Paving prices

Paving prices looked at.

Paving is often seen as a necessary evil, but, if a little knowledge is used when paving your house, then the paving ends up being a very worthwhile investment with long term benefits.

Cederberg paving with nutmeg

Cederberg paving with a nutmeg diamond

One of the confusing areas that needs to be decided on is the actual paving brick, but there are so many different types available. My personal choice has always been the clay paving brick as it is a natural product and if it is installed correctly with expansion joints, the paved area will last for decades. Unlike any of its cement counterparts, clay expands and contracts and therefore needs expansion joints fitted at the time it is installed. Clay paving is not only an excellent investment it is also a long lasting product that needs little maintenance.

Paving with Corobrick Namaqua

Corobrick Namaqua driveway

Clay pavers also come in a bit of a range and can vary from a 50mm brick designed for paving to a brick broken in half due to it not conforming in some way to the batch currently being manufactured. Clay building bricks can also be used for paving purposes and are known to last for decades if laid correctly with expansion joints fitted. The broken brick variety is also a highly recommended type of paving that is known to last for decades with very little maintenance. If one just drives or preferably walks a couple of blocks in one’s own neighborhood and examines the paving that has been laid at a lot of the houses in the neighborhood, then it becomes a little obvious which paving lasts longer than others due to appearance and durability. Never be afraid to ask home owners for their recommendations regarding paving as they have already experienced the life of their paving and can therefore give you some sound advice and possibly the telephone number of a good installer.

Corobrick driveway

Steep driveway done with clay paving.

Price is always a major factor with most people and again, just like any other product, there is a range of clay products that have a range of prices but the broken brick variety is among the cheapest and yet one of the strongest forms of paving. The broken brick variety is laid in a circular manner and it therefore has a very athletically accepted look and feel. Dollar for dollar, the broken brick clay paving style is tops both in cost and durability and is an excellent return on investment item. But, whatever your budget and no matter the style or class of your house, clay paving will always give an excellent return on your investment and will stay looking new and fresh for decades longer than most other paving products.

Paving a driveway in cobble

Driveway in broken brick cobble

There are a lot of small manufacturers that now produce their own range of paving bricks but not all produce a brick than can stand up to the punishment that a paving brick needs to take. Before investing in any brick, always ask for references that are in excess of 3 years old and check with the references how they still feel about the product. Often the reference not only confirms the brick but also gives the name and phone number of the installer. If the paving still looks good after 3 years then the brick and the installer are who you need to get hold of.

Red and charcoal bevel paving

For additional advice or a free quote, contact Richard on 011 867 2957 or 084 300 4220

Pool paving considered

Pool paving can be tricky

In most cases I recommend clay paving around a pool. Most pools in South Africa have the Corobrick Cederberg paver as the paving brick around their pool, but there is a growing trend to install flagstone around pools. It is a personal taste and often people are price conscious after they have spent a fortune building the pool.

Pool paving with Corobrick

Paving with Corobrick Nutmeg and Cederberg

Then there is the question of whether the pool should be a chlorine or salt water pool. It is common knowledge that the water in a salt water pool is or feels so much softer on the skin and eyes but one has to remember that salt deteriorates almost anything it comes into contact with. Decking, rock waterfalls and most untreated pool paving gets rapidly eaten away around a salt water pool and can incur additional repair costs after anything from 6 months to 3 years.

paving with LaCotta

Pool paving with LaCotta 3 size cobble paving

Sealing can also be a bit expensive as it is needed on a regular basis and is not just a once off cost. I have installed paving around most types of swimming pools and have found that it is most often paving around a salt-water swimming pool that needs replacing or repair, more so with cement or concrete style paving bricks.

pool and lapa paving

Lapa paving done with Cederberg

So as you can see, paving around a pool can be quite complex, but, if tackled correctly, one can get a long lasting paver plus a quality finish with just a little patience and understanding of which paver is best suited for your need. Coping is the most expensive item in the pool paving price and the pool coping should outlive the life of your paving by many years if installed correctly.

Winter wonderland with a boma

Boma with flagstone paving

Spend a little time selecting your pool paving brick and style to ensure that the paving ends up being an investment and not an expensive failure. Check how long a company has been doing paving and also whether they belong to any pool/brick or paving association. This will tell you whether you are dealing with a reputable company and not some fly by night who you won’t get hold of if you encounter a problem with your paving later on.

