Written by James Hetfield:
It was approaching the end of august, 2011 The foggy aftermath of the infamous storm that hit us had left a few blocks damaged and destroyed. My father’s barn was one of those buildings severely damaged. I could not get myself to fix it, until a few months back my wife instilled the idea in my head that I need to take action regarding the dilapidated old barn hanging loose on its rusty screws facing the facade of our house.
There is something elegant and mysterious about old barns. With their elevated ceilings and simple-but classy woodwork, a renovated barn can be quite an eye catcher. I started my mission on a Saturday morning.
The barn needed a lot of work. The floors were dismantled and were in need of new insulated wooden tiles. The barn had overcome a harsh beating caused by the london riots, but the fact that due to its age, wear and tear was evident on the wooden columns lifting the house. The most serious issues had the tendency to be present in the barn’s foundations which were typically made of free laid dry stone. Since barns seldom have in-ground drainage systems, wet soil slowly works its way between the stones, relaxing them causing the building to shift over time.
Excavation needed to be carried out immediately and over the next two weeks, the stone foundations were strengthened and the layout of the barn was decided upon and built.
In an attempt to carry out minor fixtures to the body, I woke up early gathered my tools and head off to the construction site when I realised I would need a new saw , painting tools and without doubt – wood!
The renovation began later that day, with the assistance of my cousin.we managed to dismantle the broken pieces and carefully picked apart the undamaged beams from the barn. I took care Insulating the barn from the inside and James took care a small leak issue at the back (James is my cousin).
The right insulating material was of extreme importance. Different types of wood have different insulating materials specific to them and the condition of the walls and beams is taken into consideration – whether damaged by water, dust, pests, or simply due to age.
The problem with these barns is that they are old. They do in fact look attractive and give a sense of spaciousness when renovated, but the bitter truth lies in the fact that barns were built by our forefathers to serve as barns and only barns. The woodwork was mostly done by hand and was in need of cleaning and plastering with the appropriate insulating coating and enhanced by an extra wood coating. Insulating water proof paint is hard to find, but I managed to acquire some from our inventories at Cornwall Building.
Four days had passed by and I was beginning to feel a sense of self accomplishment bubbling through my veins. The barn looked as good as new, as if a doll house was just removed out of its box and plastic coating. The interior on the other hand was in dear need of revamping.
A layer of wooden tiles would be used to cover the old floors and glass windows would be measured. The trick in adding glass windows to a barn is that depending on the way the building is constructed, glass windows can add a feeling of spaciousness or be completely unnecessary. I teamed up with fellow engineers at Cornwall builders and deduced that the structure of the building would not support glass windows.
A month had passed and I could not believe my eyes. What was my father’s old barn and his father’s barn before that was something of quintessence hue. A modern well functioning summer house and shed.
The Cornwall builders is a family owned business located in the heart of Cornwall specializing in building and construction contracting. The company offers a wide array of top class services for customers willing to construct or renovate.
Our company services provided are extensions, loft and garage conversions, excavation, groundwork, renovations, refurbishments and state of the art building maintenance.
We as a construction company strive to give you the best advice available from professionals who have had over twenty years of field experience. We are dedicated to our clients and into building and sustaining a better planet. Contact us to receive your site survey and quote for no charge!
We are Cornwall builders, we are the future.
How does your driveway look like? Is it inviting or undermines the overall appearance of your home or office? Although it may look basic, the driveway plays a vital role in the functionality and appearance of your home. It is the region that first comes to view when entering your home. Now imagine what a poorly-maintained or rundown driveway portrays. It pays to have the driveway looking good and offering the best functionality. But before you invest in any type, you need to understand the different types and their suitability in different areas.
Concrete is among the oldest and common materials used in driveways. People choose this type because it’s easy to install, doesn’t require lots of tools, and takes a relatively short time with the right tools. When done correctly, preferably by professionals, the driveway can last for many decades. It also is easy to maintain and requires simple sweeping and cleaning. Some people, however, find it a bit plain and blunt.
