4 Spring Features To Match Your Concrete

Spring is a gorgeous season and tends to invite great weather without being as hot as summer. With the great weather, comes the need to sit outdoors and enjoy it. If you’ve used the best Melbourne concrete contractors, then you’ve already got yourself a stunning concrete driveway and paths. If you want to go one step further, though, why not consider adding some striking features that’ll stand-out amongst your guests and reinvent your yard? These six garden features will have you craving a yard re-design no time – let’s check them out!

 

1.    Water feature

Was there any doubt that this was going to be number one on our list? A water feature is a much loved and very classic feature piece for any garden – no matter the size. The reason for this is because there are just so many different ways you can spin it.

You can stick with a traditional rounded basin where the water sprinkles down from the top – or opt for a more modern take such as a marble sphere where the water dribbles out from the side or top. These are only two of many different designs that you can choose from. You can even match your water feature with your concrete by selecting a feature made of the same type of concrete.

2.    Pergola

Constructing a concrete pergola adds an enchanting layer to your yard. Whether it’s a large one placed over your driveway or something on a smaller scale over your concrete path. Pergola’s are typically constructed with vines and trailing plants, but you can match it to your concrete by opting for concrete bases instead.

Alternatively, you can go for a concrete roof with gaps in between for vines and natural finishing’s. The size of the pergola can vary according to what you’d prefer, and it doesn’t have to be a simple arch over a walkway. It can also act as cover for an outdoor dining area in your backyard. The possibilities are endless.

3.    Concrete edging

Edging your garden bed is a great way to add style to your garden. There are several different styles that you can use when edging your bed. Our suggestion is to use concrete. This is quite literally a solid option due to its strength and it will also match your driveway and/or walkways. You should use long pieces and insert them into the ground in front of the garden. Additionally, you can add another small concrete square on the outside – creating a 90° angle.

The best part about this is that it also holds other benefits for your garden such as keeping it contained. As your border will begin underground, it stops the roots from spreading. It also makes maintenance a lot easier for the garden. Mowing the lawn will be a lot less stressful as there’s a clear line of where the two sections begin and end – as well as a physical border separating the two.

4.    Concrete furnishings

If you’re going to enjoy the outdoor weather this Spring, then you’re going to want to do it comfortably and in style. Consider a concrete bench and add some cushions for comfort. This will ensure you maintain that rustic style whilst still being comfortable. The bench can be placed in your front or backyard – depending on the layout.

If you’re considering a less-formal outdoor dining area, then take a look at concrete cubes or cones as seating around a table. These look great, and their petite profile makes them easy to have in even the smaller backyards. Concrete furniture looks modern and stylish and is a great addition to any backyard.

Are you looking for concrete contractors in Melbourne?

Whether you need some new concrete paved or some old concrete rejuvenated, Prestige Concrete Services has you covered. Our highly experienced Melbourne concrete contractors are qualified and knowledgeable in all facets of the concrete world and can help you reach your desired goal. Our concrete contractors also specialise in commercial and local government projects in Melbourne – as well as residential.

So, no matter what style of concrete you’re looking for our Melbourne concrete contractors will be able to assist you. Get in touch with us by calling 0411 440 157 or filling out the enquiry form on our website.

FAQ About Concrete Driveways

At Prestige concrete, we understand that Melbournians love their concrete driveways. The perfect driveway is much more than a car space, though. It’s a place for your kids to play in as well as a stylish complement to the rest of your house. In today’s blog, we’re going to have a look at some questions that we receive frequently concerning the maintenance and installation of concrete driveways in Melbourne.

 

How long does a concrete driveway take to install?

This question relies heavily on a variety of factors. How large the driveway is actually going to be as well as the type of concrete that is being laid down are two common factors that affect the installation time heavily. An average concrete driveway will take around 1 – 3 days to install.

This is provided that the work is constant and uninterrupted. Weather is another factor that can occasionally interrupt work and extend the installation process. A good concrete contractor will factor all of these external elements in when looking at a driveway job.

 

What is a driveway base?

A driveway base is a foundation that a concrete driveway is laid on top of. It is generally made of gravel and will help strengthen the driveway, giving it a longer lasting lifespan.

This will also ensure that the concrete is laid on an even base, as opposed to straight onto the soil – which may not be even. This lessens the likelihood of uneven pressure distribution significantly – which means there’s less likelihood of cracks appearing in your driveway.

 

What is drainage planning and is it important?

You’ll need your driveway to act as an efficient drain conduit. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that if it rains, you don’t want the water to build-up in your yard and just form a pool. This can be quite inconvenient and sometimes lead to damages if water gets into your garage. The goal is for all the water to rundown your driveway and into the gutters on the street.

If done correctly, a good driveway will have virtually no excess surface water on it after it has rained. This leads us to the second reason, which is that it can end up damaging your concrete driveway. Surface water sitting on top of your driveway can have long-term effects such as spalling and – in more serious cases – long-term damages. Worst case, parts of your driveway will have to be redone completely – which can be quite costly.

