Problem Free Patios Paving And Paths Ashbourne
If you are thinking of creating a patio, courtyard or path within your garden, then click here to get Wall Building Services in Ashbourne
Where to place a path
Have a good look at your garden, even if you are just viewing from the comfort of your kitchen, this may give you an idea of where paths should be placed. Viewing a curved pathway, particularly one that wraps behind a border will entice the viewer to exit the house and follow the path to discover what lies at its end. You may not end up with a crock of gold at the end of the path but a restful seating area will be a good consolation, and quite a nice focal point. Hardwearing continuous paths can be created from gravel, paving brick, pavers or setts (concrete or natural stone, with granite setts being particularly strong in texture and colour). Gravel paths are the most economical to install. However, I would never recommend laying them within lawns as disturbed gravel may enter the lawn and end up breaking windows or worse, if hit by lawn mower blades.
Design tips and hints
I often recommend paving brick for creating both straight and curving garden paths, provided you lay it with clear design rules in mind. Do you have a short garden, which you wish would appear longer? This can be achieved by creating a path running right down the garden laid in a “running bond” pattern. Brick laid in this style runs lengthways in the direction the path runs whilst its joints are staggered for strength. Maybe you have a garden that is narrow causing you to wish it would appear wider; again an optical illusion design trick can be called into play. This time lay the brick in a style known a “stretcher bond”, which has a widening effect. To produce this effect the brick must be laid lengthways across the width of the path in staggered rows.
Both of the optical illusions created by the use of “running bond” or “stretcher bond”, follow a similar rule to one used in fashion, where vertical lines appear to lengthen or slim whereas horizontal lines appear to widen or expand (who says you learn nothing by reading the fashion magazines).
If you wish to create a path that will not appear prominent and dominate a smaller garden, I would suggest you install a stepping stone path. This will look quite at home on the compacted lawn beneath the washing line. Stepping stones are laid flush with, or just below lawn level to allow the mower to pass over unimpeded.
A site for your patio
The patio is an extension you can add to your home without planning permission; it is your roofless dining area or room outside. We use patios primarily as sitting, sunning and entertaining zones. Your patio should be used as our own personal courtyard linked to our house. With these uses in mind, seek out an area that receives direct sun from the south, the west or a combination of both. Southerly facing patios offer warmth from twelve o’clock onwards, ideal for those of you who wish to tan au-natural. A paved area with a westerly aspect will allow you to enjoy evening sun whilst reflecting on the day, with or without a glass of wine. Sun alone is not enough to make your patio experience a pleasant one; you must also seek out an area that is a refuge from winds or else provide artificial shelter. I come across many fine-looking patios in full sun that I find hard to spend more than a few minutes on, due mostly to the wind chill factor.
Selection of materials and laying patterns
The selection of a paving material comes down to your personal taste and what your budget will allow. However be guided by the following pointers, firstly you must realise that the patio often eases the transition from house to garden. So if you select economical concrete or cement patio slabs, ensure they have an appealing colour and texture similar to natural stone. The addition of bands / borders of natural granite setts or cobble stones, whilst linking with the surrounding environment can be used to enrich concrete flags. Indian sandstone flags whilst slightly more expensive than their concrete counterparts offer a natural stone surface which is full of visual and tactile charm. The laying style of paving materials will dictate how you feel whilst seated on your patio. If paving is laid in a diagonal pattern, the sense of movement is minimised which ensures a more restful spell in the room outside. To increase the sense of restfulness on a patio created from brick I suggest using a laying style known as “Basketweave” or alternatively the older “Flemish pattern” style, these styles minimise movement that is normally reserved for paths.
Children, the elderly and the non slip patio
The selection of a non-slip material is vitally important especially where young children or the elderly are concerned, as a painful fall can really affect these patio users. Superior non-slip paving materials are those with an exposed aggregate or a sandstone finish. Finally, when deciding on the size of a paved area to create, sit back and ask yourself how many occupants are in your house. Use this rule of thumb; create a minimum of four metres squared of paved surface per patio user. Do not forget to allow for the friends factor, unless you are a “Billy-no-mates”.
