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Which is best: Real or Artificial Grass?

This guide will explain the pros and cons of each type and provide you with an in-depth exploration of grass, in all its forms.

Introduction

If you are inexperienced in landscaping, deciding whether to go for real or artificial grass can be a difficult decision to make.

Real grass provides a very traditional feel to a lawn, and it can be relatively cheap to maintain. However, not all of us are lucky enough to have perfectly placed gardens, where the soil is rich in nutrients, and where the lawn receives the ideal amount of rain and sun. Artificial grass is a great alternative to having a real lawn, and it is becoming an increasingly more popular choice when people decide to do landscaping. This is a more expensive option but can last for over a decade with little to no maintenance needed.

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Deciding to change your garden or lawn is a big decision and is not one that should be taken lightly. Make sure that you are fully informed of the ins and outs of both real and artificial grass before deciding to invest your hard-earned cash.

What You Should Consider

Firstly, take a look at your garden and its purpose. A ‘high traffic’ lawn is grass that is used often, whether you have animals and children or host plenty of outdoor events. Alternatively, an ornamental garden will require lots of time and effort to keep it looking beautiful and the grass in good condition. To put it simply, Artificial Grass is best for a high traffic lawn and real grass is best for an ornamental garden. However, it all comes down to personal preference and we will explore each of them in more detail further on in this guide.

There are several other factors which will influence your decision, including the kind of weather you experience and the amount of light and airflow in your garden. Some types of grass struggle to grow in certain temperatures. For instance, in a hotter climate, you will need to water your grass regularly, which can be an issue if there is a hosepipe ban. Also, if you are surrounded by trees causing shade, the grass may find it difficult to grow and thrive, which means that artificial grass may be the best option for you.

Next, consider how much time you want to put in to maintaining your lawn. Do you enjoy gardening on the weekend and find mowing the lawn enjoyable? If so, real grass will be ideal for you. However, if you are too busy or find it a chore then perhaps artificial grass is more suited to your lifestyle. Real grass is very difficult to maintain if you are elderly or away from home a lot, and many people would rather not have to add another task to their to-do list.

Finally, have a think about your budget. Real grass is not initially expensive but requires lots of maintenance including purchasing a lawnmower and spending money on water, feed and fertiliser which raises the cost significantly. Alternatively, artificial grass is more expensive but is often just a one-time cost and may only need replacing every twenty-five years.

Real Grass: The Basics

There are two types of real grass, seed and turf. Growing your own grass from seeds is the most cost-effective way but can be very time consuming as it needs a lot of care. It usually requires one season to get into a good condition and this could involve watering and weeding it daily. Although time consuming, growing your own grass is the best option for more difficult garden areas such as slopes and corners which can be difficult to lay turf or artificial grass on.

Turf, also known as sod, is the more expensive option but provides instant, luscious grass for your garden. There are many benefits to using turf including how it grows roots within three weeks of being planted and becomes established quickly. It is ideal if you are under time pressure, do not want to put the effort in or want to have a beautiful lawn as soon as possible. However, turf thrives in perfect conditions, so if your garden does not get much sun, it might not grow very well. Also, if you are a novice, you may have to pay for it to be installed whereas growing your own grass has zero labour costs.

If you decide to attempt to grow your own grass, you will need to research your garden first as the gradient, surface texture, drainage and amount of shade will affect the type of grass seed you will need to buy. If you are unsure, ‘general purpose’ solution is suitable for most gardens. However, if you are aiming to create an ornamental garden, have a look at purchasing seed mixtures that grow fine grass such as Red Fescue, Chewing’s Fescue and Bentgrass. These types of grass will also grow well in shady areas making it ideal for a garden surrounded by trees.

Artificial Grass: The Basics

Artificial grass is made from a mixture of plastics and sand or ground rubber. It was first invented in 1964 for sports fields but since then, huge developments have been made and it can often be difficult to tell the difference between real and artificial grass. It is recommended you pay a landscaper to install it as each type of artificial grass requires a different method of installation. However, if you choose to do it yourself, make sure you have researched it well before attempting it.

Artificial grass is a great option for homeowners who are unable to keep up with the maintenance of real grass, or simply do not want to. It allows you to have a beautiful, full lawn, all year round. There are endless options for you to choose from as companies offer so many different varieties of artificial grass. You can be super specific, all the way down to choosing the colour, shape and look.

In terms of the materials it is made from, there are three main types of artificial grass: polyethylene, nylon and polypropylene.

Polyethylene is the most premium option available and looks the most natural which is great if you are designing an ornamental garden. It is very durable and non-porous meaning that it will not hold onto any odours from animals, which is ideal if you have dogs that enjoy playing outside.

Nylon grass is the strongest type, ideal for climates with intense weather as it can maintain its original shape, even in hot temperatures. However, because of its strength, it is considered stiff and not as natural looking.

Finally, polypropylene grass is the most wallet-friendly option but is also the weakest out of the three types. It will not hold its shape well so is not ideal for a high traffic lawn. Also, it has a low melting point so is not great for anywhere with a hot climate. Polypropylene grass would be best for an ornamental garden in a cooler climate or just for a small area that needs covering.

In terms of safety, artificial grass does not come with much risk. However, some types contain harmful chemicals for you and the environment and in some cases, silver ions have even been found which is extremely dangerous. To ensure that you choose the safest option, check that the artificial grass you are looking at is manufactured in Europe and adheres to the strict regulations set out by the government.

Pros and Cons of Real Grass

Pros

  • Real grass is great for the environment
  • Greenery improves wellness and reduces stress
  • A well cared for lawn is very appealing and can add to the luscious look of your garden
  • Real grass encourages a rich plant and insect ecological system
  • The initial cost of growing your own grass is very low
  • It is cheaper than artificial grass
  • Real grass is self-sanitising

Cons

  • Requires a lot of maintenance, especially in the summer months
  • You will need to dedicate time to weeding, mowing and feeding your grass
  • Maintenance is expensive and you will need to pay for the equipment, feed and water
  • If it is a high traffic lawn then the condition of the grass will become poor
  • Animals will have muddy paws after playing on wet grass
  • Real grass does not grow well in a shady garden

Pros and Cons of Artificial Grass

Pros

  • Artificial grass requires no maintenance and there are no extra costs once the artificial grass has been laid
  • It is ideal for a high traffic lawn as it will maintain its look and shape, even if you use it often
  • Artificial grass is the best option for a shady garden as it will be in great condition, all year round
  • There are so many varieties of artificial grass including colour, length and texture meaning that you can achieve the exact look you desire
  • Some brands of artificial grass use recycled materials such as plastic bottles and tyres which can be much better for the environment than traditional artificial grass
  • High-quality artificial grass can have a life expectancy of up to twenty-five years
  • Artificial grass does not get muddy or wet, which is ideal if you have children or animals who like to play outside
  • Unlike real grass, dogs cannot dig through it
  • If you are away from home often or elderly, you may not be able to maintain your garden and real grass will end up looking overgrown and messy

Cons

  • Artificial grass is a lot more expensive than real grass
  • Artificial grass ranges from £10-£30 per square meter compared with real turf which costs around £6 per square meter
  • Even though it requires no maintenance, the surface underneath the grass may need to be replaced within eight years of installation
  • Artificial grass is bad for local wildlife and the atmosphere around you as there is no carbon dioxide produced from the grass that plants can convert into oxygen
  • Some artificial grass contains silver ions which can be dangerous
  • Artificial grass is bad for the environment as it is made of plastic and is not easily recycled
  • The manufacturing process has huge negative effects on the environment as artificial grass is a petroleum-based product which creates lots of pollution
  • When the grass needs replacing, it will end up in landfill as not many recycling plants will accept it
  • Artificial grass heats up in direct sunlight which can be too hot to walk barefoot on

Cost and Maintenance

The main difference between real and artificial grass is that one requires a lot of maintenance, and one requires a lot of money.

In the summer months, real grass requires the most maintenance and depending on the size of the area, mowing, weeding and taking care of the garden can take hours. It is a huge commitment as you will need to dedicate time weekly to caring for it, otherwise it can very quickly end up looking poorly looked after. If you experience heavy rainfall then you will need to aerate the grass often by spiking the lawn and if it is severely waterlogged you will not be able to use it until it naturally goes away. On the other hand, other than raking leaves occasionally, artificial grass requires no maintenance at all.

In terms of cost, growing your own grass can be done very cheaply but the maintenance is expensive as you will need to purchase a lawnmower as well as regularly water the grass (if there is no rain) and use feed or fertiliser. If you choose to purchase turf instead of growing it yourself, it will cost around £6 per square meter compared with artificial grass which ranges from £10-£30 per square meter.

However, artificial grass can be considered rather cost-effective as even though the initial payment is a lot, it requires no maintenance or extra costs. This means that it only takes eight years for the cost of the installation of artificial grass to outweigh the cost of maintaining real grass. Also, if it is high-quality, artificial grass can have a life expectancy of up to twenty-five years. Although, occasionally the surface underneath the grass may need to be replaced within eight years of installation.

Animals and Children

It is so important to think about the purpose of your lawn or green space, as depending on the size it will be used for different reasons.

If you are planning on having a high traffic lawn, real grass will be difficult to maintain. If you have children or animals that will be playing in the grass or simply host regular events in your garden, this can change the condition of the grass and make it look sparse or not well-looked after. In this case, the benefits of artificial grass greatly outweigh those of real grass. For instance, artificial grass does not get muddy or wet, so there will not be any dirty pawprints or shoe marks in the house. It is also durable and strong, meaning that dogs cannot dig in it unlike real grass. If you do have animals, then it will need to be disinfected every so often simply because it does not self-sanitise like real grass does.

Alternatively, if you are planning on having a low traffic, ornamental garden, either type of grass will be suitable for you. As long as you are dedicated and willing to put in the time and effort, you can create a beautiful lawn.

The Environment

If you are passionate about the environment, the real or artificial grass debate can be tricky to navigate. On the one hand, real grass is great for the environment. It encourages a rich plant and insect ecological system and helps surrounding plants and trees produce clean oxygen for you to breathe. It also improves your mental health, wellness and helps to reduce stress.

However, real grass accounts for one-third of all residential water use and the use of gas and electric powered tools can have huge negative effects on the environment. Lawnmowers, leaf blowers and trimming tools create air pollution that outweighs the benefits of having real grass and the oxygen it produces. Also, fertiliser chemicals pollute groundwater which can harm the natural habitat of many organisms.

