The Importance of a Well Maintained Car Park
First impressions are important when it comes to your business and that doesn’t just stop at the building itself. When potential customers are arriving, one of the first things they’ll notice is how well maintained the outside is. This includes the car park too, something that should be kept tidy and well looked after. A car park that has damage and mess will bring the overall look of your property down, making it look worn and unprofessional. A cared for car park will help to improve the overall exterior, as well as the aesthetic factor. If a customer does not feel the car park is looked after, they may feel the rest of the property is the same.
If a car park is badly looked after, pot holes and worn away surfaces can appear. Pavements can have damaged areas and there can be faded car spaces. Not only do these look bad, but they can cause issues and hazards for cars, such as scratches, bumps and potential flat tyres. As this can be avoided from doing regular maintenance, these problems can be very annoying for customers who may start to keep away from your car park, potentially damaging reputation.
As well as causing issues for their cars, a badly maintained car park can also potentially injure customers. If the surface is cracked and uneven, it can be a tripping hazard and therefore a potential expensive legal issue. It is important that your customers feel safe and secure when visiting, this way they are likely to visit again! For more information on Tarmac in Belfast, call the experts, call Affordable Driveways today.
Ideas for Your Garden Path
When we are planning the design of a garden, the path isn't usually the first thing we think of. However, it could be just as interesting a feature as the garden itself, depending on the design and practicality. For example, if you just want a simple 'there and back' path...or if you want one that curves around your flower displays.
If you enjoy quirky traits then you may opt for this sort of path. This fun design will be intriguing to look at, and will open out the garden and make it seem larger than it really is.
Another idea is having the complete opposite, such as using geometric shapes as a design. Having sharp, straight lines can be sophisticated and give borders around the garden. You could always consider 'stepping stones', which give a nostalgic feel. These are a good idea for smaller gardens as they don't take up much space.
The type of paving you use can change the style if you have a specific idea in mind. For instance, using natural stone paving can look great, as there is a variation of texture and colour, which can highlight characteristics that already exist. Concrete can also portray a modern look, which aesthetically will be ideal from a style point of view.
Whatever you choose to do, updating the path is a great way to make your home come together, as not only will your garden feel modernised and interesting, it will help you feel at ease in a relaxed environment. Call us for free advice on your garden path or any Landscaping in Belfast.
How To Maintain Your Driveway
If you don't maintain your driveway a number of issues can arise. For instance, cracks can appear if you don't annually seal it with concrete, which can stop water from freezing and cracking, therefore damaging your driveway. Roots from trees can appear underneath and cause cracks from pushing against the driveway. Taking away any surrounding trees or cutting the roots away can defend against this.
To reduce the chance of water gathering on your driveway, you should make sure there are clear edges so rainwater or snow can run from it. This will help stop rain and snow from perforating. Also take care not to use harsh chemical de-icers and salt cement, as these can cause cracks. Try to use a shovel instead, or use home remedies like coffee, or sand to grit the surface.
Another thing you could use is cat litter (non-clumping), which can also help absorb any liquid that may develop such as oil or any fluid from the radiator. Old stains can be cleaned with a scrubbing brush and detergents, but a wired brush can ruin the driveway, so be careful with what you choose. To view the latest Driveways in Belfast, visit our portfolio page.
A little bit of history
A Scotsman named John Loudon McAdam invented the Macadamization process in the early 19th century. It is well known as 'Tarmac' which is an abbreviation for 'Tarmacadam'. 'Tarmacadam' is itself an abbreviation for 'tar-penetration macadam.' It is the method of surface and road construction where stones are broken down into small pieces and then bound together with a cementing agent; this was often a mixture of water and stone dust in Mc Adam's case. Before this, roads needed deep layers of rock-based foundations to support the weight of horses, carriages, and people. Speak to a specialist landscaper in Belfast, such as Affordable driveways.
Tarmac or Asphalt
Both asphalt and tarmac are the most widely used road surfacing materials and can be hard to tell apart by the untrained eye.
The word tarmac is short for tarmacadam and involves using tar to coat layered crushed stone. This creates a durable and strong surface. Unfortunately, it can be prone to damage from fuel spills.
