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 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.
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.
There seems to be a massive invasion of grass on a lot of driveways and paving in general this year. I have noticed that our church’s driveway and numerous clients driveways have grass taking over in massive quantities. In most cases it is a maintenance problem which is quite simple to remedy.
Grass and weeds destroying paving.
Bevel bond paving with grass growing on the driveway.
This is a sure fire way of destroying your paving if left unattended and then costing a lot of money to either fix or replace the paving. Never leave any small weed or grass pieces for too long as they just multiply and then lift the paving to the point where the paving needs to be replaced at a high cost.
Ironstone paving cleaned from weeds and grass.
A simple maintenance solution is to wash and sweep your paving once a month with a gentle water flow and a normal house broom. This will get rid of any seeds laying on your paving before they germinate and start growing. I strongly suggest that you attack any problem with a strong weed killer and monitor the paving on a twice weekly basis until the grass problem is solved. Do not ignore this problem as it will destroy your paving and cost you a fortune to replace the paving.
Corobrick paving with grass growing over it.
Home owners as well as corporate are seeing the value of re-using the old bricks at their premises. We have just finished lifting and relaying paving in a Brackendowns house and then recently we did a huge uplift and relay at lawyers premises in Bedfordview.
re lifting the driveway to remove the plastic sheeting
The cost of relaying paving is a bit less than half price when compared to brand new paving bricks. The preparation work and the laying of the old bricks is done exactly the same as when using new bricks.
New bricks being spread among the old paving bricks.
There is normally between 12% and 20% of the old bricks that are lost due to breakage and new bricks are then needed to be brought in to replace those broken bricks.
Preparing the ground for water levels.
The new bricks do stand out initially but soon fade, they get dirty and then match the existing old bricks. So if your budget is a bit on the low side then consider getting your paving reconditioned. The old bricks are lifted, the old grout is cleaned off, the ground is re-scarified, levels are re-set, compaction is then done before river sand is laid and the bricks are then laid with a new edgebeam. BINGO, you have a new reconditioned driveway with your old bricks.
Paving by Suburb
We have done paving in most suburbs in the greater Gauteng and we will include an article with most of our installations from now on.
Recently we paved in Brackenhurst, Roodepoort, Brackendowns, Weltevreeden park, Midrand, Springs, Boksburg, Horizon, Alberante, Glenanda, Edenvale, Eastleigh and Newmarket.
Corobrick driveway in Roodepoort
In most of the paving mentioned above we paved using Corobrick products however, we do also pave with Flagstones and Bevel bonds in all of Gauteng. It is our policy to give a client advice regarding which paver would best suite the area that is to be paved but we will pave using any brick or paver preferred by the client.
Flagstones and clay combined in Jo’burg North
Most clients do not know what is the costs to do paving today and I like to suggest that home owners try estimate the size of the area to be paved and get a telephone quote before inviting a salesman around to measure accurately and giving a formal quote. I also suggest that a paving quote be done early in the construction of a new house as it would need to be budgeted and not left as the last thing to be considered.
Often a home owner will settle for cheap paving as their budget is exhausted but within a couple of years the paving needs to be re-done due to poor selection or poor installation.
The new range from Corobrick is building up a storm as more home owners are installing these clay pavers on their driveways. We recently installed a 300m2 driveway in Roodepoort with the Namaqua paving bricks. This new paver is much cheaper than the standard clay paver but it also has a look of its own. This means that you getting a long lasting clay brick at almost the same price as the cement bevel bond bricks.
Corobrick Namaqua paving bricks
The rustic look is something the home owners have been looking for in a long time but only could get it from cement or concrete pavers. All paving installation companies have jumped into selling and installing this new range from Corobrick paving bricks due to its rustic appearance and cost. The sister product called Ironstone also gives a rustic look and feel but is red as opposed to yellow and is also making ground across Gauteng.
Corobrick Namaqua driveway installed in Roodepoort Gauteng.