If the cost of maintenance and the impact on the environment is an issue to you, perhaps consider investing in a rainwater catchment tank which you can use to water the grass. There are other ways you can grow real grass and be environmentally friendly. You can eliminate the need for fertiliser by leaving grass cuttings on the lawn after mowing, as the natural nutrients will be released while it decomposes and help you grow luscious grass. Also, you can purchase a push-along lawnmower and use shears which will reduce the amount of electric or gas tools you use.

Artificial grass is not inherently eco-friendly as it is made from plastic. Even the manufacturing process is damaging for the environment as it is a petroleum-based product which creates lots of pollution. However, some brands have started to produce artificial grass using recycled materials including plastic bottles and old tyres. Some people may consider it to be better for the environment compared with real grass as it does not need watering, mowing or maintaining in any other way. The only drawback would be that once it needs replacing, the old grass will most likely end up in landfill as it is very difficult to recycle.

Conclusion

In summary, real and artificial grass each have their benefits and drawbacks. The right one for you is entirely dependent on your garden and lifestyle so it is important to identify the purpose of the lawn. Whether you are going to be using it often to play with children or animals or spending hours making it look pristine. Not everyone has the time or motivation to maintain a lawn but if you do, the results of having real grass can be exquisite. There are so many factors influencing the type of grass you choose to go with, so make sure you examine the list of pros and cons above in detail. In the end, it simply comes down to personal preference.

Thinking about having some landscape gardening work done can be daunting as it requires a lot of thought, planning, organising and decision making to get done. To help you throughout the whole process are landscape gardeners.

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They can help you every step of the way as it can be a timely and expensive process. Hiring a professional to help is important as they will help you to get it right to ensure the garden lasts and looks beautiful.

If you are unsure on what exactly landscape gardeners do and would like to learn more, if you are interested in having some work done yourself, or if you are looking for some landscaping ideas then you should read on as we have all of this information here for you!

What Jobs Do Landscape Gardeners Do?

There are a large range of tasks that landscape gardeners do depending on their skills, experience and amount of people on the team. Jobs range from construction to moving lawns and planting.

Landscape gardeners work with their clients to create a design for the project, source any materials and labourers and then can also get their hands dirty to install, plant and build anything necessary.

The following is a list of some of the jobs that landscape gardeners do. Of course there are landscape gardeners who will do more and some less, depending on their skill set and experience.

  • Design – some landscape gardeners will meet with their clients to discuss their needs and desires for the project. They then produce sketches, plans and designs to see what the final product may look like.
  • Hiring – they also tend to be in charge of hiring equipment and recruiting any additional labourers if necessary. They also will procure the materials needed such as wood, cement, and soil.
  • Patios and paths – there are a different range of styles and materials including stone, block paving, concrete slabs for both paths and patios. There will be different specs and requirements depending on what they will be used for, for example if they are used for cars or pedestrians.
  • Fences and gates – different types of fences suit different gardens depending on what you are looking for in terms of aesthetics, material and safety. A landscape gardener can help you decide which fence type is best for you and how to install them.
  • Walls, terraces and brickwork features – brickwork does not always only apply to walls. Terraces and fountains are other features that can be designed and organised by a landscape gardener.
  • Decking, gazebos and sheds – landscape gardeners can tell you which type of materials would be best, whether they need to be treated or not and where they could be placed in the garden.
  • Lawns ­– whether it’s mowing the lawn or choosing which type of grass to plant or buy, a landscape gardener can help. They know about draining and if it is necessary for your garden and if so, where to drain excess water to.
  • Ponds – designing and installing a pond is also on the list of what a landscape gardener can do. They will know the best place to put it, how to fix it properly and can advise on maintenance for the future.
  • Planting – some landscape gardeners will also be able to assist with planting flowers, shrubbery, and trees, however others may be more skilled in the construction side and less the gardening.
  • Lighting – lighting can be an important factor for those with large gardens or for front gardens. Landscape gardeners can help you to decide which lighting would be best where, for example lights attached to the house or under a deck e.c.t.

Where to Begin

When thinking about getting some landscape gardening work done, you have a very important decision to make: should I hire a professional or do it myself? Well, now you know the types of tasks that a landscape gardener can do, you can start thinking about whether you will need a professional’s help or not. If you are looking to hire a professional, there are a few aspects that you should consider.

There are a few steps to take before the work can get started so it is important to know where to begin before you approach anyone about doing some work for you.

Planning

Firstly, you want to think of a general plan before you contact any landscape gardener. This is so you can give them a general idea of what you are looking for so they can let you know if they can help your or not. This saves both yours and their time as without a plan you may talk to them at great length before they realise that they may not be the person best suited to help you.

A plan will involve thinking about what exactly it is that you want, for example do you want a highly decorative, luscious looking green space? Are you thinking about building a patio and decking for a pool or hot tub? Do you need space for children or pets to play in? All of these scenarios will require different skill sets and therefore a different landscape gardener.

You should also be thinking about the location of each feature so that when you get talking to a landscape gardener they can offer their opinion on what would be best. For example, you may not have considered the position of the sun when thinking about installing a patio seating area, but a professional will consider all options and go through them with you in order to get the best result for your project.

Research Specialists

We have touched upon it in this guide but there are certain landscape gardeners that specialise in aspects of landscaping that others do not. This can also depend on your knowledge levels and how confident you feel in organising your project. For example you may be looking for a designer to make your vision into a drawing or sketch to work from, or you may be needing a good gardener who can help you plant beautiful plots of flowers.

This is where you will need to research exactly what it is you are looking for in order to get in contact with the right person.

A skilled gardener will be able to recognise certain plants, give advice on how to plant them and recommend how to keep them well maintained.

A garden designer will be able to listen and communicate well, making suggestions and creating the perfect look based on what you tell them.

A good landscaper will be more practical in offering what you need by giving advice and explain the process of installing whatever it is you require.

Get Some Quotes

When you have decided the specialism that you are looking for, it is a good idea to get a few quotes from different landscape gardeners. Quotes are typically free and mean that you can get a better idea of the market and how much your project is realistically going to cost.

Coming up with a specification and maybe a simple sketch can really help the landscape gardener to figure out what you are looking for. From there you can ask for a breakdown of all costs including design, materials and labour. You can also request to see past examples of their work, how much experience they have, if they have a team working with them and proof of their insurance.

This may sound a little excessive but as you landscape garden can be a big project that is usually quite the investment, you want to be sure that you are going with the right team to help you complete the job.

You can then compare your quotes and information received to make an informed decision on who to work with based on everything that you know.

Communication

Once you have your quotes and are happy with your chosen landscape gardener it is crucial to have good communication from then on with them. This I because, depending on the size of the project, you could be working with them for months and you want to make sure that you are being regularly updated with what is happening.

If you have good communication with them you are guaranteed to be involved at every step whether it be deciding what colour the stone path is going to be to the orientation of a fountain, no matter the task, communication is key.

A tip is to keep a record of what is said over the process so that if there are any misunderstandings along the way, there is a record of what you discussed. This is of course a just in case scenario but as said, the project could span over months so it is a good idea to cover both your back and theirs by keeping a record of conversations and agreements.

Top Tips

Landscape gardening can add great appeal to your home whether that be to the front garden or back garden. Here are some tips that will help you if you are new to landscape gardening or if you have had a few projects done before.

  1. Plan for year-round appeal

When thinking about what you want the final look to be for your landscaping project, try to image what it will be like in all seasons. As landscaping can be an investment, you want to be able to look at and admire all of the hard work all year round. This means thinking about which plants will survive which seasons and investing in coverings for patios or decking.

  • Start small

If you are new to the landscape gardening game then you may want to consider starting small to then develop your garden over time. This means you can plan and execute a beautiful project without getting overwhelmed by a long and tiresome project when you lack the knowledge and understanding that comes with learning more about landscape gardening through experience.

  • Spend time thinking about what you want

Quickly coming up with a design for your project will not result in a smooth process. You need to sit out in your garden for a while and mull over the options that you like. Taking time to do this as well as research online will lead to you making smarter choices that will work long term, compared to rash decisions that may not be viable.

  • Only do what you are comfortable with

It is important to listen to the experts but also keep in mind your vision. Considering the investment you are making, you do not want to end up with a garden that took less time to complete but is not what you wanted. Remember that it is your project and that the landscape gardeners should be working with you to create the garden of your dreams rather than telling you what you do.

Keep in mind that they are the professionals and most likely will have more knowledge than you, however, this comes back to having good communication with them and coming to a compromise to get the best final product.

  • Be open to change

There is the possibility that if you are looking to do a large landscape gardening project then you may find that certain ideas are not viable or plans may need to change. You must try to be patient as things may go wrong, however, by being open to small changes and by letting the experts guide you, the experience of having your garden landscaped will be more enjoyable and less stressful for all.

You may notice that as the project is happening, certain features do not look how you imagined. It is okay to go off the book in some cases as the landscape gardeners will work with you to find what you want. Being open to change may result in fee changes, however, that is a decision that is up to you and what you want the final project to look like.

Design Tips

You may be thinking that you want some landscape gardening work done but do not know where to begin or that you need some inspiration and ideas. If so, then you’ve come to the right place as we have got some top tips and tricks on how to maximise the space of your garden and make it look gorgeous too!

  • Focal point

Giving your garden a focal point whether that be a sculpture or a fountain, a tree or plot of flowers will give the design of your garden an extra touch that will draw anyone in. It also sets apart your garden from any others as it is an added touch by you to create the look that you are going for, making your garden feel more personalised.

  • Curves

The eye can not help but follow a curve. Doing your landscape gardening so that there are smooth curves lining your garden will give a softer and more relaxed feel than any harsh edges.

Lining curves with flowers or shrubbery is a simple way to make your garden look classy and elegant without spending too much money which is always an added bonus!

  • Walkways

Connecting points of interest with a walkway is a great way to ensure that any grass or lawn is kept in good condition and makes for an appealing looking garden. A steppingstone effect is a great addition to a garden and can connect different features, giving visitors a reason to have a look at all of your hard work.

  • Maintenance

Keeping your garden looking beautiful all year round can be a challenge when you are maintaining it yourself. You should aim to do regular work in the garden in order to keep it in tip top shape!

What To Look For In Garden Maintenance

  • Uneven paths and broken paving
  • Garden walls in need of repair
  • Vegetation causing damage to paving and walls;
  • Areas that are regularly waterlogged
  • Joinery and metalwork with peeling paint, decay or rust
  • Damaged roofs to outbuildings
  • Blocked drainage gullies.

Garden Wall Maintenance

Garden walls need to be maintained in just the same way as the walls of a house. They are often more vulnerable to damage as trees and shrubs can grow through them, as well as their tops being exposed to the weather such as rain and frost.