When used over a large area, asphalt can be quite cheap, however for smaller areas it can be an expensive option. It is much harder wearing though, and not as affected by extreme weather as tarmac. It also requires less maintenance and modern asphalts are more environmentally friendly. It is important to note that if the term asphalt driveway is used, it could be referring to asphalt concrete which is a completely different type of surface.
Ormiston House Restoration
Peter Boyle and Ciara Denvir have been nominated for a prestigious Heritage Angel Award for their astonishing restoration of Ormiston House in west Belfast.
The couple, a barrister and jeweller had always joked about what it would be like to restore and live in the landmark.
The joke became reality one day as they found themselves buying the property and beginning its refurbishment.
They took careful measures to ensure everything that could be restored was, and as many original features of the house were saved as possible.
The restoration was noted by Ulster Architectural Heritage Society who encourage the couple to put their house in the running for the prestigious award, judged by donor Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.
For landscaping work in Belfast, big or small, get in touch with Affordable Driveways.
Britain in Bloom
Belfast was just pipped at the post in the City category of the Ulster in Bloom competition sponsored by Trainslink which is part of the RHS Britain in Bloom national competition. Northern Ireland now as 5 entries going forward to the grand final the result of which will be announced in October.
The competition inspires people to look at the space in which they live and work and enhance it with flowers and planting. There is a special section for Railway stations which is well supported. You don�t need to have a huge garden to take part. Contestants become very adept and inventive at working with small spaces.
Coming up with ideas to add colour to your paving in Belfast is all part of the fun of the competition.
New Toro Proline Mower
Toro has announced the launch of a new 53cm heavy-duty Proline lawn mower.
The suppliers of turf and landscaping equipment say the new model has several enhanced features, including easier controls and improved operator comfort.
The Toro range is well known for being able to stand up to the demands of full time landscaping work, focusing on durability and minimising hand-arm vibration, allowing nearly 7 hours of continual use per day.
For professional landscaping in Belfast, contact Affordable Driveways today.
All the Trends from the Chelsea Flower Show
In the wake of this years Chelsea Flower Show, we�ve gathered some up and coming trends for this year in the world of planting and landscape design.
And It Was All Yellow
2018s RHS Chelsea was bursting at the seams with yellow plants of all shades. Pale, lemon, sunshine and citrus flowers of all shapes and sizes were seen in nearly every garden at the show this year.
Sculptures are in
Dramatic feature pieces made of wood, metal of stone but all consistently bespoke to their gardens were the striking motifs of most larger show pieces
Metal Frames the Landscape
Metal work was a central feature with bold shapes amongst planting adding impact to the overall design. Deep red steel meeting purple plantations framing a clean seating area for example.
To embrace the landscaping trends of the year, share your ideas with Affordable Driveways of Northern Ireland.
Beautiful, Edible, Affordable
Now officially British Springtime, it�s the time of year many people refurbish their gardens ready for the sunny weather.
But with busy garden centres and tight budgets, it is becoming more and more popular to economise with beautiful and edible plants that can feed all your senses. In the rising era of organic food people are rethinking their ornamental ferns in favour of home-grown produce.
One example is asparagus plants which when harvested as young spears, can be cooked direct from the garden within hours and are supposedly superior to store bought asparagus.
For larger gardens with well drained soil, Jerusalem artichokes which grow beautiful sunflower style flowers can be roasted, steamed or mashed with butter and nutmeg for a gorgeous home-grown potato alternative.
To find out about growing you own edible garden landscape in Belfast, talk to the professionals at Affordable Driveways.
Driveways in Belfast
If you have difficulty visualising what your new driveway might look like in different materials, Marshalls have recently introduced a phone app that will allow you to take a picture of your drive and using the app display it with different materials from their range.
The beauty of this is that you can work with your driveway specialist so that they understand what you have in mind and can then make their recommendations, call today for a quote on your new Tarmac Driveway in Belfast.
New Driveways this spring
When planning a new driveway or patio it is important to commission an experienced and established company to undertake the work for you. Never agree to employ someone that knocks on your door offering a �special price�, it should send alarm bells ringing! With so many rogue traders ready to take advantage of others a little time asking friends and family for recommendations will pay dividends.
Look for a well established company that backs their work with a written guarantee and ask for references or to see some of their work; they will be more than happy to supply these for you.