2. Pattern Imprinted Concrete
Pattern imprinted concrete (PIC) driveways are also becoming quite popular. It is seen as an alternative to the traditional concrete. It uses the same materials like the convectional type but adds a bit of life by incorporating patterns and colors. Similar to the normal concrete, it is quite durable, strong and tolerates water and the elements. However, it can be a bit expensive when it comes to undertaking repairs.
3. Block Paving
This type is found in homes, offices, institutions and other places and is loved for its durability, aesthetic appeal, and range of colors. It comes in small blocks that allow you to repair a small section in case of damage without having to overhaul the entire pavement. For the best appearance, it’s recommended to let professionals undertake the installation. As the owner, you require to clean it regularly so as to maintain its good looks.
Also referred to as asphalt especially in America, tarmac is undoubtedly the most popular paving material on roads. It’s known for its sturdy nature and durability which makes it suitable for high traffic areas. Tarmac has good coverage and can be used on any surface. Its fairly smooth surface makes it suitable for wet zones although it requires filling after some time. It is however affected by oil, grease, petrol (gasoline) and diesel.
5. Gravel Driveway
You most-certainly have come across gravel drives. They are among the cheapest to install and maintain and still look good under good care. A unique thing about gravel is that they make some audible noise when stepped or driven on. This is seen as a security advantage since thou will be alerted of people or cars approaching your premise. Nonetheless, since it doesn’t form a continuous surface, grass and other plants may begin to grow in-between if not used in a long time. You therefore need to maintain it regularly.
6. Pervious Concrete
If you have issues with the runoff associated with concrete or tarmac drives, then pervious concrete would be a good alternative. Unlike the usual concrete, it contains lesser sand and this allows water to pass through its permeable surface. It’s also loved for its textured, warm and rustic appeal that makes it fit for both traditional as well as modern-looking homes. The driveway is among the eco-friendly types around.
Although not so common, brick driveways can be found in the region. It usually appeals to people looking for the vintage or classic look courtesy of the rich color and natural appeal. Compared to other types, brick drives are more costly but can last for a long time. Additionally, they greatly boost the value of a home.
Resin driveways come as bonded or bound. The first type involves placing the resin on the surface then sprinkling small pebbles or stones. The other first combines the resin and stones before placing it on the surface. The driveway is strong, offers a rough finish, water impermeable and requires minimal maintenance.
There you go – the common types of driveways you will find in homes and offices. As you see, each type comes with its unique features, advantages and disadvantages. Standard pavers and concrete are loved for their affordability and minimal maintenance whereas granite and block pavers, though slightly expensive, are very elegant. Maybe you a plan to repair or renovate your current driveway or you want to construct one. How about contacting Cornwall Builders? We boast of many years experience in providing different types of driveways for residential and commercial settings. Our skilled builders will help you select the best type that matches your needs and home. In addition to quality workmanship, timely service, professionalism, you also get to experience exceptional customer service and peace-of-mind. Why don’t you give us a call, today?
The 5 Rules of Extension Building: Everything You Need To Know.
Building extension can bring excitement to the homeowners. This is because of the idea that their dwelling place will be extended, hence adding more space. This fact adds, even more, enthusiasm and determination to pursue this endeavour. However, you will find that details of building an extension may require a house owner to meet certain requirements.
We usually advise our clients that when you are planning to build an extension on your home in the UK, you need to adhere to certain set-out rules and regulation. Most people are not aware of these regulations and they usually find themselves in problems in the long run. This piece is going to look at the most paramount rules and regulation that you must follow to build extensions.
The 5 Rules Of Extension Building
Planning Permission For Building Matters
Planning permission for extension of a building is required but there are some extension plans that do not need this document. Whatever the case is, every home owner should know that if a planning permission is demanded it is not a difficult task to obtain one. We advise our clients to always ensure that they always start by checking if they fulfil rules and regulations provided for this matter. This is because a permit is important in order to avoid colliding with the law enforcing authorities. Building extension is allowed as long as the plan and the construction fall within the set conditions and limits given on the guidelines list. If you exceed these limits you will be denied extension permission.
