Street appeal makes a home feel welcoming when you return from a hard day at work, but is also important when you’re renting out or selling your home. Outdoor surfaces like paths, pool surrounds, decks, patios and courtyards should look great and be durable and practical to maintain.
Combine your outdoor surfaces with softscape elements like water features, shrubs and flowers to connect your garden with your indoor-outdoor living areas.
Untidy, weed-filled driveways, paths and patios have the potential to knock thousands off the sale of your home, so resurfacing your outdoor surfaces might just end up paying for itself! Get a free quote from Builderscrack today. If you’re making your house more appealing for your own pleasure rather than selling, then it’s worth having a look at materials for outdoor surfaces that will last long-term and be low maintenance. (more…)
If you’ve not made a list of driveway ideas, relax. The driveway is often overlooked as a functional slab of concrete or asphalt tasked with transporting your car from the street to the garage. But first impressions count and the exterior of your home is what people initially notice when visiting.
With imagination and the use of the right materials, you could have an interesting driveway for a great price. Pinterest is a great place to start when making a list of driveway ideas. Pinning your favourite shapes, colours and materials to a board keeps everything in one place.
Many paving companies specialize in either residential or commercial work, though some may perform both types depending on the scope of the project and the equipment required.
When hiring a paving contractor they will first must meet with homeowners and provide estimates to secure new projects. He may be hired to lay a new driveway, patio or concrete floor, or to repair structures such as steps or walkways. Some companies may focus on landscape paving, including both installing poured surfaces and laying stone products such as pavers or outdoor tiles.
Large tamping machines help to flatten out dirt or gravel surfaces, and concrete trucks keep concrete and other paving materials mixed and ready to pour.
The paving also may use a dump truck or tractor to haul stones, gravel or asphalt, or to carry away excess dirt and waste products.
A gardener is a tradesperson who tends and cultivates a person’s garden including plants, shrubs and trees. They may prune and maintain your garden on a regular basis or on a one-off basis for a general tidy up.
The term gardener may also be used to describe garden designers and landscape gardeners, who are involved chiefly in the design of gardens, rather than the practical aspects of horticulture.
A good gardener will maintain and improve the look of your outdoor area based on consulting with you over what you both want and need. They will then do the work based on their own knowledge of growing healthy plants next to each other. Some may work as professional groundskeepers around retail, hospitality and municipal environments.
A gardener commonly uses:
Hiring a lawn mowing contractor or service to handle your mowing will make maintenance of your outdoor areas much easier. Contractors will provide services for both residential and commercial properties.
As the characteristics of lawns will vary, this will also affect the price charged.
A lawn mowing contractors services include:
A good fencing and gate contractor works with you to decide on the style and height of a fence that works in with your home and gardens needs as well as meeting any legal requirements. Then they’ll install it and provide information on maintenance. As fences and gates must complement the gradient of your property and the soil, your contractor will need to take these into account. If you’re unsure where your boundary is they will be able to commission a survey to make sure your fence goes in the right place.
Fencing is best done by experienced professional tradespeople. There’s a wide range of fence materials available such as brick, metal, wire mesh or timber. Timber fences are great for providing windbreaks and offering a wide variety of styles. Brick is a sturdy alternative. A fencing contractor will be able to align posts, assemble gates, construct and repair barriers, attach rails and fencing wire, assemble trellis and all other fence, walls and gate requirements.
Their work involves large-scale mechanical equipment, Backhoes, excavators and diggers are used to remove large quantities of dirt from the ground surface in a relatively short period. Upright tools, such as shovels and spades, pickaxes or mattocks, coal scoops and bucket augers are used in excavation to breakup soil and remove loose dirt fill and debris.
Earthworks are engineering projects involving soil and rock. Earth is cheap and in plentiful supply but it can be hard to handle in large volumes. Certain properties of soils can pose problems, but these can be overcome when constructing earthworks. An earthworks professional will dig, scrape move soil to alter the landscape. They can also compact and pact soil, bring out its clay like attributes.
During property construction, earthworks involves making retaining walls, foundations or other structures which are sometimes backed with rock. Earthworks also includes making canals, altering rivers and roads.
Landscape Architects and Gardeners also make use of earthworks by shaping the earth to make gardens visually appealing or more practical to use.
A concrete layer is a tradesperson who makes many different types of structures out of cement. They’ll pour, smooth, finish and colour concrete with special tools and techniques. Some concrete layers will supervise at job sites to make sure that a quality job is done.
The first thing a concrete layer will do when they start a job, is to build a shape out of wood or metal to hold the wet concrete. Then they’ll pour the concrete into the form, making sure the area is filled properly and there are no air pockets. Then the concrete layer will make sure the concrete is level and clear away any excess with a trowel. Chisels and edging devices may be used to add decoration.
A concrete layer might specialise in a certain type of construction work – for example laying foundations for a new home, driveways, patios, repairs and maintenance on old and damaged structures, or public works like roads and footpaths.
Some concrete layers will work as contractors with their own equipment and may work alone, or hire other tradespeople to help on a project. A concrete layer will meet with the homeowner to plan the job and negotiate a quote. Construction is a labour intensive business that requires being able to work outside in all kinds of weather, so a concrete layer needs to be fit enough to carry out the physical requirements of the job, as well as have good communication and reasoning skills.
Their work involves the use of spreaders, straight edges, tampers, bull floats and darbies, edgers, groovers, hand floats and trowels.
A concrete layer may use concrete mix, fly ash, sealer and corrosion protection.
A bricklayers job is to maintain and create a variety of structures using blocks and tiles. These may include chimneys, walkways, foundations and walls. A bricklayer will often work as part of a team of construction workers or alone on commercial, industrial or residential properties.
Traditionally bricklayers would work with bricks and concrete cinder blocks, however as technology has advanced they’re now working with a wider range of construction materials including marble and terracotta blocks, structural tiles, glass blocks or gypsum. Mortar is most commonly used as a binder and has been used for centuries.
A bricklayer may be supervised by a general or masonry contractor, and will start their job by measuring and marking out the area in which construction is to take place. Then they’ll work out what materials are needed, including the type of construction material, mortar and tools.
Laying bricks is a skill that takes many years to perfect. The between the blocks which is secured by mortar is one that must be consistent to make it stable as well as being visually appealing. It’s important for the mortar to have the right viscosity to make the layers of bricks stick together correctly. There must also be the right amount of moisture to stop it from getting too thick to work with. If the consistency isn’t right, the structure may collapse if exposed to environmental elements or weight.
A bricklayer must also be able to ensure that the bricks or blocks are uniform in shape. Factory produced materials are already pretty uniform on all sides, but recycled bricks, often used for historical reasons often will vary in shape. A bricklayer may use a brick cutter, trowel and/or chisel to shape the bricks to match each other.
Throughout the project, a bricklayer will finish each layer of their work by smoothing the mortar with the pointed tip of their trowel. This task might be performed using copper tubing to create a glassy finish on the connecting mortar layers. Left over brick chips and left over mortar must be removed from the surface before it’s complete.
There are many different bonds, or patterns, in which the bricks can be laid. Common bonds include; Flemish, Monk, Stretcher, English, American, Garden wall, and Rat-trap bond.