Most reputable companies, like Affordable Driveways in Belfast will talk you through the various options available whether that is tarmac or Block Paving in Belfast and will manage the entire process from original idea through to the finished project.
Lafarge Tarmac plans to sell off former Eastgate Cement Works
Following the sale of Lafarge Tarmac to Ireland's CRH earlier this year, a former Lafarge Tarmac cement works in Weardale, which closed in 2002 with the loss of almost 200 jobs, is also up for auction. Since 2009, the land at the former Eastgate cement works has been earmarked for the construction of an eco-village. However plans for the site, which consists of homes, businesses and leisure facilities, came to a grinding halt due to lack of finance. Now Lafarge Tarmac have decided to sell the site, with the original planning permission secured by the company in 2009 remaining in place.
The potential development, which planned to use five forms of renewable energy to power the site, has not been welcomed with open arms by local residents, with many thinking that it's unlikely to ever get off the ground. Despite exploration of a geo-thermal water source early in the project stages, no further work or development has been carried out since. Currently the quarry area situated to the rear of Eastgate is the location of the ITV series Beowulf, and this is likely to remain the case for the next 5 years, even if the sale goes ahead.
Durham County Council have expressed their interest in working with the new owners, especially as they were part of the original consortium which put forward the plans for the eco-village, and have stated that any future potential development opportunities should be in line with the existing planning permission.
While here at Affordable Driveways, we would relish the opportunity to be involved in such a project, as one of the top providers of groundworks Belfast has available, our schedule currently keeps us busy in Northern Ireland. And of course, with Spring in the air, we're also busy with all kinds of domestic construction projects, including building some of the best driveways Belfast residents could add to the properties.
2014 Contractor Of The Year Winner
Contractor of the Year title has been awarded to Kier Construction for the third consecutive year. Kier's �Its Rochdale Interchange project� was also named Regional Project of the Year for Lancashire, and Gary Wintersgill, MD of Kier Construction commented: "I am absolutely delighted to have won these three fantastic awards. The Contractor of the Year category recognises companies that exceed requirements, reduce cost, time and defects on projects and, importantly, continuously demonstrate performance improvement. Winning this award for the third consecutive year shows that we are constantly delivering and exceeding expectations. I'm very proud of our Rochdale Interchange team, who I know demonstrated the highest levels of technical achievement, innovation and best practice on the project, including integration with the project's stakeholders. And I'm delighted for Natasha; she has achieved exceptional accomplishments already and I'm confident she has a fantastic career ahead of her."
M62 technology improvements
The Highway Agency has announced it is to start major technology improvements along the M62 between Rothwell and Castleford in West Yorkshire, next month, the improvements are designed to improve safety for all drivers and will also relieve congestion and stimulate growth in the local economy. The work, which will cost in the region of �20million, involves installing electronic loops (known as MIDAS loops) in the carriageway to detect traffic speed and flows meaning it can set up warning messages to advise drivers of queues ahead. These messages will then be displayed on 13 verge-mounted electronic signs and tell motorists of advisory speed limits to ensure drivers adjust their speeds according to the traffic conditions. There will also be nine new CCTV cameras installed to allow the Highways Agency�s Regional Control Centre in Wakefield to monitor and manage any incidents as necessary; these cameras will not be used for speed enforcement.
Lafarge Tarmac swoops for £480m roads deal
Lafarge Tarmac has won a highways contract with Norfolk County Council worth up to £480 million over the next 10 years with an option for a two-year extension. Under the contract, which will start in April 2014, Lafarge will carry out all highway surfacing, bridge and structures maintenance, gully cleansing, grass cutting, patching, surface dressing, and integrated transport schemes across Norfolk. Lafarge Tarmac said its commitment to safety, quality and partnering helped to win the deal as well as the company's existing infrastructure of operations within Norfolk which includes over 10 asphalt plants, railheads and quarries. This contract follows Lafarge Tarmac's recent contract wins with Halton and Warrington Borough Councils, and Nottinghamshire County Council.Lafarge Tarmac Contracting managing director Paul Fleetham said: "We have a strong presence in the region, supporting local jobs and local industry, and were looking forward to partnering with the teams at Norfolk to deliver highways excellence for all of the counties road users.