When you obtain a planning permit you need to design your building extension and make sure you adhere to the dimensions of the previous building. This is important because you must stay within the measurements of your old house so that you don’t risk your proposed design getting rejected. Again, you will get an approval as long as you stay within the rules and regulations as stipulated. We usually help our clients by making the process faster because we have information and important details about where you need to start from.
Material Used (Keeping the Character and Appearance of Dwelling and Surrounding Area)
In pursuing building extensions, the law requires that you make sure you focus on the building materials. This may be different and unique in regard to house owner depending on their preferences and plans. For you to be on the safe side it is important to ensure that you use similar buildings materials that are similar to those on the original building. Keep the character as well as the appearance of the dwelling and surrounding area.
Proposals Made Should Take into Account the Potential Impact On Neighbours.
The rules and regulations require you to weigh the proposal on building extensions well to understand the potential effects that it might have on your neighbours. Look at the impact that the development will have upon them. It should not demonstrate privacy loss, overshadowing or overbearing or oppressive impact on their properties.
The final requirement is an inspection by a person from the rules and regulation enforcing authority. You will be able to get an approval of your new build extension promptly if it adheres to the rules and regulation. You need to ensure that everything is set in place for safety measures. If an inspector finds out there is something that is not ordinary, they won’t allow you to continue with the building extension work until you make the necessary changes. Make sure you get it right from the word go to avoid such hiccups when you are already midway.
Building Firm in Cornwall
In conclusion, it is worth to mention that a building extension can be done to add an extra space for a bathroom, kitchen, conservatory or loft as well as adding an extension to accommodate a garage within your property. Whatever you want to add by building an extension on your property, but always make sure you get planning permission and building regulation approval from the relevant authorities before you approach a local building company to work on your property. Housing extension building rules and regulations are easy to find and follow. The bottom line is, you must ensure that you are following the right rules and regulation in order to build a structure that will stand strong for many years to come. If you want to get professional assistance when building an extension, Cornwall Builders is a building company that you can contact to offer you such services. We will work towards achieving the best outcome according to your needs.
Call us on 0800 852 7944
An Ultimate Overview. written by: Builders Cornwall
What is a Self build Home?
Self-building can simply be defined as an act of commissioning a custom build home that is tailored according to your design requirements, suits your lifestyle as well as your budget. We have found that rather than buying a standard built ready property from commercial building companies, around eighty-five percent of Britons choose to build their own homes from scratch. This is because self-builds gives you a chance to obtain your dream home at a relatively reasonable price. As a result, many people are turning away from buying ready-made homes to pursue self-build projects.
This piece is going to discuss the top benefits of a self build home. Y
You will get a chance to enjoy these advantages when you hire us “Cornwall Builders”, to work with you and create your dream home.
The fact that most property development companies are building ready-made standard houses is because they are looking to make money. They usually build homes for less money then sell them at a cost that they will make a profit. This is why if you decide to hire us to build your home from scratch, you will save the difference (the profit of building companies). More so, we will make sure that every outlined detail of your home we are building for you will suit your set budget.
Who wouldn’t wish to live in their dream homes? Who wouldn’t want to enjoy the comfort of going home to his or her house after work? Who wouldn’t wish to own a dream home that he or she can brag about? Of course, almost anyone of us would want to make their dream of owning a home come true. Hiring Cornwall Builders to build your dream home, which is within your budget constraints, is one benefit of opting for self build home. We usually advise on changes to make until everything is done according to your plans if the quotation of your proposed home design exceeds your budget
Control Over Details and Materials.
Another benefit of self build homes is that you will have the ability to control every detail of the project and the materials used. You will be able to get a custom home that is tailored exactly to your preferences. We ensure that we follow every small detail that our clients want when they hire us to work with them when building their homes. We usually help you to get high-quality materials in the market according to your specifications. This is great because you find that property development companies only build average houses contrary to self build homes.
