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Everything You Need To Know About Finding A Paving Specialist

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Paving is a stylish and inexpensive way to create feature or utility areas in your outdoor space. Paving can be used on pathways, your driveway, in your patio or wherever you need a hard outdoor surface. Because there is such a wide variety of colors, textures and formats available, pavers can create almost any type of look and are more versatile than other hard surfaces. Laid correctly, pavers can last a lifetime and are very low maintenance. There's more than meets the eye to laying pavers, though, so for best results, let a paving specialist lay your pavers for you.

Laying a Base for Pavers

What's beneath the pavers is as important as the pavers you choose. First, a paving expert will lay out the area to be paved with a string line. Then they will start to prepare the surface. They might dig away the top soil and replace it with river sand. Using a compactor, they will compact the sand so the pavers don't move after they're laid. In some cases, they might lay a concrete base. Depending on the style of paving, they might start by installing timber or concrete edging. They will also consider drainage and make any necessary provisions to ensure the paved surface drains properly.

Choosing a Paving Expert

Most paving experts can lay pavers anywhere, but there are times you want to choose a specialist:

Hire a driveway paving specialist for your driveway If you need new pavers around your pool, hire a pool paving specialist Patio pavers know exactly what to do in your patio For your garden paths, a path paving specialist will have a wealth of ideas for you and know exactly how to lay your path pavers.

In most states, paving professionals must hold a trade licence. The licence they need might vary. For example, in New South Wales, paving professionals must hold concreters licences while in Queensland they need to have Structrural Landscaping licences. To find the licensing requirements in your state, visit licensedtrades.com.au .

You also want to know the paving expert you choose will be able to give you the results you want. Paving professionals will be able to show you portfolios of their previous work and will be happy to provide you with references.

Choosing Pavers

Your job is to choose the most appropriate pavers for your project. Your paving specialist can help you make your selection, but ultimately the choice is yours. Some of your options include:

Cement pavers Cut natural stone pavers Terracotta pavers Ceramic pavers

For driveways, choose pavers that are at least 45mm thick. For other areas, discuss your options with your paving supplier and installer. Each type of paving material has its pros and cons. Some can be slippery when wet. Others can be ideal for a garden path but not advisable for a driveway, patio or pool. You may need to have your pavers sealed after they are laid. You can choose the look you're after, but let the experts help you choose the most appropriate paving materials for your project.

Don't forget that the pattern they are laid in will make a big difference to the appearance of your pavers. A straight lay is the easiest and least expensive, but for a little more money, you might want a herringbone or other pattern. You might want to have contrasting edging pavers or highlight a central area with a different type of paver. Have a look at our Paving Ideas pages for inspiration before you get quotes, because the pattern you choose will effect the cost of paving.

How Much Does Paving Cost?

The cost of paving varies with the job. The pavers you choose can start at just $12m2, but the average is closer to $40m2. Paving experts charge anywhere between $20 and $50 per square meter, depending on a number of factors. An easy straight lay job on a flat surface will cost less than the same job on a sloping or difficult surface. Add a complex pattern to the mix and the rate will be higher.

When you get quotes, describe the nature of your project in as much detail as possible. What materials do you want to use? What look are you trying to achieve? How large is the area? Is it flat or sloping? How much preparation work do you think will be involved? Giving as many details as possible will enable the paving professionals to give you more accurate initial quotes.

Cost and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces. This article was updated 25 August 2015 to reflect current market pricing.

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