 

What is concrete sealing?

Having your concrete driveway in Melbourne sealed helps to fight things such as surface water damage, oil spills and grease stains. A good driveway will need to be re-sealed every 2 – 3 years, depending on the type of concrete your driveway is. It is recommended that exposed aggregate driveways, for example, be re-sealed every two years.

 

How long before I can use my new concrete driveway?

Your average concrete driveway will heal and set enough to be driven on within a week. After seven days have passed, you should be fine to start using it with your vehicle. If you’re looking to park any heavy machinery or trucks on it, however, you should only do so after a month. This is because heavier vehicles put more strain on a standard residential concrete driveway, so more time should be allowed for it to strengthen.

 

Joints and cracks

Joints are placed in flat concrete jobs. They are rods that are placed between the concrete to control cracking. Cracking is inevitable when it comes to concrete driveways. It shouldn’t happen to brand new driveways, but it will happen eventually.

Joints help control those cracks as they allow the cracks to happen below the surface of the concrete – leaving the visible aesthetics unharmed. If surface cracks do occur, the joints will also help to make them seem less random and in more linear positions. This is because the joints are placed in specific positions with this in mind.

 

Do you need a concrete driveway in Melbourne?

If you’re looking to get a fabulous, stand-out concrete driveway in Melbourne, then Prestige Concrete is the company for you. Our highly trained and experienced contractors can work with you to achieve your dream driveway efficiently. We specialise in residential, commercial and local government projects and are familiar with various types of driveway designs and sizes.

If you would like to get in touch with us to discuss what sort of concrete driveway we can do for you in Melbourne, then please call 0411 440 157. Alternatively, you may also fill out the enquiry form found on our website.  

Concrete Glossary: Know The Lingo

Whether you’re thinking of getting into the concrete contracting business or would simply like to understand a bit more about it from the outside looking in, it’s handy to know some key terms that are commonly used in the concreting world. Hence why our Melbourne concrete contractors have written up this glossary of concrete terms.

 

A:

Agitator truck: An agitator truck has a large cylindrical concrete mixer on the back. This mixes the plastic concrete whilst it’s being transported to job sites. By keeping the concrete in constant motion, it guarantees that the concrete will not dry up and therefore rendering it useless.

 

B:

Batching: The process where concrete is created through the use of all the other materials. Batching helps to ensure that the appropriate amount is being used for the job.

Bleed water: This is the excess water that is released from the concrete after it is placed. It forms on the surface and the degree of it is dictated by how good the mix is.

Bony/harsh mix: A concrete mix that lacks sand or cement. It commonly has a bony appearance and is difficult to place.

Broom finish: As the name suggests, the plastic concrete is finished by sweeping a broom in a single direction – giving it a rough, grooved finish.

Building code of Australia: The code that tradesmen use to ensure that what they’re building/painting/creating conforms to the legal code and standards. Melbourne concrete contractors follow AS3600.

 

C:

Cement: A binding agent made up of elements such as silicon, iron and calcium.

Comprehensive strength test: A test which reveals how strong concrete through the use of a concrete cylinder.

Concrete pump: An on-site vehicle used for pumping concrete into forms.

Concrete cylinder: Commonly sized at 100mm by 200mm, a concrete cylinder is crafted on-site and used during a comprehensive strength test – as described in AS1012 (Methods of testing concrete).

Curing: A process that reduces bleeding and thus keeping the concrete as hydrated as possible whilst it sets. There are a few different methods that can be used whilst curing including spray chemicals and wet hessian. The ultimate goal here is to reduce shrinkage and avoiding any cracks in the concrete.

 

E:

Expansion joint: An assembly that is used to separate concrete from other parts of a structure and allow for thermal expansion without the risk of cracking.

 

F:

Finishing: The final product of the concrete.

Fly ash: A powdery material that is an alternative cement. Categorised as a pozzolanic material and considered a supplement that can strengthen concrete.

Formwork: A temporary mould that plastic concrete can be poured into to take a certain shape. It is taken down after the concrete has set.

 

G:

Grano (Granolithic topping): Grano is primarily used for repairing concrete, surfacing floors and infills. It features a maximum aggregate size of 7mm and typically holds a textured finish.

 

H:

Hydration: This occurs when you combine concrete with water. The more hydration occurs, the stronger the concrete will be.

 

I:

Indirect tensile: A strength test that measures concrete’s resistance to being pulled apart. A concrete cylinder is again used for this test.

 

K:

Kerb and channel: The kerb is the edge of the pavement and directs drainage. This concrete mix has a high sand content and a low slump – it is placed by a machine.

Kibble: A bucket that is lifted by a crane and is responsible for transferring the concrete from the agitator truck to where it needs to go.

