Are you looking for block paving companies and contractors?

When you are having your drive or patio installed, you need to find local block paving companies that can carry out your required work.

block paving companies

How do you find the best driveway companies in your area?

You can ask your friends and colleagues who they used. You can also use the search engines like Google for your enquiry.

Do you know what to search for?

Here are some suggestions of search terms you can put into Google to find companies, contractors or installers.

local block paving

local driveway contractors

driveway installers near me

local paving companies

block paving company names

best driveway companies

driveways reviews

driveway specialists near me

This will bring up a lot of results for you to choose from. You will still have the dilemma of who you are going with.

You need to contact at least three block paving companies or installers for quotes on your specific project.

Ask them some of the following questions:

How long they have been in business?

How long have they been laying block paving?

Have they got jobs close by they have completed, that you can look at?

What is their specification for laying the blocks?

How deep are they going to excavate out from finished depth?

What will they use underneath the paving blocks?

What depth will the subbase be?

Will the price include taking the waste materials away?

How long will it take to complete your block paving job?

What is the starting date?

Asking these questions should elevate most problems you could have by not asking them.

Please don’t let just the price determine who you choose but go with a price that is somewhere in the middle if possible. Choose the block paving company that have answered your questions and you feel most comfortable with.

If you are looking for good block paving companies please click Contact Us to arrange a free quotation.

You can read more by clicking on block paving contractors or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_paving

Block Paving Contractors

Are you looking for good block paving contractors in your area but not sure who you should go with? We will cover 10 tips, that you should look out for, to get the right block paving installer for you.

block paving contractors

 

1 – Make sure you find someone that has a website, so that you can research the “about us” section. This should tell you how long they have been established and contact details.

2 – Always go with a paving contractor that has a landline number as well as a mobile number. This then makes sure you have a property associated with the landline.

3- Check out testimonials from previous clients that can be verified.

4 – When they come out to see you, get them to explain exactly what they are going to do, so you don’t get any extras put on the agreed price unless of course, some unforeseen circumstances raise their ugly head.

5 – Make sure they measure the area properly and not just step it out.

6 – When they are explaining what they are going to do and there is a part you don’t understand, stop them and get them to explain so you know what they are on about.

7 – Ask if they have other jobs in the area that you can look at and not just recent one but ones that have been done for some time.

8 – If possible, get block paving contractors that have been recommended to you by friends.

9 – Always get at least 3 quotations for the block paving.

10 – Don’t go for the cheapest quote or the most expensive one.

If you follow these 10 tips you should end up with the correct Block Paving Contractors for your job.

If you would like to read more on paving then click here Paving

How to find landscaping companies near me

Leave landscaping to the professionals

Landscaping Companies Near Me

A lot of people will tell you, “anyone can do landscaping it’s easy”.  My answer is “yeah right!! Like in any skill, you have people that can produce something that could be called landscaping. It takes an expert to produce outstanding results every time.

In today’s climate, it seems like every man and his dog, have suddenly become professional landscapers or professional block paving companies. I can tell you, that some of the jobs I have seen over the years have brought tears to my eyes. Especially when I have found out how much the clientele have paid for the substandard work. They could have had, the same work, carried out professionally, for the same cost or even cheaper in some cases.

You might be thinking “what makes me a good judge of what’s good or not”?

Let me tell you that I have over 35 years of experience in the industry and at times at the cutting edge of new technology. I am from the era of giving the customer what they pay for and more. You can probably guess and I am proud to say I am known as “old school” and yes, I think that gives me the right to class myself as an expert.

 

Always putting Quality before Quantity with Landscaping Companies Near Me

Staying in business for this long certainly didn’t mean putting the pound first before doing great jobs for customers. I have seen and rectified enough bad jobs from these cowboys to last me a life time. I know the clients are slightly to blame some of the time but they are only trying to save money, like we all do. but it can end up costing a lot more in the long run.

 

Tips for finding good reliable landscaping companies

Always when looking for professionals make sure you pick ones that have landline phone numbers and not just mobile numbers. The reason is, that at least landline numbers are tied to property that has an address that should give more security.

Ask them how long they have been in business and how many years’ experience they and their work force have. Also remember that a job is only as good as the people carrying out the work

Get the proposed professional to tell you how he is going to carry out the work, even if you don’t know what on earth they are on about and not just the price. This is something I always do and also, I watch the clients face and when I see they don’t know what I am saying, I stop and explain until they do.