  • Remove vegetation that will potentially damage walls and cut back plant or tree roots that may undermine them
  • Relay loose or missing copping stones and ensure pointing between them is sound
  • Replace badly eroded stones or bricks
  • Where necessary, repoint with a lime mortar
  • Dry stone walls, built without any mortar or cement, should be repaired by a professional

Repairing Garden Gates 

Gates can define the entrance to a garden, so their style and condition play a vital role in creating a great first impression. If not properly maintained they may stick, squeak or wear. 

  • Check latches and stays
  • Keep hinges and other moving parts well-greased
  • Ease with oil or WD-40 if stuck
  • Paint or refinish
  • Repair damaged sections
  • With metal gates, contact a blacksmith if parts are worn or repairs are needed
  • Ensure house names or numbers attached to gates are clear and readable.

Maintaining Fences

Wind damage and rot are the biggest issues with fences, so ensure posts are sound and not rocking, and that fence panels themselves are securely fixed.

  • Posts tend to break at the point they enter the ground, so consider either reinforcing with concrete spurs or installing wooden posts on metal spikes so the timber doesn’t have direct contact with the ground
  • When replacing posts use pressure treated timber where possible
  • Periodically treat fence panels and posts with a wood protection product
  • To create a more wildlife-friendly and attractive natural boundary, consider replacing fencing with hedging
  • Replace and repair slipped fence panels.

Garden Path Maintenance

Helping to define the shape and feel of a garden, paths are formed from a variety of materials including slate, shingle, pebbles, bricks, and stone, which mellow beautifully with age. The bonding or laying patterns of these materials often reflect traditional styles, and granite sets are sometimes laid in fan formation. 

Wherever possible, avoid lifting and relaying an old path because the original character, wear patterns and patina will be lost.

  • Straighten and repair edgings that contain the path and keep it clear of soil and debris
  • Relay sections of path that have become loose or damaged over time into a bed of sand or a weak mortar mix
  • Photograph old paths or draw a plan before lifting any parts so that the different elements can be accurately relaid
  • Maintain the path’s ‘camber’ or fall so water is shed efficiently
  • Remove moss and mud that is making a path slippery
  • Avoid using chemical cleaners or high-pressure water jets as they may damage the surface.

Repairing Outbuildings

  • Repair joinery items such as windows and doors
  • Check roofs and repair with suitable materials
  • Repoint walls with lime mortar
  • Repoint walls with lime mortar
  • Decorate all woodwork regularly
  • Ensure locks work and buildings are secure
  • Clean windows

Overview

Your garden can be a truly wonderful space, one that can be cherished and enjoyed by all of the family. This year we have probably spent more time there than anywhere else! Taking the time to do landscape gardening can make a world of difference, and is definitely worth the effort.

With our top tips we have no doubts that you will soon have a garden of perfect beauty! Do remember that good maintenance is crucial to keeping your garden looking and feeling great.

When it comes to our homes, we do what we can to make sure that it is a safe and comfortable place to live in. We often focus our attention solely on the interior, overlooking key areas on the outside of our property like our gutters, facias, and soffits. Cleaning these areas is an essential part of good property maintenance, but the information on when and how you should clean these places can be hard to find.

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We will be giving you all of our tips and tricks on how to clean your gutters, facias, and soffits effectively, why you should be cleaning these areas and how often you should complete this cleaning service.

Gutters

Gutters are often overlooked, with so much going on in the world, gutter cleaning is most likely not a top priority! Gutters are often out of sight, and therefore out of mind. Yet leaving your gutters clogged full of dirt can lead to serious damage to your property, not to mention the significant expenses that may come along with it.

Gutters primarily function as your house’s main drainage system. They help prevent large build-ups of water putting strain on your roof. When gutters become clogged, their ability to drain rainwater from the property’s roof effectively is diminished. Whilst this may initially seem harmless, blocked gutters can lead to a plethora of issues, of varying severity.

Preventing Water Damage

The function of gutters is to take rainwater and waste away from your roof and your home foundations. When the gutter is full of water, leaves, dirt, and moss it means that any more debris may just overflow onto your roof.

Over time, the roof may not be able to withstand the amount of water and other sodden debris which could cause damages, leading to leaks inside the house.

This does not only mean that your home may have water damage which can cost a lot of money if any items are ruined or if the actual foundations are ruined. You also may end up with holes in your roof that cost a lot to fix.

The water damage can also lead to ceiling stains which are unsightly and can be hard to remove as you may need to replace parts of the roof, ceilings, or walls. They can also be a catalyst for more problems such as damaging your insultation and rotting the frames.

The worst part of all of this is that you may not even realise that it is happening until it is too late! If you have not thought about cleaning your gutters, then water damage can easily happen which can all be avoided by making sure that your gutters are well maintained.

Mould Growth

A problem that could occur because of your leaky roof is not only the potential of water damage but also the growth of mould in your home. Because of the moisture caused by a leaky roof and the heat of the home, the growth of mould can be quick and can cause problems.

Mould is hard to remove and can cause health problems for those in the house. The effects of mould on the body include inflammation of the airways, nasal congestion, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and throat irritation (theconversation.com 2015).

These problems can affect anyone but are particularly damaging to certain people. People who are more sensitive than others such as babies and children, the elderly, people with skin conditions like eczema, those with asthma, and people with weakened immune systems for example those having chemotherapy (NHS.uk) are more susceptible to the health problems caused by mould growth in the home.

Cleaning out and regularly maintaining your gutters is a step towards protecting your family from a damaged or leaky roof and the implications regarding costs and health that come with it. 

Pests

A gutter filled with rainwater, leaves, twigs, sticks, bits of tree branches and moss could be the perfect home for pests like birds, rats, mice, and insects. These pests can create numerous problems to your roof if they decide that your gutter is going to be their new home.

If birds are settling in groups in your gutters and on your roof, then it can lead to headaches not only because of the amount of faeces that will end up on your home but also the continuous flying that can create problems. By taking off and landing on your gutter multiple times a day they could create cracks which over time could break, meaning that the gutter will not perform as it should and will also cost money to fix.

You also do not want any bees or wasps settling in your gutters. They can create problems as they have the capability to remove or hollow out sections of your gutter and roof. This can lead to water damage, holes in the roof and therefore (as we have discussed), mould growth.

Bee and wasp removal can cost up to £100 depending on the size of their nest or hive and the location. If they are settled in your gutter and roof, this is tricky to remove as the insect removers will have to get up there to do their job. This is an unnecessary cost considering that it can be avoided by keeping your gutters clean.

How often should I clean my gutters?

All of the aforementioned issues are easily avoidable by regularly and effectively cleaning your gutters. Most professionals recommend cleaning your gutters twice a year.

These bi-annual cleans should take place during the spring and the autumn. The latter clean should take place just before winter begins. This is when most of the leaves have fallen from the trees and is prior to the frosty weather starting.

It is incredibly hard to remove frozen debris from your gutters in the winter, so ensure you get your gutters cleaned beforehand. This reduces the chance of them becoming blocked later on in the year. The clean in the spring allows you to evaluate and fix any potential damage caused by the strong winds or snowfall felt over the winter.

Facias

A fascia is a long board or strip of material that is fixed below the lower roof, where the roof meets the wall of the property. This is known as the roofline and is where the guttering is traditionally attached. In most modern homes, they are made from uPVC, however if you have an older home you may find that your facias are made from painted wood.

Whilst facias do add certain cosmetic benefits to your property, they do serve a valuable purpose. They act as a barrier between the wood in the roof and the elements, protecting the roof frame from the weather. When this barrier fails, the roof frame can become damp and can even rot away. This can cause costly structural issues for your property and should be avoided.

Why should I clean my Fascia?

The UPVC that the fascia is made from is covered in a protective hydrophobic coating. Overtime, this coating can soon become covered in dirt, mould, and mildew. This not only looks unsightly, but it can lead to damage if the dirt and mould is not removed.

Cleaning your fascia can give your whole property an entire facelift. It instantly helps your property to look clean, tidy, and cared for, even adding value to your home. Regular cleaning also helps to prevent the risk of staining. Staining on your fascia can bring down the appeal of your home and can make your property look neglected. However, this can be avoided with regular cleaning.

If the dirt, mould, and mildew is allowed to build up on your fascia, it can cause cracks and holes to appear in the UVPC. This can expose the wooden roof frame, and can lead to damp, wood rot and warping. This can cause large structural issues, which can be costly to repair.

How Often Should I Clean My Fascia

The time between fascia cleans is highly dependant on the location of your property. If your house is next to a busy road for example, your home will be exposed to much pollution which can build up over time. This would mean that you would need to clean your fascias more regularly.

For a typical property, you should aim to have your fascia cleaned every 2-3 years. This should be regular enough to keep your fascias free from dirt and mould, keeping them gleaming.

Soffit

The word “Soffit” is a French term, meaning “something fixed underneath”. You will typically find soffits in the main roofing area, but you may also find them under porches and even under the stairs. Whilst they can be made from a variety of different materials, such as cement, steel, and wood, UPVC is the superior material for soffits, and is now the most common.

The soffit serves a dual purpose – it provides an aesthetic benefit, and it also helps to protect the roof from the elements. The Soffit protects the rafters, and without the soffit, the rafters would rot and bring mould into the house, causing serious and highly expensive issues.

How Often Should I clean My Soffit?

Just like your fascia, you should aim to have the soffit on your property cleaned every 2-3 years. This will help to keep them clean and fully functional.

The Benefits to Having Gutter Cleaned by Professionals

Dangerous if Inexperienced

Gutters line the outside of your home, meaning that they are above ground level. If you are inexperienced with ladders, then cleaning your gutters out can be a daunting task. This is because you not only have to focus on the ladder but at the same time carry up the materials and equipment needed to do the job.

When climbing a ladder while carrying other objects there is the risk of falling, however, professionals will be able to go up and down the ladder with ease, having done it hundreds of times before. Professionals will have the confidence to conduct the task quickly and efficiently, therefore you can be sure that when hiring someone to clean your gutters, there will be no problem with ladders or heights.

It’s a Dirty Job!

Again, gutter cleaning is not typically at the top of a person’s cleaning list. Mainly because the job can get pretty dirty quickly. When clearing out your gutter you may very well find yourself covered in all the moss, debris, and dirt that you find.

If this isn’t something that sounds particularly appealing to you then you can call in the professionals who will not be bothered in the slightest. They deal with this kind of mess every day as it is just part of the job for them, so why not hire professionals rather than getting all dirty yourself?

