October 16 - 22, 2016: Issue 285

DIY Sandstone Flagging Parking Platform

If you need an extra parking area and want something that looks informal and creates some flow in the aesthetics of your garden, then a sandstone flagging parking platform may be what suits. More concrete is not always a great look for your green areas and this idea will keep the natural look as well as being functional.

Larger pavers will also work well with this idea if you prefer something smoother. With the great range of earthier shades now available in these, this option will suit those who want something that looks more uniform and is easier to work with.

Ours was installed in an area that previously would become muddy during rain and could not be made to stay green due to being used as a place to store the car. We wanted to make something that could withstand the load of a car or small truck and restore the area, which is beneath a stand of tall spotted gums, to green.

The irregular shape of sandstone flagging means you will have to look at how to fit the pieces together while doing this project.

Prior to getting your materials determine what thickness of sandstone flagging you need – the one used in this is 50mm. As this is for a car you will need to set the flagging in cement (heavy loading).

You can also use pavers for this project – Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 Garden Centre at Narrabeen has a great range. Discuss what you want to use these for and they’ll recommend what will work best to suit your parking platform. 

The whole project took one day to complete with one mate to help lift the heavier pieces into place and mix the cement. The cost there was 2 x beers, 1 x bacon and egg sandwich plus a slice of cake for lunch and $150.00.

Materials For an area 6m x 1.5m
1 x Pallet Sandstone flagging  $600.00
3 x Bags of Cement $  60.00
10 x Bags of Sand ($8.00) $  80.00

Wheelbarrow (to mix cement in)

SPEAR & JACKSON SQUARE MOUTH SHOVEL: $22.98 - D handle. CYCLONE D HANDLE GARDEN SPADE: $38.90 - Tough 2mm titanium treated steel blade. CYCLONE LONG HANDLE TRENCHING SHOVEL: $57.55 - 2mm, boron & titanium treated Australian steel blade.


POPE JACKAROO HOSE: $18.00 - 12mm x 15m.

GARD&GROW® SOAKER HOSE: $19.80 – 15m

Step by Step

Ground preparation
If you want firm straight edges to your parking platform lay out some boards to the length and width required and work within that area. Tap some holds into the ground to keep these in place while you work. This will also stop cement overflowing the space you have chosen and give a nice neat finish.
Also clear the area within this boarded off area of any little stones that may stop you from creating a flat area. The ground as slightly sloped where this car platform was placed so working with the sides of the flagging to keep it looking rustic was required as well as jiggling the pieces when placed in their bed of mortar.

Using Pavers 
When laying pavers the rule is to place them into a bed of sand – in this case cement will mean you are going to need to lay a bed of mortar for these as well. Think long term when laying pavers and ensure you install them properly. Over time, your project will be inundated with rain and alkaline tap water, scorched and dried by the sun, encroached by tree roots and affected by subsurface pressures of the earth. 

Within the site itself, every paver at some time or another is likely to be exposed to soil, compost and leaf litter, fertilisers, cleaning chemicals, food, grease and everything in between. Choose pavers that will last under the gum trees and in the flow of water across your property.

To make a mortar bed for pavers we find this ratio most successful: 3 parts washed sand : 1 part white cement and 1 part water and/or additive. Clearly you will need to increase the Materials List if using this option and definitely have your mate to help you so the work may go much more quickly.

Layout of Flagging
Once you have chosen your flagging or pavers have a look at the sizings and how you want these to be laid. If you have gone with pavers it makes it easy to place these unless you’re going to incorporate a design within the area itself. 

With flagging it’s a little like a jigsaw puzzle – lay out the first pieces for a small are to begin with. 

Lay a bed of cement and replace those pieces moving slightly until fairly level and then fill in the gaps with your cement as you go. Make sure you clean away and drops of cement that land on your flagging or pavers as you go – once they set they will be harder to get rid of.

Mixing Cement
The rule with mixing cement is 1 cement : 2 sand : 3 gravel by volume. No aggregate was used in this project though and a low water-cement ratio was employed as this increases the strength and durability of the concrete. This does reduce the workability of the cement while making the platform but will give you something that holds together better and lasts much longer.

Another tip when using cement is to give the stones on either side a bit of a tap when filling in the spaces as this will get rid of air bubbles which will also reduce the strength and longevity of the concrete applied.

Mix the dry ingredients and slowly add water until the concrete is workable. The mix should not be too stiff or too sloppy.
A 5:1 ratio was used in this project.

Out of Bounds
Ensure no one walks on the newly installed platform for at least 24 hours – this allows the cement to ‘go off’, or set properly.

The Green Grass on either side
You can see we chose laying some new turf where the area had been turned into mud and then dirt. New turf requires watering regularly until the roots take hold. If your area hasn’t deteriorated to the point ours had then some lawn maintenance will bring it back. Boost the grass with some feeder, use the prongs of your fork to loosen up compacted areas and help rain get through and speak to trained friendly staff at Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 about which lawn patch product will help restore you lawns.



