weather for laying block paving

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Hi I'm planning to lay some block paving for a path in my garden.

It is 530cm long and 100cm wide, so not huge. I'm laying it because the soil is clay and is awful to walk on during the winter after regular rain and I need to get to the shed from the gate with my bicycle.

I have booked next week off work to do it but wanted to ask if this is something I can do with the current forecast of sunshine & showers? I know digging out will be hard work regardless.

I know the final task of brushing in the jointing sand can't be done in the wet but mixing up concrete (by hand) to lay the edging and digging out for the sub base and laying the sharp sand can all that be done ok?

I don't want to take a week from work if I can't get the bulk of the work done.

I've been following the excellent guide on pavingexpert.com but he doesn't really mention the weather other than it needing to be dry to brush in the jointing sand and protecting concrete from frost while it is curing.

Any advice, things to watch out for greatly appreciated :)
 
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I personally would not use block paving for a garden path.

It an be laid in almost any weather but avoid frosty weather or excessively wet weather if you can.

Because a pathway will amount to a long stretch of paving you need to avoid excessive cutting. You can do this by laying one edge restraint only, then lay the paving to the desired width, then add the second edge restraint up against the full blocks.

All you need do then is add the opposite edge restraint and fill in the halve blocks.

We would also avoid using a whacker because pathways have a tendency to dip under a whacker plate. Rather, use sand and cement mixed for the screed then just tap the blocks into the screed. once set it will not budge.

Weeds is another downside to block paving so expect some follow up maintenance.
 
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no you can use a whacker!!!best way to do it is to mark out your path to the size you want then mark it out to the next best size with out having to cut in all the way along if you can.
after this point then add on say 50mm/100mm ether side for play and space to hornch up the edging/kirb.
you need 50mm pver as its a path then 50mm/100m deep screed bed and 80m/100mm base stone.
peg out your levels then fil and whack your stone no less then 5 passes over the stone.
then you can lay you edging paver/kirb or plastic retainer let it set Id use rappid set OPC thel lay in you sharp sand screed bed and 2 pass with whacker. use a lenth of 4+2 and cut out the hight you want the sand to sit as the final pass will drop the paver level with the edges.
normally about 15mm20mm up lay your paver then pure in kiln dryed sand sweep in the joints leaving a load evenly over the paver this will help settle the pavers with the whacker then 2/3 passes with the plate sweep off the sand job done...
there is no harm in adding a little OPC to the sharp sand to help form a solid base we have done it before roun manholes ect
 
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no you can use a whacker

I said "avoid" using a wacker.

Unlike large bodies of paving, pathways are more vulnerable to spread, resulting in small dips. These dips along with a fully restrained edge (i.e. no water run-off) means annoying little puddles.

As said, I would strongly advise against using block paving for a pathway, rather use slabs.

Block paving can dip, is very prone to weeds and will look like the garden in a few years time.
 
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For such a small area I would do as Noseall has suggested. Use sand and cement as a screed mix on the hardcore and place the blocks you will not need a whacker plate done that way. Certainly the mix is damp not wet so avoid doing it in the rain. Do not do the work on a falling thermometer if frost is anticipated.

Also as Noseall has suggested, it will require a lot of regular maintenance to keep it looking good. Using Polymeric Sand in dry weather to fill the joints may help a bit, but plant life has a habit of finding the smallest of cracks to take a hold!

As for working in the wet, you will get away with working concrete in a light shower but don't do it in pouring rain. laying concrete in the wet is OK but don't place it into puddles. A puddle forming after you place it should not be a problem. Digging out in the wet is not a good idea if you end up walking on the exposed surface, OK if you can keep off it. You can use a rammer for the hardcore but work in thin layers say 50mm/60mm otherwise you might not get the compaction, using the rammer in the cold will keep you warm ;)
 
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