Fixing a bad paving situation

Fixing a bad paving situation. There are many home owners that don’t know that it is possible to repair a driveway or pool area by using the current old bricks. Normally the edge beam on existing paving is difficult to re-use but most of the rest of the bricks can be used again to assist in reducing the cost. The new bricks will age and get dirty in a relatively short time and blend in with the older bricks and hardly be noticeable.

Relaying old bricks

We often save our clients R1000’s by re-using the existing bricks and bringing in plus minus 20% new bricks to make up for the bricks that are broken or can’t be used for one or another reason. We then scatter the old and new bricks in the paved area so that there are no obvious patches and the finished product is a bit mottled as opposed to patched.

old driveway made new

We have found in a lot of cases that the company that did the original paving never did a strong edgebeam and that is why in most cases the paving collapses. This is one of the most critical areas of the paving but it can be hidden from unknowing clients. To conclude, if you don’t plan on selling your house in the near future and your current paving is functional,  then consider an uplift and relay and save a small fortune.

clay edgebeam

Edgebeam redone

The area will still need to be scarified, levelled and re-compacted as if you were doing a new paving installation, the only difference is that 80% of the paved area has been done in your old bricks. We recently did a repair to a house in Bryanston where we uplifted 350m2 of broken brick cobble and relaid the old paving bricks but mixed in 80m2 of new bricks. The final result is a functional and repaired driveway which saved the home owner R1000’s.

Repairing paving in Bryanston

Broken brick cobble being repaired in Bryanston.

Paving guarantee

When you employ someone to install your paving, you are hoping that they know what they doing and that the paving will enhance the aesthetics of your home, plus it must increase the value of your home.

stretcher bond grey and charcoal bevel paver

In a lot of cases, either the builder or the electrician, pool contractor or even the plumber will offer to install the paving and can even give addresses of where they previously installed paving to which home owners give the green light for them to go ahead and install the paving.

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Unfortunately the home owner only finds out a year or two later that the paving was installed incorrectly but looked good at the time when it was first installed. This is when we as a paving company get called in to fix or repair the paving.

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We recommend the following, ” Let each professional install or build what they have been trained to do and you will save money by holding each professional accountable for their own installation or construction.

Take a drive through an estate and casually look at the condition of the paving and you will be shocked at the amount of paving that is busy collapsing due to incorrect installation procedures. Most of these paving installations have been installed by non paving people, don’t make the same mistake, call in a paving company to install your paving.

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.

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

Paving design

Paving designs are personal.

Designing the paving for your house can be very simple and at the same time very complex. Nothing is more bland or none appealing than paving that is laid everywhere with no natural grass or flower beds visible. If we remember that paving needs to increase the value of the house, paving then deserves more attention than just calling in a contractor and going with the cheapest quote.

Cotswold_Mushroom2

If we truly want to maximize our investment, it is always good advice to have a landscaper first lay out the garden areas and assist with the areas that should be paved. A word of warning, “ always call a paving company to do your paving, no matter who advises you otherwise.” Some landscapers have paving companies that they prefer to work with because of their history of working together while others will simply lay out the areas to be paved and then leave it up to the house owner to finalize the paving. Either way, you should give the paving style and the paving brick the same amount of consideration that you did with the entertainment area or the location of the pool.

appearance makes a huge impact.

Create a style of your own

There are a lot of home owners that prefer to do their own landscaping ideas and that is great. There are plenty of ideas on the internet regarding how to landscape a garden and if you spend a little time you will save a lot of money getting to grips with the art of landscaping. But which ever way a person goes, remember that paving and gardening increase any investment if done correctly. I would again like to emphasize that you don’t have to install very expensive bricks to increase the return on investment, often a cheaper clay brick will enhance a property far more than an imitation rock made with cement/concrete.

Corobrick with a plastic drain

It is in most cases ethically better to keep with a similar type of brick on the driveway, pathways and pool areas as it comes across as “patchwork” when different types of paving stones/bricks are used at different areas. Even when the same colour is used on a different size or different shape bricks at different areas, the impression is often still one of patchwork. Not that different bricks cannot be used at different places, just ask for samples or pictures where similar paving was laid to get a better picture of how the end product will look.

Copy of whhelchair ramp

Paving is the first thing you see when arriving home and the last item you see when leaving, so designing the paving should and does deserve professional assistance to ensure that it becomes a return on investment and not a costly mistake. There are many types of paving bricks that fit into most budgets, so don’t think that calling in a professional paving company/person is going to be costly, it could save you a bundle of money and give you the look and feel that your house deserves.

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

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.