If you are without friends, you will not remain that way for long once you create your sun-drenched patio or room outside.
Planning Your Patio Garden
A patio can be a wonderful place to relax during the warm days of spring, summer and autumn; or all year if you live in warmer climes. At times when the lawn may be too wet or even muddy, the solid floor of a patio means you can sit outside even after heavy rain and make the most of the fresh air, and visual pleasure of your garden. You can even turn your patio into a patio garden to make it more interesting.
You can turn the plainest of patios into a patio garden with the good use of containers or outdoor planters. If you are starting from nothing, and designing and building (or having designed and built) a completely new patio, then it is worth giving the garden aspect of the patio some forethought.
The reason for the pre-planning is that you have an opportunity to create something very special with little extra expense beyond the foundation work and the patio floor. Here are just a few thoughts to build in at the design stage, so your patio garden can be more than just a flat area of paving slabs.
Colour Scheme for the Patio
When planning a new patio it is best to consider the colour scheme beyond just the colour of the paving slabs. If you want a patio garden, then you will need containers to grow plants in. Try to be sure that you can obtain containers or planters which blend well with the colour of the slabs. For example, light brown paving slabs above may look very nice, but are not so easy to blend in naturally with surroundings, or find complementary planters for.
Natural grey stone, on the other hand, is much easier to find suitable planters for, and can have a much more natural appearance in the garden.
That is not to say paving slabs other than grey cannot be used, but just bear in mind the rest of the decor you will need to fit in to make your patio garden attractive. For more information, go here to get Wall Building Services in Ashbourne
As with many aspects of garden design, height is important when planning a patio garden. This can be achieved in a number of ways, which can all be used at the same time. Here are some examples:
1. Consider having a wall around the patio, on which you can put a few containers. On a patio or terrace, columns and balusters can be very attractive, and add a distinctive style.
2. Consider having a covered or partly covered patio. That gives you the opportunity to not only provide shade and cover, but allow for trellis on one side. That way you can grow climbing plants on the patio which add that all important height to the patio garden.
3. Choose some high containers that will immediately contrast with your smaller containers.
4. Choose some tall growing plants and container suitable shrubs, to contrast with the low growing and trailing plants.
Consider Your View and Adjacent Garden
It is best not to design the patio in isolation, but consider it in conjunction with the view you would most like to see. This means that the positioning is especially important, as are the garden design considerations in the surrounding garden.
For example, if you want sweet smelling plants to fill your senses on a warm evening, you can plant them next to the patio. Or, if you want a private area in which to sit, some taller shrubs outside the patio in that area may provide you with just that.
By using a combination of the above features, you can develop a patio garden that will be a pleasing and impressive feature of your garden overall, and also be a great place to relax on those balmy sunny days. Try to visualize it in full before starting work on construction, and your garden patio could end up as your dream garden patio.
Asphalt Versus Concrete Driveways Which Is Best
Asphalt and concrete are the most popular types of material for paving driveways. Asphalt driveways and concrete driveways both have their unique advantages. If you live in a cold climate and are considering a concrete driveway you need to make sure the base for the driveway is heavily laid with gravel and it is compacted first. Otherwise the driveway will run the risk of cracking due to frost heaves. In addition, concrete is susceptible to salt damage, a material frequently used on roads in cold weather parts of the country. On the other hand, if you live in a warm or hot climate and are considering asphalt paving, then you need to consider the fact that asphalt can become soft in the hot sun and is therefore susceptible to ruts.
Asphalt paved driveways are typically cheaper to install than concrete paved driveways. However, asphalt paved driveways need significant more care over time to protect them. Asphalt paved driveways need to be sealed at least once every 3-5 years. Each sealing, though easily completed by a do it yourself homeowner, costs money and time. In addition, the sealer needs typically 2-3 days to dry before you can park a vehicle on it. Also, a newly asphalt paved driveway should not be sealed for at least 6-9 months, as the light oils associated with the asphalt need to evaporate first. If an asphalt driveway is sealed too soon it will remain soft forever.