Another good tip is to make sure they look at you straight in the eye. They talk to your face without looking away too much. People who are a bit dodgy to say the least, or are not telling the truth tend to look away from you

Ask the right questions to landscaping companies near me

Ask for addresses and phone numbers of clients they carried out work for recently and some time ago if possible. If they give excuses of why they can’t do this then do not entertain them at all. This is a great big warning sign.

I will let out one of my secrets to you. It is, that I absolutely love people asking me for previous work addresses.  I know, that if they go and visit the property and talk to the owners, that I am just about guaranteed to get the job as they make wonderful sales people.

Just think about it. If you have had work carried out for you, that is really good, what would you do? I think you would be singing the praises of the professionals that carried out that work.

Am I right or wrong?

Unless it is a really simple job, always get the quotation in writing with the process of works. They should include depths, materials and start and finish dates if possible. I try to give a start date but usually with a plus or minus date of 3 days subject to weather conditions.

Make sure that everything is included in that quote such as waste chargers or material costs. You need the one final sum of the work being carried out but be warned sometimes unexpected problems do occur and will carry extra costs.

Use these tips and information for all your jobs in or outside your house. Whether it is for landscaping or even painting your house.

So go and find Landscaping Companies Near Me

Achieving higher standards

 

Ted

Raj Green Paving for a Courtyard

I turned into the drive of an old, substantially large mansion house in Lawford. I was there to give a quotation to the Lady of the house that I had just gotten off the phone from. Mrs Clarkson had requested a quote as soon as possible. As I was within a few hundred metres of the house I agreed to come straight round.

Lawford House Manor image

 

I know you might be thinking “so, what’s unusual about that”.  Nothing apart from the vehicle I was in. The vehicle I was driving was one of our trucks, that when going to do a quotation isn’t the best of vehicles to turn up in. Saying that, at least the customer knew I get involved in doing the work as well. Not just doing the managerial work alone.

I rung the door bell and introduced myself to Mrs Clarkson. The client took me round to the back of the house to show me the existing courtyard. We then discussed some ideas and designs but Mrs Clarkson was in favour of a more modern finish as one of her friends had suggested. Now I will usually let the client have what they would like. On this occasion I knew this would absolutely spoil this grand old stately house.

Raj Green Paving Slabs

What I suggested was to use Indian sandstone paving in Raj Green. Now you are thinking “green!! is this man out of his mind.”  Calm down and let me explain in case you don’t know.  Believe it or not, Raj Green paving is not green. It is a collection of light and dark yellow sand, grey to browns of every shade and includs some very mellow earthy pinks!

This I knew from my vast experience would absolutely complement this wonderful old mansion and make it look like it had been there for years.

Mrs Clarkson decided she would like to have a quote on this option as I said I would rather walk away from doing this job than putting down something that I knew would not go with the fantastic building and spoil the idyllic setting. Yes you heard that right, the end result is more important to us than the money.

We submitted the quote and within a day we had a phone call to say it had been accepted and when could we start.

Preparing the patio and paths in Raj Green paving

This project was started three weeks later in November. The first thing we had to do was mark out the new paving area. The existing site of the old concrete and shingle areas were then cleared.

Once this was done we found really wet and soft clay underneath. We had to excavate deeper so we could stabilise the area. We then brought in type one crushed concrete and spread it over the surface. Unfortunately, before we had a chance to compact this, the heavens opened up. It then continued pouring for the rest of the day and most of the next.

When we went back we just could not do anything due to water standing everywhere. We had to pull off site for a week to allow the area to dry out, I didn’t have to explain to the client as she could see the problem for herself.

Once we were back we compacted the area down and made sure that all the falls were correct, so once the paving was laid any surface water would run into existing surface water drains and onto lawn areas.

Patio and paths in Raj Green paving

We started to lay the raj green paving in a truly random pattern as we had five different sizes of paving to allow us to achieve this. The paving was laid on a 2 inch (50mm) bed of semi dry screed mix with 0.5 inch (13mm) to a 1 inch (25mm) gap between the paving slabs to allow for a mortar joint to lock the paving into position.

