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Brick Paving Articles

Use Paving Stones For Your Patio
by: Peter J. Mason

Building an outdoor area onto your home can be an expensive proposition. Whether you are thinking about putting in a patio or an outdoor kitchen, the material will usually be quite expensive and the labor it takes to build it even more so. Wood decks and the like are also permanent structures, so those who decide that they do not like how the project turned out are simply stuck with the results. In addition, those who are renting are not allowed to add these structures to the property.

One way in which more and more people are skirting the problems posed by traditional outdoor extensions is by creating them using what are called paving stones or pavers. When you are creating and building your deck, any type of mistake will lead to considerable added expense. A missed cut in the wood, or a misjudged joint, will result not only in more time taken to correct the problem, but also in the added cost of the wasted materials. With pavers, the cost of mistakes is greatly reduced. In addition, the mistakes themselves are reduced as they are easier to work with that wood is.

Many people who add additions to their homes do so without first considering their neighbors. In many modern neighborhoods, there are strict rules governing what can be added to the home. These regulations include the size of the addition, the foundation requirements, and in some cases even the material to be used are regulated. Ignorance of these rules might mean that the entire project is a waste in the case of a neighbor complaint and the resulting investigation finding that you did not build according to code. So make sure to check your local bylaws for just what you are allowed to do. The good news for those who use pavers is that they are permitted by most building codes. If you are building a wood deck, make sure that there is no possibility of runoff or standing water that will rot the material or cause disfigurment. Again, pavers negate this risk as they are not biodegradable.

A lot of the time upon completion of a project, the owner of the house realizes that something just does not fit right. The deck is not showing off the landscaping to the best effect, or worse is in the way of the natural expansion of the outside decor. A deck that is built and feels cramped is very counter productive, as decks are added to give a little bit of extra space to a home. Pavers address both of these issues. Paving stones can be moved around in order to expand or contract the deck area, and to increase th eview ofa lawn and garden.

For those who rent, check with the landlord before attempting any improvements. You might want to keep in mind that any additions you make will in the end only benefit the owner, so expansion should be minimal. Most landlords are okay with the use of paving stones, though, as they can be easily moved when a current tenant vacates. Also, if the tenant wishes, he can take the material with him to the new residence!

Source: Article City

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Hardscape Projects
by: Janeth Duque

No landscape is all greenspace. In fact, hardscape is as much a part of the landscape as plants (known as softscape). There are many projects that can contribute to you landscape design, and make your home environment more pleasant. Additionally, it is also interesting to note that most hardscape landscape features are actually very useful and serve functions other than simple being nice to look at.

The most common hardscape features of most landscapes are the driveway and the walkways. These elements are almost necessary. The driveway provides a place for the homeowner to park his or her car, and the walkways are important in providing a place to walk without damaging the rest of the landscape. There are many different types of projects that can be accomplished when putting in a driveway or walkway. However, many people simply choose to use concrete. Other surfaces can be just as useful, and more attractive, though. For a driveway, gravel is low cost alternative to concrete. It can be annoying, however, as the small rocks tend to be transferred to other parts of the property. Asphalt can be used if you have a bigger budget. It will not wear as quickly as concrete, and it has more give. For walkways, you can create a very attractive walk by laying down flat stones. These look more natural, and they are less of an eyesore than are concrete sidewalks.

Other common hardscape features include decks and patios. These are great projects that serve a number of purposes, most notably being places where the home's inmates can sit and enjoy their landscape. They also make great platforms for entertaining and outdoor cooking. Most patios are simply squares of concrete in the back yard. Decks, of course, come in all shapes and sizes. Some are built low and in the front, serving as porches, and others are built in the back and high, like a terrace. In any case, these projects can be tailored to fit the needs of the homeowner, and they also serve another purpose: to decrease the amount of lawn that needs to be maintained. A square shaped deck or patio element is easy to mow around, and it creates less maintenance work. Oddly shaped patios and decks may be more attractive and interesting, but they can also cause hassles in caring for the edges. When building these features, it is important to carefully consider the implications of the structure you build. Decks and patios are desirable also because they can be decorated in a number of ways, and according to the seasons. Lights, hanging baskets, and seasonal decorations all adorn decks and patios and make them more inviting.