Gives you Peace of Mind

A clogged-up gutter can introduce a whole load of problems that you may not have thought about before (don’t worry, we will cover these below). When you hire professionals to do the gutter cleaning for you, you can be sure that the job will be done to the best standard, leaving your gutter free of debris, and working properly once again.

You want to be sure that after the gutter is clean, water will flow directly through it and be deposited away safely. When you clean the gutter yourself, there may be areas missed or tough spots left dirty. This will not happen with professionals. They know how to get the job done, therefore giving you your money’s worth and leaving the gutter completely clean.

What is Included in a Gutter Clean?

A full gutter cleaning service does not only include the clean itself but includes other benefits that you may not have thought about before. This includes an inspection of the gutter itself and some professionals will even take photos of the ‘before’ so that they can also show you the ‘after’ final result. They will of course remove all the debris from inside the gutter and clean up after themselves as there is debris that will have ended up on the floor and not in any collection buckets.

Whilst you will often see the service named as a gutter clean, a professional will also clean your fascia and soffit in the process.

To give you a better idea of what you should expect when a professional comes to your property to clean your gutters, here is a quick guide on what they may do.

The Clean

  • They will position their ladder in a safe and stable place that is in a position, so they are comfortable when up there and do not have to reach or stretch far. Note that they may not be using a ladder but a telescopic pole so that they can stand underneath and remove the debris.
  • Put gloves on and pick up their bin bag or bucket to put the debris in.
  • They will remove your gutter/leaf covers so that they can get into the gutter properly.
  • Debris in your gutter usually has two layers: the top one (if there is no cover) will be made of leaves, twigs, bits of branches e.c.t and a bottom layer of dirt and sludge. The gutter cleaner may remove the top layer with their hands, putting the leaves e.c.t in the bin or bucket.
  • To remove the bottom layer of dirt and sludge they may either continue to use their hands to remove it or use a trowel to scoop up what is there without getting too messy.
  • Once they’ve cleared the area that the ladder surrounds. They will need to descend the ladder and move it to the next spot. This may seem like it will take a long time but doing it this way they can stay safe rather than leaning and potentially falling off the ladder. 
  • They will also make sure that any fallen debris is cleared away, making sure that the area that they have cleaned is not a mess for you to clean up after they have gone.

Washing it Out

  • After all the debris has been cleaned, they will do a finish wash down of the gutters. Most likely they will use a hose, turning it on against the slope of your gutter so that any remaining waste runs down towards the downpipe. This should clear out anything that remains in the gutter.
  • They may use clean the gutter with a pressure washer or a telescopic gutter cleaner. This means that they do not need to climb the ladder but can use the attachment to get rid of the remaining waste.

Checking and Cleaning the Downpipes

  • After the gutters are all clean, they will check your downpipes.
  • If it seems blocked, then they may put the hose down the pipe until it hits the blockage and then turn it on to create enough pressure that will force the blockage out.
  • It will then be easy to push out the blockage by hand or using a stick to remove the debris and then attach it back to the house. Now the rainwater will easily flow through the gutters and down the pipe, preventing the problems that we have discussed.

Professional Gutter Cleaning Prices

Here, we will be giving you an idea of the gutter cleaning prices, what is included in this price, what you need to do before the professional arrives, and roughly how long it is going to take for them to do the job.

According to checkatrade.com (2020), the average gutter cleaning prices range from £20 to £250. This is at a cost of £4 per meter of guttering. These costs are not including a call out fee which is something that professionals will charge to come to your property (see below).

“For a small, terraced house with only 5m of guttering, the cost would be under £20 – however, the minimal call out fee charged by professionals is usually £40.

For larger properties in which guttering lines the roof on all sides of the property, you can expect to pay £120 or more. Additional gutter cleaning prices will be incurred if there are accessibility issues, or if there are any parts that need to be replaced. Leaking parts will typically come at a cost of £10 per piece on top of the call out fee.

If you need new down-pipe filters, these will come at an additional price of £5 per filter. A specialist will be able to tell you upon inspection what will be needed – whether it’s a simple cleaning service or there is additional work required” (Checkatrade.com 2020).

Overview

Your gutters, fascia and soffit are vital parts of your roof, protecting your property from water damage. You should aim to get this cleaned regularly to prevent any damage to your home. The gutter should be cleaned at least once a year in the spring, and your fascia and soffit should be cleaned every 2-3 years, dependant on your property’s location.

Cleaning your gutters can be a big task, and it is often a more advisable option to hire a professional company to complete this service for you. Whatever your decision, make sure that you stay safe, and regularly give your gutters a good clean.

Contents

  • Introduction                                                                                                      
  • What do I Need From my Fence                                                                
  • What is the Best Type of Fence for Gardens
  • Conclusion                                                                                                         

Introduction

Obviously, there are many different opinions as to the best type of fence for gardens and they all have their own values, whether it is from a purely aesthetic view, how functional they are or something as basic, yet important as cost. Although not an exhaustive list we will explore the most common and readily available types of fencing and try and help you make the choice that suits both you, and your garden. 

Manmade fences themselves are a relatively new concept. Originally landowners and farmers relied on natural barriers to define areas and control cattle. Nowadays it would be almost unthinkable to not have your property fenced off to some extent, for many reasons such as privacy, security, providing shelter from the wind, marking your boundary, protecting your children and pets and obviously aesthetic appeal.

The definition of a fence is: ‘A fence is a structure that encloses an area, typically outdoors, and is usually constructed from posts that are connected by boards, wire, rails or netting. A fence differs from a wall in not having a solid foundation along its whole length’

When it comes to choosing a garden fence you have the freedom to choose whatever you wish without having to consider all of the requirements of a ‘normal’ fence. This is especially relevant if you are looking at breaking up your garden into defined areas, or adding fencing for decorative purposes as opposed to providing security and privacy.

A typical use of a garden fence may be something like introducing garden fencing to a decking area or patio to create more privacy in a specific area. Or adding a screened area to a hot tub installation. You needn’t settle for basic panel designs either – there is lots of choice within DIY stores and specialist landscaping suppliers. To get you inspired we have also added some of the cleverest fencing ideas for functionality and design. 

What do I Need From my Fence

Before considering what different types of fencing are available it is worth taking a little time to ask yourself what the primary purpose of your fence is going to be.  This will help you ascertain what the best type of fence for gardens is going to be.

If the primary purpose is for bordering your garden then you will probably want a tall, solid fence that people cannot see through for privacy and extra security. However, if you are looking at creating different zones within your garden, you could consider a shorter, more decorative fence with an open design. With so many types available, deciding what the primary use of your fence will be will definitely be beneficial in guiding your decision.

Height is also an important factor when deciding on your garden fencing. Do you want to be able to see over it or not? And more importantly bear in mind that if you can see out, others can see in. If security and privacy are what you’re looking for from your fencing, choose a taller fence.

Extremely exposed and windy locations will need fencing that allows the air to blow through, reducing wind resistance. A good example of this is semi-solid fencing, usually slatted, which have the additional benefit of also letting in extra light and can cast interesting shadow patterns around the garden.

The average fence height between 1.5 metres and 2 metres. No planning permission is required for a barrier under 1.8m unless it’s next to a highway or footpath. In this instance then the height cannot usually exceed 1m without planning consent. Although each county, parish and street can have different rules and regulations so it is worth checking with your local council to see if there are any restricted height limits. Historic areas and listed properties may also have specific directives on the type of fencing that’s permitted.

What is the Best Type of Fence for Gardens

The most common types of fencing in the UK are examined below, as well as some types that may surprise you. Each have their own characteristics and by identifying these your choice should be made easier. There are probably more combinations than you can possibly imagine so don’t think that you are only restricted to what is available in the local DIY merchants, or that you may as well just replace what was there before like for like. Let your imagination run free, failing that you will at least be confident that you know what you are looking for when trying to decide what is the best type of fence for gardens.

Wooden Fence Panels

These are the fences that most people are familiar with and with good reason, they are by far the most popular choice. The most common variations of these are closeboard fencing which is crafted from vertical feather edge wooden boards, attached closely together (hence the name) and strengthened with horizontal wooden rails at the back.

These offer a high level of privacy and closeboard fencing is specially constructed to withstand strong winds so if you’re erecting a fence in an exposed area, or your previous fence took a battering from storms over the previous winter, then this could be the best choice for you.

Lap fence panels (also referred to as overlap or larchlap) are constructed from horizontal boards and are a lighter duty, lighter weight garden fence. They have a slightly softer appearance than closeboard, but still provide that all-important privacy for you and your family to enjoy your outside space. If your back garden is in a relatively sheltered position, then this can be the right choice.

Wooden fence panels vary considerably in finish and appearance and this is primarily achieved by minor alterations to the edges, or profiles of the individual boards used in the construction of the panels. The most common of these are:

Feather edge fencing. This is most commonly used to make closeboard fencing, these boards have a fine edge which is created by tapering. The effect of the overlapping boards is supposed to mirror the look of bird’s feathers.

Waney edge fencing. These are timber boards with one straight edge and one rough and uneven edge that are cut straight from the tree, this is a very traditional style.

Straight edge fencing. This offers a simple, unfussy look, whereby timber boards are cut in a straight line and work well with modern gardens. These are sometimes referred to as square edge panels.

Picket fences are constructed from rounded or pointed pickets in a row with gaps in between. These are also sometimes referred to as paling or palisade fencing. These are often found in smaller heights than the fence panels above and are more appropriate for front gardens, where you are just marking your boundaries, as opposed to being constructed for security or privacy. The picket fencing design is great for sectioning off a vegetable patch for protection from pets and children.

The majority of wooden fence panels are available already pressure-treated and protected against timber rot. This can be done in one of two ways. Dip-treating means that the timber is immersed in a water based preservative to provide a protective coating. A water-based treatment will need to be re­applied regularly to keep your fencing looking good, there are numerous products readily available for this at a relatively low cost.

 Pressure-treating, although a little more expensive, offers a longer lasting defence against the elements. With this method a preservative is blasted into the wood at high pressure before it is stacked and left to dry. This provides much longer lasting protection than dip-treating alone and the higher initial expense is countered by the longer gaps between applying restorative treatment.

The final variables (excluding colour), having identified what different types of fencing are available, are the shape and finish of your wooden fence panel. Usually there are three profiles – straight, curved and domed. Similar to the straight board edges, straight profiles are quite understated and classic, whilst the soft lines of the domed and curved panels tend to complement a more cottage style theme.

When making a decision about the finish of the wood, planed boards will create a smooth, modern look that is smoother to the touch which makes them a popular choice for gardens with children. Alternatively, you can choose a rough sawn finish which is more suited to rustic outdoor styles.

