Fencing and paving are the corner stones of any garden development large or small. As both elements are expected to be around as long as the garden its best not to cut corners on the materials used and the installation. As with every practical job both fencing and paving have short cuts but often these short cuts led to a short finished product life and can often led to early repair or re installation. The GardenAdvice team have made a few notes on fencing and paving to get you started on what to look for in both the materials and installation if you use a contractor to do the work or do it yourself.
Notes on fencing – the key with wooden fencing materials is to buy materials that will last many years by buying materials that are properly treated or tantalized with a preservative. This is the chemical that’s applied to the wood to help stop rotting and the attack of a number of pests. The important point is that most wooden fencing products have been tantalized, that means in simple terms they have been place in a pressure tank and the chemical pumped into the wood under pressure. The more pressure the more preservative enters the wood and so extending the life, the less pressure the less chemical is used and so it does not cost the manufacture as much in chemical preservative. So make sure the wood it treated to a British standard and you inspect the wood when its been cut after treatment to see how far the preservative has penetrated the wood.
With fencing post if you are using wooden posts the place they will rot first is around the base where the soil touched the post and moisture is held which means just under the soil surface were the post enters the ground. So its a good idea to apply with a brush some additional preservative to this area when installing the posts and then twice a year. For this reason a lots of people now choose to use concrete posts
The other important factors to consider with fencing is on windy sites. The windier the site the more pressure on the posts so on a windy site you need to add additional bulk around the base of the posts, this is normally concrete used to install the post and acts as a counter weight to the wind pressure on the panels. On a very windy site its better to filter the wind rather than present it with a solid barrier which for example might mean a close knit trellis fence which is not quite solid.
Notes on paving – the quality of paving and the cost normally relates to the amount of cement used in the mixture used to manufacture the paving. The more cement as a general rule the harder wearing and the longer lasting the slab or tile. However if you find yourself using less expensive slabs or paving the hard wearing qualities can often be improved with a sealant after the paving area is finished.
The main factor in good paving is the base which should be solid and even and create a surface the slightly slopes to shed and aid with drainage after rain or as the snow melts. Ideally the base should be created as a solid base using concrete and floated off to get a smooth surface, the better the base the easier it is to lay the paving. If the falls required are created in the base these falls for drainage are very easy to create then paving.
The other important key with paving is that its the pointing that holds the paving together and stops the paving moving after its laid. So after the paving is laid leave few days to set and then start to point making sure the jointing material is pushed well down into the points.
Other important factors with paving is to use a weed sheeting under the paving, this will help save a massive amount of time and money over the years on weeding and weed killer.
With both fencing and paving have a shop around and find yourself a good supplier or contractor such as Milford fencing and paving who are a GardenAdvice recommended supplier or use Google to have a look for suppliers or contractors in your area and to qualify them ask them some questions based on the information in this article
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