Water features are often considered hardscape elements in the landscape. These are things like waterfalls and ponds. Even small ponds and waterfalls can make beautiful additions to any landscape. These can be professionally installed, or even installed one self. Not only do water features look beautiful and inviting, but they also offer soothing and cooling sounds. These features contribute to more than just the sense of sight

Source: Article City

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Problem Free Patios, Paving And Paths
By: James Kilkelly

If you are thinking of creating a patio, courtyard or path within your garden, then I have some helpful information for you.

Where to place a path
Have a good look at your garden, even if you are just viewing from the comfort of your kitchen, this may give you an idea of where paths should be placed. Viewing a curved pathway, particularly one that wraps behind a border will entice the viewer to exit the house and follow the path to discover what lies at its end. You may not end up with a crock of gold at the end of the path but a restful seating area will be a good consolation, and quite a nice focal point. Hardwearing continuous paths can be created from gravel, paving brick, pavers or setts (concrete or natural stone, with granite setts being particularly strong in texture and colour). Gravel paths are the most economical to install. However, I would never recommend laying them within lawns as disturbed gravel may enter the lawn and end up breaking windows or worse, if hit by lawn mower blades.

Design tips and hints
I often recommend paving brick for creating both straight and curving garden paths, provided you lay it with clear design rules in mind. Do you have a short garden, which you wish would appear longer? This can be achieved by creating a path running right down the garden laid in a "running bond" pattern. Brick laid in this style runs lengthways in the direction the path runs whilst its joints are staggered for strength. Maybe you have a garden that is narrow causing you to wish it would appear wider; again an optical illusion design trick can be called into play. This time lay the brick in a style known a "stretcher bond", which has a widening effect. To produce this effect the brick must be laid lengthways across the width of the path in staggered rows.

Both of the optical illusions created by the use of "running bond" or "stretcher bond", follow a similar rule to one used in fashion, where vertical lines appear to lengthen or slim whereas horizontal lines appear to widen or expand (who says you learn nothing by reading the fashion magazines).

If you wish to create a path that will not appear prominent and dominate a smaller garden, I would suggest you install a stepping stone path. This will look quite at home on the compacted lawn beneath the washing line. Stepping stones are laid flush with, or just below lawn level to allow the mower to pass over unimpeded.

A site for your patio
The patio is an extension you can add to your home without planning permission; it is your roofless dining area or room outside. We use patios primarily as sitting, sunning and entertaining zones. Your patio should be used as our own personal courtyard linked to our house. With these uses in mind, seek out an area that receives direct sun from the south, the west or a combination of both. Southerly facing patios offer warmth from twelve o'clock onwards, ideal for those of you who wish to tan au-natural. A paved area with a westerly aspect will allow you to enjoy evening sun whilst reflecting on the day, with or without a glass of wine. Sun alone is not enough to make your patio experience a pleasant one; you must also seek out an area that is a refuge from winds or else provide artificial shelter. I come across many fine-looking patios in full sun that I find hard to spend more than a few minutes on, due mostly to the wind chill factor.

Selection of materials and laying patterns
The selection of a paving material comes down to your personal taste and what your budget will allow. However be guided by the following pointers, firstly you must realise that the patio often eases the transition from house to garden. So if you select economical concrete or cement patio slabs, ensure they have an appealing colour and texture similar to natural stone. The addition of bands / borders of natural granite setts or cobble stones, whilst linking with the surrounding environment can be used to enrich concrete flags. Indian sandstone flags whilst slightly more expensive than their concrete counterparts offer a natural stone surface which is full of visual and tactile charm. The laying style of paving materials will dictate how you feel whilst seated on your patio. If paving is laid in a diagonal pattern, the sense of movement is minimised which ensures a more restful spell in the room outside. To increase the sense of restfulness on a patio created from brick I suggest using a laying style known as "Basketweave" or alternatively the older "Flemish pattern" style, these styles minimise movement that is normally reserved for paths.

