new paving slabs are wobbly (not compacted)

14 Jul 2019
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United Kingdom
Hi. New to the forum and after some advice.
We’ve had a Indian sandstone patio laid (the house is a new build) by a landscaper. He (the landscaper) put type 1 hardcore down which he compacted. He then laid sharp sand which hasn’t been compacted and placed the patio slabs on top. The patio isn’t finished yet but most of it has been pointed. It was pointed on Thursday. Gone out the garden today for the first time as we weren’t to sure when we could stand on it. The slabs move as you walk on them. Surely this isn’t right? We haven’t paid a penny yet. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
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I laid mine on a wet mix of 5:1 sand cement mix, tried using a dry mix first but was near impossible to level properly.
Wet mix will also ensure that the slabs completely adhere to the mortar mix and don’t end up sounding hollow or rocking.
I would go with the wet mix too. If you know the maker of the slabs give them a ring and ask for confirmation, then you can speak to your builder with some authority.
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If the sand had been compacted and screeded level, it would have probably been alright. Butv with uncompacted sand, might as well try and lay a patio on the beach.
As said, they should be on a minimum 50mm thick wet mix of sand and cement.
might as well try and lay a patio on the beach
Imagine getting a quote when the tide is in, then when they turn up to start and the tide is out again:LOL:definitely make a loss on that job
Thanks for the replies guys. He is demanding full payment. The slabs actually rock back and forth!
Well if he doesn't care about fairness or his reputation then i suppose logically getting full payment for no extra work is better than redoing the work properly for the same money. Maybe he thinks it's worth a try.
Make sure if you pay for anything it's the materials only and then offer to pay the rest for him to redo it properly or ask if he prefers you to pay someone else to do that part
Did you ask for them to be laid dry, or did they advertise themselves as specialising a dry lay? If not it's reasonable to expect cement to have been used; in either case the slabs should be firm. I believe you have a good case for not paying for their labour until the work is completed to an acceptable standard. Make it clear in writing if you pay for any of the material and don't let them be taken away. Wet lay will give a good finish, but I've always used a very weak semi dry mix myself because it's easier to handle, almost as easy to level the slabs, just as durable, and much easier to pulls up when the time comes. I have laid a rumbled block drive dry, but I would not recommend it. I thoroughly compacted a good layer of sharp sand on top of a thick layer of quarry waste, and in 10 years it has never subsided, but it's terrible for weeds and ants.

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