Just while I am thinking of this did you know there is a right and wrong way to lay these paving slabs? I know these are called Raj Green but don’t say “green side up”. On this paving all the edges are tapered and what a lot of people do, including so called experienced paving contractors, is to lay the paving upside down so the widest part of the slab is at the bottom so forming an upside down pyramid for the joint instead of a pyramid the correct way up to lock the mortar mix in the joint. Why some people will do this incorrectly is because the jointing can be done quicker, but it will not last!

The jointing mix we use is the same screed mix we are laying the paving on but add more cement and admix. The cement makes it stronger while the admix – also known as plasticiser, is a liquid that allows the mortar to be pliable without it being runny as you are not putting the water content in. This allows you to put the concrete mix in the joints and over the paving without the worry of staining the paving when ironing in the joints with a tool that is called a jointing iron.

The finished job complete with new lawn area

We then prepared the new lawn areas by rotovation, levelling and removing any large stones. The grass turves were then laid leaving a striped pattern. To achieve this, all we did was to lay one row of the turves left to right. The next row was laid right to left from where we finished the previous row from and so on.

 

Lawford House Image

As you can see from the pictures this Indian Raj Green paving just blends itself perfectly. The great thing about it is it looks like it has been there since this wonderful Georgian Mansion was built.

 


Paving Flagstones Images

 

The client was over the moon with the end result and was so glad that I insisted on this paving.

 
 

Raj Green Indian Sandstone

 
 

The Clients comments

I did ask Mrs Clarkson what the other quotes were so I could compare our price against the other contractors. Surprisingly, her reply was, “I did not get any more quotations once I had spoken to you. You advised me on what you knew would suit the property. If the product I chose wasn’t suitable,you told me you were prepared to walk away. This alone, absolutely astonished me. You certainly don’t get that happen nowadays.

The other thing was you didn’t turn up in a big fancy BMW wearing a suit. I am so glad I went with my instinct as what you have achieved is so wonderful. The summer just can’t come soon enough so I can really enjoy this space. I am already talking to my gardeners. We are planning where we are putting pots and what plants we are going to have”.

Another paving job carried out successfully using Raj Green paving. With the end result of having another very happy customer that we can now add to our portfolio.

Decking Materials

Plastic Decking Image

Recycled Plastic Decking With Mixed Plastics

Another material for decking is recycled plastic. When using this mixed plastic material it can be applied to areas where wooden decking wouldn’t really be practical.

This makes plastic composite materials ideal for use around ponds, pools and other water features, in shaded areas and for children’s play areas.

The use of this type of material is endless as it is water proof, keeps its looks for years – in fact past your life time and many generations to come. Plastic decking is also resistant to moisture and most types of staining.

This type of material is the first choice of local authorities, national rivers authorities and other public areas that have a substantial amount of traffic.

A benefit of using this type of material is there is just about no maintenance required. Also by using this recycled material you are doing your bit for the environment and saving up to 32% from landing up in a landfill site.

It is surprising the amount of plastic that can be recycled from house hold waste, like plastic milk bottles, dry food containers, old buckets and containers, drink and washing up liquid bottles.

Like everything there are advantages and disadvantages when using recycled plastic decking as listed below,

Advantages:

Very little maintenance

No cracking, splinters or rotting out

No staining, painting or vanishing required.

Helping to save the planet

Disadvantages:

The initial cost

That is about the only disadvantage there is but if you look at it long term then it will work out cheaper.

If you can get over the initial cost then this is certainly the material to have and use for your decking projects.

Recycled plastic decking is a great all round product and is a good alternative to wood decking.

Decking ImageDecking – Is Decking Right For Me?

If you are thinking of having a patio area whether it is decking or any other material there are several things to consider.

1 The placement of the decking.

2 Who is going to use it?

3 Raised or leveled?

4 To treat it or not?

5 Are you prepared to do maintenance?

6 All ways ask an expert.

Let’s break down these six listed items and look at these one at a time.

 1 The placement of the decking.

It doesn’t matter what type of material you are going to use for a patio area if it’s in the wrong position. You must look at whether it will be in the sun, shade or exposed to the wind. Even take into consideration the time of the day you are mostly going to use it.

What’s the point of having a patio if it is in the shade all the time? Well, when you don’t want to be in direct sunlight. I know some people have ailments that restrict them from being exposed to the sun for any length of time; also some people just prefer to sit in the shade.