Children, the elderly and the non slip patio
The selection of a non-slip material is vitally important especially where young children or the elderly are concerned, as a painful fall can really affect these patio users. Superior non-slip paving materials are those with an exposed aggregate or a sandstone finish. Finally, when deciding on the size of a paved area to create, sit back and ask yourself how many occupants are in your house. Use this rule of thumb; create a minimum of four metres squared of paved surface per patio user. Do not forget to allow for the friends factor, unless you are a "Billy-no-mates". If you are without friends, you will not remain that way for long once you create your sun-drenched patio or room outside.

About the Author:
James Kilkelly runs a professional garden design service in Galway, Ireland. He has a regular gardening column in a Irish regional newspaper. Visit his website at http://www.gardenplansireland.com/ He also regularly posts his expert advice on http://www.gardenstew.com/ Original Article: http://www.gardenplansireland.com/articles/article22.html

Source: Isnare

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Bricklaying Basics
By Chuck Lunsford

When you build with bricks you're creating something that can be appreciated for generations. It's not uncommon to find structures in complete ruin except for the masonry such as a brick chimney or wall.

The reasons for do-it-yourself bricklaying vary, but the primary reason seems to be cost. Others include learning a valuable skill for starting a new business, or simply learning a new hobby. Planning a bricklaying project begins with gathering ideas and envisioning the end result. Don't overlook this step. Masonry is permanent so be cautious and remember you need to do it right - the results of your efforts will be on public display for along, long time.

As you begin your planning it's important to consider size and scale, location, material selection, drainage and appearance. make deatiled drawings of the planned project so to eliminate design flaws and aid in estimating building costs.

Visit your local home improvement center or hardware store and collect samples of the material you have in mind and evaluate the way they blend with your existing landscaping. Depending on whether you plan on pouring a small slab or building a brick archway, estimate the dimensions of your project as accurately as possible. This eliminates extra shopping trips. Since your using brick the local brickyard is where you'll find the best supply of bricklayers material. They also carry the tools your going to need.

Speaking of the tools, and to work effectively you are going to have to buy or rent some special purpose tools. I suggest that if this is a one-time project then by all means rent the tools. What follows is a list of tools for doing brickwork:

Mortar hawk - for holding mortar
Wide pointing tool - for placing mortar on brick
Jointer - for finishing joints
Brick tongs - for carrying multiple bricks
Narrow tuck pointer - for placing mortar on bricks
Mason's trowel - for applying mortar
Masonry chisels - fro splitting brick
Mason's hammers - for chipping brick
Maul - for driving stakes
Joint chisel - for removing dry mortar
Shop broom - for keeping the work area clean
Bucket and scrub brush
Stiff bristle brush - for removing loose material
Rubber mallet
Pipe clamp - for scoring large quantities of brick
Circular saw (with a masinry blade) - for cutting brick
Hammer drill with masonry bit
Wheelbarrow - for mixing mortar
Shovel
Cement - for mixing mortar
Particle mask, gloves and protective eyewearv

A helpful hint is to build your project, if possible without using mortar. This allows you to see the finished project, make corrections along the way and decide if the end result is really what you wanted.

The last thing I'll cover is choosing, mixing and throwing the right mortar. Masonry mortar is a mixture of portland cement, sand and water. Other ingredients include lime and gypsum to improve workability and control setup time. Believe it or not the strongest isn't always the best for the job. Gone are the days when do-it-yourselfers had to mix mortar fom scratch, often with disasterous results. These days mortar comes premixed in 50 - 100 lb bags. Today you simply select the correct mix for the job at hand.

Type N mortar is often called on because it offers a good blend of strength and durability. It's commonly used in non-load-bearing projects such as freestanding walls, BBQ grills and chimneys.

Type S mortar is a high strength mixture for exterior use in foundations, brick and block reatining walls, driveways, walks and patios,

Type M mortar is a very high strength mortar for load-bearing exterior stone walls.