Construction

Wooden fence panels are usually constructed between either timber, or concrete fencing posts that are sunk into the ground. They are usually built to a standard width of 1.8 metres however, they do come in various thicknesses so ensure that you take note of this when comparing prices and suppliers. Dependent on the type of ground this is usually set into a ground spike or, for a more permanent solution into concrete / post-mix. Wooden fence posts are commonly used for gardens and perimeter fencing for homes, as they match the most common fences and give a natural look however concrete posts, although not as aesthetically pleasing, are almost maintenance free and will not rot as a wooden post eventually will. If using wooden fence posts then retaining fence clips are used, if using concrete fence posts then the panels slide into a specially designed recess built into the post.

If you are looking to fence an area where the ground slopes away, or is uneven and unsuitable for wooden fence panels it is possible to create your own fencing design with the wide range of timber fence boards that are available. Because your fence is assembled from individual planks it is a simple task to cut these to a bespoke height to compensate for any undulations.  Additional advantages are that these can be built in one continuous run and individual boards can be replaced if damaged, rather than having to replace an entire panel.

These are also available in a range of finishes and are usually either dip treated, or pressure treated. As above pressure treating is the preferable option.

Pros and Cons

The Pros

  • Provide a natural look, after all nothing is more natural than wood
  • Can be painted or stained to alter appearance
  • Wide range of designs and style are available, easy to self-install
  • Probably the cheapest form of secure, private fencing available if self-installing
  • Can be the environmentally friendly option, but opposite can also apply below

The Cons

  • Wood panels weather quickly and lose that as new look very soon
  • Require annual maintenance to keep structural integrity and looking good
  • Highly weather dependent and can be easily damaged by rain, storms, summer heat and winter cold
  • Wood can, and will rot away, also warps and can be significantly damaged by insects
  • Has a much shorter lifetime than other available fencing materials
  • Wooden fence posts can fail, leading to the fence panels falling, potentially causing damage to adjacent property and gardens.
  • Variable quality, ensue that you are getting the most durable that you can afford
  • Non sustainable wood production is a major cause of deforestation

Metal railings

Metal railings will provide a finish that is more classically decorative, these work really well when used for garden dividers, driveways and front gardens and can even be installed on top of walls or decking if you are after that extra decorative finish. However, they are not as effective as a security or privacy measure.

Construction

In the last few decades, steel fencing has replaced the previously favoured option of wrought iron as the premier form of high quality fencing, this means that their longevity can be expressed in generations, rather than years!! Metal railings are usually constructed from steel and zinc and powder-coated in black to prevent rust and corrosion. These are usually finished with a variety of decorative tops, including spears, balls, swirls and many more. More ornate finishes are also available that include various twists and spirals in the railings. The choices and combinations are truly endless.

Pros and Cons

The Pros

  • Steel fencing is stronger than any other fences, will not rot away and is highly resistant to all weathers
  • Minimal maintenance required once installed
  • Offers excellent durability, and subsequently great protection
  • Aesthetically pleasing, numerous choices of styles and finishes

The Cons

  • Initial cost usually much higher than any other type of fencing, however long term durability negates this over the lifetime of this material
  • Quite complex installation required so not ideally suited to most DIY projects
  • Does not provide an overly high level of security
  • Will not have a significant effect on privacy

Modular Fencing

Modular fencing is a relatively new concept that is described as ‘bringing indoor style to your outdoor space’. This fencing range is completely customisable and allows you to totally individualise your design using premade components to create your own eye-catching look, although it not the first thing that springs to mind when you are wondering what different types of fencing are available. Almost like Lego for fences!!

Construction

The combinations of wood, composite, acrylic and metal materials used allow for sophisticated decorative designs utilising high-quality materials. The strength of these materials can offer great resistance to extreme weather conditions and once assembled are almost maintenance free. However, they are susceptible to brittleness in the usual UK weather cycle of hot, cold, dry and damp. This probably explains why they have not really taken off in the UK. These are usually manufactured primarily from PVC and vinyl.

Pros and Cons

The Pros

  • From a distance can look like real wood
  • Usually low maintenance once installed
  • Wide range of designs and style are available
  • Does not splinter so safer for children and pets

The Cons

  • Not ideally suited to the UK environment, regular construction and expansion causes brittleness and potential failure
  • Cannot be painted or sprayed, once you have the colour that is it for the life of the product
  • Can be prone to mould, mildew and algae which once established, can stain and is difficult to remove
  • Initial purchase costs can be expensive, but must be balanced against low maintenance costs

Other Types of Fencing

Obviously, the above list is not exhaustive and there are other options that may be considered when looking at fencing your garden. These ideas do not immediately spring to mind when considering the best type of fence for gardens but they all have their place. Some of these are suggested below:

Wire Fencing

If, for example, your garden extends to a field or wonderful view, you could utilise galvanised wire cattle fencing with the addition of a prickly hedge for security, so the view isn’t totally lost whilst still retaining some privacy.

Hedges can also suit a traditional setting and can be bought in a variety of heights, this is obviously extremely useful for creating a screen for a wire fence straightaway. Small shrubs will also do a similar job but they will obviously grow more slowly and it may be some years before your vision comes to fruition.

Willow and Hazel Hurdles

If you wish to go really traditional then you could consider Willow or Hazel hurdle fencing. These are perhaps the oldest British form of fencing and date back to Neolithic times 5,000 years ago. Ecologically friendly and aesthetically extremely pleasing they can help create a truly natural and unique look for any garden. The woven construction of these hurdles also provides a perfect environment for climbing plants to latch onto.

The key difference between Hazel and Willow hurdles is the thickness of both the horizontal and vertical branches with Willow tending to be slightly finer and Hazel offering a more sturdy, robust construction. Because of the fact that the branches are coppiced this fencing is probably the most sustainable of all the materials above. Harvesting of this wood uses the same methods that were used thousands of years ago, taking only what is needed, allowing room for the next seasons growth.

Wooden Trellis

If you want to screen off different areas within your garden, then privacy and strength will not be as important, and you can afford to use a fence design that is less robust. Traditional square or lattice trellising is a good choice for creating zones within your garden, and are ideal for sectioning off a separate sanctuary area without blocking out sunlight. Additionally, it is perfect for growing climbing plants against to create a living wall.

Metal screens

A slightly eclectic choice however the effect of an industrial steel design against the softness of nature can create a stunning look. These can be treated or untreated and sometimes a rust colouring will contrast wonderfully against a flowering green border. Additional customisations can be implemented by having patterns etched into the surface or cut right through, a cut out design would also lighten the effect if you are not looking to go for a full on industrial look.

Natural Fences

Another alternative would be planting some tall growing plants such as bamboo to create a living border. This will provide a much softer finish although be careful not to overplant and be aware of the potential damage that some plants may cause with their roots.

Conclusion

At the beginning of this article I mentioned that we would try to identify the best type of fence for gardens and the benefits and downfalls of the more popular types. As you have probably observed from the above there are numerous options available to you and so many factors that need to be taken into consideration before making an investment in your fencing.

Hopefully now that you know what different types of fencing are available as well as having a mental shortlist of the best type of fence for gardens you should be able to make an informed decision regarding your next steps and will soon have a fence that perfectly suits not only your requirements, but your environment as well.

A well installed, aesthetically suitable fence can really make a difference to your garden and can also significantly change the overall visual appearance, as well as physically redefining some aspects of your garden and relatively speaking, can be a cheap way to make a really significant difference to the overall look and feel.

Finally, please consider leaving hedgehog holes under solid fences so these now endangered creatures can move freely between neighbouring gardens.

Are you in need of some inspiration of how to create the perfect outdoor patio? Having an outdoor patio space is a great added extra to a garden as you can do so much with it. They’re ideal to use a dining, seating or entertainment space and you find that with having a patio, it creates a separate space away from the garden.

When you are thinking of designing an outdoor patio space, you need to think about what is already in the garden. It might be that there are things in the way of your patio area that needs to be moved. Always plan out what you want your patio area to look like so you know if anything needs moving around, to be able to achieve this. If you’re looking at designing the perfect outdoor patio area, then keep reading!

Contents

Different Patio Ideas

When designing the perfect patio idea, you need to consider the different types of patio ideas available. There is such a big variety of things you can do with a patio area and add your own style and character to it. Below are different types of patio materials you can use:

Concrete

Concrete is a common material that is used for things like patios. It is well constructed and can be moulded into any surface shape you want. The good thing about this is that it is very durable so perfect for being used outdoors and also very easy to maintain. It can come in a variety of finishes including smooth, stamped, brushed, scored, coloured, painted and patterned. This is a great option if you’re wanting to add some colour and character to your garden patio area.

Bricks

Bricks are a great, sturdy material that lasts a long time. They create a neat and classic look and you also have the option of being able to paint over them, allowing you to add some of your own taste to the area. You can also have the bricks set out in a pattern. They are a good, reliable and strong type of patio material.

Flagstone

This type of stone is available in a variety of colours and stones which also vary in shapes. They have more a rough surface, meaning they are most slip-resistant. The types of flagstone include sandstone, limestone, bluestone and quartzite. These are a great option as they are a strong material, that comes in a variety of colours and different types of stones, giving you more options for your patio area design.

Paving

Paving stones are available in different colours and textures and can be made to look like bricks and cut stones. These are more of a basic patio design and you don’t get as much variety and choice with this option, but they are a strong and durable material to use for your patio.

Tiles

For outdoor and patio use, it’s best to have unglazed tiles to prevent slipping when wet. Glazed tiles can look nicer but a bigger slip hazard when they get wet, however, they are something that can be used as accents in the patio design, if using tiles. You have the option of porcelain, terracotta and quarry tiles for outdoor use and these will all need protecting with an enhancer to avoid stains and wear to the tiles.

Cut Stone

This is a similar material to flagstone where the material is cut into square or rectangular shapes. These are a strong and slip-resistant material that has a smooth finish to them to create a nice look.

Loose Materials

Loose materials include things like gravel, crushed stone, bark, rubber mulch, decomposed granite and sand. These are becoming more of a popular choice for patio areas are they are easy to buy and put down yourself. They also don’t require much maintenance, making them easy to look after and cost a lot less than other patio ideas.

Mixed Materials

Mixed materials include things like brick, concrete, flagstone, paving and tiles. This is a good option to break up a big area and create something that looks a bit different as you can use the different types of materials. Instead of having just one look, you will have a variety of looks.

Decking

Decking is a popular choice in gardens and can be used for a patio area. They are made of wood and joined together to create a sturdy structure. The only downside with decking is that when it gets wet it can be slippery and it also needs treating yearly to help maintain it.

