FAQs

Websites such as this rely on FAQ sections to deal with the questions that are asked time and time and time again. This page acts as the index page for all of the FAQs that have been added to the site over the years. If you’re not sure about something, need some aspect of the trade explaining, this is the best place to start.

Units

Metric-Imperial Units

A simple table comparing popular measurements of length, weight, area and volume in both metric and imperial values

Email Issues

FAQ - Email enquiries

This FAQ addresses issues related to requesting information and assistance from this website via email. With over 200 emails coming in on the busy days, and just the one poor old guy running it all, it's not always possible to get an answer sent out straightaway.

Legislation

FAQs for Front Garden Paving

Changes to planning law back in 2008 have altered what is permissible regarding the installation and drainage of driveways and other paved areas at the front of a residential property. This page looks at what the law says.

Sealants

FAQ - When paving sealants go wrong

As more and more paving is daubed with sealants for all sorts of reasons, the number of problem jobs, disasters, failures and plain old cock-ups has grown. So here's the FAQ regarding how bad sealants can be put right…..

FAQ - Recommend a Paving Sealant

Probably the most F of all the FAQs on this website: recommend a paving sealant. What, if anything, should be used, and why?

FAQ - Fixing a Slippery Sealant

What can be done about a sealant that is too slippery to be considered safe? This FAQ looks at the options.

Choosing Paving

FAQ - Which supplier should I use?

Another very FAQ - where to buy paving for any particular project. There's no single or simple answer, but this FAQ aims to sort the wheat from the chaff and steer buyers in the better direction.

FAQ: what's the best paving?

What would be the best paving to use for any given project? Should it be stone or concrete? Flags or blocks? Is it possible to make suggestions? This FAQ introduces the options.

Maintenance

Efflorescence

The white or greyish powdery deposit that often appears on recently laid paving is probably efflorescence. It's harmless, but it is unsightly. Is there anything that can be done about it?

FAQ: Fixing acid-stained paving

Acids and acid-based cleaners can, and all-too-often do, cause devastating damage to the appearance of some types of paving. However, being wise after-the-fact is all too easy. What, if anything, can be done to rectify the damage?

Circular Marks on Flagstone Paving

Circular-ish stains on flagstone paving? What causes this and how can it be fixed? This FAQ looks at what's involved.

Dealing with Lichens

Black spots appearing on new-ish paving are a major source of concern, but what are they, and what can be done to get rid of them?

Construction Issues

Establishing Screed Depth - FAQ

Once the sub-base is completed and the edging courses are laid, at what height are the block pavers laid above the edging blocks to allow for them to be compacted down? This FAQ looks at what's involved.

FAQ: Working in bad weather

Can paving work carry on regardless of the weather? Can flags be laid in heavy rain, or bitmac be laid when it's frosty? This FAQ explores what is, and what isn't, possible and sensible.

Paving over an existing surface

Can new paving be laid over the top of existing paving? What problems are likely to be encountered? Is there anything in particular that needs to be considered? This FAQ considers all of these points.

FAQ - Flags laid upside-down?

Does it actually matter if Indian sandstone is laid upside down? It looks more rustic but will the performance be the same? This FAQ addresses this perennially favourite query.

Fixing Loose Flagstones

Is there anything more annoying than a rocking, loose, or wobbly flagstone in a new pavement? This FAQ looks at some of the more common options used to fix (allegedly) such flagstones, and considers how effectual they may be.

Laying gravel over an existing surface

Placing gravel over an existing driveway or pathway may seem like a great cost-saving idea, but is it? And is it safe? This FAQ provides answers to the most commonly raised issues.

Do I need a Membrane?

This FAQ considers whether a "membrane" is necessary beneath paving projects, and, if so, just what sort of geo-textiles should be used, and where they should be positioned?

Sub-Bases

FAQ for Sub-bases

A series of linked FAQs covering sub-bases, their construction, their necessity and their use in the construction of pavements, driveways and patios.

Chalk and shallow sub-bases

What can be done when the bedrock is so shallow that there is insufficient depth for a standard sub-base layer? This FAQ looks at the options.

FAQ - Concrete base or sub-base beneath block paving?

A FAQ which considers the use of a concrete base in place of an unbound sub-base for a residential block paving project. Is it really a better option or just a cop-out for contractors lacking the skills to construct a sound sub-base?

Tarmacadam

FAQ - What's wrong with my tarmacadam?

Bitmac or tarmacadam that remains soft and sticky days or weeks after being laid is a regular source of concern for some readers of this website. This FAQ attempts to address the questions they most commonly raise.

FAQs - Repairing Tarmac Driveways

Can fuel-damaged bitmac (tarmacadam) be fixed? Why does fuel cause so much damage? This FAQ addresses these questions.

General Issues

FAQ - Concrete for Manufacturing

This FAQ considers what may be the best mix recipe for concrete used to produce paving and hard-landscaping elements

FAQ - Freeing jammed recess tray covers

This page offers tips and techniques on removing jammed recess trays and other access covers within paved areas.