 

invest in your paving.

Is your paving an investment?

There are literally 100’s of different types of paving bricks/stones available and then there are a multitude of colours that most are available in as well. Even though paving has been around for 1000’s of years, it can still be a bit tricky ensuring that your hard earned cash becomes an investment when the paving types/style is selected. Your driveway and pathways might look good in a particular type of brick but you might find out later that the brick on the driveway is breaking up as it was not really designed to be laid as a driveway stone/brick.

Flagstone paving

Patio with style

In almost every case the brick used on your driveway should not be less than 50mm thick, there are very few exceptions to this rule. Another thing to consider regarding the look and feel of your driveway is the practicality of driving on the paving during a rain storm. Will the paving allow your tyres to grip or will they slip and slide? Obviously this will also depend on the gradient of your driveway.

paving with flagstones and clay

Flagstones and clay combined

There are so many factors that come into play regarding your paving, but when looking to increase the investment return on your house, it is always worth the effort to ensure that you have made the right decision. Don’t get bullied by a salesman who is more concerned with his/her commission than your investment. Don’t also fall into the neighborhood syndrome where everyone is paving with a certain style or a specific brick and you feel compelled to comply and do the same. Often it pays to be a little different but obviously with some knowledge of what is the correct type of brick to be used at various places around the house.

Paving steps in nutmeg

Steps build with Corobrick nutmeg pavers.

Now that you are armed with some paving knowledge, you are bound to be a boss in your neighborhood and can expect people to ask your advise regarding their paving. Paving styles in South Africa are not very different to the styles around the world but there are styles which are unique to every country, do a little homework with Google and ensure that your paving turns out to be one of the best investments you make at your house.

Smartstone paving

Smartstone Cotswold

Get solid advice, phone Richard today on 011 867 2957 or 084 300 4220

Looking at prices for paving

Paving prices in Gauteng

R95.00 per m2 sounds like a good price but when you add delivery, labour, compaction equipment and vat then the price is no longer so attractive. The average price for paving on an all inclusive basis ranges from R180.00 to R400.00 per m2 dependent on the paving selection and the area that is being paved.

Broken brick paving

Driveway paved in red broken brick cobble

If there are rocks that need to be broken down or removed then there could be the price of a jackhammer added to the total. One thing that few contractors talk about is the rubble that needs removal after the installation, this is an additional cost of between R900.00 to R1250.00 per 6m3 load depending on the type of rubble and the rubble company.

Sample of rubble on a pavement

Rubble can cost a lot of money to remove.

It is always a good idea to check if the price you are given includes all the above so that you are not caught for extra monies after the paving is completed. Another thing to look out for is why there might be a huge price difference between suppliers of the same bricks. There are many manufacturers that manufacture the same looking brick but the difference is whether it is a S.A.B.S. brick or not. A cheap brick could and should have a shorter life span than a brick that costs a little more but is a S.A.B.S. brick.

clay paving bricks

Driveway in clay paving

Paving is like any other investment that one makes and needs a little investigation. Talk to a couple of paving installation companies not only about their price but also their installation procedure. There are again builders that are excellent in building multi million Rand houses and are flawless in their finishing but most don’t produce the same results with paving.

parking bay paving

Cederberg and burgundy clay paving for parking area

The main reason is that the ground needs certain preparation and specific finishing to produce a top quality paved area and an owner would not know how good or bad the paving is until it starts to collapse which could take anything from 6 months to 2 years. Aztec paving would not be discussing these issues if we did not have the customer at heart. Contact Aztec paving and 2 to 3 other established companies to ensure a proper and long lasting installation.

 

Paving maintanance

Paving maintanance

If you have grass growing on your paving the chances are that you have been negligent regarding the care of your paving. Every item we buy today needs some maintenance, this includes paving. Grass not only spoils the look of the paving but it can also destroy your paving in a short space of time.

