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.

A rustic look from Corobrick for your driveway.

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.

Namaqua pavers from Corobrick

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.

Paving with Corobrick Namaqua

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.

clean paving at a school

Ironstone paving at a school in Edenvale.

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.

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

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.