The bottom line is self builders usually design their dream homes and we build their homes using the materials that they want and finish it according to our client’s individual tastes. Self builders also have a chance to select the fittings and fixtures to be installed in different rooms of their houses, for example in kitchen and bathroom. In addition, new concepts such as renewable energy generation and water recycling systems can be easily incorporated into new builds. Turbines and solar panels can also be easily built during the project because they can be included at the design stage for those who prefer natural energy sources. Moreover, during the building process, you can be able to ask for improvements in some areas that you think do not match your requirements. We work with our clients to deliver self build homes without compromising our client’s requirement.
During the process of building your house, you will stand a chance to learn a few useful things, one of them is probably that you can be able to control the contractors to work correctly. In case you will need to build another house (or perhaps someone else building it), you will have gathered tricks and the process will probably be much faster and more efficient.
Finally, it is important to mention that owning a home can be very rewarding especially for those people who spend much of their time at work. As it goes, there is nothing that can be compared to the comfort of going home to your own house. This becomes more fulfilling if your house is built to match your personal style and taste. If you want to own a self build home, Cornwall Builders provides these services. Feel free to contact us.
Everything You Need To Know About The Different Trades Involved In House Builds. written by: Cornwall Builders
Everyone has a dream of building their own home, one that you have designed. That is where everything is designed, planned and built according to your own expectations (just the way you want it to be). Making that dream come true is possible and it can be a very exciting thing to happen in your life. But you will find that many people who are looking to build their homes do not know where to start from.
Well, if you are planning to build your dream home this article is going to give you an insight of the different trades involved in house builds. I am going to briefly describe what every profession is involved with during the process of building a house. You will find that there is a different number of trades involved depending on the complexity of the build.
The Following Are The Different Trades Involved in House Builds
You find the work done at the initial stages of a building project involves coming up with a design of the build. An architect is a person who will work on the design of your house at this stage. An architect is a profession responsible for designing a custom tailored home according to the client needs and should be registered within their location of trade by the licensing authority. When your house is being constructed an architect remains on board as the project manager to ensure that the house is built according to outlined design specifications.
There are nothing much to say about engineers but you need a structural engineer to ensure that your house will be both strong and stable.
You will need to two type of surveyors during construction of your house. That is a land surveyor and a quantity surveyor. A land surveyor is required to determine the contours as well as the boundaries of the site from where you are building your house.
A quantity surveyor, on the other hand, will help you to do constructions budget and help you in tracking your finances along the way. However, you can do without because you can do the work involved in cost management and contracts involved in building a house. Although their hiring fee will add on your budget, they are important in preventing your project to go over budget.
We usually tell our clients the word contractors can be used to refer to different trades of home builds. A contractor is simply a person who is hired to do all the works involved in a build or a number of different specialists under the main contractor. Contractors are usually selected through a competitive tendering process and as such you are guaranteed to land very good deals in most cases. However, we recommend that you prequalify a few of them based on their experience, capability and track record. Some of the contractors might be tradespeople like plumber and drainer, floor sander, landscaper, excavator, water-proofer, painter, concreter, bricklayer, tiler, gasfitter, roofer, electrician and plasterer.
A financial advisor can be someone from your local bank or your regular account advisor. Depending on the size of the construction and the method that you are using to fund the project, finances should be kept in the check to make sure everything goes well. This can be part time because you will just need to make periodic check-ups when they are required.
A site clerk is a very important person because he or she is one who makes sure that the quality of work delivered is up to standards. He will essentially be your eyes during the construction of your house. A site clerk needs to be a very experienced person as well as a very honest person. You can land a good site clerk by picking someone of your choice randomly or either directly by a referral from a reliable person.
A builder is a person who oversees the construction work. If you have not hired a quantity surveyor or a project manager builders will fulfil those roles as well as provide you with accurate costing and organising trades. Builders like us can do all the construction tasks that are involved in the build’s project for you.
In conclusion, it is worth to mention the different trades involved in house builds can be got from one construction firm. We Cornwall Builders can provide all of the listed services with a pocket-friendly price. Feel free to contact us.