 

L:

Lean concrete: This concrete has a low cement content, making it weaker than regular content. It is commonly used to fill or as a sub-base for concrete pavements.

Lightweight: Low-density concrete that features polystyrene beads or aggregates that weigh less than usual.

 

M:

Mass concrete: Mass concrete refers to the thickness – usually greater than 600mm thick – of the concrete. Special considerations should be made when dealing with this type of concrete as due to its thickness it’s more likely to have high thermal properties – increasing the chances of it cracking.

Mesh: Steel bars – or wires – that are welded together to form a mesh. It is used to improve tensile strength and also prevent cracking.

Microstrain: A unit of measurement that is used to define the maximum amount of time certain concrete should dry for whilst accounting for shrinkage.

Mix design: The step before concrete mixing. This is where Melbourne concrete contractors consider things like setting times, strength, bleeding, materials available, specific proportions and ratios, cost and customer satisfaction.

Mixing time: How long it takes to mix a load of concrete satisfactorily.

MPa (Megapascals): The metric unit used to measure concrete’s strength.

 

N:

NCA (Non-Chloride Accelerator): A chloride-free chemical that speeds up the setting time for concrete.

No fines concrete: Concrete that features up to 10% of course aggregate and cement.

 

P:

Pattern paving: This type of paving allows for patterns and colours to be created on the surface of the concrete and typically holds 10mm of aggregate as well as high sand content.

Plastic concrete: Concrete that has not completely set but is still able to be worked.

Polythene: Polythene is a thin plastic sheet that is placed on the ground where concrete is to be poured. This prevents any groundwater leakage into the concrete whilst it sets. It also prevents moisture loss. High levels of moisture loss can result in concrete cracking as well as a loss of strength.

Pozzolanic material: This is the correct term for materials such as silica fume or fly ash – otherwise known as supplementary cementitious materials. The chemical reaction caused by combining these materials with lime results in concrete being strengthened.

Precast concrete: Concrete that is cast and cured in a mould and then placed in its final position afterwards.

Prestressed concrete: This is a special type of concrete that can be used in the form of slabs or beams and is ideal for supporting structures. It is created with certain pressures in mind that will be forced upon it when the structure is complete. This allows our Melbourne concrete contractors to compensate for the pressures – since they know where they’ll be – by reinforcing those areas.

This means that it is overall a very strong and durable concrete mix and is typically used if larger spans of space are required between columns – such as in a commercial office building.

 

R:

Reinforced concrete: Because concrete is typically lacking when it comes to tension, it can be reinforced with steel to improve its tensile strength and also limit cracking and shrinkage.

Reinforcement: The use of welded steel wire fabric or steel bars to help control cracking and reinforce the concrete structure.

 

S:

(S) Special class: Specialised concrete that features particular properties that make them different from standard concrete.

Sand moisture test: This test involves drying out a small portion of sand to determine how much water it contains. Once this is done, the water content in the mixes can be adjusted appropriately.

SCC (Self-compacting concrete): Specifically designed concrete that flows freely and requires either little or no compaction.

Screeding: The levelling of freshly placed concrete.

Segregation: The process of separating fine and coarse aggregates in a concrete mix.

Set time: How long it takes for the concrete to set. Once set, its plasticity is lost, and it is unable to be worked with.

Shotcrete: A specialised type of concrete that is shot out of an air compressed nozzle. It is commonly used for constructing swimming pools and walls.

Shrinkage: This term relates to when the volume of concrete changes. When concrete is fresh, plastic shrinkage occurs from water loss – and when concrete has dried, dry shrinkage occurs from the hydration process.

Slag: A supplementary cementitious material that is produced in conjunction with iron in a blast furnace and is then quenched and ground.

Slag aggregate: Identical to a normal slag, excepted it is left to cool naturally instead of quenched. The final result is then crushed to form the aggregate.

Slump: A measure that is used to understand the consistency and workability of concrete.

SP (Superplasticiser): An additive that increases the workability of the concrete without sacrificing the strength of it.

SSD (Saturated surface dry): SSD is a state that a concrete surface must be brought to before a cement product is applied to it. To achieve this state, the concrete must be saturated with water to a depth of several millimetres – but the surface must be dry.

 

T:

Topping: When concrete is laid over already existing concrete.

Type GB (General purpose blended cement): A type of blended cement that is formed by combining Portland cement and other materials such as fly ash, ground slag and/or silica fume. Further information can be found in Australian Standard AS3972 (General purpose and blended cements).

Type GP (General purpose Portland cement): A general-purpose and common type of cement – as laid out in AS3972. Portland cement is produced by grinding cement clinker.

Type HE (High early strength cement): Type HE cement develops strength much quicker than that of Type GP. Strength development is not to be confused with setting time.

Type LH (Low-heat cement): This type of cement generates less heat than usual during the hydration and hardening phases. It is useful for mass pouring or when early strength gain is not essential. Often features supplementary cementitious materials in the blend.