There are other types mixes for special purpose but fo the sake of simplicity I left them out o this article.

Mixing mortar is simple these days. I dump one to two bags of mix into a large wheelbarrow, push it to one side and slowly add water until I get the right texture I want. If it's too thick , it will fall off the trowel in a heap and not in the smooth line you want. Add to much water and it's messy and weak. Just follow the manufacturers directions and you should be fine. If you've never mixed mortar before experiment in small batches until you find the mixture that works. Keep note of your mixture ratios to use later.

Don't mix mortar in large batches unless you are willing to use it all in one application. More than one do-it-yourslf bricklayer has ended up with a 200 lb wheelbarrow for this reason. It's best to mix mortar as needed. You can't foresee delays such as bad weather, running out of daylight or worse yet injuring yourself.

Watching a professional bricklayer at work is an impressive sight. I remember as a small child living with my grandparents and watching their new home being built. The mortar practically flew off the workers trowels and the walls seemed to rise out of the ground in minutes. "Mortart throwing" is an acquired skill that takes years to master, but you can use the basic techniques successfully with just a little practice.

Throwing mortar is a quick, smooth technique. Load the trowel with mortar (how much depends on you comfort level), then position the trowel a few inches above the starting point. In one motion, begin turning your wrist over and quickly move the trowel across the surface to spread mortar consistently. Ideally you want ot end up with a line of mortar about 2 1/2 " wide and about 2 ' long.

These are the very basics. There are numerous books and how-to videos on countless masonry projects. Just remember to plan accordingly, take your time and above all ... be safe.

Chuck Lunsford is a successful Webmaster and publisher of do it yourself B.B.Q. plans. You can additional home improvements on his website.

About the Author:
Focusing on the topic of remodeling, Peter J. Mason wrote largely for www.kitchen-cabinets-tips.com. You might come across his publications on kitchen cabinets over at http://www.kitchen-cabinets-tips.com .

Source: Ezine Articles

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Landscaping Using Brick
By: A.Caxton

When you are creating the perfect landscape, you do need to use various materials in order to make it as scenic and as unique as possible.

One of these materials is brick and it can be used in a variety of ways in order to improve the look of the landscaping and to make your garden look serene and natural. It is one of the best ways to add natural beauty to the garden and if you are fed up with your un-maintainable lawn, you can always completely easily replace it using brick. Many people think that brick can look a little dull; however it can in fact look quite attractive depending upon the type that you purchase. Also, think of how easy it would be to maintain!

The Different Ways in Which You Can Use Brick within the Landscape
As well as there being different types of brick, you can also use them in a variety of different ways. For example, if you do have a lawn which you are fed up with, why not turn it into a little patio? It is extremely simple to do and all you will really need is the type of brick which you are using and a little mortar. Remember that you will have to use flat bricks in order to make the patio ideal to walk on. You can create a patio in a variety of ways including having the bricks all going the same way, having them going diagonally and also having different colored bricks alternating. Each will provide a different look so try and decide which you would prefer beforehand.

Another way in which you can use bricks to help with your landscaping is by using them as borders for your flowers. By doing this you not only give it a unique look, but you also stop any weeds from growing. You could also use them to create a water garden. You will need cement for that as well as a spade to help place it on the bricks. By using them around a water feature it adds a little warmth and stability to the feature which will ultimately make it last longer.

Overall bricks can be used in a variety of ways and each will really improve the look of the landscaping. You just have to know what you can do and where you can purchase them from and then you will be on your way to creating something really unique.

About the Author:
Andrew Caxton is a consultant who writes on many consumer topics like lawn care for http://www.lawn-mowers-and-garden-tractors.com . You can find more information and resources on landscaping at his website.

Source: Isnare

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Decorative Brick Complements Any Landscape
By: Mr.Andrew Caxton

The key to having good taste is not necessarily that you prefer brick over metal, or metal over plastic, but rather that whatever you use - you use only that. Mismatched items do your landscape no favors.

