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Getting A Driveway and Patio Contractor To Lay A New Driveway
Picking a driveway or patio contractor is a major factor when it comes to how your new driveway or patio will look once it's completed. It does not mean just the quality of the finished work but also the overall design of it.
A good driveway installer will give you advice before any work has started and they will highlight potential problems later on that you might encounter if you decide on a certain type of a driveway style.
Driveway / Patio Preparation
Regardless of what was there before, you need to ensure a solid base for your driveway. This means removing the existing surface and leaving enough space for at least 4 inches of base for the area.
This base needs to be the equivalent of Type 1 Hardcore which is semi permeable yet once you have compacted should become fairly solid.
During this stage you need to make sure you have set your levels approximately to what you will require for dealing with drainage on your driveway or patio area.
Sub Base of Patio or Driveway
This is where you would first lay down your membrane sheeting. This helps to prevent weed growth on the area. Once you have membrane sheeting down, you can put little spots of sand to keep it in place.
Spread sand all over the area, we recommend a coarse sand as its permeable, and you set accurate levels on it.
To set the required levels, make sure you have pulled string line levels from points of A to B to ensure an accurate water fall and screeding is done by pulling a screeding bar along 2 metals channels which have been set to the required heights.
Of course, this example applies if you are choosing block paving for your driveway. If you are thinking of a tarmac driveway or a gravel driveway, you would apply this surface instead of the sand.
Gravel is normally raked out over the driveway and set to the required levels. If you are getting a thicker level of gravel applied to your driveway, we recommend opting for plastic stabilisers underneath the gravel. This can make it significantly easier to walk across.
For tarmac or asphalt, the levels as either set on large areas by a barber green which sets the levels automatically or if it's a small driveway, it is set by string lines and raked to the required finished.
Once finished, the tarmac driveway is compacted with a machine roller which has water applied to the drum. This cools off the tarmac the same time as its leveled locking it solid in place.
For Block Paving Driveways
The laying of concrete block paving should always begin from the bottom of any slope, preferably starting from a right angle or a straight edge. Working from several packs at a time is essential when using a mixed size product such as cobble styled paving blocks.
Depending on the type of paving and the pattern you are installing, you will need to either lay it staggered or in a herringbone pattern. We recommend having a line pulled from the 90 degree angle of whatever point you choose.
Lay the paving off the string line in a herringbone pattern and simply keep repeating it line by line until you have filled the area with block paving.
Bordering is normally done after this by going around the paving and adding it to the outside of the paving. We say normally, but sometimes if there will be vehicular traffic going to the edges of the border, we recommend setting them in before you screed the sand with concrete.
Lastly, cut the block paving with a diamond blade saw or a block splitter (you can hire both of these but if you are inexperienced, we recommend the block splitters for safety). Cut the gaps using a paving pencil or chalk stick to mark the paving exactly to fit the gap between the paving and the border.
Make sure if the block paving has not been in set in concrete and is not being retained by edging, to back up the borders with concrete to ensure it does not move.
Jointing of the block paving is preferably completed in dry periods. We apply kiln dried sand to the block paved area, then brush into the joints using a soft brush, ensuring the joints are filled fully.
You can compact the block paving with a vibrator plate. This is a machine which runs over paving and vibrates down, hard, in a small square area. This is more than strong enough for any type of block paving.
Always ask for multiple contractors when choosing a driveway or patio installer for your project. Picking the right contractor can make a huge difference both financially and to the longevity of your driveway.
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