Monday, December 31, 2007


Expensive sand!

I'm sure some readers of this site wonder if, at times, my attitude to the laying of paving is a bit too "belt and braces", and that my insistence on using the best materials in the correct manner can occasionally be a bit OTT. I usually defend my position with something along the lines of, "If a job's worth doing....".

So: imagine you'd laid a bit of paving on a job and it turned out that you'd inadvertently used the wrong sand. Instead of playing by the rules and using a proper grit/sharp/coarse sand, you thought you'd use a bit of local sand that was going cheap, and was being promoted as eco-friendly recycling of an otherwise waste material. How much do you reckon it would cost to replace said cheap sand when the paving started wobbling and settling and shifting and tripping-up folks?

A couple of quid per square metre? That would cover the replacement sand, surely, but what about the labour of lifting and re-laying? Perhaps twenty quid? Thirty?

How about a whopping 160 quid per metre? That's the figure quoted in this BBC News report regrading the cost to replace the wrong sand used to lay the paving in the centre of Falmouth in 2001. One hundred and sixty frigging quid per square metre for the wrong sand! The poll tax payers of ancient Kernow are to stump up £160,000 to lift and re-lay a mere 1,000m² of paving.

I reckon someone, somewhere, is feeling a little bit reluctant to admit that the few pence per square metre they saved by bringing in some cheap sand is now costing the public about the same as a whole new pavement.

Thanks to long-time site reader Jon R from Chesterfield for bringing this to my attention. Good to hear from you again, Jon!

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