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PAVING, DRIVEWAYS and PATIOS

Whether you’re looking to lay a new drive or spruce up your garden for the summer, here is some advice from Clearance Paving.

It’s widely believed that a block paved driveway is much more attractive than tarmac or poured concrete. 

But the jobs that really impress are those that have utilised clever laying patterns, different colours, textures and features to create stunning effects that turn heads.

Heavy Traffic

Understanding that some laying patterns are suitable for different installations is half the battle, as pattern suitability will vary depending on the situation. For example, driveways will need more load bearing strength than a patio.

Herringbone is one of the most popular patterns for driveways and roads that need to withstand heavy vehicular traffic. Rectangular blocks in either 90 or 45 patterns or shaped blocks that conform to a regular format are recommended. This allows the interlocking patterned surface to ‘flex’ to accommodate the weight of vehicles, making it even able to withstand the heavy loading of buses, shipping containers and even aeroplanes.

Stretcher bond may be used where vehicles are unlikely to make regular turns or to break or accelerate frequently but patterns such as basket weave or parquet bond should not be used for drives, and are more suited to paths and patios.

Residential Drives

As a guide for residential drives and forecourts a block thickness of 40-60mm is advised. A block-paved driveway should be framed by edging blocks in either contrasting or identical colours.

These edge restraints not only provide a defined boundary but also are vital to keep the surface intact and the blocks fully interlocked. 

For a neat finish with visual contrast consider laying a single or double header course of block paving next to the edge restraint. 

Areas where load-bearing strength is not an issue provide greater opportunity for creativity. 

Patios, paths, steps and pool surrounds can be laid in flags, slabs or block paving or in a combination to create different patterns and effects. 

The two most common flag patterns are multi-sized, random patterns that give a traditional look, Dutch pattern or a squared pattern for a clean look.

For rectangular block paving the most common patterns are stretcher bond, basket weave or parquet, 90 herringbone and 45 herringbone. There are also a number of multi-sized block paving ranges available now, which are typically laid in a random stretcher pattern for a classic appearance. Other laying patterns are possible including mosaics, overlapping fans and swirls as well as curved or circular features using radial shaped blocks.

In The Garden

The trend in garden design is to view the outdoor space holistically in terms of the environment for living. Thus customers are more aware of the area as a functional space for different activities such as cooking, eating, entertaining and relaxing.

Hard landscaping provides an ideal way to introduce this concept by alternating the look of the ground with different shapes and sizes to clearly draw an outline or draw attention to areas, whilst providing a practical and attractive surface.

Project kits provide a great way to use creative features that can really draw the eye, act as a centrepiece or simply provide something a bit different. Circles, squares, octagons are all available as standard packs often with various optional centres, edging and corner sets and can be used in segments where space is limited. 

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When it comes garden walling, edging patios and paths, a good tip is to remember that the edging should never be higher than the turf. This allows a lawnmower to pass easily over it, allowing the edge of the lawn to be easily trimmed without damaging the mower for those that do not have a strimmer. For flowerbeds, ensure that the edging is higher than the beds to retain the earth 

The best tip you will ever get is to be well prepared. Taking time to plan the layout of the scheme, preferably to scale on graph paper, is vital. Not only will this help you to visualise the area, it should also help in terms of being able to trouble shoot problems from the outset.


 

 

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