These are just a few of the options available in terms of materials that can be used for outdoor patio ideas. It’s good to look into each of these beforehand to see which one you like the look of the most and which would go best in your garden area. It depends on what type of design and look you are wanting to achieve to help you decide on which material would be best. They are all strong and durable for outdoor use and make great outdoor patio areas, whether it’s a dining area, sitting area or an entertainment area. Always consider what sort of designs and look you would want for the patio, as a lot of it will be based on the flooring option you choose.

Additional Patio Ideas

As well as material options, there are also other things to consider when designing your outdoor patio area which are below:

Heating/Fires

Even in the summer, you find that there are chilly nights, so a good thing to consider when planning your patio area is a fire or heater. As you’ll be using the area a lot, you want to make sure you’re able to use when it does get cooler and by adding in a fire pit or heater, you can ensure that you’ll never get cold.

Furniture

To complete the patio area, you will need furniture! This might be an outdoor dining table set, an outdoor sofa set, a bar area or even a hot tub. The outdoor patio area is perfect for putting furniture on, to create a nice outdoor space you can relax in.

Shade

If you’re wanting some shaded area on your patio, then a great solution for this is a pergola. These provide both light and shade for the patio area as well as making it look nice.

Lighting

Seems as this outdoor space will be used both in the day and at night, you want to make sure you have the right lighting. This could be more mood lighting and using things such as fairy lights to decorate the patio area, creating a relaxed feeling. Or, you may want some proper lights to help you see whilst enjoying the space at night. A great thing to consider are solar lights as they will be outside anyway, so you can use the sun to light up your garden at night.

Flowers and Plants

Even though the patio area and separate to the rest of the garden, it’s nice to place some plants and flowers around the area to bring some colour and life in.

Accessories

Whatever it is you’re using your patio area for, you want to make it complete with accessories. If you’re having it as seating space, why not add in pillows and blankets to give it some extra comfort? Or it might be that it will be an entertainment area that needs to be complete with a bar, pub food and games. Accessories are a great way to complete the look you’re going for.

These are just a few ideas of things that can be used to create the perfect outdoor patio space for you.

What to Consider When Designing The Perfect Outdoor Patio

When it comes to designing the perfect outdoor patio area, there are some things to consider beforehand. This is can be done in the planning stage of the outdoor space and by using thinking about these factors, you will know exactly what is needed and if everything will fit. The last thing you want is to have a full design and plan of your patio, to then realise that not everything fits in.

Planning is key to designing your patio area as you can plan out what is needed, the space and costs of the project. Below are some factors to consider when it comes to designing the perfect outdoor patio area:

Space

When designing your patio, think about what space you have to create an outdoor area. It’s not often you will look at a patio and think it’s too big, so make sure you use the space as much as you can. The last thing you want is to design and build your patio, to then realise it’s too small and you could’ve used more space. This is something to do in the planning of it.

Furniture

It is likely that whatever you’ll be using your outdoor patio for, you will have some sort of furniture on it. Have a think about furniture placement, what you will be wanting on the patio, where they will be placed and if there’s enough room for it all. It may be that you need to reconsider the size to be able to achieve the perfect outdoor patio space you’re wanting.

Another thing with outdoor furniture that you need to consider is the weather. When buying outdoor furniture, most of it can last out in all climates but it’s something to look into so you know what the best ones are, for coping outside in all different weathers. With some, it might be that it’s best to pack them away during the colder months to keep them maintained, which would require storage space, somewhere safe. Always make sure to look into these things before going ahead and purchasing anything so you can be certain on what is practical to have on your patio area.

Materials

Have a think about the different types of materials that are available and what the best one might be for your garden and location. You’d need to consider how well the material would last in the climate you live in and how durable it is, depending on what your patio is going to be used for. For example, if you lived in England where it rains often, you probably wouldn’t want glazed tiles as these would become very slippery and might put you off using the patio area. Consider all the factors of what the patio will be used for and the look you want to achieve, to help you decide what the best material would be.

Sunlight and Shade

With your patio area, consider what it’s going to be used for and where it will be located in the garden. If it’s a spot in the garden that gets a lot of sun, you may want to think about a cover to give you some shade during the day, making it a more usable and practical space. Things like gazebos and pergolas are great for keeping the area a bit more protected, so even in the case of light rain, you’d still be able to sit outside. You can also buy coverings that can be put away so they’re not permanently out which is a great option if you don’t always want a covering over the patio area.

Budget

Finally, one thing to always consider is your budget. Outdoor patio areas can expensive to design and build, so when planning it out, make sure to consider the costs of everything. The worst thing to happen would be to get halfway through the project, to then realise you can’t afford to complete. 

When doing the planning, and designing, you will be looking at materials and furniture and maybe even selecting the ones you will be having. Whilst doing this, you can keep a note of how much is needed and what that will cost, to be able to keep track of it all and then work out if you have the budget for it. You then shouldn’t get any surprises when it comes to carrying out the project as you will know what to expect.

These are just a few of the main factors to consider when it comes to designing your own outdoor patio area. It’s important to plan things like this out as they are a big project so all things need to be thought through. It also makes it a lot easier to have the plan ready for what you will need, the sizes, the costs and the image of what you want it to look like.

A Comparison of Patio Ideas

Now we’ve thought of all the different patio ideas and what to consider when it comes to designing an outdoor patio area at home, we’re now going to look at comparing them. Each idea is different in its own way, but when designing your patio area, you want to make sure you have considered everything and you’re going for the right patio for you. Some of the materials used all have their advantages and disadvantages, but some may be better to use than others. As well as using materials to create your patio, you then need furniture to finish it off, so we’re also going to take a look into what the pros and cons are of having these types of furniture and accessories outdoors.

Materials

As previously discussed, there is a wide variety of materials that can be used for an outdoor patio. This can make it hard when it comes to deciding which one you want, as there is so many to choose from. Some things to consider when looking at materials are:

Appearance – The material used for the patio is going to contribute to the overall appearance of it, so make sure you choose a material that will give you the look you want. Materials like concrete, flagstone and tiles offer more of a variety when it comes to different colours, shapes and sizes available.

Durability – Consider what it is you will be using your patio area for and what the best material might be for that use. Some materials such as loose and mixed materials may not be the best option if you’re wanting a seating area as they may not go flat on the surface. If something heavy is going on the patio such as a hot tub, you would want to think about what the strongest material is to hold the weight and not cause any damage to the flooring.

Weather – Some materials may not be practical for all the different weather and seasons. Tiles get slippery when wet, so this is something to think about if it rains a lot in your area, as they may not be the most practical material to use.

Each material has its own pros and cons, but it’s always good to compare each one so you can find the one that is best suited to you and your needs. If you’re wanting a variety of colours that is also durable, the options of concrete and flagstone would be best to look at. Whereas, if you’re wanting a more natural and neutral look, paving slabs may be the better option to go for.

Furniture and Accessories

Furniture and accessories are a bit harder to compare as they are all very different things. However, when you have decided what furniture and accessories you want for your patio area, you can then compare each category.

For example, if you decide you want a fire pit area, have a look into the different types available and what the best one is for outdoor use. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and prices so it’s good to do some research beforehand, to make sure you find the best one to suit your requirements.

This works for anything that is going onto your patio area, all items will have a wide selection to choose from, so think about the size, shape and costs before buying one. Some items might have better options for outdoor use, so it’s also good to look into that, to make sure that what you’re buying, it suitable and will last a long time in the outdoors.

Researching and looking at the variety of options is always good to do, to help you achieve the perfect outdoor patio area.

Summary

In this article, we’ve spoken all about designing the perfect outdoor patio. From the different types of materials available for your patio, to what to consider when designing it.

There is such a wide variety of different materials available when it comes to an outdoor patio area and some have more advantages than others. It’s good to consider all the things you want from your patio area, to make sure that the materials used for the flooring, can help achieve that.

 Along with materials to design your outdoor patio, we always took a look at the different type of furniture and accessories, to create a perfect area. Many different things can be included in your outdoor patio and it’s good to do some research and get inspiration for what ideas are out there.

We then had a look at what to consider when it comes to designing the perfect outdoor patio. These are important things to consider in the planning stage to ensure you will achieve the perfect patio that you’re wanting. Things such as space, furniture and costs are all key factors to look at when designing, so you can make sure it will all work out.

Finally, we had a look at the comparison of patio ideas and how each patio idea and material, is different in their own way.

We hope you find this article useful and gained some knowledge into designing the perfect outdoor patio.

When it comes to decorating a property, it’s a very exciting time. You’ll have the freedom to paint the blank canvas of a room exactly the way you’d like it to look, making your home truly your own. When it comes to decorating, a large part of this comes down to the flooring that you choose to have for your home.

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Flooring is a huge part of the room’s décor, and although many people don’t realise it, it can transform the look of a room without any other changes.

Flooring is a crucial part of any home, and with lots of different styles and choices out there, it can be difficult to find the perfect one for your home. In this article, we’re going to cover different types of flooring and focus on the more common and popular ones to give you a good idea of what you can expect to choose from. We hope that this article provides you with lots of useful information and helps you make that all-important decision!

Carpets

Carpets are a very popular choice of flooring for your home and offer a wide range of benefits and disadvantages. Firstly, a carpet can come in many different materials to suit every requirement. There are primarily nylon carpets and cotton carpets, both of which are commercially available. Each of these carpets come with their own pros and cons, which we’ll highlight below.

The Feel of Carpet

Carpets feel great under your feet when you’re wearing socks or barefoot. Carpet is very susceptible to keeping warm due to the many fibres that make up the carpet, meaning you’ll not have cold feet first thing in the morning which is a bonus.

Installing Carpet

Installing carpets is best left to the professionals as it requires precise measurements and expertise to properly install the carpet. A professional will be able to easily measure the floor space and cut the carpet so that it perfectly fits the room you’re laying it in. Although it is possible to purchase the carpet and do it yourself, for a professional installation we advise that you hire the experts for the job.

Cleaning Carpets

Carpets are great, but it’s important to know that cleaning of carpets isn’t always as easy as it seems. If you’ve got pets in the house, you’ll need to be mindful that fur can get embedded into the carpet, and the typical dirt from day-to-day foot traffic will slowly get pushed into the carpet and deep into the fibres.

Hoovering is a great way to keep on top of the top layer of the carpet and keep it looking nice, however, it doesn’t always clean the carpet right down into the deeper fibres of the carpet where dirt can get pushed into. To tackle these areas, you’ll need to look into steam cleaning. Steam cleaning is a trusted cleaning method that incorporates steam and pushes this deep into your carpet to lift out the dirt, helping to give a deeper clean.