A few years ago, my dad got tired of the mis-matched rocks and broken bricks that my mom used to line the flower beds around our house. So he and I went to a local home improvement store and bought about a dozen scalloped brick edgers for her to use instead. We brought them home, and then went off again on another errand.

When we returned, my mom had already put the brick edgers in place the way she wanted them. Because there weren't enough of the edgers to stretch to all the flowerbeds, she'd interspersed the edgers with those same old broken bricks and rocks. So it rather spoiled the effect. My dad just threw up his hands and gave up. There's no doubt about it, when it comes to designing landscaping my mother does not have any taste. But if you ask her about it she'll say that she likes the way everything looks.

There's not much point to that story, except to say that either you have good taste or you don't, and if you don't have good taste hopefully you're self-aware enough to know it, and hire someone else to do your designing!

What makes good taste? Well, it's not necessarily a liking for wood over metal, or metal over plastic. All that is a matter of personal taste and is not necessarily bad or good. But if you're going to have a series of bookcases in your home, for example, they should be all the same design - all wood, all metal, all plastic - so that they match and don't detract from the eye. That's the key to good taste.

If you do have an eye for design, then you'll probably find that your landscaping can be set off quite elegantly with the addition of brick patio stones, paving stones and landscape edgers. As with any other landscaping accessory, these bricks come in a vast variety of colors and designs, so that you're sure to find something you like. Only please, buy enough so that you can use them on every project, and if you run out - go back to the store and get more! Don't ruin the effect by adding broken brick and rocks...it just doesn't work. Use brick to line your flower beds, build up retaining walls, or make pathways.

Add a patio
If you'd like to add a brick patio to your backyard, it's quite easy to do, but you do have to give it some thought. Take some time to ensure that the ground where you want to place the patio is level - otherwise some of the bricks might settle and others will rise and give the patio an unfinished look. Also if live in an area with frequent frost or snow, where the ground has a tendency to heave up, you'll have to take that into consideration. Consult with your local home improvement store professional to learn the best ways of building your patio. As for the design of the bricks, you can get plain brick and place them in rows, or alternate them vertically and horizontally, or do a sort of basket weave. The design is pretty much up to you. However, check your local building or neighborhood codes to make sure they don't have any say over whether or not you can add a simple patio.

As with any landscaping feature, design what you want on paper first, before you go out and purchase the material. Then, go out and buy your material, pick up a couple of pairs of sturdy gloves to protect your hands, and get to work!

About the Author:
Andrew Caxton is the author of more resources published at http://www.lawn-mowers-and-garden-tractors.com . A website with tips on landscaping, amongst many related topics.

Source: Isnare

Brick Paving Gives A Timeless Appeal
By Ken Wilssens

Driveways done with brick paving have a timeless appeal that makes any driveway look special. Adding a brick driveway not only makes your home and property look great, but it increases the value if you want It to sell. The blocks used for paving with brick come from the earth. They are made from several blends of clay and shale, which is pressed or molded into blocks either by hand or by using machinery. Once the brick is formed, then it is dried and fired in a kiln at a temperature of almost 2000 degrees. This is necessary for the particles to fuse together to form a really strong product.

There is a limited range of colors in brick pavers compared to those available in concrete pavers. The colors of paving bricks tend to be earth tones or blends of muted colors. Some examples are red, brown, cream, tan and greenish gray. The main shade depends on the color of the earth in the area from which the clay and stone are taken. During the manufacturing process, the colors become a permanent part of the brick. Because of the high temperatures involved in this process, the color will stay true forever, so you won't have to worry about fading.

One of the main advantages of using brick pavers is the wide range of design options you have for installation. The installation is done by hand, which means you can basically lay the bricks however you wish. You can mix and match colors and sizes to create a really unique driveway design. It is not a project for the handyman around the house and you really do need to have professionals do the installation for you. However, when it is finished you will have a soft muted look that will be one of a kind.

