Paving is a stylish, low cost way to create feature or utility areas in your outdoor space. It can be used in the garden and driveways, depending on what your needs are. Because there is such a wide variety of colours, textures and formats available, pavers can create almost any type of look and are more versatile than other hard surfaces. Laid correctly, pavers can last for a lifetime and are very low maintenance. When choosing pavers for your project, take a look at your house and garden and select pavers that will tie in with the look. For example, if you have a contemporary home, large format concrete or sandstone pavers will look great. A more traditional home may benefit from classic brick paving. A garden designer or landscape architect will be able to help you choose the correct pavers for your home - a great help when you consider how much choice is available!
As part of the garden, pavers should be at least 40mm thick and be laid on a bed that is also at least 40mm thick. If you are using pavers in your driveway, you will require stronger pavers that are laid on a bed that is at least 100mm thick. The extra thickness is required for structural integrity. Paving can be laid in several patterns including basketweave, herringbone, radial, stretcher bond, a combination of stretchers and headers and also in large paver patterns.
There is a wide array of materials available within pavers including brick, clay, terracotta, concrete (concrete can also imitate more expensive finishes such as sandstone for a significantly cheaper cost), slate, timber, cut or split stone (such as granite, limestone or sandstone) and ceramic. However, no matter which material is chosen, the most important part of any paving job is the preparation of the base.
Calling the professionals to complete your paving job will ensure that the base is laid correctly, ensuring that the pavers will not move over time. The paving base may be either a concrete slab or compressed sand and road base. Drainage is an issue – concrete especially will not let water through – when installing paving so be sure to check with your local council first to ensure that you meet their regulations when it comes to hardscaping, and to see if you need to obtain permits before commencing the project. A professional will be able to help you here.
When hiring a professional to complete your paving project, ensure that they are qualified and hold the necessary insurances. Ask to see samples of their previous work. The professional should provide an obligation-free quote and be able to advise you on design and structural considerations.
Paving can cost anywhere from $40 to $100 per square metre, with the type of paving, size and nature of the job three factors to consider. Intricate patterns will, for example be costlier than large square format pavers to lay. Sites that require a lot of prep work will also carry a cost premium, as will sloping sites.
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