Steam cleaning can be done yourself, or you can get a professional team to do this for you. Either way, for carpets this is a must-have once a year or so.

What Rooms Suit Carpets?

Carpets are best suited to rooms that aren’t ‘wet rooms’, meaning rooms that don’t have running water in them. If there was a spill, the carpet would absorb the liquid with ease and make it very difficult to clean so for that reason, it’s best to avoid carpets in rooms such as bathrooms or kitchens. Any other room, for examples a living room, bedroom, hallway or any other room for that matter, will suit carpets nicely.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is made up of PVC that’s designed to be flexible and laid out on your floor. It’s water-resistant, meaning if you have a spill on vinyl you can just mop it up, making it very popular for wet rooms such as the bathroom or the kitchen.

Vinyl flooring comes in a wide range of colours and styles, giving you plenty of flexibility to choose the right style for your room. There are styles of vinyl designed to look like wooden flooring, making the design of a wooden floor affordable for many. It’s often cheaper and requires less labour to install, making it a more price-friendly option compared to other types of flooring.

The Feel of Vinyl

Vinyl can feel different for many due to the range of styles that vinyl comes in. Some vinyl has bumps to mimic the feel of wooden flooring to give an authentic feeling, and others are textured to contour to the design of the vinyl to give a 3D feel.

Aside from this, vinyl often feels cooler than the carpeted floor and has a bit of give, meaning it’s not a solid floor. This often goes unnoticed as the give it has is minimal at best, so it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, and it does feel quite nice compared to a solid floor.

Installing Vinyl

Vinyl, similarly to a carpet, is a difficult floor to install without the right tools and expertise. Vinyl can be cut to perfectly suit the floor itself, and therefore needs precise measurements to ensure that it’s laid properly. Any miscuts can leave the floor with gaps, which don’t look appealing to look at. Unless you have the experience and the tools to effectively lay the vinyl, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

Cleaning Vinyl

Vinyl is an exceptionally easy floor to clean. As a solid piece of vinyl, there are no risks of any cracks between the vinyl so any spills will be contained on the floor without risk of sinking through. You’ll just need to wipe up the spills and that’s that!

Using a dustpan and brush you’ll be able to collect any dirt from the floor easily, keeping the floor clean. Once done, a simple floor cleaner and a mop will do the job and get the floor looking like new. There isn’t any need for a complicated cleaning process, making it a very popular choice for many homeowners.

What Rooms Suit Vinyl?

Vinyl suits every type of room. Its water-resistant properties, paired with the limitless designs available give the flexibility to use vinyl in any room, no matter whether it’s a wet room or not.

Many homes choose to have vinyl in their kitchen and bathroom(s) as they are extremely easy to clean and maintain and then choose other types of flooring around the home. Due to the design versatility, you’ll be able to keep a running theme throughout the house with vinyl and other types of flooring, allowing you to get your dream home without any compromisation on the flooring.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is another popular type of flooring for many homes. Laminate uses lots of planks of MDF, allowing you to get the design of your home that you’re looking to achieve without the high price of actual wooden flooring.

Laminate comes with a design printed on the tip to resemble wooden plants, allowing you to get the design that you’d like. Wooden flooring is very popular for many, but due to the high cost and the maintenance costs, many people turn to laminate to get the flooring they’re after.

The Feel of Laminate

Laminate flooring is often designed to feel like the wooden design that it’s portraying. Raised bumps can give a subtle, but realistic feel to the wooden style that many laminate designs aim to achieve.

On the floor, laminate feels very solid under your feet. You can expect there to be no give as you’re walking around, resembling a natural wooden floor. Because of this, the floor often remains quite cold on your feet so it’s important to wear socks if it’s a cold day and you’re going to be walking around the house.

Installing Laminate

To install laminate, similarly to any flooring, you need the right expertise and knowledge to make it happen. Although laminate is often a DIY project, you do need some specialist tools to ensure you’re cutting the laminate safely and sharply. If the laminate planks are cut roughly, they may not fit together properly and therefore won’t sit flat.

There are many detailed guides out there that talk through the requirements to effectively lay laminate, so if you are looking to give this a go yourself it’s definitely something that you can achieve. However, if you’d prefer to leave it to the professionals, there are many out there that will be able to help you get the laminate laid for you.

Cleaning Laminate

Laminate is a hard floor, meaning it’s easy to clean if there is a spill. You can use standard flooring cleaners to clean them, but it’s important to be aware that laminate should never be wet. Due to the very minor gaps between each plank, there is the risk that liquids can spill through. For this reason, if there is a spill, it’s important to get this cleaned as soon as possible.

You’ll be able to use a spray-on floor cleaner to clean laminate, making it very easy to clean. This, along with a dustpan and brush will remove and dirt from the floor and leave the laminate looking like new.

What Rooms Suit Laminate?

If you’re looking to get laminate for your home, it’s important to check the instructions that come with the laminate. Different manufacturers will have different recommendations for the rooms that can have laminate flooring in, so it’s worth checking these to be sure.

As a rule of thumb, as the laminate can let liquid slip between the gaps, laminate shouldn’t be used for wet rooms such as a bathroom or a kitchen. Although some manufacturers will say that the laminate is safe, it’s always good to be on the safe side.

All other rooms of the house are viable to have laminate in, and most look fantastic with laminate flooring. If you’re a fan of a wooden floor, but you’re keen to avoid the maintenance and the high costs, laminate flooring is a fantastic choice for you.

Wooden Flooring

Wooden flooring uses real wooden planks for your floor, giving an authentic look and feel for your home. Wooden flooring can look fantastic if installed correctly, however, some maintenance requirements make wooden flooring unappealing to some households. On top of this, the high cost of wood makes it out of reach for many, so it’s important to bear this in mind.

The Feel of Wooden Flooring

Wooden flooring feels fantastic, and there’s nothing quite like it. The bumps and texture of wood feel very natural and can transform the way you feel about the room you’re walking in, especially if you have high heeled shoes. You’ll get that authentic heel click sound as you walk, which presents a feeling of luxury to those walking through the room.

Installing Wooden Flooring

Installing wooden flooring is arguably one of the most difficult types of flooring to install. The wooden planks need to be cut into place and placed very carefully to ensure they sit in the location that they should. If they aren’t placed where they need to be, this can cause problems and a potentially unfinished look to the room.

For a wooden floor, people train for years to build up the expertise and the knowledge to effectively lay a wooden floor. We recommend that if you are looking to get a wooden floor installed in your home, that you hire professionals with expertise in doing so. They’ll be able to provide you with exceptional advice and help you to get the floor laid perfectly, which is vital when considering the higher costs.

Cleaning Wooden Flooring

Wooden flooring requires higher maintenance than all other floors, making it one of the highest maintenance floors available. You can mop a wooden floor with the right cleaning products, but it’s important to know that with the wrong cleaning equipment, it can damage the floor.

Wooden flooring is very susceptible to staining, which means you’ll need to use special indoor wooden flooring stain every couple of years to keep the wood protected and looking at its best. If you spill anything such as oil or something like this, you could risk the damage of permanently leaving a stain on the floor, so always be careful!

You can also hoover a wooden floor but do make sure that your hoover is hardwood friendly, as it could leave scratches if not. Again, always check the manufacturer’s instructions to be on the safe side.

What Rooms Suit Wooden Flooring?

Wooden flooring looks best in rooms that often see guests, for example in a reception room or a hallway. Wooden flooring, with its high amount of maintenance, is often kept to only these rooms as to impress guests and provide a warm welcome to the home, but not in all rooms of the house. This helps to keep the maintenance requirements lower, whilst providing a fantastic looking floor.  

Tiled Flooring

Tiled flooring is a long-lasting flooring type, and has a very unique feel compared to other types of flooring. Tiled flooring includes specific tiles being laid on the floor to provide the flooring, with a sealant surrounding them to ensure that it’s watertight.

Tiles are becoming less popular compared to previous decades but still prove to be a unique and great floor for many homes. Although they are more expensive, people often choose tiles for their reliability and professional finish. Tiles can look very good once installed correctly, so if you are considering a tiled floor then it’s worth spending some time to understand the theme of the room and the colours you’re looking to go for.

The Feel of Tiles

The first thing you’ll notice with tiles, especially if you’re wearing socks or you’re walking with bare feet, is that they can get really cold. Tiles are often made of stone or another very hard material that doesn’t conduct heat very easily, therefore it’s important to bear this in mind. However, the cold feeling can easily be offset with some slippers or some thick socks.

The tiles are often reported to be very hard, harder than most other flooring types. They have no give at all, it’s like walking on concrete with tiles. This is a great feeling though, as it feels very secure and reliable for your home, making it a popular choice for many homeowners.

Installing Tiles

Tiles require a very specific and rigorous installation process, which makes them difficult to lay. You’ll first need to lay out exactly where the tiles are going to sit and use something known as grout to help the tiles ‘stick’. Grout is what sits in between the tiles and helps them to keep apart, whilst being water-resistant.

The process then requires a very careful approach to lay each tile, ensure it’s laid flat into the adhesive and then to place grout in between the tiles. If you’re at a loose end and you can’t get a tile to fit in the gap, you’ll need to cut the tile, which requires special tools to safely cut the tile.

Although it is possible to tile them yourself, the process does require a lot of steps and a lot of time to complete. There are lots of excellent instructions out there that talk through the tiling of a floor, so do be sure to follow one if you’re not sure. If you’d rather a professional come and do the job, there are many out there that’ll help.

Cleaning Tiles

Tiles are exceptionally easy to clean. You can use simple floor spray and use a dustpan and brush to keep the tiles clean and remove any spills on the tiles. Because tiles are made from very hard materials, such as stone, you can be very rigorous on them without worrying about causing any damage. You’ll just need to be careful that you don’t cause any scratches, especially not to any that are shiny.

What Rooms Suit Tiles?

Tiles are best suited to wet rooms, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Because of their resistance to water, they’re best suited to these rooms to provide a sturdy and safe flooring from any water.

Some homes have a ‘wet room’, where the floor is designed with a drain for any showering needs. This means that there is no shower basin, and the flooring is the base of the shower, angled to help drain water down to the drain. These rooms are often tiled, showing the reliability of times when it comes to water.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve discussed all the different types of flooring that are commonly used in a home and given some information that we hope will help you to make the right choice. We’ve specifically covered:

  • What the flooring is
  • How the flooring feels
  • How to install the flooring
  • How to clean the flooring
  • Which rooms are best suited to the flooring.

