This property was in such a great need of modernisation that the owner had already started making changes to the bungalow. We were greeted by an old broken concrete drive that went from the service road path straight up to the garage. It had been patched up over the years and its time had come to an end.
When I met John the owner of the property I knew I had met him before. So even before we discussed his requirements we started to investigate how we knew each other. We soon narrowed it down to get the answer to the question. It all stemmed from my very first job after leaving school, an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering for a local company called Colchester Lathe Company. The same company that John worked for, until it was all wrapped up many years after I had left.
With all that sorted out we then proceeded to discuss John’s requirements. After all his ideas were discussed, I then made suggestions that we could do to enhance these and simplify his ideas. Once we were all agreed we submitted our quotation to carry out the work. I knew we were up against two other companies but as far as we are concerned we always put in a fair price to under take the required work. I won’t say we are the cheapest but then again certainly not the most expensive either, for this quotation we worked out to be the middle price. John gave us the job for three reasons, the first being we were the most informative – meaning when he wasn’t clear about something I broke down the explanation and offered more advice, not being the cheapest and thirdly because we already had a relationship that builds more trust.
We started off by clearing all the front and side of the bungalow. The driveway and area in front of the house was excavated out to a depth of 10.25 inches (260 mm) from finished level. A trench was also excavated out for the new front 9 inch (233 mm) wall to a depth of 12 inches (305 mm) from one brick below existing surface.
The driveway had an edging kerb set in concrete around the new block paving area. The paving area then had 4 inches (100 mm) of type one crushed concrete levelled and compacted down. This area then had 2 inches (50 mm) of semi-dry concrete spread, levelled and vibrated down.
Concrete was then poured and levelled in the trench for the new wall. The wall was then constructed with pillars, the desired pattern and a header course for caps.
The new driveway area then had 2 inches (50 mm) of sharp sand spread, levelled and vibrated down with 2.25 inch (60 mm) autumn hue block paving laid in a 90% herring bone pattern with a charcoal soldier course laid around the outside.
The new grass area was rotovated, de-stoned and levelled with the new cultivated turf laid and compacted.
The new block paving area then had 2 coats of block paving sealer sprayed over the top of the blocks. The sealer we use is of a very high quality that is supplied by a specialist paving supplier.
Sealing the blocks is something we always recommend as this has several advantages. It brings out the true colour of the blocks and has an ultra violet barrier built in to help stop the block paving from fading. Also it helps stop any oil spillages from soaking into the blocks, making it easier to clean up.