Garden patio


Regular member
Site Supporter
Oct 4, 2020
A couple of summers ago we had an additional patio laid to the side of the house, it’s about 4m x 4m, and has wooden sleeper retainers on 2 sides due to a slope.

The contractor did the groundwork etc laid the slabs and did the pointing. They used a modern brush in compound for the pointing, not old style cement.

We followed all the guidelines about staying off it for a week etc. All looked good when complete.

Within 3 months some of the pointing had cracked up and a couple of slabs were loose. Fixed by the contractor.

Last feb, just before lockdown, same thing. Fixed by contractor.

Over the winter the same thing has happened again, worse than either previous time. Contractor has apparently closed the business due to ill health.

2 questions.

1) do I have any recourse with the contractor?

2) how easy is it to lay slabs and point the thing again, or am I best finding a new contractor?

thanks in advance 👍



Red Leader
Staff member
Site Supporter
Aug 8, 2001
Re the contractor - he's gone so no point chasing him.

What did he bed the slabs down on? If they're lifting up attached to the bedding material then the problem is the substrate which has either moved, not been compacted down properly, or just badly laid.
It's relatively easy to re-lay them if the substrate is firm, just mix up around a dozen bags of sharp shand with two bags of cement (dry), spread it and rake it using the back of the rake to level it, then place the flags on top of the mix, get them square, place the next and so on.

Once you've got them in place tamp them down with a mallet, preferably on top of a short scaffold board or similar, so they are all flush at the top and don't wobble.

Once you're happy, leave it for a day or so before pointing up to settle and the sand/cement to firm up.

Mike atkinson

Regular member
Site Supporter
Nov 22, 2013
If the area was prepared by screeding sharp sand, ( which I wouldn’t do), then, slabs laid on top, you’ve actually got, a flexible paviour, but a rigid pointing, this is a no no, it was always going to fail, if the slabs are only spot bedded on mortar, that’s a fail too, it would be easier if you could post a photo, so we could advise.