Before selecting just any available brick for your driveway or pool area, spend a little time at a brick yard near you to see some of the paving bricks that are available and talk to your paving consultant about the various options available. Remember that the first thing a potential buyer sees when driving up to your house is the paving.
Ironstone paving at a school in Edenvale.
There has been a rush on the Corobrick Namaqua and Iron stone range. We recently installed 310m2 of Namaqua in Strubensvalley followed up with another 140m2 in Brackendowns. We have since then paved many other properties across Gauteng with this new Corobrick range.
paths and driveways paved with Corobricks Namaqua
We are currently the top installer of Corobrick in Gauteng and the reason is mostly because we give our customers sound advice regarding the advantages of Corobrick pavers and why we prefer clay to concrete paving bricks. This new range of bricks from Corobrick make paving with clay bricks much more affordable.
Paving and mentis grid with Corobrick in Alberton
Most customers know what look they want for their house but don’t know the range of bricks that are available and need to rely on the salesman to be honest and to give sound advise. Often the salesman is only price conscious and tries to quote on the cheapest brick currently available. Take a bit of time selecting the brick that will best increase the value of your property
Corobrick Cederberg with Nutmeg border and a plastic drain installed.
When a client is in the market for new paving or wants to replace existing paving the buzz word in every case is honesty. Contact us from anywhere in South Africa for free advice and suggestions.
One area that homeowners are aware of but often forget to tell the paving salesman about is the drainage problems that happen every time it rains. We had a situation that was evident and this time the client was not aware of the water problem. The ground felt very spongy when I walked on it and asked if they had recently done anything in the area which was to be paved. The owner of the house said that they put their sprinklers on 3 times a week but the ground was always quite spongy.
Drain in front of a garage.
On careful examination I saw that there was nowhere for the water to run off so it just saturated the ground. All the water ran to one corner and pooled there while slowly sinking into the ground and the ground was getting water logged. I told the owners of the house that the problem would multiply once the paving was laid as there would be no place for the rain water to drain and consequently it would simply pond and eventually begin to create a foul smell. Luckily the answer to this problem was simply to make a neat 10cm hole in the wall to allow the excess water to run out of this enclosed area.
Not every water problem has a simple answer but there is always a solution if looked at constructively. Sometimes a simple raised header course is all that is needed, other times it may be that a drain needs to be built and in most cases it simply needs the paving to be laid correctly to allow the rain water to run away from the house and walls.
Plastic cover on a underground gulley.
Don’t ignore your water problem, discuss it with your paving company and let them propose a solution. You don’t have to accept their proposal but it could have a solution to the damp starting on your house walls. Try resolve the problem before it happens.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Broken brick cobble being repaired in Bryanston.
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.
With more brick manufacturing companies now producing their own range of flagstones, it has become very common for home owners to pave their patios with the various types and styles of flagstones which have become available. In the past 2 months we have had more than our normal amount of inquiries for patio paving quotations.
Pool paving with LaCotta 3 size cobble paving
65% of the time people prefer the 3 different size flagstones around the swimming pool or on the patio and entertainment area but there is a growing trend to go with the larger size flagstone as a stand-alone.
We just installed a 500 x 500 flagstone on a patio and around the swimming pool which when finished looked fantastic. The client has had the paving sealed professionally which has enhanced the paved area incredibly. Please give the paving on your patio more than just a casual thought as it is the place where you will be entertaining your guests.
Paving with Corobrick Nutmeg and Cederberg
On another note, Bosun bricks, a large paving brick manufacturer has also recently manufactured a 3 size paving brick which in my opinion is specifically designed for the driveway.
Ganite urban paver from Bosun
The Bosun urban paver when laid has a real granite and/or a marble finish that stands heads above most of its competitors. We have laid this paver in a couple of driveways recently with extremely positive reactions from not only the owners but also from their neighbours. This paving brick might not be ideal for a patio or around a swimming pool but it is a paver that will turn heads when laid on your driveway.