VICTA HAWK 158CC LAWN MOWER: $359.00 -  4-stroke. 16 steel chassis.

ROVER BLAXLAND 159CC LAWN MOWER: $379.00 -  46cm (18) deck. 2 swing back blades.

Finally: Welcome to the peace of not having someone doing wheelies in mud restores to your garden and something that isn’t another block of boring cement.

All the products for this project are from those currently on sale at Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 stores at Avalon, Mona Vale, while pavers and anything else you may need for your outdoor areas can be found at the Narrabeen Fencing and Landscapes depot. These are all high quality built to last tools that will remain useful for your next project.

Vegepods are a great idea for the junior gardener or for those who like to pick fresh produce straight from their Unit balcony.
For some plant out ideas, visit:  Salad Garden for Children 

Products advice is available from the trained friendly staff at Narrabeen, Mona Vale and Avalon Johnson Brothers Mitre 10. 

Click on logo to visit Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 website

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Avalon            (02) 9918 3315

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 - Mona Vale     (02) 9999 3340

JBH Timber & Building Supplies          (02) 9999 0333

JBH Fencing & Landscape Supplies    (02) 9970 6333


 vegepod made into a fail-safe herb garden - at Johnson Brothers Hardware Mitre 10 Mona Vale

Previous DIY Pages:

Decking Timbers  Caring For Your Deck Decking Finishes  Privacy Screens I Privacy Screens II  Privacy Screening Hardwoods  Autumn Paths and Lawns  Insulation Batts Plasterboard  Ventilation - Edmond's Ecofan Blackboards for Children and Home Spring Lawn Care Shade Sails & Watering  Basic DIY Tools DIY Tools - Power Drills Recycle Your Trampoline into An Air Bed  How to Build Your Own Backyard Cricket Pitch Christmas Lights Displays around House and Garden Summer Mildew - Refresh, Renew How to Fix Things That Drip and Bump in the Night Time To Plant Winter Vegetables in  a Raised Garden Beds Layout Organsing Your Tool Shed  Make Your Own Weathervane Installing A Garden Watering System  Decking Oils  How To Make Garden Compost  How To Winter proof Your Lawn How to create Shabby Chic effect on Timber Furniture How to Build Your Own Raised Garden Bed  Growing Your Own Winter Vegies Winter Heating Guide Prepare Your Yard For Winter Eradicating Noxious Weeds From Your Yard How to Fix Furniture Finishes Part I How to Repair Scratches, Dings, and Dents of Furniture Surfaces - Part II Winter Draughts Fix  Classic Wooden Tool Carrier Spring Garden Checklist Part I  Install Your Own Skylight  Retaining Walls for Saving Soil and New Spring Garden Beds  Summer Salad Garden Native Plant Garden for A Fairy Arbour Renewing Short Flight of Exterior Stairs Deck Maintenance DIY Summer Tasks You Can Do In Time to Get to the Beach  Garden Ponds for Attracting Birdlife, Dragonflies and for the Soothing Sounds of Water  Salt Air: Maintenance and Protection Creating an Outdoor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio - Part I Creating an Outdor Dining Arbour, Gazebo or Patio Part II Autumn Garden Tasks  Autumn DIY Jobs: Waterproof Your Home Checklist  Dealing With Dampness Inside the Home  Fixing Your Fence  Repairing and Replacing Damaged Decking boards  DIY Toy Box and Snow Globes: School Holidays Fun - Winter 2015  DIY Wooden Toy Cars and Perfect Painted Flowerpots: School Holiday Fun - Winter 2015  Shoring Up an Under House Earth Bank – Installing a Basic Retaining Wall  DIY One Shelf Sideboard  Early Spring 2015 Garden Care Salad Garden For Children  Keeping Your Garden and Home Cool in Hot Weather  Classic Beach Garden and Camping Chairs 3 Portable Versions Anyone Can Make DIY Outdoor Furniture Mark I: Park Benches for Your Garden Make Your Own Scooter or Skateboard: Summer 2016 Fun  How to Install a Solid Core Door and Door Furniture  Summer Garden Jobs: Pruning A Hedge  How to Make A Swing Chair - With A Frame for Garden Setting  Garden Jobs for March to Make A Beautiful and Healthy Spring  Keeping Outdoor Nooks Warm During Cooler Months  Children’s Step Stool with Storage  Stop Winter Rain Lawn Loss and Soil Erosion on Slopes  DIY Garden Shed: Part 1 of 4 - Base  DIY Garden Shed: Part 2 - Framing Walls  DIY Garden Shed: Part 2b - Gable Roof Framing  Garden Shed Part 3: Roof Installation  DIY Garden Shed: Weatherboards - Door And Window Installation And Paint Finish DIY Coffee Table With Chessboard Inlay  Spring Gardening: Feeding Your Soil And Plants - What Works For Each Plant


John and Bob Johnson - The Johnson Brothers Profile  John William Alfred Johnson - The Eulogies for those who could not attend Mass

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