Copy of Grass on paving

In most cases but not all, a simple medium to soft spray from a garden hose and a house broom can be all that is needed to maintain the new rich luster that your bricks had when they were first laid. But, as I said earlier, it is not always the owner’s non-care that degrades the paving, it could also be bad workmanship. The Master builders association and those paving companies that are registered with the Master builders association have a strict method of installing paving. This is no guarantee that things can still not go wrong, but it does give peace of mind knowing that the company is still going to be around to repair anything that might have gone wrong. Price is always a factor but long term satisfaction can always trump price.

Paving under the lapa

3 size flagstone pavers

Richard Arthur has been in the paving industry and sales for most of his 38 year working life and suggests that you should test your salesman to see if he has your project at heart. Most salespeople are only focused on their commission from your job but seasoned salesmen think of the referrals that a good installation always brings. A real professional will want to spend some time with you to ensure that your purchase is not only exactly what you would like, but is the right product for the job as well.

Drain prevents rain from entering garage

Drain in front of a garage.

Do a little research of your own concerning the different brick types either online or at your local brick yard, suggest a brick type as a possible selection to the salesman and see if he/she runs only with that selection or if they offer something different. They should then give reasons why your selection is or is not the right selection for your needs and offer alternatives which they feel could be better for the job. You will soon get the feeling whether the salesman is there for just your order, or if they are being professional and will turn your order into an investment.

Corobrick with a plastic drain

Now obviously is always better if you are on hand to watch the way the contractor is going about doing your paving, but often we buy a house and the paving is already done. I suggest that now that you know a bit about paving, that one of the areas that you take a look at before purchasing that new house is the paving. If you can identify the fact that the paving is busy disintegrating you could get a nice discount on the property as you can point out that the paving will have to be redone. Paving today is not a cheap installation and you could be looking at R20000 or more for renewing the paving. So, take paving a bit more serious and you could be having your next holiday on the money that your paving knowledge has just saved you.

Grass growing on your paving

How do I stop grass growing on my paving?

The thing to understand about grass or weeds that grow on any paving is that most times (almost always) it starts to grow on top of the paving and not from underneath. Where 2 bricks meet each other is where sediment collects, micro seeds fall into the sediment and lay waiting for any form of moisture to germinate. The moisture can be in any form including dew, frost, garden spray or rain.

Ironstone 1

Nothing can basically grow from under the paving as it is (or should be) pitch dark and plants need sunlight to grow. The only time plants grow from under the paving is normally from bad workmanship and bad installation. Using a company that belongs to the Master Builders Association (MBA) does not guarantee your paving to be flawless but it does guarantee you repairs if your paving needs any. Often the price difference between a MBA member and a non MBA member is so minimal that it is silly not to opt for the MBA installation.

clay edgebeam

Edgebeam redone

The cure to stop or rather prevent grass and weeds from getting a hold on your paving is to rinse your paving off with water from a hose pipe and swept at the same time to ensure that all sediment and seeds are not left on your paving. Aztec Paving suggests once a month for a paving clean and sweep. If any plant starts to grow between your clean and sweep periods you should pull it out before it gets a hold under your paving. The roots of any plant will find a weak spot to drop down and once it gets into the soil under the paving, it becomes difficult to remove, you will need weed killer to stop its growth.

Copy of Grass on paving

Occasionally when you want to really spring clean your paving, a little detergent or dish washing liquid can be used in addition to the water and broom. Your investment will be kept nice and clean for that time when you decide to put your house on the market. Everything we buy today requires a little maintenance and that includes your paving. Driveway paving is normally the first item a potential buyer sees when they pull up outside your house, make sure it entices them to come in and not scare them away.

Driveways for sports cars.

Paving for a Posche

Most sports cars are very low and often the driveway needs to be leveled with filling and compaction to accommodate the sports car. We have just had this problem with a client in Rivonia where the underside of his Porsche and his wife’s BWM was catching the cement edging of the street and so consequently they had to leave their cars outside at night.

Drain at the garage

Drain grid in front of the garage

The existing driveway had an acute downward angle to the garages which had to be adjusted as well as the entrance from the street. Using 15m3 of filling and uplifting the entire driveway Aztec paving proceeded to recreate the entire driveway. To enhance the entrance we also built a retaining wall against the boundary wall to create a flower box all down the driveway.

Corobrick driveway

Steep driveway done with clay paving.