For lots of information on paving services and other related topics, visit The Paving Guide at www.thepavingguide.com

Source: Ezine Articles

Three Types of Paving Stones
By Ken Wilssens

There are three types of paving stones that you can use for your driveway. These stones are also suitable for use on a patio. The three types are:
* Concrete pavers - made from cement
* Brick pavers - made from clay
* Stone pavers - made from natural stone, such as granite, flagstone etc.

In all of these three groups, the paving stones are available in a variety of colors, shapes, patterns and sizes giving you many options for a decorative driveway. Some of these patterns include herringbone, basket weave, circles, or running bond. You can even mix and match designs and shapes to create something really unique.

Since your driveway is the first glimpse visitors get of your property, paving it with stones makes a very elegant statement about your taste. However, there are a number of issues you do have to consider when choosing stones as the material of choice. You do have to consider the climate of the area, the amount of drainage the driveway has, how much time you will have for maintenance and how much money you have to spend on the driveway.

Whether or not you use stones, you should consider using a driveway edging. There are many benefits to using an edging. These include:
* It decreases the chances of cracks occurring that require repairs
* It adds a decorative element to the driveway
* It provides support for the pavers by keeping them in place
* It decreases the amount of maintenance you will have to do on the driveway

Although stone is the most popular type of paver, there are more advantages to using brick pavers. Brick is stronger and more durable. It is also more flexible and is better able to adapt to the shifts in the ground during the changing seasons.

For lots of information on paving services and other related topics, visit The Paving Guide at www.thepavingguide.com

Source: Ezine Articles

Finish Off Your Landscape With Elegant Brick Edging
By Andrew Caxton

A few years ago, my dad got tired of the mis-matched rocks and broken bricks that my mom used to line the flower beds around our house. So he and I went to a local home improvement store and bought about a dozen scalloped brick edgers for her to use instead. We brought them home, and then went off again on another errand.

When we returned, my mom had already put the brick edgers in place the way she wanted them. Because there weren't enough of the edgers to stretch to all the flowerbeds, she'd interspersed the edgers with those same old broken bricks and rocks. So it rather spoiled the effect. My dad just threw up his hands and gave up. There's no doubt about it, when it comes to designing landscaping my mother does not have any taste. But if you ask her about it she'll say that she likes the way everything looks.

There's not much point to that story, except to say that either you have good taste or you don't, and if you don't have good taste hopefully you're self-aware enough to know it, and hire someone else to do your designing!

What makes good taste? Well, it's not necessarily a liking for wood over metal, or metal over plastic. All that is a matter of personal taste and is not necessarily bad or good. But if you're going to have a series of bookcases in your home, for example, they should be all the same design - all wood, all metal, all plastic - so that they match and don't detract from the eye. That's the key to good taste.

If you do have an eye for design, then you'll probably find that your landscaping can be set off quite elegantly with the addition of brick patio stones, paving stones and landscape edgers. As with any other landscaping accessory, these bricks come in a vast variety of colors and designs, so that you're sure to find something you like. Only please, buy enough so that you can use them on every project, and if you run out - go back to the store and get more! Don't ruin the effect by adding broken brick and rocks...it just doesn't work. Use brick to line your flower beds, build up retaining walls, or make pathways.

Add a patio
If you'd like to add a brick patio to your backyard, it's quite easy to do, but you do have to give it some thought. Take some time to ensure that the ground where you want to place the patio is level - otherwise some of the bricks might settle and others will rise and give the patio an unfinished look. Also if live in an area with frequent frost or snow, where the ground has a tendency to heave up, you'll have to take that into consideration. Consult with your local home improvement store professional to learn the best ways of building your patio. As for the design of the bricks, you can get plain brick and place them in rows, or alternate them vertically and horizontally, or do a sort of basket weave. The design is pretty much up to you. However, check your local building or neighborhood codes to make sure they don't have any say over whether or not you can add a simple patio.

As with any landscaping feature, design what you want on paper first, before you go out and purchase the material. Then, go out and buy your material, pick up a couple of pairs of sturdy gloves to protect your hands, and get to work!

