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When you have finished building your premises, the easiest way to turn it into a home is to establish your garden and external areas. Patios, driveways, paths and raised beds can all add colour and dimension to a garden. Developments in decorative paving in recent years now mean that you can create professional and interesting features in your garden with relative ease.


When laying a driveway, the ideal is for the fall to slope away from buildings with a gradient of at least 1:60. To prepare the sub base, remove the top soil and all vegetation, and dig down to a depth of 200mm. Lay a minimum of 75mm - 100mm of fine hardcore. Set up a restraining edge of paving blocks or kerb, and bed these in 100mm thick concrete. Lay slightly damp coarse sand so that you end up with a compacted layer of approximately 50mm sand after compacting the paving blocks. This is best done with a plate vibrator. Lay blocks hand tight in rows, having first worked out your preferred pattern by dry laying. Once all the blocks are laid, brush fine kiln-dried sand into the joints. Compact the paving blocks with a plate vibrator and re-sand as necessary.

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yWhen designing your perfect garden you need to look beyond the planting and consider the overall design.

The hard landscaping elements - the paving, walling and edgings - form the framework for the garden, a frame within which your plants, garden furniture and special features will complete the perfect picture. Take a design tip from the professionals by mixing and matching garden landscaping materials. Incorporating different colours and sizes will enhance the overall appearance of your design and create a unique garden you can be proud of. Try mixing traditional paving with block paving to break up large areas, or introduce planting pockets within the patio. Haldane Fisher will have a very wide range of paving and walling products to choose from. Shells, glass nuggets and even coloured tiles can add a unique and personal touch to your garden. Involve your children. They can leave hand prints in the cement in a hidden area, which will be a lasting mark. Alternatively, they can position the pebbles in a pebble path or even design the shape of your patio! Dress your garden as you dress your home. Your garden should represent your tastes, your style and your imagination. Go for it! Dare to be different!

yIf you buy your hard landscaping materials at the same time as your other bricks and blocks, you can save on delivery costs. You may also claim the VAT back on these items, as they are fixed features, so consider buying the products early and including the invoices in your VAT claim. For advice on patio maintenance, ask your Sales Representative for a free paving catalogue.

We hope that this guide has given you some useful information and advice for your forthcoming Self Build project. Maybe the most important feature of Self Building is the fact that you can tailor every aspect to suit your individual tastes and needs. As such, each project will be different. Haldane Fisher pride themselves on their specific knowledge of the local area and their ability to help their customers with their individual projects. Our Sale Representatives will be pleased to meet you at any stage of your project and provide as much information as you may need.