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Landscaped gardens should be like onions

One of our installations

It was Shrek that said Ogres are like onions because they have layers and so should your landscaped space!

If your outside space is landscaped properly, then it really isn’t a case of just adding your new materials on top of existing ground.

Did you know that, not only are there regulations for installing hard landscaping features, there are also many processes that go into installing materials to your new outside space?

We always say that a professionally landscaped space should look like a layered cake if you were to cut it into slices. There should be much more to installing a patio than just removing earth, laying some sand and dotting and dabbing slabs.

‘dot and dabbing’ paving.

In fact, if you take a look online at the Gardener’s World Live website you can see a brilliant example of this. It’s called the What Lies Beneath Garden - this shows images illustrating what we mean, perfectly!

Sadly, more and more we are seeing corners being cut and this only leads to failure of the products and, ultimately, a bit of a mess.

A good example of this, and one which we are seeing a lot of at the moment, is the installation of porcelain into an outside space - so we thought we’d demystify some of the processes.

Not only should the ground be excavated to the appropriate levels, tiles should be laid correctly, on the correct depth base and primed to ensure they last. If you’re not sure if a landscaper intends on following these processes it’s definitely worth an ask to save concerns later down the line.

It may appear, when comparing estimates, that there are more materials from one company to another. For example, you might see the following:

Sub base: does one estimate have more cement and sand than another? This is because it’s best to lay on a full bed, rather than dot and dab or scrimp on a sub base. As you can see from the picture above, the end result can be less than pleasing on the eye.

Adhesion: Something called ‘primer slurry’ should appear on there too. This is used to offer greater adhesion between paving and its base. This is sometimes called SBR.

Tiles being primed

Waste removal: this may be higher than you expect. This is because there’s a minimum depth that should be excavated to get a sound base to lay upon. If the contractor is not digging out much or, worse, not digging out at all this would be a concern.

Jointing the paving: Grout/jointing compound may seem expensive. Certain types of grout, however, shouldn’t be used with porcelain. This is because porcelain is a non porous material. Using certain grouts can cause moss or green algae to appear between your paving or it can even crumble and fail completely - check your contractor has chosen the correct one. It’s also worth noting that Sandstone is different!

Failed grouting

Drainage: there are drainage regulations for laying near a property wall/boundary or on a driveway. Sometimes you’ll require specific drainage solutions in order to meet them. If there is none on the estimate, don’t assume that’s because you don’t need it and check with the contractor to be sure.

Standing water on block paving

We’re all about getting a job done properly here and we also want it to look great as well as last.

One of our porcelain installations

You can contact us to discuss any work in your outdoor space by visiting our website at:

Via our Facebook page or give us a call on 07954621918.

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