Andrew Caxton contributes adding long articles on lawn care for http://www.lawn-mowers-and-garden-tractors.com . You can find more information and resources on landscaping at his website.

Source: Ezine Articles

Tips for building a Driveway
By Tamil Selvan

You may desire to build up a new driveway or might desire to upgrade the existing one, you could check out the options that are available for driveway materials.

The materials you use when building a driveway influence its cost, constancy and visual appeal. From functional concrete or asphalt to outstanding paving, environmental grass pavers to simple gravel, there's a driveway material, which is apt to every site and situation. Following are the well-liked options plus tips on resurfacing and sealing.

Brick paving
A driveway paved with fresh or used bricks is strong and more attractive. Particularly right for driveways are herringbone designs, frequently bordered by header courses in various tones. Herringbone sloping towards at 45 degrees to the house turns the driveway into the trait (at 90 degrees, it's more modest). Combine herringbone with rings of irregular header and stretcher courses to outline remarkable radial designs apt for semi-circular driveways. On the downside materials and labor may also be expensive.

Concrete pavers
Square or rectangular pavers in stone or concrete will make beautiful, tough driveways, compatible to driveways that are twice as entertaining areas. Pavers come in assorted stones, forms, shades and as well the other sizes, enabling a big mixture of looks. Fill gaps between pavers with sand, fine pine bark or gravel. Stone driveways can be of high maintenance (for defense, softer stone pavers need top-grade sealer, regularly re-applied) and costly.

Asphalt
This hardwearing mixture of tar, gravel and concrete is rewarding and has low-maintenance, and also need minimal cleaning. Easily laid by outworkers, it's built for last. Asphalt's vivid blue/black hue could as well put in great bang and set off strong modernist facades. Understand that asphalt could then be dangerous by cracking as it's oil-based and hence more supple than concrete. It as well soaks up the heat in summer.

Timber
Eco-friendly, marketable and strong, timber driveways merge amazingly well with bush garden surrounds. Generally, treated mope joists and floorboards are laid on or over dense sub-grade or sub-base. The timber lastly weathers to a good-looking silvery hue. Timber driveways can also be clever solution to uneven sites as boards could be laid over deep dips. Timber requires common treating and fastens and planks may lastly require replacing.

Tamilselvan is a seo copywriter having more than 3 years of experience in this field who is currently working for site cbsexcavation.com. For further information on Land Clearing and Land Clearing Texas And Houston please visit http://www.cbsexcavation.com or contact me through mail: tamilsselvan@gmail.com

Source: Free-Articles-Zone

Step By Step, Brick By Brick
Submitted By: Sheryll Cross

Brick patios have been in the scene and have accented our homes for centuries. These sturdy and elegant structures have made their way (and paved our way) in our staircases, garages, sidewalks and landscape gardening. There is nothing more relaxing than to sit back and unwind in one’s terrace showcasing stylish brick walls, ingenious pattern of brick walkways and abundant foliage reflecting the season.

Though one may assume that building a brick patio is an arduous task to submit oneself to---the heat of the sun, the dirt from the excavation, the duty to select the right brick, what tools are needed and how to go about assembling custom brick work. Sounds like hard work. Not so. Here are the basics:

Measure and Decide on the Décor/Pattern: Before doing the actual digging, one must first assess the area where the brick patio will be constructed. Establish the perimeter by using wooden forms. A simple rectangular project would be a good start. I suggest that you first try your hand using a rectangular design before creating curve designs.

Dig: Excavate the area to a depth of 8inches. Make sure that the brick patio must be kept drained and dry to preclude the growth of algae. Enough slope is needed (1/4" per running foot) to allow proper drainage.

Bricklaying (test run): this is done to ensure that the bricks would fit snuggly together.

Use gravel and concrete base: the gravel will be placed underneath the concrete. Compress said material. Then pour the concrete base. Leave to harden.

