Home improvement – a better driveway for you
Buying a house can be difficult enough. But when you find that your backyard driveway changes into a mud bath every time it rains, your home becomes more of a disappointment than the joy it was meant to be.
Luckily this can be easily fixed. James Nielsen, owner of a home in Woodstock, approached Terraforce to help him build a hard-wearing driveway.[pull_quote_center]“I needed a driveway to could handle cars and the rain, but can also be used for entertainment. A hard lawn paver is great for that, in a few months time most of the blocks will be covered in grass.” “It was quite a process”, say Nielsen, “but with the help from Terraforce, it went well and we have already had a ‘backyard wetting’ to celebrate our new driveway.”[/pull_quote_center]
Nielson says that he used two labourers that had never worked with the product before: “It was easy enough for them to do a good job under the guidance of a Terraforce professional, and it took us about two weeks to complete the job. I am happy, and everything looks neat. I can recommend Terracrete blocks, they work well.”
Of course, there are some basic rules that need to be followed:
1. Always consult a qualified professional to guide you through the installation process and supply a design. This is not a do-it- yourself project.
2.Have a good look at your backyard and decide what you need. A driveway or parking bay? A gravel or grass finish?
3. What does the ground look like? Is there loose sand, clay or building rubble? This can make life easier or harder, depending on what you find.
4. Chose a level delivery spot for the blocks, off-load carefully and don’t move them again. Extra handling can cause unnecessary damage.
5. Next you need to dig a foundation to line and level.
This is a 200mm deep depression that is filled with 100mm gravel and topped of with a thin, even layer of sand, called sand bedding. In some cases it may be necessary to provide a separation Geo-filter between the two layers. Tamp down this layer using a hand compactor. This driveway only needed a 100mm trench, as the past owner had already mixed gravel into the topsoil previously, in an unsuccessful attempt to stabilise the drive.
Now start laying the blocks in the formation chosen, in our example the blocks are laid in a circular formation with 4 blocks facing inwards. Make sure they are packed tightly.
You can tap them lightly with a rubber hammer to get them to settle properly. Step back and check for uneven areas or blocks out of alignment.
To finish off, fill the blocks with gravel or coarse sand and add some topsoil, mixed with grass seed as recommended by your local garden supplies, compacting lightly as you go along.
Avoid cutting blocks if you can. If it is unavoidable, (bends and junctions) do so neatly, with an angle grinder.
If you still have questions, visit www.terraforce.com. Terrasafe, a new service by Terraforce, offers a design package that can help you get it right, the first time round.