The exterior of your home plays an important role in influencing the all-important first impression. Block paving is a flexible and beautiful material used to create stunning hard surfaces, including driveways, patios and paths.
Types of Block Paving
A common type of block paver is concrete. Concrete blocks handle a wide range of climate conditions, including extreme changes in temperature. They are highly resistant against cracking and deterioration. Concrete blocks also move as soil conditions change. They are available in a range of countless colours and a variety of shapes, including hexagons, octagons, pentagons, keyholes and other styles. Concrete is relatively cheap and the sizes of individual blocks are generally consistent, although colours do fade over time.
Brick pavers are another popular option for block paving. They are low maintenance and sustainable, making them an environmentally friendly choice. They are made from natural clay and are easy to clean with a brush along with water or mild detergent. Brick blocks offer a high degree of protection from slips and skids, making them a good choice for driveways and paths. This type of brick is also available in various colours and patterns. They are also available in many shapes, although they tend to be mostly square or rectangular. Brick blocks are generally more expensive than concrete but natural colours do not fade and are very durable. They are prone to moss and sizes can vary depending on the firing process during manufacturing.
Stone blocks are made from various materials including granite, limestone, sandstone and marble. They are generally mined at a quarry and not manufactured in a plant. This tends to make them harder to get and more expensive. Granite and limestone blocks are ideal for pool decks since they offer a slip resistant surface. Marble and sandstone are good choices for accenting paving, including for patios and gardens. Stone blocks are available in various shapes, although their colours tend to be limited to the natural tones and textures of the type of stone selected.
Travertine blocks are effective at keeping cool, even in direct sunlight. This makes them a good choice for paving around pools and where people walk barefoot. They are also used for paths, driveways and patios. They are long lasting and do not deteriorate over time. They are available in a wide selection of colours. Flagstone is also good at keeping cool and has a long lifespan. This type of material can be supplied in various shapes, including squares, rectangles, hexagons, diamonds and more. It also does not crack in cold temperatures and is a good option for high traffic areas.
Choosing the Right Block Paving
With so much choice in terms of colours and materials, block paving can be used to create eye-catching and unique designs. In addition to having paving with a single colour, you can also create multicolour surfaces that blend two or more tones. The type of material you choose ultimately depends on your budget and personal preference. It will also depend on the design and shape of the area being paved. Whatever you select, colours and materials be appropriate for your property and complement your home and garden. The colour of the block should also respect the surrounding environment and your location. A successful paving project will complement the colours that surround it. While blocks do not have to exactly match, they should not be a significant contrast to their environment.
Choosing a Paving Contractor
A paving contractor can handle complex tasks like preparing the site and ensuring it is properly drained. They can also help with any local planning permission requirements and deliver a professional finish. To find contractor, ask block paving manufacturers or check their websites for a list of approved contractors. Paving contractors are generally members of a trade organisation, such as the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI), the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL), Interpave - The Precast Concrete Paving and Kerb Association, or Interlay - The Association of Paving Contractors. Membership in these organisations means the contractor is reputable and has the skills to install block paving to excellent standards.
Although the paving sector is not a regulated industry, there are steps you can take to find a good contractor for your project. Look for tradespeople that are certified by a government-recognised Component Person Scheme. Also, ask for recommendations and check references to determine the quality of the contractor's work. Online reviews are also a good source of information. You should use a local contractor that has been in business for a long time. They should also specialise in block paving and have experience in different projects, such as driveways, paths and other hard surfacing projects. You should also look at examples of previous work in your area. Using results of this research and obtaining three or more quotes will give you the best sense of whether you are getting quality for your money.