Type SR (Sulphate resistant cement): Provides extra protection if the concrete is set in an environment that contains large amounts of sulphate.

 

W:

WR (Water reducer): A chemical that is added to a mix that reduces the amount of water needed. This can help control the setting time and maintain strength whilst using less cement.

 

Are you looking for concrete contractors in Melbourne?

Prestige Concrete Services utilises highly trained and qualified Melbourne concrete contractors that specialise in residentialcommercial and local government concrete projects.

So, if you need a Melbourne concrete contractor, give us a call on 0411 440 157. You can also fill out the enquiry form on our website.

Commercial Vs. Residential Buildings: What’s The Difference?

Whilst people might realise that commercial and residential buildings are two different types of buildings – it’s rare for people to understand why they’re different. There are actually quite a few reasons that separate the two types – such as permits and manpower. These differences are exactly what we’re going to be taking a look at in today’s blog, so let’s dive straight in!

 

Commercial buildings

First, the obvious. A commercial building is a building that is built with the purpose of acting as a place of business or service. An office building would be the most obvious example, or even a bar or restaurant. Commercial buildings typically tend to be larger concrete construction projects in comparison to residential buildings. Though it’s possible to have small-scale commercial buildings – like a small bar or café – they are generally larger in size.

With the larger size comes much more planning and liaising between the different parties involved. If a tall office building is being built that will house multiple different businesses, then there must be constant and meticulous supervision to ensure everything goes to plan. For starters, the overall floor space will be much larger than that of a residential home and large beams will be required to act as the support.

Plumbing will be far more advanced in a commercial building – not just because of the potential height of the building but also because each floor will require at least one bathroom as well as a kitchen. Electricals will also be more superior and complex. More-so than plumbing even, as there’ll most likely be dozens of computers and other electrical products being utilised by different companies simultaneously.

A commercial building is used in an entirely different way to that of a residential building and there are so many more facets and kinks that need to be added and considered during the building phase to make it a successful building. Things like egress requirements and disability access points are a must for the commercial construction world. Another key difference is the fact that steel is also used with concrete in the construction process of a commercial building – as steel is a much sturdier material. This is as opposed to residential buildings where wooden supports are used with concrete instead.

 

Residential buildings

A residential building is a house. A common misconception is that an apartment complex is considered a residential building, but as it is used to lease property to others it is considered a commercial building. A residential building is built with a concrete base – just like a commercial building is, but to a lesser degree as there won’t be as much physical pressure on the foundations of the building or foot traffic. This is also a reason why different grades of concrete are used in the construction process.

Both residential and commercial builders are required to be registered with the Victorian Building Authority but the permits required to build a residential building tend to be less complex than those required for commercial buildings. Each Council has its own permits and codes so it’s best to check with them before proceeding with a residential or commercial building. Planning permits must be first obtained for both of the concrete construction types.

Residential buildings end up being much cheaper generally as they’re done on a much smaller scale. This also means the equipment required to complete the task and the labour costs are cheaper as well. Because of the smaller scale, the builder in charge will most likely end up recruiting all of the contractors himself and personally meet with the architect on multiple occasions during the planning stages as well as during the building process. There can sometimes be a lot more flexibility involved with residential buildings as well.

 

Are you in need of a concrete contractor?

Prestige Concrete Services is a veteran concrete construction company that employs fully qualified and highly trained contractors. We specialise in both commercial and residential concrete construction projects with over 20 years of experience. We understand the difference between the two types of building projects and are well-suited to tackle either of them in a professional and efficient manner.

If you’re interested in one of our concrete construction services, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157. Alternatively, you can fill out the enquiry form on our website.

The Difference Between Concrete, Cement and Mortar

Cement. It’s a wonderful substance and is the building block for almost every modern building. Cement is also the best friend of concrete contractors everywhere. On its own, it has no power – but when combined with other materials and elements it becomes the most useful weapon in a concrete contractor’s arsenal. But it is a common mistake to confuse cement with concrete and mortar and that’s why today we’ll be going through the difference between these three and exploring a little bit about each of them.

 

What is cement?

As we touched on just before, cement is a building block. It is a binding agent that can make other materials – such as mortar and concrete – when combined with water and other ingredients. Cement itself is actually manufactured using elements such as silicon, calcium, iron and aluminium and chemically combining them together.

Things like limestone, silica sand, clay and shells are also added into the mix and the mixture is superheated to just under 1500°Celsius. There are different types of cement, such as hydraulic cement – which is any type of cement that sets and hardens fast after it has been mixed with water.

 

What is concrete?

Concrete is a construction material that has many industrial applications. It can be used for concrete slabs, foundations for walls, for steps and many more similar things. Concrete is created by mixing cement in with either sand, gravel or other similar fine aggregates. This combination does nothing until you add water to it, which is what makes it cause the cement to bind together with the other ingredients.