Cornwall Building Contractors 0800 852 7944
Timber frame house vs. Traditional Block Build – Which one should you go for? This is among the common questions that are asked by potential home owners in the UK. With the home considered one of the most expensive investments a person will ever make in life, it’s crucial to get everything right from the word go. The last thing you can think of is having to re-build or repair your home because it started cracking, the foundation is sinking, or is costing you too much in terms of heating and cooling due to poor insulation. Some people are in support of timber frame while others prefer traditional block build. So, which is the better option?
Looking At Timber Frame House
Timber frame homes are preferred by many people for the following reasons:
– Speed: Constructing a home from timber frame is easier and faster than using block build. This is credited to the lighter weight, large coverage, and instant curing and hardening.
– Energy- Efficiency: Timber frame homes are known to be more energy-efficient than block work. These findings are also supported by UKFTA. You will therefore spend less on heating and cooling when using timber frame compared to traditional blocks.
– Easy to construct: Blocks are not only smaller than timber planks, but also may be a bit heavier. It will take several blocks and some mortar to cover a space occupied by a single wooden plank. Mortar also takes sometime to cure and harden unlike timber.
– Low-Impact Construction: Due to its lower weight to length ratio, timber frame houses have low impact on the surfaces compared to block build.
– Good insulation: Timber is naturally an insulator and when joined properly, it doesn’t need additional cladding or insulation material. It keeps a home cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather.
The Downside of Timber Frame House
-Not very durable: Although hardwood can last for a long time, most timber types can’t outdo the traditional blocks. Timber can rot, crack, split or warp due to changes in temperature, and may be attacked by pets and bacteria.
– Higher maintenance: Timber is prone to rotting due to lots of moisture, fading because of high heat, or cracking because of contraction/shrinking and expansion. To stop this, the home will need regular maintenance to combat the elements.
– A Bit Noisy: Timber frame homes are known to be a bit noisy since sound moves through it better than block. As a home owner, you may be required to add some cladding (siding) to absorb the noise and make the home more sound-proof.
– Environmental impact: To get the timber, trees have to be felled and this contributes to environmental destruction in form of deforestation.
Looking at Traditional Block Build Homes
The following are reasons that make block build a better option:
– Strong: You most-likely have come across a block-built home that is more than half a century old and still looks great. This material is loved for its strength and can withstand the elements better than timber.
-Durable: Due to its strength, resistance to the elements and solid nature, homes made from blocks will last for way longer than timber. They also don’t require regular maintenance or repair like timber.
– Low Noise Level: People prefer block homes because they create a quiet environment. This building material doesn’t conduct sound or vibrations very well and provides a low-noise environment.
– Easy Maintenance: Bricks don’t suffer from fading, are less-likely to crack, and don’t warp. The material also doesn’t rot and won’t lose its appeal even in extreme weather or climates.
– Hold value for longer: Compare the value of timber and brick homes, and its no surprise that the latter has better value. This is credited to its strength, durability, and easy maintenance.
Shortcomings of Traditional Block Build
– Labour Intensive: Constructing home from traditional blocks require more effort and time. The blocks are small, require joining with mortar and also need more time for curing.
– Takes Time: The time taken to build a home from blocks is more than if using timber frames. The different stages also need careful monitoring before moving to the next stage.
– High-impact on construction: Concrete homes are heavier than timber and will exert more pressure on the surface.
– Not Very Energy Efficient: Blocks tend to conduct heat and cold more than timber. In cold days you will turn-on the heater sooner or for longer compared to timber. This also applies in warm days and this will increase the cooling and heating bills.
Homes in the UK will come in traditional block build or timber frame. And as clearly stated above, each type will come with its advantages and disadvantages. It’s also important to note that while a certain material may be cheap in a region of England or Wales, it maybe a bit costly in Wales or Northern Ireland. This may be attributed to scarcity of the materials, changing trends, and topography. To avoid making costly mistakes or coming up with a not-so suitable home, you should always engage a reputable, professional and certified builder. Cornwall Builders is a well-known firm that engages in building traditional block, timber frame and other types of homes. We have been in this industry for many years and are also a member of the Federation of Master Builder (FMB) UK. We boast of a team of skilled professionals who will ensure you get your dream home. Talk to us for all your building needs.