Asphalt driveways do not need to be always black and concrete driveways do not always need to be off-white. Both asphalt and concrete driveways can be tinted to various colors. Check with your prospective paving contractors first to see what color options there are for your driveway project.
Asphalt driveways, if maintained can typically last 25-30 years. Concrete driveways can last even longer. However, both require a solid foundation to be laid on. If not laid on a solid foundation both will crack over time, especially in colder weather climates. Asphalt cracks are easier to repair than concrete driveway cracks.
Consideration for the slope of the driveway should also be considered when contemplating concrete driveways. Over time, concrete driveways can shear off of the foundation they are poured on which can lead to unwanted cracks.
If you are planning a new asphalt driveway and need help on how to hire an Asphalt Driveway Paving Contractor, see Asphalt Driveway Paving Bid sheet. The Asphalt Driveway Paving Bid sheet will help ensure that your hire the right contractor so that your driveway is paved correctly and you get the finished driveway you are looking for. In addition, it will help to ensure that the installation of your driveway will be accomplished on time and on budget!
How To Hire An Asphalt Driveway Paving Contractor
Asphalt paved driveways are extremely popular and the most cost effective to install over most other driveway options. Hiring the right asphalt paving contractor however can sometimes be a challenge. If the paving contractor installs the asphalt driveway correctly the driveway should last 25-30 years with only minor maintenance.
Unlike concrete, an asphalt paved driveway is both strong and flexible and is ideal for colder temperature zones where constant freezing and thawing occur.
Asphalt paving, also known as Hot Mix Asphalt paving, consists of an aggregate of stone and sand mixed with liquid asphalt cement. The aggregate is carefully mixed and heated prior to being mixed with liquid asphalt. The mixture needs to be delivered to the job site hot else your newly paved driveway will not cure properly.
In order to ensure a quality paved driveway it is critical that the paving contractor first properly prepare the driveway for the Hot Mix Asphalt. Preparation includes removing topsoil or clay type soil and replacing it with a sub-base layer of crushed stone and gravel.
A typical asphalt paving job consists of the application of two layers of Hot Mix Asphalt over the sub-base layer. In some cases a paving contractor may suggest a full-depth asphalt application. This type of application is best if very heavy vehicles will be regularly parked on the driveway. With a full-depth asphalt application the entire driveway, including the gravel sub-base layer, is constructed using liquid asphalt cement. By additionally binding the sub-base gravel layer with the liquid asphalt cement a much stronger paved driveway is created.
When hiring any contractor you should plan on getting 3-4 quotes to get the best comparison of workmanship and price. Talk with friends and family members, as well as search the yellow pages or the internet to find local paving contractors in your area.
With any contractor you hire, make sure they are insured and bonded to protect you from any liability as well as to protect you from any sub-par performance on the contractor’s behalf.
Lead times for paving a driveway can be up to several weeks, so plan appropriately when talking with your prospective paving contractors.
In order to obtain accurate quotes from the asphalt driveway paving contractors it is best to have a sketch of the home and the desired driveway footprint. You should also walk the site with the paving contractor and have him or you stake or paint lines where the paved driveway is to lay.
When talking to the prospective paving contractors make sure the subject of installing proper slopes and drainage is discussed. Otherwise you may wind up with water pooling on the finished driveway, or even worse, draining into your garage or home.
It is also critical that during the installation of all the various layers to the driveway that they are each compacted prior to the installation of the next layer of material. Quoted depths should be after compaction, not before.
Also, if there are any municipal pipes that need to be raised to the finished height of the driveway, find out if the paving contractors’ quotes include performing this task. If you want the best, then click here to get Wall Building Services in Ashbourne
In addition, confirm that the contractor will remove and reinstall any type of gate or door to the new finished level of the paved driveway.
With these few basic tips you are on your way to hiring the right paving contractor for your driveway.
For more help on how to hire an Asphalt Driveway Paving Contractor, see Asphalt Driveway Paving Bid sheet. The Asphalt Driveway Paving Bid Sheet will help ensure that your hire the right contractor so that your driveway is paved correctly and you get the finished driveway you are looking for. In addition, it will help to ensure that installation of your driveway will be accomplished on time and on budget.