Concrete is a highly versatile material because as it can be fashioned into virtually any shape you want using a mould or other similar tools. You can even have furnishings that are made entirely out of concrete for both outdoor and indoor settings. You can actually purchase pre-made concrete mix where all you have to do is add the water – as everything else is already included in the mix.

A common creation that concrete is used for is the concrete slab. Concrete slabs are commonly used as the foundation for homes and buildings and are separated into three types of slab foundations – slab-on-ground, suspended slab and precast slab.

Concrete can also be customised a few different ways to suit your own personal style. For example, you can have your driveway coloured by adding certain pigments to the mix. Some colours work better with certain types of concrete and you can also play around and match it to the rest of your home if you like.

You can also try exposed aggregate concrete for your backyard or driveway – which involves different types of aggregates being partially exposed in the finished product. As well as being highly customisable it also offers a slip-proof surface – making it practical as well as stylish.

 

What is mortar?

Mortar is similar to concrete – in that it is a masonry material composed of cement and fine sands – except mortar is not nearly as strong as concrete is. The reason for this is because mortar is used as a binding agent to glue brick and other masonry products together. More water is used in the mixture when producing mortar – giving it its binding properties.

There are different types of mortar that you can use – each of which is better suited for different applications and have their own unique features. Lime mortar, for example, is where cement is substituted for lime and then combined with sand. Whereas, gauged mortar utilises both lime and cement with sand.

 

What’s the difference?

The difference between these three is that cement is just an ingredient whereas concrete and mortar are actual finished products that require cement in order to be produced. Whilst concrete can be moulded into shapes and used to shape structures, mortar is used to keep these structures together – acting as a glue.

 

Are you looking for concrete contractors?

Mixing cement to make concrete and mortar can be a daunting task if you haven’t had any experience, so it’s best to call professional concrete contractors like the ones at Prestige Concrete Services. We specialise commercialresidential and local government concreting projects. Our fully qualified concrete contractors have had over 20 years of experience and are highly professional.

If you would like to know more about our concrete contractors and the services we offer, then please get in touch with us by calling 0411 440 157. Alternatively, you can fill out the enquiry form on our website.

Concrete Slab Foundations: Pros And Cons

The foundation of anything is the basis of it, the beginning of the project. This is what comes first and holds the rest of the project up. In this sense, we’re talking about concrete foundations for buildings such as houses. There are three types of concrete slab foundation types – slab-on-ground, suspended slab and precast slab. In today’s blog, our concrete contractors are going to go in depth and explain to you what some of the pros and cons are of concrete slab foundations.

 

What exactly is a foundation?

As we said above, a foundation is an initial structure that will support the entire project. But it goes a bit deeper than that. The foundation of a building must do at least three things:

  • Support the structure;
  • Keep out groundwater; and
  • Be a barrier to water and soil vapour.

These are the three points to a successful foundation and are key in their design. But with the three types of foundation structures, there also comes a variety of different features that will appeal to different types of people.

 

1.   Slab-on-ground foundations

This is the most common concrete slab foundation type and can actually be laid in two different ways:

  • The conventional slabs that feature deep holes with beams. These can be insulated beneath the floor panels; and
  • Waffle pod slabs. These sit closer to the surface and through polystyrene foam contain a maze of beams in between. Waffle pod slabs are already insulated beneath the slabs.

Like the other three concrete slab foundation methods, slab-on-ground employs the use of steel mesh as well as concrete slabs to form the foundation.

 

2.   Suspended slab

As the name may suggest, these slabs are suspended and do not actually have direct contact with the ground below. These are commonly used as foundations for other floors in multi-storey buildings but can also be used to form the foundation for ground floors. Suspended slab foundations will be often constructed off-site and then transported via a truck.

 

3.   Precast slab

Precast slabs are also manufactured off-site and then transported and placed where they need to be with a crane. These can be constructed with post-tensioned reinforced or standard concrete as well as from autoclaved aerated concrete – which is lightweight and energy efficient concrete that is manufactured to have multiple closed air pockets inside of it.

 

Pros of concrete slab foundations

  • Thermal properties – Concrete slabs contain very high thermal mass – meaning it is quite good at storing and re-releasing heat. This works especially well in the sense of foundation as it is a good heat regulator for the house. Of course, to take full advantage of the concrete slab’s thermal properties it must be paired with a passively designed house.
  • Long lasting – Concrete is already a naturally long-lasting creation. But, with the correct reinforcement and design, the concrete slabs can last close to forever. They must be placed correctly and compactly to ensure there are no openings that could cause destabilisation. They must not be affected by water too much as this could weaken them.
  • Termites – Concrete slabs can be highly resistant to termites as long as they have the least number of shrinking joints as possible. Any joints and penetrations should be treated – as well as the edge of the slab.

