Paving in Skipton
Paving in Skipton is forever the bridesmaid of the garden, taken for granted as we clamour for plants; yet take it away and our gardens fail to function.
The biggest issue with paving is cost. It is usually the most expensive element of any garden design. The most expensive materials tend to be stone such as granite, limestone and sandstone, even more expensive still are the more unusual stones such as slate, quartzite or basalt.
Gravel and concrete
The cheapest natural alternative to stone paving is gravel. Less natural but also cheap is concrete in its pre-cast form. Many concrete slabs are designed to imitate stone, they sometimes include dyes, which may fade over time. Other mass-produced concretes include aggregates that give the finished slabs a more interesting texture.
Stone and brick
If you want to use imported stone in your garden, it’s worth bearing in mind certain ethical issues. Many stone suppliers obtain materials from India and China, where some quarries have been accused of using child labour.
Putting this issue to one side there are also practical problems for British gardeners. Some imported paving slabs aren’t fully hardy in UK conditions. Water-absorbent materials, for example, may crack in freezing conditions.
One paving material often prone to frost damage is brick. Most house bricks will absorb moisture and shatter in freezing temperatures. Instead, make sure you lay paving bricks, which are so dense that they will repel most water.
All paving, except decking, will need a foundation. Traditionally, hardcore is used (pieces of broken brick, stone or concrete and other aggregates). These are compacted into a substantial layer onto which mortar and then thepaving will be laid.
Digging down to lay the foundation can leave you with a big pile of soil, which can either be transported to a landfill site or used elsewhere in the garden.
Creative Landscapers use sand as a bedding layer for paving. The paving is laid onto this, and joints backfilled with sand. When compacted and vibrated together, this combination is strong yet flexible, making it suitable for drives and parking areas. In general, smaller and thicker blocks or slabs are better for this kind of application. The larger and thinner the slabs are, the more likely they are to crack.
Sand bedded paving needs a solid edge, without which the bedding material will wash away. Solid edges can be built in mortar-bedded paving on a concrete foundation or supported by poured concrete ‘haunching’ – a continuous strip of concrete just below the soil surface.
A paved area made of poured concrete should be designed with temperature change in mind. Large slabs of concrete paving will heat up in summer and cool in winter, expanding or contracting accordingly. Flexible joints between concrete slabs must be designed into any scheme to absorb this movement.
The largest slab possible in concrete is probably 6x6m before expansion joints are needed. Large slabs such as these should be reinforced with steel mesh, or glass fibre.
Paving needs to drain water effectively, or puddles will form on it. Slabs are usually laid to a ‘fall’ or gradient, a normally imperceptible 1:60 or 1:100 slope. When laying slabs against a building, paving must slope away from it, ensuring that there is no water penetration. Be aware that solid paving must not breach the damp course and should be 15-20cm below the internal floor level. In older properties make sure the level of the paving is below any air bricks.
New materials and methods of construction create porous surfaces. These allow water to sink into the ground beneath, an option preferable to the non-porous surfaces used for growing numbers of paved over front gardens. These create rainwater run-off, that increases the risk of flooding.
The selection of paving materials is complex, involving cost, colour and texture, quality of finish and appropriateness to location. Giving them all some thought along with the function of your paved areas is essential if you are to get the best out of your investment.
Why Not Call Creative Landscapes – the Paving specialists in Skipton for a FREE Consultation on 01282 841213.
Creative landscapes are involved in designing, implementing, maintaining, or remodelling a garden landscape for private individuals, architects, or town or county authorities. A garden landscaper begins their project by first understanding the client’s requirements, and then developing their designs and drawings with the client’s input. The landscaper supervises the construction of walls, fences, trellises and other hardscapes. The landscaper has to be responsible for preparing a maintenance schedule, and to supervise the care of the greenery. Garden landscapers can specialise in hardscapes like architectural constructions, or in soft landscaping like grounds maintenance, water features, garden lighting, or turning. We offer some of the most reputable garden landscaping and paving services available. Our competence and experience are what you need to bring your garden to life, and we have a solid track record of getting projects done on time.