Paving Slabs

Slabbed Base
This method is a cheaper option to concrete; however, if done correctly it will be just as effective.

Mark out where you want to place the building, Clear the entire top layer of vegetation and compress the existing ground so that there will be no movement once the slabs have been laid.

Tip: An additional border of approximately 6″ (150mm) around the edge of the base will allow you to fill with pea shingle or a decorative stone preventing the possibility of ‘splash-back’ as rain drips to floor. This can be prepared before of after the base has been laid.

Materials Required

For our example a building measuring 8′ x 6′ with slabs measuring 2′ x 2′ (600mm x 600mm) you would require 12 slabs, laid in a 4 slabs long x 3 slabs wide configuration.
The more readily available 18″ x 18″ (450mm x 450mm) slabs, you would require 24 slabs, laid in a 6 slabs long x 4 slabs wide configuration, 4 of which would need to be cut.

Sharp sand would be the preferred material as this seems to be more stable. Quantities are dependant upon existing ground works and levels.

For our example 1 bag (25kg) of cement should be sufficient.
Suggested Tools
Spade / Shovel • Hammer • Bolster • Rubber Mallet • Tape Measure & String • Spirit Level • Trowel Bucket • we would also suggest you purchase Knee pads


Lay a bed of sharp sand over the entire base area compact and level. Tip: It is advisable to place a polythene membrane down prior to the top layer of sand being laid this will stop any damp rising through the slabs to the building.
Lay another layer on top of the membrane this can be sharp sand lightly mixed with cement (do not add water) this wants to be a dry-mix compact and level. As an alternative, paving slabs could be laid upon mortar dabs; this would involve mixing a wet mortar and laying 5 dabs per slab (each corner and centre of the slab) then levelling. For this guide we will use the dry mix.

Starting in one corner lay the first slab into its position, carefully levelling in all directions using a spirit level. Continue along one complete side and edge creating a right angle. These first slabs are the important ones as these will determine the overall level of the base, then you can start to fill in the remainder of the slabs keep levelling and checking. Tip: Have a bucket of the dry mix next to you, you can then add or remove material to keep each slab level.

If you need to cut any slabs, measure and mark the slab, then using the bolster and hammer score the slab along its length and edges, one heavier blow towards the centre of the score line should break the slab (some slabs are more brittle than others and this may not always work) have the side that has been cut facing into the area, this will leave the good edge showing.

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