Concrete has been used for centuries due to its solid structure and longevity. The first known major use of concrete in Britain was by Sir Robert Smirke for the construction of Millbank Penitentiary, which was built in 1822. Concrete was then introduced to the construction of homes between 1850 and 1880; the Frenchman named Francois Coignet discovered that adding steel rods to the concrete would prevent exterior walls from spreading. We now see concrete being used for road construction as it lasts between 20 and 40 years. The reason why I mention the history of this particular material is to show that it has a proven track record as a reliable and long-lasting material that has been used for hundreds of years – this is why you see millions of homeowners in the UK purchasing concrete paving. As with any other material, concrete paving has its drawbacks and downsides.
Concrete paving is not particularly aesthetically pleasing. As we all know, it looks very bland and basic with little variety in colours and designs. If you want something that will add beauty to your garden, you may want to consider other flooring options, such as Italian Porcelain.
Why You Should Pave or Deck Your Outdoor Space
Homeowners are embracing the outdoors more so than ever before with the changes which the co-vid pandemic had on our lives. We are now seeing our garden as an extension of our homes, a place in which we can relax or entertain our loved ones and friends.
This is one of the key reasons customers choose to improve their garden area, to enable them to entertain or relax in comfort and style, and the main choice customers have to make is between paving or decking.
Paving or decking your outdoor space is one way you can add an attractive, relaxed or stylish area. You can do this using concrete paving, porcelain wooden decking, composite decking or plastic decking.
Another reason homeowners deck or pave their garden is for landscaping. The essence of landscaping your garden is to make it levelled. This means that erosion will not destroy your garden. Also, you can channel running water when you install decking or paving in your garden.
But homeowners increasingly use one type of outdoor flooring material, composite decking. Note that both paving and decking can be considered outdoor flooring. So, if you have a garden, which one should you use?
Concrete paving is a mix of cement with gravel and sand. When the mixture is strong, you can start using it to pave your garden. Note after mixing. You may have to use a mould to shape different forms and sizes to create your perfect style. After using your mould and applying the mix, please remember to level and check the design for no future imperfection issues.
Some can be shaped in the form of a triangle, while others can be shaped in the form of a star; it’s your choosing once your mould has been created. Concrete paving is strong and it is very durable. That is why homeowners are increasingly using it to pave their back gardens. The advantages of concrete paving are numerous. Concrete paving can be used for a long time; due to its durability, you can rest assured it will not get destroyed.
Concrete paving is good for any outdoor project. One key reason is that water or weather will not destroy your concrete paving easily; this is key for our wet weather conditions here in the U.K. Paving also has its drawbacks. Concrete is not considered to be attractive. Another drawback is heat; if your concrete paving is exposed to excess heat, it will crack eventually. Cracked paving will be less attractive to look at.
That is why homeowners are becoming dissatisfied with their concrete paving and the reason why customers are looking for other options for their garden projects. There are lots of other options for paving that you can use. To name a few, you could opt for wood, composite, plastic or ASA decking, which a large number of homeowners are exploring,
Another material that can be utilized to create an outdoor living space is composite decking. Composite decking is available in a variety of colours, designs and patterns. Composite decking will most definitely serve your garden with a more aesthetically pleasing feature however will not last as long as paving. As mentioned previously, concrete can last as long as 40 years before any structural issues start to occur that could potentially be a safety hazard to those in the dwelling. Concrete paving, particularly concrete slabs, are notorious for cracking over time. Not only do concrete slabs shrink and expand due to hardening and drying, but they are also placed directly onto the ground. The reason this is a problem is that the ground will dry out in warmer weather, meaning the concrete slabs are constantly settling. In some cases, composite decking boards can also crack and splinter, however, this is avoidable by factoring expansion gaps during the installation process.
Timber decking boards are commonly used in the UK as a garden feature. The percentage of people using timber decking is quickly reducing over time as people become more aware of more innovative solutions that require significantly less upkeep. Despite this, there will always be a market for timber decking due to the low cost that is associated with it. On average, timber decking boards cost roughly less than half the amount of composite decking boards. Timber is obviously a completely raw material and, if not part of a living tree, will eventually decompose under mother nature’s elements. Timber decking must go through various stages of regular maintenance for it to have a sufficient life span. Processes such as staining, sealing, painting and general cleaning are what is required on an annual basis to have a half-decent lifespan over the years. If you are on a budget, timber decking will definitely be an option worth considering.
To conclude, there are numerous options to choose from when considering garden features to enhance your home. Make sure that you are well aware of the pros and cons associated with each material before making a decision.