Things To Remember When Hiring Professional Pavers

professional paversWhen it comes to home improvement, there are a lot of do-it-yourself (DIY) guides that you can easily find on the internet once you search through Google or other search engines. However, not all projects should be done as a DIY. Professionals are always around to help, and most of the time, they will do a better job than you. One of the things that you can ask professional help for is when planning for your pavement project. Pavement installation needs the kind of knowledge and expertise that experts only possess. In addition, you may not have the needed tools and manpower to do this kind of project on your own. However, before lifting your phone and calling the professionals, here are some tips that you should remember and consider when choosing the best paver to do your project:

Make a list. The first thing that you need to do is come up with a list of things that you want to be done for your pavement. How big will the project be? Where will it be located? How much money are you willing to spend? When do you want it done? You should know the kind of work that needs to be done and, if possible, be specific about it. When you already have your list, then you can start looking for a company that may be able and available to do the project. There should 10 or 20 professional pavers available to cater your area. It is then your job to shortlist the available companies so you can focus your attention on finding the best one to do the job for you.

Know the company. Just like any employer, it is a must that you get to know the potential employee that you are hiring. All possible contractors should go through evaluation and scrutiny before deciding whether the one you are talking with is the ONE. If the companies you have shortlisted have available websites, then be vigilant and visit the websites at hand. In their websites, you should check for their portfolio and background. Professional pavers would always make their portfolio available online. Having a portfolio available for evaluation is a good sign. This means that they are proud of what they do and are comfortable enough to show to the world that they do quality and not sloppy jobs. If some of the companies that you have shortlisted do not have portfolios online, maybe you can contact them and ask for one. If they are not able to provide you their portfolio, then you must drop them off. Professionals would not second guess in showing and showcasing what they can do.

Price. Once you have narrowed down the list of companies that you would possibly hire, you should contact them and ask for quotations. You should discuss with them in detail what you want. Give them your list, and give them your price range. Some companies will be able to work with your budget, and some will not. When giving them your price range, you should give yourself some wiggle room. Don’t give them the entire amount that you are willing to pay for the project. Give them at least 70% of what you can spend on the project. This way, you will know if you can afford them, or if they are willing to do the project with this budget without compromising quality. However, if you are more willing to pay more than what you have originally decided to spend on the project, then go for it. After all, you will always get what you pay for.


A Guide To Laying Pavers And Paving Stone

asphalt-paving-stonesYou should always dry lay your patio first, before you get to work, this isn’t a difficult feat but simply involves laying the paving out exactly as you want it to be when you’ve completed the job. Size and layout are big factors to look out for, but the most crucial step here is to make sure you won’t be short of paving slabs!

The First Step: Layout Of The Patio Foundations

For foundation mix and paving you should allow 150mm. When laying directly beside the house the completed patio needs to be a minimum of 150mm depth from the damp proof course. In practicality, this calls for you to dig a 300mm minimum depth below the damp proof course.

A fall of 1 in 60 is required to eliminate the problem of water gathering on the paving, this means one centimetre of fall is required for every 60 centimetres of width. For example, a 50mm (5cm) would be required for a patio which is 3m wide.

The Second Step: Foundation Base Preparation

A concrete mix of 1 part cement to 6 parts all-in-one ballast will create a firm foundation. You want the mixture to just bind and no more, so mix and add enough water to reach this consistency. Next, to a depth of 75mm, get the whole area covered, using a shovel to level the surface. Use a length of wood, or simply your boots, to trample the surface down.

The Third Step: Preparing The Mortar

You want the whole slab, not just the corners, to be supported, so lay the paving slab on a full mortar bed. The mortar mix should consist of 1 part cement and 6 parts sharp sand. Add just enough water to create a damp and malleable mixture, without allowing it to become runny.

The Fourth Step: Time To Lay The Paving

In order to guide the line and level of the paving you need two taut string lines set up. One of the lines should run from side to side, while the other runs the length of the patio, make sure one of the lines has the drainage fall. Begin the process at a corner, gradually working your way out. Use the mortar to create an area that is a little bigger than the planned paving slab, it should also be an adequate height to allow you to tap the flag down to reach the right level. Next, being very careful not to catch any of the corners, lift the slab and lower it into place.

Now begin to tap it down using a rubber mallet. Use your imagination to create diagonals halfway from the middle of the paving slab and the corner, this is the spot you want to hit with the mallet aiming for a firm, yet not too strong, strike. Do this for each corner, Tapping each point in turn and continue the process until the flag has nestled down and is sitting at the correct level. Use a spirit level to check that the paving is level and also ensure that you have a fall, once these factors are confirmed, continue with the rest of the paving, when necessary leaving joints. Once all of the patio has been completed, it needs 24 hours to fully harden, hence it is important for no one to walk on the paving.

The Fifth Step: Time To Get The Paving Jointed

Create a smooth, but not sloppy, consistency using 1 part cement and 3 parts soft building sand. If you want to make life a little easier use a plasticiser.

Next it’s time to trowel the mortar into each joint, make sure you press it down, if it seems necessary use a pointing bar to smooth it out. This step calls for extra caution to make sure you don’t get any mortar on the paving slab. It is possible to scrape mortar off the slab, but you should wait a few hours until it has begun to harden.

Check that the mortar has fully hardened, then give the patio a thorough brushing – all that’s left to do after that is give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!