Repair and save

Often home owners replace their paving when in fact they could save a fortune by getting the existing paving uplifted and relaid correctly. Have a look at the condition of your existing paving bricks and you might find them still in perfect condition and only a few are broken or damaged.

Relaying old bricks

Old bricks being relaid after levels were corrected.

We normally work on replacing roughly 15% of the existing bricks due to damages but that means 85% of your existing bricks are re-used and has saved you a small fortune. In most cases the initial levels and compaction were not done correctly which then creates a distasteful image in a short time.

old driveway made new

New bricks being spread among the old paving bricks.

The new bricks can either be used as the new border or we can scatter the new bricks in among the old bricks so that patches of old and new are avoided. So before you replace your paving get a quote to repair your existing paving. You might still go ahead with the new paving but you have at least had a comparison quote.

Rubble is costly

There are so many different types of extras that builders don’t tell you about until you are neck deep in debt and trying to finish off the project. One of the things that no one talks about is the rubble that is going to sit on your pavement outside of your house.

Building rubble

Rubble created during building operations.

When one looks at the cost of removing rubble and add that cost to the quote for the installation you might find that it would have paid to be a bit more diligent when you were out getting your quote. Ensure you find out if there are any extras that could occur before signing the order.

Sample of rubble on a pavement

Rubble can cost a lot of money to remove.

Often a company does not know how much rubble will be created and will rather give you a cost per load to remove the rubble. They should be able to give you an indication of how many loads you could expect which would then give you an indication of what the total cost for the installation will be including the removal of the rubble.

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.

 

Plastic under the paving

Plastic under the paving

I was called by one of our building contractors to analyze why a client of his had a problem with their paving. The client is a major law firm in Johannesburg and their paving was only 5 years old but was shifting badly and opening gaps in the paving. Some of the gaps were as wide as 4cm. I personally could not believe that the paving was only 5 years old and even though it was cement bevel bond and not clay, there was just no way that the paving should have deteriorated to this extent.

Plastic under the paving being removed

re lifting the driveway to remove the plastic sheeting

We lifted a section of the paving to get an idea of how the paving was stabilised and found that the paving had been laid on a waterproof plastic sheeting. I knew just then that it could not have been a master builders paving company that laid the paving and actually told him. The client told me that it was the builder that built the building that also did the paving but wanted to know how I knew. The answer was simple, how is paving going to stabilise if laid on a sheet of plastic and where is the rain water going to drain to?

Paving destroyed by laying in water on plastic sheet

Water laying on the plastic sheet

Most builders do not know the science of paving but will undertake the job for the extra cash and most clients are just too lazy and too complacent to call in someone else to do the paving. The problem is that 3-5 years down the line the paving needs to be uplifted and re-laid which just adds to the expense of the paving.

never use plastic sheets under your paving.

Plastic sheeting under your paving offers no stability to your paving.

If you are about to do paving, ask the company that you are considering to use, to please lay a plastic sheeting under your paving, if they agree, fire them and get a paving company that not only refuses to lay plastic under the paving but also explains why it is wrong.

Relaying old bricks

Paving is a science and it should not be treated lightly or it will cost you a lot of money in the long run. Contact Richard on 084 300 4220 for more advice or a free quote on your paving.

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.

Driveway paving design

Driveway Paving design

For most people the paving around the house and on the driveway is the last thing considered when building or renovating a house, yet it is the driveway paving that a potential buyer first sees when approaching a house.

Cotswold_Mushroom2

Paving should be more than just a path to the garage and the front or back door, plus it needs a little maintenance to retain your investment. The first thing to consider is the brick type that will best show off your house and then the colour of the paving brick which will also compliment the house. Always check if the brick or paver that you selected is suitable for a driveway as many paving bricks will not take the harsh weather conditions, most paving stone manufacturers agree that the brick or stone needs to also be a minimum of 50mm for driveway use.

paving with flagstones and clay

Flagstones and clay combined

Then using a pen and paper you could design your paving layout and then using one or two long hose pipes or pebbles you could lay out your design to get a visual of just what the driveway will look like when finished. Will the driveway simply go as a straight line from the street to the garage or can you create a circle where cars can drive to the house and continue on the circle back to the street? Then will you have a garden running alongside the driveway? There is so much that can go into designing a presentable driveway and presenting your house in a more desirable manner. Even if you are not considering selling your house now, think of the day when you will sell and how your 1st impression is going to entice the potential buyer from coming in.

Copy (2) of 2012-11-29 11.41.29

Don’t just let anyone lay your paving as it is a qualified profession and even qualified builders often can’t lay paving properly but will undertake the job. For a maximum return on your investment, let builders build, pool contractors do your pool and paving companies install your paving.

Urban paver in Granite look

Ganite urban paver from Bosun

Contact Richard Arthur on 084 300 4220 (Gauteng) for more advice or a professional free quote.

Paving needs maintanance

 Keep your paving in good condition.

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.

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.

Grass removed for paving

Bricks lifted and the ground being prepared.

The Master builders association of South Africa 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.

clay edgebeam

Edgebeam redone

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.

Paving circle around a tree

Paving with a tree in the middle.

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.

brick co double cobble

Now obviously it is always better if you are on hand to watch the way the contractor is going about installing your paving, but often we buy a house and the paving is already done. I suggest that now that you know a bit more 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, 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.

2 colour paving on a driveway

2 colour bevel bond paving on a driveway

Contact Richard Arthur for a free quote and sound advice 084 300 4220

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.