Cornwall Building Contractors Seek to improve Service
Have you ever noticed that customer service and the building industry seem worlds apart? In fact, to some people, the two fields are like water and oil and don’t mix. And this is why many builders and construction experts seem to lag behind other industries when it comes to customer service. You can’t really blame them because for many centuries, the building industry has been treated differently. Maybe it’s because of the nature of work or adversarial environment that sees minimal interaction between the contractor and customer.
Truth is the building industry is no exception when it comes to offering their customer good service. Actually, it’s no longer just about customer service but rather “Exceptional Customer Service.” The customer needs to feel valued, appreciated and in control (even though he/she won’t be really involved). And in so doing, not only do you end up providing quality service with high standards, but will also offer the customer maximum satisfaction plus peace-of-mind. So, how can you improve on the customer service?
1. Understand Customer is King
“Customer is King” needs to also apply to the building industry. Yes, your customer maybe clueless on the industry and will take whatever you throw at him or her. Yes you may want to play a leaders role but shouldn’t turn down any customer suggestion that doesn’t appeal to you. A customer should be given the privilege of expressing him/herself. It’s also crucial to not make a decision before involving a customer. This minimises any oversights or future disagreements that may lead to time wastage and cost increase.
2. Avoid False Promises
Like any other builder, you would like the customer to perceive you as the best. I mean, isn’t life about winning? However, you don’t need to promise you customer a skyscraper within a week yet the biggest project you’ve handled is a small studio. Also, you shouldn’t take on a project yet your hands are full. It’s better to lose a project because of being honest and realistic rather than causing friction or risk being sued because of under-delivery or oversight.
3. Don’t Mince on Quality
The building industry has become very competitive with many players involved. The modern customers are more knowledgeable, demanding and fussy. The margins have been declining as consumers look for the best but are willing to offer the lowest price. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you have to lower your standards. You shouldn’t use substandard materials, employ incompetent people, or rush through a project disregarding quality and professionalism. You need to always focus on delivering the best customer service even in the hard times.
4. Keep Your Word
When you read customer reviews and feedback, many complain about builders and construction specialists not keeping their word. They will promise heaven but will deliver something totally different. As a builder, you should always aim at keeping your word even when the result may not favor you. For instance, if a project will take two weeks because you are overwhelmed by other projects, say so. Don’t say one week just because you fear losing the job to another firm.
5. Deliver Prompt Service
As a builder you need to replace “On Time” with “In Time.” You should aim at delivering good service earlier than you had agreed rather than asking the client for an extension. This can be achieved by proper planning, using the right tools and working with the best brains in the industry. It also pays to understand your capacity and not taking too many projects at the same time. It’s better to let go of a project that been accused of shoddy work due to rushing through.
6. Offer Exceptional Customer Service
It’s no longer about customer service but “Exceptional Customer Service.’ Yes the services you deliver makes your customers smile, but can you make him/her laugh more? Being exceptional is about first understanding your customer needs and wishes, however, weird they may be. It’s also about trying something new just to make your client contend. To achieve this, many firms offer customer services that are tailored to meet unique desires.
The days when customer service in the construction industry took the backseat are long gone. Nowadays, it plays a leading role in the sector and will possibly determine your survival in the industry. Choose the wrong firm and you will be cursing why you ever engaged the builder in the first place. Fortunately, all you need to enjoy exceptional customer service is finding an experienced, reputable and competent firm. As Builders in Cornwall, we pride on being a leader in the UK building industry. We provide a variety of services including renovation, partial refurbishment, complete makeovers, new building, paving services, painting and much more. And as a member of the Federation of Master Builder (FMB) UK, you can rest easy knowing you are dealing with a vetted, certified, reliable and competent firm.
Contact us today for all your building needs. 0800 852 7944
The Ultimate Block Paved Driveway
This blog post is going to be an overview and instruction on how to build your perfect driveways using block pavers. We will outline all the basic methods, techniques and list all the materials and tools that you need to produce the perfect finish.