 

Cons of concrete slab foundations

  • Insulation design flaws – The edges of concrete slabs have trouble letting heat escape in the colder seasons. With this in mind, you should ensure that the insulation should be constructed to account for this.
  • Thermal properties – The great thermal properties do have their downsides. If your evenings are hot, then the heat stored in the slabs will not dissipate, but instead, continue to be stored in the concrete. To combat this, natural ventilation will need to be provided in the design. This is especially the case in the upper levels of multi-storey houses. This should be paid close attention to particularly if you have bedrooms on upper levels as it could affect comfort whilst sleeping in the evenings.
  • Acoustics – Whilst concrete slabs do reduce sounds such as music and loud conversation, there are certain sounds that are known to penetrate the slabs. Higher impact noises such as heels on the floorboards will get through the slabs. If you know this is likely to happen often and that it will bother you, then you should consider extra acoustic insulation.

 

Do you need concrete contractors in Melbourne?

Prestige Concrete Services offers high-quality concrete contractors in Melbourne. Our concrete contractors are highly professional and skilled in various concrete services. We have experience in residentialcommercial and local government projects.

If you’re in need of some concrete contractors, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157 or fill out the form on our website.

5 Things To Keep In Mind When Building A Commercial Carpark

A commercial carpark is not a simple concrete construction project as it may initially seem. There are a large number of factors that all affect the project in different ways and each carpark will have its own unique problems and things to consider. At the end of the day, a carpark is designed to be a space where customers and/or employees can park their cars. That’s why today, we’ll be having a look at five things that factor into building a commercial carpark and how to maximise your design to get the most efficient carpark possible.

 

1.   Its primary use

Different carparks will suit different uses. For example, carparks in shopping centres tend to be fairly regimented to the point where it’s just rows of car spaces across the carpark. Walkways should be considered so there’s a safe path to be taken to the building’s entrance. Or, if it is a train station carpark then a safe route to the station itself.

Train stations tend to have bus stops outside them nowadays so it’s important to factor that into the planning. What sort of weather does the area you’re building in typically tend to get? Will you need to put up sails or build a concrete roof? If it’s for a supermarket or a shopping centre that contains a supermarket then you’ll need to allocate an area for the trolleys to be stationed at.

 

2.   The design

After you’ve established what exactly it will be used for you can start designing the carpark. This is not as simple as drawing out where the car spots will be placed. You’ll need to factor in things like water runoff – so the carpark doesn’t get flooded when there’s heavy rain or a water main bursts. You should start with the outline of the carpark and work your way inwards when designing it on paper. Entrances and exits should be established first to make sure they lead to an appropriate area on the road.

When it comes to the car spaces, designing them in tandem with each other will maximise the number of spaces whilst still having appropriate space for driving lanes. Whilst functionality should always be the top of the list of priorities, generally a client will want it to look in some way aesthetically pleasing. So, you should keep that in mind when designing it. Also, make sure you’re operating within council boundaries and guidelines when undergoing a concrete construction project such as this.

 

3.   Functionality

This is closely linked with the design aspect and should be decided in conjunction with the design of the carpark. This detail decides things like how large the actual car spaces and driving lanes will be – as well if the lanes will be one way or two way. This is where you’ll also start to think about what sort of materials will best suit the construction of the carpark. Essentially if the carpark will be able to excel at what it is being designed for.

 

4.   The materials

This is a big one as the materials that you’ll be using will determine the durability and effectiveness of the carpark. Some popular materials used for carparks are:

  • Asphalt – Asphalt is quite resistant to weeds but is also fairly susceptible to cracking when laid down over large areas. This is mainly due to the natural movements of the Earth. However, it is also easy to repair and resurface as well as being fairly cheap to lay down in the first place.
  • Gravel – This is definitely the cheapest and quickest material that can be used as it is quite literally just loose gravelled that is laid out. Weeds and grass are able to sprout through it and some inconsistencies may arise if different sized gravel is used.
  • Concrete – Concrete can sometimes be around the same price range as asphalt if used on smaller spaces but for larger areas, concrete is more expensive. However, it is much more durable and requires very little maintenance with an estimated lifespan of around 50 years – double that of asphalt.

 

5.   Calculating cost and time

This point is important as you’ll assumedly have a budget to stick to and will want to stick to it. So, calculating the cost of materials and labour costs is essential to your concrete construction project.

 

Are you in need of a commercial carpark?

If you’re thinking of undergoing a concrete construction project such as a commercial carpark, then why not consider Prestige Concrete Services. We have years of experience and specialise in such concrete construction projects. We use only the best contractors that are friendly and highly qualified.

If you would like to know about what we can do for your concrete construction project, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157 or send us a message through our website.