Another important point is the time of day you are going to use it. Is it going to be throughout the day, just the morning, afternoon or the evening time?

It’s no good if you are going to use it in the afternoon and the sun hasn’t reached that area or even passed it so you are in the shade.

Can you see now why positioning is so important, so you can fully enjoy the area?

2 Who Is Going To Use It?

Now you might be wondering why this is important, let me explain. You might have small children and the area is going to double up as a play area so the surface you decide on has to reflect this.

If you have a hard surface they could possibly hurt themselves or decking that is a softer surface but with a chance of splinters?

If your children have ride on toys with plastic wheels I can tell you from experience that decking would not be the best surface.

3 Raised Or Levelled?

Some customers like the patio areas sunk down into the ground so that finished height is flush with ground level. Other customers like to have it raised 4-6inches (100-150mm) above the ground level on bearers.

This all comes down to preferences and costs.

4 To Treat The Decking Or Not?

Once you have had the decking constructed are you going to have it treated? My recommendation is to treat it with a good quality decking or fence stain. This will preserve the surface for a lot longer and help to keep the look of the product.

The decking that you use should already be pressure treated for rot so you can use it as is, the choice is yours.

Decking maintenance image

5 Are You Prepared To Do Maintenance?

As with any surface it will weather in time, but as far as decking is concerned you will get a build up of algae. You might not even realise this until you walk on it on a wet day or a moist early morning and end up on your backside.

Algae and water just don’t mix as you will end up with a surface that is as slippery as ice, unless you do the maintenance keeping it brushed and cleaned.

This again is something to think about.

6 Always Ask An Expert.

Why ask an expert as you might have made your own mind up?

An experienced person will be able to tell you if you have come up with the right decision or not for your personal circumstances. As you know there are things that can always be overlooked that’s why experienced advice is valuable and could save you time and money.

Experienced advice should be free for you to rely on.

Hope this helps when you are deciding on what surface you would like even if it’s not decking.

Fence Erecting Disputes

Fence, Hedges and Wall Disputes

Boundary fences,hedges and walls cause more disputes between home owners and neighbours than any thing else I know. If it isn’t who owns the fence or wall, it is who is responsible for maintaining it.

There are several things you can do before things get out of hand and the easiest by far is to talk to each other in a calm and relaxed manner. Yes sometimes that is very difficult to do or your neighbour just refuses to talk and is adamant in his position. Sorry but then you have to look at different ways to get over the problem.

The first action you can do is check on the deeds or plans to see if there is any mention on who owns the boundary line or even if it is shared between you. If you do have a plan and there is a T on it and if it is on your side of the property you own that fence. If there are 2 T marks on the plans facing away from each other forming a H then it is a shared property line or fence.

Ok, you now know who owns it, whether it’s shared, your neighbours or yours.

What can I do if I don’t own the fence or it’s shared?

Landscaping Success Image

Don’t worry we can still get over this and this is a tip that for some reason people just don’t think of or don’t know their in their rights to do so. I can hear you shouting come on what is it – spill the beans.

You just build another fence on your side of the property that can even be touching the existing fence. How about that, bet you weren’t thinking about that, hey? Now this is the thing, your neighbour will not have any say or rights on the new fence because it’s on your property.

This tip can absolutely save you thousands of pounds in legal fees for disputing boundary’s.

The other dispute that also often crops up is the access to maintaining your fences, walls or property. Now again look on your title deeds to see if anything is documented, if not and talks have broken down there are other actions that you can carry out. I have added a couple of links below where you can check this out further.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1992/23/section/1

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/housing_e/housing_problems_where_you_live_e/neighbour_disputes.htm 

 

Fencing

Domestic Fencing

Fences in homes today are more likely to be used to define boarders between properties than anything else, whether it is a front, side or back a fence.

 

When people ask for a fence I just don’t think they realise how many different types and sizes of fencing there are. What we are going to do is go through the different types of fencing that are constructed from wood.

 

Picket also known as palisade fencing

gothic picket image

Picket fencing usually has 2 inch (50mm) x ½ (13mm) boards also known as pales with the same gap left between them, nailed vertically on 2 cross rails of 6 feet (1.8)wide before they are attached to 3 x 3 inch (75mm x75mm) posts. These cross rails can be longer put if they are not supported in the middle they will bow under the weight of the wood. This fencing can come with all types of finished tops as you can see in the images.