Before you start make sure you are following the UK’s regulations and guidelines regarding water drainage. For more information visit this website Driveways Regulations
This is your first task when laying a driveway, for best results hiring a small digger will make it a half day job instead of a 3-4 hard laboured slog!
Calculate how deep you need to go bearing in mind these simple measurements
- Blocks 50mm
- Sand 40mm
- Base 150mm
On top of this you need to be 150mm below the damp course of your house so total depth will be around 350 – 400mm deep. You may need to go deeper depending on the layout of your drive.
If the drive slopes towards the house bear in mind you will need to install drainage at the base of the drive near the house. At the end of the excavation you should have a clear level area ready for building.
These are blocks which hold the edge of your driveway in place. They keep everything together and are made strong enough to take the weight of cars and vans.To fix these important blocks we are using an all in one ballast 6 parts to 1 water.
Lay out a taught string line to mark out the line and the level of where your edge restraints need to be. Spread the concrete base below the line and begin to tap in the blocks to the desired height using a spirit level as you go along.
“Haunching” the edge restraints is next. Putting a line of concrete on the outside of the blocks staying 25mm below the top to set the outside perimeter in place. This needs to be left overnight so that the mounting concrete and blocks are set into place.
The sub base has to follow the same falls and levels of the final finish, once you have laid approximately 80mm of the stones/hardcore it needs to be pressed into press ensuring a hard, solid and flat surface. The more it is compressed the less likely your drive stones will move in years to come.
Lay the blocks onto a layer of sharp fine sand. This sand also needs to be slightly damp to ensure it will not blow away or end up squeezing through the gaps in your paving. So we lay the sand in stages whilst putting in the blocks to stop the sand from drying out.
Compact the sand using the vibrating plate machine and then you are ready for the screeding. This is simply the final levelling of the sand to give you a perfectly flat base to start putting on your block driveway.
This can be done a number of ways, we usually use long timbers on each edge to give the desired level then scrape away the excess sand using another sturdy timber.
Laying the Blocks
This is where the driveway really starts to take shape!You need to decide exactly how the pattern of the blocks is going to go, you may have different sizes or they may be all the same shape. Either way you need create an imaginary line and follow it with the rowing.
Make sure you are not standing on the screeded sand to mess up your fantastic levelling. Fill in as much as the area as you can until the only gaps are where you need to cut the blocks.
There are 3 different tools you can use to shape your pavers
A simple hammer and chisel
A block splitter
Or a power saw
Its perhaps best to leave the power saws to the professionals, so choose between the hammer or block splitter. Mark out the shape of your blocks with chalk and take your time when cutting and shaping.
This can be a slow task but the accuracy in which you do this will determine the quality finish of the driveway that you are looking for. And before you know it you will be shaping your last block and patting in with your hammer!
Now your driveway is nearly complete. One of the final jobs is to give the blocks a good sweep to get rid of any excess building debris before you put on the fine building sand.
Kiln dried building sand is needed to fill in the gaps between all your paving blocks. Put on a pile of the sand and using a brush sweep it all over your drive filling in all the gaps as you go along.
Use plenty of sand and leave the excess on the surface ready for the compacting
Onto the final step now!
Using your vibrating plate machine pass over the blocks 4 or 5 times and really press down those blocks into the sand and shake all the kiln sand through the gaps to provide a solid surface. Once you’ve done that have a final sweep and you are all done.
To recap on what we have just described, now you know exactly what is involved you may want to consider using a professional to lay your drive. For all Cornwall Homes here at Cornwall Builders we are ready to do all of the hard work for you.
Simply call us on 0800 852 7944
If you are keen to do it yourself then the key is really in the preparation.
- Solid well set edge constraints and a really well laid sub base with the stone.
- Make sure the sand is damp when screeding
- Keep straightening the line of blocks every time you lay another row, its very easy for the pattern to start drifting off and hard to correct when this happens.
Follow these steps, take your time and you will have a fantastic looking drive and save a lot of money