Types of Concrete for Driveways & Patios

Plain poured concrete has, for decades, been one of the cheapest ways of laying down a hard surface such as a driveway, but there’s no denying that it looks cheap, too. There are a number of products around that can improve the looks, but first of all let’s look at …

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Laying Concrete on Your Drive or Patio

Laying a concrete driveway is a job that householders often take on as a DIY task, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t achieve a good, long-lasting job, as long as you take care in the preparation and the laying. Unless you have a very long drive, it’s likely that …

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Tarmac Options for Your Driveway or Patio

Tarmac is generally considered to be the cheapest method of laying a hard surface. But it’s a time-consuming job which requires specialist tools, machinery and, not least, knowledge. This means that it only becomes the cheapest method once the driveway is up to a suitable size, where the economies of …

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The Art of Laying Tarmac

In our overview article about tarmac laying, we discussed the fact that it’s not really a job for the ordinary handyman. This is because of the skill level required, the expense of getting in the specialist machinery, and knowing how to use it (see Tarmac Options For Your Driveway Or …

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Choosing Hard Patio Materials

If you’ve decided that a hard patio surface is right for you, then your choices are down to material, size, colour, texture, and cost. There’s a wide range of stone, clay or concrete paving available for patios. For this article we’re going to assume that wet laid surfaces, such as …

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When, Where and How to Fit Decking

Decking had been popular in many other countries, notably Australia, New Zealand and America, before it became the must-have patio replacement in the UK. Those other countries have more predictable weather so decking makes more sense. Its growth in the UK, over the last decade or two, can be attributed …

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Coping With Efflorescence On Concrete Driveways

Any form of concrete, from bricks to paving slabs, can suffer from efflorescence. This is discolouration, or bloom, caused by salt deposits on the material. Much to the annoyance of builders and homeowners alike, there are no silver bullets or guaranteed ways to prevent this blooming from happening. But there …

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Formwork for Concrete Drives

Formwork is essential for making driveways, particularly if the concrete is to be poured on. Let’s face it, only the very shortest driveways are going to be constructed by shovelling on barrow loads of concrete by hand. What is Formwork? This refers to the barriers erected at the borders of …

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Stepping Stones for Your Patio

A garden path made from stepping stones is one where the blocks, stones or flags that make up the path are laid down individually with gaps in between them. You need to take a step to get from one to the next, hence the name ‘stepping stones’. And although they …

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Getting The Levels Right on Your Patio

Getting the levels right on a patio is a time-consuming and pain-staking job, but putting effort into it will give you a patio that looks good and drains well. The alternative is a patio where the flags don’t line up correctly, there are height differences at the gaps that get …

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