 

 

Waveney lap panels

waveney lap image

These panels our probably the most common panel you will find in gardens today. The thin tapered feather edge 4 or 6 inch (100 or 150mm) wide boards are nailed to 3 or 4 vertical battens overlapping each other. These panels give you privacy but are not the strongest of panels on the market but are one of the cheapest. These panels are usually 6 feet (1.8 metres) wide and start at 3 feet (0.9metres) goes up to 6 feet (1.8 metres) high. These are either nailed on 4×4 inch (100mm) wooded posts or slotted into concrete posts. It is also advisable to always use either wooded or concrete gravel boards that keep the fence off the ground to stop them from rotting out.

 

 

Close board Panels

Close board image

These panels are made up of vertical tapered cladding boards also known as feather edge boards being nailed onto three cross rails also known as Arris or Cant rails and over lapping the previous panels by 1 inch (25mm). These can vary in width from 6 feet (1.8 metres) to 12 feet (3.4 metres) but must be support in the middle to stop them bowing down the long the length. You can also choose to have a topping rail put on top of the feather edge.

 

 

European or Continental Panels

fence with trellis image

These panels come already constructed in many designs from plain chevron panelling to incorporating trellis panels as well. They come as flat, concave or convex tops. These are very strong decorative panels as they having boarding nailed on both sides of the supporting battens and all encased inside a frame. You do have to be bit of a carpenter if you need to shorten these panels to make them fit in a smaller gap but its not impossible.

 

 

Trellis Fencing

trellis panel image

Again these come in many different heights and designs. You can have them just to top off a fence or full panels to form the fence itself.

 

Garden trellis is a very popular product for adding climbing plants to fences and your borders. The trellis is absolutely ideal for climbing plants horizontally on the top of fences or directly onto walls.

fence with trellis image

The trellis is perfect for creating a boundary by supporting your climbers whether it is in your front, side or back garden, or even dividing up your garden.

 

 

Post and Rail

post and rail image

Post and rail are made up of just that. The posts are inserted into the ground and the rails are then nailed onto the posts. The length of rail will stretch across three posts. The second rail will be cut in half so it then on stretches across two posts but will then have full rails from then on. If the fence is three or four rail then the third rail will be a full rail but the four rail will start off with a half rail again.

 

The reason for this is so the joints will not be in line with each other so it making a secure and strong fence.

 

Chestnut fencing

chestnut fencing image

This fencing is usually used for livestock as it comes in rolls of 12 and 25 metre rolls. Chestnut steaks are held up in a vertical position by three strands of twisted wire. To erect the fence it is only a matter of knocking in pointed round posts in the desired fence line and nailing the fence to the posts with staples.

 

 

Hazel Wattle or Hurdle fencing

Wattle or hurdle image

These our specialised panels that are made up of hazel sticks that are interwoven in and out of bigger vertical sticks and back around themselves to lock themselves into position. There are held up in position by nailing those using staples into half round posts. There are still some very skilled trade’s people who specialise in building your fence on site to give you a continuous fence without joins.

 

We have been the only approved contractor for many of our clients ranging between 5 and 20 years plus. Not bad for a landscape company to brag about in today’s climate, hey!!

Landscaping Success Image

What is the secret formula to our success in our commercial landscape maintenance?

 

We put our success into working with companies down to being an ‘old school’ family run business that still prides itself with customer satisfaction.

 

When we go out on site to meet the clients we are always on time if not a couple of minutes early, but not to early. If we are going to be late because we have been held up by maybe traffic or roadworks, even if it is only five minutes we always ring the client to let them know. There is nothing worse than having people turn up late, we know as this is one of our biggest bug bearers.

 

When you meet the client make sure you confirm their name and yours.

Men Shaking Hands Image

So it would be something like “John Doe? Hi I am Ted Wosko A-Z Landscapes & Contract Services Ltd, nice to meet you” this is done to start making a connection between yourselves.

 

Once the conversation starts about the project, just listen to what the client is telling you and do not interrupt. If it is several different areas or types work then before you move on to the next one, that is the time to talk, confirming that you know what the client needs and expectations are.