Once the old paving was out, we at Aztec paving pulled fish lines at the angle that was best suited to accommodate the lowness of the 2 sports cars. Then on a gradual basis we started to add the filling and using a Bomag compactor we proceeded to rebuild the driveway slope towards the garages. The total area measured 165m2 which should indicate why we needed so much filling.

clay paving bricks

Driveway in clay paving

We then cleaned the old bricks, which were re-used. We only needed 400 new bricks to replace the edgebeam and replace the bricks that got broken during the uplifting. (Not bad considering that the driveway consists of more than 7000 bricks.) Once the slope and entrance were compacted with the correct angles we proceeded to repack the old bricks to maintain the previous look that the driveway had. The cost was in the region of only half what it would have cost using new bricks. The client did not bother calling for other quotes as he had previously seen the quality of the work we put out at Aztec paving, plus, he also knew that we do not over charge our clients and those are the main reasons for the referrals we get on a weekly basis.

Cederberg driveway paving

Driveway paving in Cederberg

Often a driveway just needs a spring cleaning to shine once again and the re-use of old bricks can often not only be cheaper but also maintain the original appearance that was created when the house was built.

How to pave yourself.

People often think that paving is a simple task of just hardening the soil and laying the bricks on the prepared soil. I have listed the process of paving here so that anyone having paving done can follow the steps listed to ensure that the company/builder that you hired is doing the job properly.

Cotswold_Mushroom2

Often home owners think that because their builder did a beautiful job building their house that he can also do paving, they find out 2-4 years later that the paving is no where near the quality of the house and often needs repairing or replacement.

Check list:-

A) Surface of the intended paving area is cleared of all grass, rocks etc. and the soil has to be loosened to a depth of approximately 200mm.

B) Fish lines (Fishing gut) are used to determine levels of the paving to ensure that the finished paving will direct rain and other water flows off the paving into the desired place/direction.

C) Once levels are correct the area is sprayed with water to moisten the soil and allow for maximum compaction. A plate compactor is normally used for compaction but I also recommend that a Bomag be considered when paving a larger area. Compaction is a critical area of paving and this is where most builders fall down.

D) Washed coarse river sand is laid over the area to cushion the paving bricks. I often suggest that a bag of dry cement per 50m2 is mixed in with the river sand to act as a weed killer, but it is not absolutely necessary as nothing can grow in total darkness under the paving.

E) The bricks can now be laid on the river sand in a pre selected design. You can google various paving designs with pictures but I recommend the herringbone design as it is one of the strongest designs. Stretcher bond is normally used on walkways or around swimming pools.

F) A 50mm trench is prepared around your paved area and is filled with a concrete/cement mixture. This is commonly called an edgebeam and bricks are packed into the wet concrete/cement and allowed to dry. This edgebeam is going to hold your paving together and needs a minimum of 48 hours to bond.

G) The paved area is now compacted once again to ensure that every brick is firm in its place.

This is a very basic example of how to pave a driveway, pathway or under a lapa etc. If you follow the above steps you should have a fairly good paved area but it is very seldom laid as good as a recognised paving company. It is always wise to consider if the savings you will make by doing the paving yourself is worth the time and effort, or if the extra money spent on a specialised paving company is not an investment for the long run.

Don’t snub cheap paving

One thing about some cheap paving is, it is stronger and longer lasting when compared to a lot of the more expensive alternatives. The cheap paving that I am referring to here is what is often called “Broken brick cobble.”

Red broken brick paving

Broken brick cobble driveway

I often tell people that before they spend their hard earned money on paving they should do a little research. My favourite one is to tell my clients to take a drive around an older more established area and pay attention to the various types of paving that was laid.

paving with flagstones and clay

Flagstones and clay combined

You will often find many houses with this type of paving and if you ask the owner of the house to tell the age of the paving you will often find out that it has been down for more than 20 – 25 years. Then you will find paving much younger (sometimes less than 5 years) that has been laid with a more expensive brick and is ready to be replaced.

Clay broken brick cobble

Clay broken brick cobble

I am not saying that this is the only paving brick or style to consider, rather, I am saying that you should do a little homework and test your paving salesman to see if his interest is with you or if he is more concerned about getting your order and his commission. My first choice always is clay pavers as they last and last with very little wear being shown.