick saws, shovels, levels, or any other equipment needed for paving, along with guidance and support visit your local Kennards Hire centre.