Man Thinking and Listening Image

If at this point you have suggestions because you can see a better or alternative way of doing things this is the time to speak up. Saying something like “Is there any particular reason you would like it carried out like this or may we make a suggestion that we think would be a lot easier and you would end up with a better finished product”

 

Why are we doing this? Some people (and we have dealt with some but not many) do not intend to listen to what you have to say. By saying “May”, you are asking them for their permission to allow you to make suggestions.

 

By doing this we have never been refused the chance to make those suggestions, also you make more of a connection and build trust with that person. When you start making your suggestion you should say “in my experience I would do it like this”. You are confirming to the client that you are the expert and that is why you are there to help them.

Professional Landscaper Image

It’s Funny because my very first meeting with Grayson Palmer from Duncan Clark and Beckett nearly resulted with me walking away from this prospective project. He was almost rude and when I did try to speak I was cut short but I thought ‘bite your tongue’.

 

At the end Grayson turned round and said “you have made some good, sound suggestions, I am not used to people I deal with making suggestions, usually they follow my directions. What you have said has made complete sense so before you quote for this work can we go over your ideas and suggestions and I would then like you to quote on all the ones that we agree on”.

 

This took me by surprise, but as you will read we were very successful with our quotation and this lead to us being awarded this very large project. It also led to Grayson and myself becoming very good friends and both respecting each other for our own particular knowledge.

Men Shaking Hands Image

We also carried out phase two of this project and one other as a nominated subcontractor, this was only because we do not generally do door and threshold alterations. Although I ended up making and helping the carpenter to do these alterations as he had not come up against wheelchair friendly thresholds before. In hindsight I think we would have been better off being the main contractor and getting our own subcontract carpenter.

 

As you have just read, we work well with companies and clients by listening and making suggestions and this is backed up by the amount of testimonials we have from our clients. Go check them out for yourself if you haven’t already by clicking

Testimonials.

 

Landscaping Success Image

Coloured Patterned Imprinted Concrete Driveway

When the clients asked us to submit a quote for this patterned imprinted concrete drive, it was very straight forward, as everything was worked out so it was just a matter of counting the metres and submitting the price.

Patterned Imprinted Concrete Driveway Image

Once again we won the battle to carry out the work, and by no means do we or ever have submitted quotations at a low price just to get the work.

We are a well established family run company that offers top rated work at a fair price. We work under the principal of old school “you receive what you pay for” and nothing less. In these modern times we see this less and less from other companies as they are after the quick pound and the standard of work does not come into it. We think this is the reason workmanship has slipped and people do not take pride in their work anymore.

This is one of the reasons we do not carry out site work on new build estates, as with a building if the foundations are not sound it is not stable, the same goes for landscaping, much of the work is below ground  – sub level – out of sight, but is the cornerstone of the project.

The first thing we did was to mark and excavate out the area for the new drive. We took the depth down to 8 inches “200mm” from finished level. The form work was set up to the required shape. This area was then compacted down followed by 4 inches “100mm” of type one material and compacted down again.

The drive was laid a section at a time using a 10mm summer cobble mix with fibre mesh. The concrete was poured and levelled with the finished surface left as a trowel finish. Coloured surface hardening topping was applied and trowelled into the surface.

The area was covered in plastic and pegged down on the edges. The edges had a double cobble edging stamped into the concrete using the G tool. The rest of the area had a cobble pattern stamped into the surface using the cobble moulds. Expansion joints were cut into the drive every 13 feet “4 metres” using a bolster chisel and club hammer. Once the concrete had dried efficiently the plastic was stripped off with the surface finished off with a soft brush and trowel with any slight modifications rectified using cobble patterned hand tools.

The rest of the area was completed using this process. Once the concrete was completely dry the form work was stripped back and removed. The new drive area was swept clean before 2 coats of patterned imprinted sealer were applied to the surface.

New Patterned Imprinted Concrete Driveway Image

Applying the sealer does have several different benefits to the surface of the new patterned imprinted driveway. It brings out the richness of the colour used and stops the colour fading as it has an ultra violet barrier built into the sealer. It also helps stop any oil stains from vehicles penetrating the surface and is a lot easier to clean off to keep the patterned imprinted concrete drive looking in pristine condition for many years.

For other related paving go

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