Improve Your Garden With New Paving

Hello! Is your garden looking a little run down? My name is Jackie and on this new blog, I will be passing on everything I know about how different paving solutions can make your garden look great. Although I am not a professional, my interest in paving began two years ago when I decided to help a friend who was carrying out renovation work on her home. As part of the work, I organised for paving contractors to come in and lay a new garden path. I was so impressed, I hired the same people to work on my home and I decided to learn all I could about the topic.

A Guide for Homeowners When Paving Driveways


Driveways, whether made of gravel, bricks, or asphalt are a welcome addition to a home's landscaped features. With proper maintenance, a well designed and constructed driveway can last for years without needing replacement. However, to achieve such a long lifespan, the paving procedures should be meticulous, including a stable foundation using road stabilisation for the pavement to be laid on. Therefore, care should be taken when preparing pavement layers. This article is a guide for homeowners when paving their driveways.

Gradients -- Gradients are critical in pavements because they enhance drainage and ensure that driveways last longer. A flat pavement without any angle or slope can cause water to accumulate in the driveway, eventually damaging the flooring. If you don't want your sidewalk to have a slope, then you should design it to drain water towards a disposal area, for instance, a drain, gully, ditch, or soakaway.  A gradient of 1:80 or 1:60 is recommended for residential driveways, but it will depend on the type of material used for the pavement. Notably, it means that for every 80 or 60 units of driveway length, there must be a slope of one unit.

Sub-base Construction -- The sub-base material, whether cement-stabilised sand, finely crushed rock, crushed limestone, or fine gravel must be compacted to the recommended density. Also, the material must be loosely spread over the sub-grade layer to form an even surface. The sub-base material should have enough moisture for achieving the desired density, but care should be taken not to make it overly wet.

Compacting -- After laying the paving material, such as bricks or gravel, you must remember to do thorough compaction. Compacting brings all the pavers to one level to produce a flat surface devoid of undulating properties. Most often, a plate compactor with low amplitude is used when a broad area needs to be compacted within a short period. However, remember that the base of the compactor machine should not come into direct contact with the paving material due to the risk of damage to the pavers. Therefore, a good rule of thumb is to use a plywood sheet for cushioning the pavers. For bricks, remember to apply joint-sand filling over the concrete blocks after compacting to reinforce the pavement.   

Edge Restraints -- Gravel tends to migrate to the sides due to vehicle movement. Therefore, you can install a small barrier along the edges of the pavement to keep the gravel intact. You can use natural materials such as bricks or stones, which can be integrated along the sides. However, ensure that the edge restraints do not protrude along the edges to the point of restricting car movement.


9 February 2018