Lapa entertainment area

            Lapa and lapa repairs There has been a spate of lapa repairs recently and mostly due to poor installation. Even though most lapa companies buy the grass and the poles from the same suppliers, it is the shoddy workmanship that comes out after a year or so.

restoring an old lapa

restoring a lapa

We often get calls to repair Lapas after a heavy downpour more so when there is a heavy hailstorm. I must add though that in 90% of cases the repairs come only after 5 years when the grass normally needs combing and replacing which is normal maintenance.

flagstone paving under the lapa

Lapa entertainment with flagstone paving

Once repaired and the paving has been either cleaned or replaced then the lapa/ entertaining area is again ready for summer or a warm winter day. the nice thing about a Lapa is that it is one of the most cost affordable entertaining areas to build.

You tube video on paving.


Video on youtube showing a sample of the paving that has been laid.

This is a short video to show some of the paving that has been laid. This video might prompt an idea or 2 for your paving project. Whether you want to pave your driveway, pool area or try your hand at a little landscaping then this video is for you.

the above video is just a small sample of the installations that we have done. The main idea here is to show you some of the paving bricks currently available and to allow you to get an idea of what might suite your house.

Please look through some of our articles for more advice and paving selections but feel free to phone for free advice concerning your paving investment. We offer free advice to anyone anywhere without any commitment.

Treat your paving installation as an investment and not as something that just has to be done, after all, it is the first thing a potential buyer or your family and friends see when arriving at your house. So don’t be in a hurry to install your paving, take a little time and investigate what would best suite your home.

 

Creative paving for gardens

Creative Paving for gardens

I went to the hobby x show at the Dome last week and saw an idea for a garden or an area of the back which might be currently neglected. Often there are areas around the house that is just never used and is therefore neglected or forgotten and often gets over run with weeds.

chess board with pieces

Why not get charcoal and Grey flagstones and create a chess or checkers board? There was a company called Bigchess that had chess pieces 84cm high and only 2.4kg in weight. I picked up a couple of the pieces to ensure that even a child could move the chess pieces. These chess pieces are almost indestructible as they are made from a durable polyethylene plastic with a 4mm wall.

Chess

With a couple of park benches or garden furniture this once neglected area of the garden could become very popular. The chess board and pieces could also be a very good selling item and cover up what used to be a eye sore. The entire area could be landscaped and with a little imagination it could end up as the main featured area of the house.

CAM00072

This is just one example of how to tackle an area that is currently your problem area at your house. Consult a few friends or family and have a brainstorming session with them and you will be amazed at the ideas that come pouring out. Show them what your problem is, tell them about this article and that should get the ideas to flow until the point where you have not only solved a problem area but you also have created a unique reason for your house to be in demand the day it is put up for sale.

Concrete pavers in demand

Concrete products move.

We have had one month of the new year and customers are swinging more towards concrete products from LaCotta and Smartstone than the traditional clay pavers from companies like Corobrick. I used to get 6 out of 10 inquiries for clay and the balance was a spread across the board for 6 concrete suppliers.

paving with LaCotta

Pool paving with LaCotta 3 size cobble paving

The type of finish that seems to be the trend at the moment is the 3 different size pavers. Most of the concrete brick suppliers manufacture the paving bricks in a range of colours with a light brownish yellow (sandstone) being the current favourite. The main key here is to ensure that the bricks are S.A.B.S or there could be a problem with colour or the actual finish could be warped.

Paving under the lapa

3 size flagstone pavers

In a paving site recently we were asked to do the paving around a swimming pool with the clients bricks that he obtained from a friend that manufactures bricks. The bricks were so out of shape that we rather walked off the job. The long term result would have been a bad reflection on our company name. We told the client what we were concerned with but he had total faith in his friend and would not even consider an alternative brick.

paving with flagstones and clay

Flagstones and clay combined

These concrete pavers are more expensive than their clay counterparts but give a very up market finish. I suggest that you look at a couple of finished paving projects or closer in photographs to see if you like any particular style and then get samples to choose the correct colour. For more help and assistance phone me on 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

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.

Paving under the Lapa

Entertain under a thatch Lapa

One of the biggest entertaining areas built in South Africa is the outside lapa or also known as the outside entertainment room with a thatch roof. This room is outside with wide apertures for entry from many directions and yet still allows a person to feel as though they are in a room with their buddies and friends.

flagstone paving under the lapa

Lapa entertainment with flagstone paving

The beauty of a lapa is also the ease in which a person can either move under the lapa for shade from the sun and rain, or move outside the lapa to bake and tan in the sun while still being in communication with those under or outside of the lapa.

Paving under the lapa

3 size flagstone pavers

Paving under the lapa is a choice that should be considered carefully. A lot of people like to go with a natural rocky look and select paving which will give that look and often the salesman will simply take your order and install what you requested and everyone is happy. Then one day you have a braai under your lapa and as normal a piece of boerewors squirts out a stream of fat all over your paving.

paving in the entertainment area

ground prep for paving under the lapa

After your friends leave and you are cleaning up, you realize that there is no way of getting that mark out your paving. Cement/concrete paving is very unfriendly when it comes to oils and fats and seldom if ever allows you to clean a spill satisfactory. Clay paving on the other hand just requires a little detergent and a moist cloth to take all the oil/fat off the paving. This example above is proof that paving is not just paving and different types of paving qualify for different areas. Get some advice before simply going ahead with any paving investment.