Broken Brick cobble repaired

We are currently busy with a 350m2 driveway in Bryanston that needed to be uplifted and then repaired.

Many home owners don’t realise that their existing paving can be re-used and the driveway or pool area can once again look good at a fraction of the price of new paving.

red cobble 3

There is a lot of work removing the old grouting from the paving but the end result both from an aesthetic and cost point of view is well worth it.

Red Cobble bryanstonGet a professional and honest quote from us before tackling that paving installation.

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.

Old bricks save money

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.

 

Plastic under the paving being removed

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.

old driveway made new

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.

Scarifying the area to be paved.

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.

Water and drainage considerations

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 prevents rain from entering garage

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.

paving drainage

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.

rain water drainage point

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.

Flagstone paving and patios

Patio paving

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

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.

Pool paving with Corobrick

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.

Urban paver in Granite look

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.

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

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

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