7 Plants That Are Perfect For A Winter Garden

With winter fast approaching you’re not going to be able to tend to your garden in the same capacity that you have been for the last few months. You’ll have to plan around the rain which can be hard to do when you’ve got other things to do. That’s why our concrete contractors have prepared a list of the seven best plants for your winter garden. Not only will these plants in the cold and damp weather, but they’ll also be colour appropriate for the dull season.

 

1.   English Primrose

These flowers are ideal as they come in almost every colour making it versatile and ideal for a winter garden. They’ll grow between 20cm and 30cm high and can expand 23cm outwards. Even in the cooler climates, they can soak up the full force of the sun and just need a regular watering – which is helped by rainy weather.

 

2.   Calendulas

These flowers concentrate on a more yellow/orange palette with colours such as apricot and cream – as well as orange and yellow. They can reach up to 60cm high and 45cm outwards, taking on a much smaller presence than the English primrose. They have a tolerance for many types of soil – provided the drainage is good.

 

3.   Pansy

Ranging from 15cm to 25.5cm tall, the pansy is a five-petaled flower that blooms over a long period of time consistently. It comes in a wide range of colours so you can pick the type that suits your garden best. Unlike the name suggests, the flower is very resilient and will bloom throughout winter.

 

4.   Winter Jasmine

This flower can reach quite large heights when left to grow, with a vine reaching anywhere between 122cm and 213cm tall – and that’s when it’s unsupported. If you secure it against a wall or fence, it can grow to 457cm tall. This is sure to be a feature piece in your winter garden as the bright yellow flowers will draw attention from visitors – especially if the winter jasmine grows to its full potential. Whilst good soil and full amounts of sun are preferred, winter jasmine will still grow through the winter time.

 

5.   Viola

These flowers are smaller than pansies but have more flowers per plant. They can come in blue, yellow, white and cream. They’re also available – similarly to the name – in violet or bi-coloured varieties. Because of their colourful variations, they’re great as border plants and to be put in edgings. These plants will thrive in the winter over summer so keep an eye on them when the warmer weather comes back as they may have run their course by then.

 

6.   Hellebore

This flower is most commonly known as the “Winter Rose”. It can bloom during the darkest times of the year when everything else seems to be freezing up. This is because of their deep roots. Their available colours feature plum, yellow, white and variety of pinks. They also contain patterns on the petals which look even better with the darker colours. This flower is unaffected by frost. It is one of the best winter flowers that you can plant.

 

7.   Camellia

There are a variety of different species of camellia that you can purchase but they are all – for the most part – great for winter gardens. They typically have a pinkish colour palette and can grow from 70mm all the way to over 130mm. Camellias are fairly resistant to pests and diseases and predominantly establish extensive root systems close to the surface. Though, it is not uncommon for deep roots to be established by the flower if it is watered properly and regularly. The bright pink aesthetic could be just what your winter garden needs to contrast against something like the hellebore’s darker tones.

 

Are you looking for concrete contractors in Melbourne?

If you’re after experienced concrete contractors to work on your yard or lay down your driveway, then Prestige Concrete Services is the right company for you. You’re going to want your beautiful winter garden to be paired with fantastic and durable concrete.

Our highly qualified and veteran concrete contractors will be able to help you establish exactly what time of concrete suits your yard best and explain to you the pros and cons of each. We offer a variety of services spanning across the residentialcommercial and local government sectors.

If you’re looking at hiring some concrete contractors for their services, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157 or send us a message through our website.

 

Landscaping In Winter – A Guide

Winters in Melbourne can get pretty rough. We may not get snow like some other parts of the world, but we do get low temperatures and heavy rain regularly. But just because these things occur, doesn’t mean you should ignore your garden. Even if it becomes harder to deal with, your garden should not be neglected during the winter time solely because of the weather. So, as well as taking care of your exposed aggregate driveway you should strive to take care of your garden in the winter time as well – and thanks to our handy winter landscaping guide, now you can.

 

Pruning and weeding

Use this off-season time to tidy up your garden. By pruning plants you’ll be encouraging a larger number of big shoots to come out in the next season. This is also a great time to remove any dead plants and weeds.

 

Mind the leaves

Falling leaves combined with rainfall can spell trouble for your gutters. Be sure to clean them on a regular basis, especially when you have a large number of trees standing above your gutters. The last thing you want is for the wet leaves to pile up in your gutter and restrict the water flow.

This similarly applies to leaves just on your exposed aggregate driveway and front yard area. Try your best to rake them away and keep the area clear when you can. Keep in mind that the leaves can be used as a mulch or as a composting base.

 

Aerate your lawn

Lawn aeration is the process of poking holes into your lawn to let water, air and vital nutrients down into the roots of the grass. The grass will then become more resilient and healthier because of this. The reason this is so effective during winter is because the soil is generally less effective at retaining moisture. It’s because of this that lawn aeration is more important in winter than ever.

 

Plant the right stuff

If you’re looking at planting in winter, then you’ll want to pick the right plants and veggies that’ll not only survive the season but also thrive in it. Cabbage, lettuce and spinach are just a few of the many examples of vegetables that are perfect to plant in the winter time.

Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons will also thrive in the winter time. So, if you’ve been waiting for that perfect time to plant a lemon or lime tree, then why not have a look at getting one started just before winter kicks in.

When it comes to the actual veggie garden, a good idea is to raise it up. If you’re expecting a lot of rainfall, then you don’t want your plants or veggies to be flooded with an overabundance of water (or just flooded for that matter). So, why not build a raised patch? This will lift the garden patch off the ground, pushing it slightly higher to the sun and protecting it from any potential water build-ups.

 

Mowing the lawn

With an influx of rainfall, your lawn will start to grow quite a lot, meaning you’ll have to cut it more often. The thing about maintaining your lawn though is that it’s easier to cut when the grass is dry. Not only because the process is easier, but also because the mower itself will encounter fewer problems. So, you have to be smart and plan your mowing days. Check the weather and make sure there’ll be no rain for at least two days prior to mowing the lawn.

If there doesn’t seem to be a long enough gap in the weather then you may have to put the mower on the higher setting and do the whole lawn two or three times, using a lower setting on each run. You should never mow the lawn in the rain.

 

Are you looking for an exposed aggregate driveway?

If you’re thinking of upgrading your driveway to something a bit more stylish, then why not consider an exposed aggregate driveway with Prestige Concrete Services. Here at Prestige Concrete Services, we only use the highest qualified concrete contractors that will work with you to craft your dream driveway. We specialise in a range of services encompassing residential, commercial and local government level projects.

So if you’re looking at having an exposed aggregate driveway built, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157 or send us a message through our website here.

How To Transform Your Front Yard On A Budget

If you’ve had the same old front yard for a while, then you may have considered upgrading at some point. The wonderful thing about working with gardens is that you don’t have to break the bank to have a fabulous looking garden. You can do a lot with recycled home appliances or even just spending a little bit to achieve a wonderful and unique looking front yard that will compliment your exposed aggregate driveway perfectly.

 

Start with borders

If you have a flowerbed in your front yard, then it’s a great idea to add a border to it. You can buy cheap options for this or even use recycled items such as glass bottles – which will add a unique flair to your garden. Using glass bottles can also be a great environmentally friendly option because not only are you recycling glass, but the open bottles will collect rainfall and fill up over time. That rainwater can be used to water the garden instead of using water from your hose.

 

Cheap plants

There are a variety of plants you can purchase on a budget that can look amazing and can add a lot to your front yard. You can even purchase a number of tall plants with thick leaves and put them at the front of your yard – that way they can act as a visual barrier. This is a great alternative for if you want some privacy but don’t want to fork out to have a large fence or wall built. Also, spreading flowers throughout your front yard adds colour and character to it. This can also encourage a healthy gardening habit.

 

Water features

You can use old items such as watering cans or basically anything else that has an opening to create a water fountain without purchasing an elaborate pre-made product. You can even combine two items and use something else as a base. Old barrels, tins or pots are all great examples of the types of items that can be used to create water fountains.

You can also create a pond in your front yard by digging a hole and purchasing some polyethylene lining to put in. Whether you want to put a fountain in the middle of your pond or not is entirely up to you – but if you decide to go without then you add stones at the bottom, lily pads to float on top and even plant flowers around the edge to decorate it.

 

Add a bench

An antique looking bench can be picked up from a garage sale or antique shop at bargain prices if you’re lucky. Adding something like this to your front yard will instantly transform it. Even if you don’t actually use it, it’s the aesthetic tone that matters. That being said it can also be used on sunny days when you just want to relax outside. Add some cushions to it for that extra layer of comfort.

 

Keep your lawn in shape

Even something as simple as mowing it regularly, pulling out weeds and trimming hedges can greatly improve your front yards image. Keeping it neat, tidy and minimalistic is just as good as adding impressive features to it. It really depends what you’re going for. Even if you want something more eccentric though, it’s still important to maintain upkeep of your front yard.

Clearing your exposed aggregate driveway of leaves or dirt on a regular basis counts as maintenance as well. This keeps your concrete in good condition as well as improves the tidiness of your front yard. Creating edges and clear distinctions between your exposed aggregate driveway and grass or even between your grass and flowerbed – if you don’t already have a barrier – is another fabulous way to transform your front yard, giving it a clean and contemporary look.

 

Looking for an exposed aggregate driveway in Melbourne?

If you’re after an exposed aggregate driveway, then Prestige Concrete Services is the company for you. We offer a wide variety of services and have proven experience with residentialcommunity and local government projects. Our highly qualified contractors will work within the set time constraints to get the job done in the most efficient way possible, working around your schedule as not to inconvenience you.

If you would like to know more about getting an exposed aggregate driveway in your front yard, then please give us a call on 0411 440 157 or send us a message through our website here.