Paving 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.
Gravel and concrete
Stone and brick
KEY POINTS TO TAKE AWAY
- Unless you are a keen DIY enthusiast, you must consider the cost of labour when planning to lay paving, as well as the cost of the material. It takes time and work to prepare the ground, make a sub-base and lay the paving. This can double the cost of the paving materials.
- Supply and demand has a bearing on the cost of materials. Second-hand or salvaged York stone is now often as expensive as freshly quarried York stone.
- Always create drainage gradients that fall away from the house or any other building. The subsequent drainage or holding of this surface run-off should also be a major consideration.
- Paving surfaces should be below damp-proof courses and air bricks. Where gardens slope towards the house it is important to remove enough soil to create a sloping surface that falls away from it. Drains can also run along the threshold of the house. These are covered by open grilles and will carry excess water away from the house, especially during periods of heavy rainfall.
- In the case of imported stone, ask the merchant where it comes from and how it will perform in the British climate. There should be a paper trail from the quarry to the retailer and you need to look for ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) approval.
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