Add garden lights to your patio

Garden lights installed into decking and sleeper wall

With the patio construction pretty much complete and now laid in the 3 major zones around the perimeter of the house (garage, kitchen/dining room, side return) it’s now time to start building the periphery parts of the hard landscaping.

Decorative stone was used to fill the voids around the guttering down pipes and down the gap between the paving slabs and the boundary fence that borders the side return.

Decorative stone in voids
Decorative stone in voids

With the sleeper wall already built in front of the garage patio area, to act as a retaining wall for the earth which forms the lawn part of the garden, the rest of the kitchen/dining room patio needs a boarder to edge the late slabs. To fulfil this requirement and to enhance the overall look of the garden a scheme was developed that involved laying some decking boards in two rows in front of the slabs on a wooden frame.

Frame for decking board patio edging
Frame for decking board patio edging

The frame for the decking boards was made up of 48mm x 74mm timber screwed to wooden piers that have been laid in concrete over a base of Type 1 and hardcore at 1200mm intervals. All the timber used is pressure treated and then painted with wood protection paint to extend the life of the timber. Flat timber screwed into the decking boards and laid on the patio was used to keep the frame in place while the concrete set around the wooden piers. Once the concrete had set the decking boards were screwed in place using stainless steel deck screws that would not rust and corrode over time with exposure to the elements.

Decking boards laid for patio edging
Decking boards laid for patio edging

Low voltage LED decking lights were installed in the deck boards and at the bottom of the sleeper wall.
It is also planned that spike lights will be installed under the trees at the bottom of the garden. This will help to create an inviting and chilled atmosphere for evening enjoyment in the garden.

GaGarden lights installed in sleeper wallrden lights installed in sleeper wall
Garden lights installed in sleeper wall

Enhance your property by laying a new patio – part #3

New drainage pipe for channel drain

Round by the garage and the back door of the property the wall of the garage is built into the bank of the house next door. The gravel boards of the boundary fence also act as a retaining wall holding the earth back. Rainwater runoff from higher up the road runs into the patio area of the house and makes the external walls wet when it rains hard. There is a Damp Proof Course (DPC) which prevents water penetrating internally.

To alleviate the effects of the surface rainwater run off a channel drain will be installed against the kitchen wall and continued round at the bottom of the patio running parallel with a new retaining wall which will hold back the earth from the garden. The retaining wall is made of new sleepers of lengths 1.2 metres and 1.8 metres and widths 100mm x 150mm. A narrow trench was dug and filled with type 1 with a sand and cement base that the first lot of sleepers were laid on with haunching (cement support) applied to the back of the sleeper wall once the wall was finished.

Type 1 and cement base for sleeper wall
Type 1 and cement base for sleeper wall

The sleepers were staggered to match the height of the earth that would be retained behind the wall. They were cut and offered up dry to start with to make sure they fitted together properly. Holes were drilled in the sleepers to accept 1.2 metre long 20mm steel rods which were passed through the sleepers and hammered into the ground with 2 part polyester resin being used to glue the rods inside the sleepers. The sleepers were also glued in place with a quick setting Silyl Modified Polymer glue.

Sleeper wall partially built
Sleeper wall partially built

Once the wall was complete it was left for 24 hours to allow the adhesives to set properly.

Sleeper wall finished
Sleeper wall finished

The rainwater which comes off the garage roof is carried away by a gutter into a downpipe. An inspection pit was dug following the line of the downpipe from the gutter in order to trace where the water was draining to.

Inspection pit to reveal drainage pipe leading to soakaway
Inspection pit to reveal drainage pipe leading to soakaway. Main main foul water sewer pipe routed above.

The downpipe exited into a 110mm 90 degree bend by means of a flexible reducer pushed over the pvc pipe. The inspection pit revealed that the pipe went under the shared services foul water drainage pipe and continued into a soakaway. A trench was dug to run the pipe which would be teed off and run up to the channel drain.

Inspection pit to reveal drainage pipe leading to soakaway
Inspection pit to reveal drainage pipe leading to soakaway. Main main foul water sewer pipe routed above.

In order to carry away the water from the new channel drain it was proposed that the rainwater drainage pipe for the garage roof gutter would have a tee placed into it and a new trench would be dug for a pipe to be laid and run upto a P trap. The use of a P trap was just to stop any possible gases coming up from the soakaway and exiting into the atmosphere at ground level through the channel drain. The P trap would have a downpipe that joans the bottom of the corner joint of the channel drain. Here the pipe is cut to accept the slip coupling and double socket branch.

Pipe cut ready to fit slip coupling
Pipe cut ready to fit slip coupling

Then the slip coupling is inserted with pipe lubricant …

Fitting slip coupling
Fitting slip coupling with joint lubricant to aid movement of coupling up and down pipe.

… and the double socket branch is inserted into the pipe.

Double socket branch tee fitting
Double socket branch tee fitted to facilitate installation of drainage pipe to channel drain.

Then a piece of straight pipe was inserted into the double socket outlet and 90 degree adjustable double socket bend was inserted into that which allowed a long piece of pipe to be run upto a 15 degree bend and into the P trap. The P trap was placed on type 1 and then a piece of broken patio slab to give a firm base. Once the P trap outlet was judged to be in the correct place to accept the channel drain outlet 10mm pea shingle gravel was shovelled into the trench to backfill the space around the pipes.

Trench backfilled with 10mm gravel pea shingle
Trench backfilled with 10mm gravel pea shingle