The circle has been a popular design feature throughout the ages and perhaps it is the perfect symmetry of circles that makes them so attractive.   Here are five basic steps to follow when building a circular patio.

Step 1 Positioning - Position a comfortable chair in a likely spot within the garden and see how it feels at different times during the day.  Consider the seasonal changes in shade.  Once chosen mark out the circle with spray paint or a garden hose and see how it relates to the rest of the garden.

Step 2 Preparation- Once you have chosen the material, the next thing you need to do is dry lay the circular segments, starting from the centre piece.  Allow 10-20mm of space for pointing.

Step 3 Foundation- Always lay on a solid base.  Remove the turf and dig down 150mm.  Fill with 100mm of compacted hardcore and set the circular segments on a bed of mortar  25mm to 40mm thick.   Use 5 parts sharp sand to 1 part cement, and ensure the mix is damp but not too wet.

Step 4 Laying the circle- Start with the centre piece and tamp down onto the bed of mortar with a rubber mallet.  Check that you have a fall of 1:80 (25mm over 2m), to allow rain water drainage.  Keep checking your levels with a spirit level.

Step 5 Pointing- Prepare a mix of 3 parts of building sand (soft sand ) to 1 part cement, again this needs to be damp but not sloppy.  Use a trowel and a piece of pipe to finish the job.  Always remove excess to avoid staining.