Binding agent: Mix one part of it to one part of pure Portland cement. This mixture will provide the brick patio with the needed strength and protection from the mother nature’s abuse. Pour the mixture atop of the base, at the same time installing the edging bricks. Remember not fill the entire area with the cement mixture. Half an inch from the bottom of the edging bricks would do.

Bricklaying (with the binding agent): some people would start from the edge. This works well with a rectangular design. For a curved pattern, I suggest that arranging be started at the center.

Cracks between the patio bricks: this could be filled utilizing a mixture of sand and cement. Make use of mortar grout bags (just like pastry bags---only bigger and is meant for cements) to fill the gaps. When dry, clean the brick patio by scrapping the solidified mixture. This procedure can also be done for masonry restoration.

Bear in mind that different mixtures possess various hardening period. The thickness of the bricks also varies. For additional help, there is always the neighborhood masonry company willing to offer their business to the public.

This process could be done as an activity for the whole family. The kids, wearing proper attire of course, could help excavate, or set the shape of the patio, or even lay their bricks following whatever pattern they please.

Bonding with the family, messing about with the dogs, flipping juicy steaks, or just admiring that beauty that is provided by nature---these are a few of the activities that may be spent in the newly built/developed/renovated brick patio.

About the Author:

Sheryll Cross is a web copywriter for http://www.uswebsitebuilder.com, a web design company associated with http://www.deleonmasonry.com, a brick patio company in North Carolina.

Source: isnare

A Brief Introduction To Brick And Tile
Submitted By: Glover Paul

Although brick and tile are two of the oldest construction materials, they remain favorites among homebuilders and home improvement specialists today. And there's a good reason for it! Not only is brick and tile beautiful, they're strong and resistant to high winds and they're responsive to temperature - making them premium textiles for shelter and insulation.

Brick and Tile Have A History

Brick has a history that's at least six thousand years old. Made of clay, bricks are made by burning them in a kiln for a specific length of time. The end result is a collection of 2 1/4 × 3 3/4 × 8-inch blocks of heat resistant, strong, and hard block of building material. Their simple production is what lends to this material's historical and cultural expansion.

Tiles of the past were made of clay as well. Only recently have we begun tile production with synthetic plastic. Historically, facing tile is the most common and you've surely seen this style of tile as a flat glazed square. Another style that you might be familiar with is terra cotta - hard-unglazed brownish-red earthenware. Terra cotta is usually applied to brick or plaster.

Brick Types

Different types of brick serve different purposes. The most widely recognized brick is a reddish clay and sand combination that might have a hole in the middle of it. This kind of brick is known as a Kiln Brick. Facing brick is kiln-burned also; however it has a smoother and more attractive surface. As a result, facing brick is used on visible parts of buildings where kiln bricks are reserved for non-visible parts - just like the common brick. You will typically find the common brick along sidewalls. As decoration, brick veneer is thinner (shallow) than the others and is used (with mortar) to surface interior walls.

Brick veneer isn't the only type of brick that's used for aesthetic purposes however. You can create an interesting atmosphere within your home with tapestry brick, which is impressed with a design, or with molded brick, which is shaped into interesting forms (curves, arches, etc.).

Tile Types

Interestingly, you'll find a lot more different kinds of tile than you'll find of brick. We've already introduced terra cotta, but we haven't touched on facing tile (otherwise known as flooring or wall tile). Like facing brick, facing tile is meant for visible areas.

Italian Faience tile is known for it's opaque glazes whereas Spanish Majolica tile is known for its bright surfaces. Dutch Delft tile shows off an oriental appearance with white or blue hues.

You Have A Wide Assortment to Work From

As you can see, you have a wide selection of both tile and brick to pick and choose from when you're thinking about laying out a new floor or wall or even counter top. You're limited only by your imagination and your contractor can help you decide which type of tile or brick is suitable for your climate, lifestyle, or creative goals!

About the Author:

Author Paul White represents http://FloridaHomeBuild.com. A site designed to help home owners from Florida locate local home contractors with their home improvement projects. Visit Our Site: http://www.FloridaHomeBuild.com

Source: isnare

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