If you’re considering a new type of flooring for your home, this article will give you plenty of information to help you make an informed decision based on the maintenance requirements and functionality of the flooring.

We hope this comes in useful and we hope that you get the perfect flooring for your home!

Your driveway is the part of your home that leads to the house, guiding visitors and guests from the street to your front door. As it’s a place that many of us will step foot on several times a day, it’s important to make sure you get the right design that you’ll love every time you step foot on the driveway.

In this article, we’ve collated lots of different designs and information to help you to get the best out of your driveway.

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Whether you’re looking to spruce up your current driveway, or you’re looking to renovate and bring a whole new look and feel to your driveway, you’ll be able to fall in love with your home again every time you come home.

See below for some headings that we’re going to cover in this article!

Driveway Designs

If you’re looking to change the driveway leading up to your home, there are many different designs out there that you can choose from. It’s not easy to know what’s out there, and choosing the right choice for you is important to make sure you’re getting the right driveway to your home.

We’ve included some popular designs that people choose for their driveways below!

Concrete Driveway

A concrete driveway is a simple, yet effective style of driveway. The solid concrete will provide a continuous style for your home, giving you a uniform but good look to your driveway.

Concrete driveways offer the peace of mind in knowing that it’s going to last. There is little that you’ll need to do to keep it in good condition, apart from the occasional pressure wash to keep it looking like new. This is a reason that many people choose to go for a concrete driveway.

Paving Driveway

Paving stones are small pieces of concrete that are moulded into a particular shape, with varying shapes of paving stones being used to make up the driveway. These paving stones are designed to become a pattern when laid properly, giving a unique, modern and effective look and feel.

Paving is a popular choice for many because it looks professional, and often doesn’t cost too much to have installed. There are many different choices of colours to choose from to allow you to get the best out of your paving, making them a great choice for all types of homes.

When it comes to maintaining the driveway, there is a little more effort required than that of a concrete driveway, but it’s usually a couple of hours every six months or so, therefore a very small amount of effort required from the homeowner. Weeds can sometimes grow between the paving stones, and ants can nest in there. These are things to be on the lookout for and if you do spot them, simple weed or ant killer will help to do the job.

A great way to keep on top of this is by spreading sand across the driveway and brushing it in between the gaps with a hard brush. This will help to reinforce the paving stones to minimise the risk of anything growing up between the gaps.

Tarmac Driveway

Tarmac driveways are a popular choice for homeowners who want a nice looking driveway, with minimal maintenance requirements. A tarmac driveway is very similar to the roads we drive on each day, and therefore is reliable as a driveway to park your car on.

Tarmac is designed to be self-sufficient, being able to absorb water as well as being very resistant to weather. We see potholes on the roads from lots of cars passing over the roads at speed, so if you imagine just one car driving slowly over tarmac, it’s going to last.

Tarmac has very little maintenance when it comes to a driveway. Because tarmac is a substance designed to live through all weather conditions, you can be confident that it’s going to last.  

Brickwork Driveway

Brickwork driveways are similar to paving stones, except they’re comprised of bricks rather than paving stones. Because of this, they’re very similar in terms of maintenance when it comes to looking after your driveway, meaning there is little maintenance required to keep on top of the driveway.

Similarly to paving, there are many different styles of brickwork and many colours that are designed to suit all households. The difference that brickwork offers compared to paving stones is that brickwork is commonly uniform, using the same size of brick, whereas paving stones are often a mix of different sizes to create a more unique pattern.

With very similar maintenance requirements and a similar style, the choice is yours!

Gravel Driveway

A gravel driveway is essentially a layer of gravel in place of any concrete or paving stones. Gravel is a fantastic choice of driveway for many, due to the versatility and the minimal maintenance requirements.

Gravel comes in a wide range of colours to allow you to choose the right colour for your property. Because there are many different types of gravel out there, you could even mix two types of gravel to provide a unique looking gravel driveway.

Gravel requires very little maintenance once it has been laid. The only real concern for a gravel driveway is the risk of any weeds growing up through the gravel, which are very easy to deal with. As long as you’re on top of them, a gravel driveway shows minimal signs of ageing and wear.

Cobblestone Driveway

A cobblestone driveway is an older looking driveway, whilst still looking great. It uses a similar style to brickwork, but the stones aren’t smooth and each provides their own little bump. Cobblestone was originally designed for horses to pull carriages on before modern roads were invented, which is what makes a cobblestone driveway so great if you’re looking to bring an older look and feel to your home.

With a cobblestone driveway, you can expect similar maintenance to that of paving stones or brickwork the stones have a small gap between them, meaning that weeds or ants can sometimes grow in these gaps. Fortunately, this is very easy to resolve.

Cobblestone is a unique look for a driveway and definitely looks good on the right driveway. A cobblestone driveway will suit an older house to continue the older theme from the home to the driveway, as well as modern houses that are designed to look like older homes. Do be mindful that if you’re into cycling, a cobblestone driveway can make it a bumpy ride!

Driveway Themes

There are many different driveways out there, and a lot of them follow certain themes which is what gives them their characteristic look and feel. We’ll cover the different types of themes out there, focusing on the most common ones to give you some inspiration for your driveway. These themes are a rough guide and can be tailored to match your personal preferences. It’s your driveway after all!

See some driveway themes below:

Modern Driveway

A lot of us have driven past a house and immediately noticed the driveway and how it looks nice and modern. Achieving this look is relatively easy for you, and as it becomes more common it becomes more accessible for many.

The modern driveway look involves having a modern-looking driveway surface, such as paving stones or brickwork and surrounding this with modern plants. Modern plants are usually quite colourless, but add character and some flair to the driveway to make it stand out. Modern driveways are also very characteristic for their use of floor lighting.

Modern driveways are most recognised by the floor lighting, as it adds a touch of class and luxury to the driveway. As the floor surrounding the driveway is illuminated, it certainly catches the eye of someone looking at the driveway and looks great for a property.

To achieve this look, you’ll need to look at where you can put some planters for some modern-looking plants to live. You’ll also need to understand where you can put some lighting in, which will help modernise your driveway. If you’re looking to get it done professionally, explain this to them and they’ll be able to start drafting up some designs.

Colourful Driveway

A colourful driveway doesn’t mean painting the driveway, but rather surrounding the driveway with lots of plants. If you live in a country cottage and have a driveway that’s surrounded with plants, then this is the perfect style of the driveway for you.

For the surface of the driveway, you’ll want something simple like gravel or perhaps tarmac or concrete, but anything will do and look good. With this driveway, you’ll want to include lots of colourful plants and some big shrubs to almost overgrow onto the driveway, giving an embedded look to the driveway.

This type of driveway looks fantastic once it’s done, but can take a couple of years for the plants to grow to size. This type of driveway is best suited to secluded driveways, ones that have surrounding walls or bushes.

Rustic Driveway

This theme of driveway allows you to bring an older look to your driveway but still one that looks very appealing. By using paving stones and having a stone wall nearby, this helps to give the impression of an old-meets-modern driveway.

A rustic driveway is fantastic for a smaller cottage or a house that’s styled to look like it’s made out of larger stones. A lot of modern houses are designed to look like this, and therefore already have the stone wall look and feel to them so this continues that theme on to the driveway.

The paving stones are an important part, as the colour needs to match that of the house. It doesn’t have to be the same colour, but it does need to go with the colour of the house to provide a seamless and connected looking driveway to the house. The paving stones can then become part of the path around the side of the house, making a seamless transition from driveway to garden!

Mosaic Driveway

A mosaic theme is certainly an interesting one to look at, and if installed correctly, can look fantastic. The idea of a mosaic driveway is that paving stones are used to create the driveway, but a pattern isn’t always followed. With many sizes of stones used, the result looks very unique but if installed properly, looks fantastic.

Sometimes, a pattern can be made within the driveway to symbolise a shape or a picture. This can provide a unique look to your driveway and can resemble something you’d like, without the need for paint or anything that will make your driveway look worse in any way.

Along with the driveway, you can extend the theme to the decorative features and use large stones to continue the theme from the driveway to the surroundings. This gives a more 3D look to your driveway and continues the theme on nicely.

There are many different ways to achieve the mosaic theme, so it’s important to talk to a professional and understand the options that you have. Getting the right driveway for you and your home is important, which is why talking to a professional to understand an expert’s thoughts will help you.

Mixed Driveway

Your driveway is important to your home, as it incorporates a lot of the outdoor space leading to your house. A good driveway instantly improves the look of your home from the outside, which is why many people are eager to get the best driveway for their home.

With this said, we’ve discussed many different types of driveways and what makes them, but we haven’t shared how easy it is to combine different driveway styles to suit you!

Below are a couple of examples where you can mix two styles of driveway to get the perfect style for you.

Brickwork and Gravel – Brickwork is a fantastic way of providing your driveway with a border, and perhaps a few lines to break up the gravel section, leaving the gravel to fill the middle of the driveway. This helps to give a modern look and feel to your driveway, without having a high cost of a full brickwork driveway.

Brickwork and Tarmac – Similarly to brickwork and gravel, brickwork and tarmac provides your driveway with a modern look and feel, as well as being more affordable. Tarmac is easy to pour for the professionals, but a full tarmac driveway doesn’t have any distinctive features. By using a brickwork surrounding, this means that the tarmac is encased in bricks, providing your driveway with some character.

Paving Stones into a Path – If you have a side path around your home, you could look to get the paving stones for your driveway to follow to the path and even around into a patio. This provides a long continuous flowing style, which looks very appealing for many homeowners.

Paving Stones and Gravel – Paving stones are very similar to brickwork however they look slightly different and therefore more appealing to some than the brickwork style driveway. You can use paving stones to surround your driveway and then use gravel to fill the gaps in the middle.

Half and Half – Many people use gravel to ‘extend’ their driveway. Most homes have room for one car and a front garden; however, many homes have two cars nowadays. By adding a new section of the driveway with gravel, this adds room for a second car and a new section of driveway without continuing the original driveway. If the right colours are used, this can look very appealing to many.

Driveway Components

Your driveway can contain many types of components, allowing you to give some personality to your driveway. Perhaps these are things you can include in your current driveway, or things to consider if you’re getting a new driveway. Either way, the below may give you some inspiration on new things to include in your driveway!

Plants (Flowerbeds)

If you have a front garden, you may well have some room to include a flowerbed or two, especially along the side of your driveway. This is a fantastic way to add some colour to your driveway without a high cost to you, which is great!

To add some flowerbeds, think about where corners or gaps are that you could add some colour. These should be along the side of your driveway to still provide the full driveway space for your vehicle, whilst adding some colour.

Plants (Potted)

Potted plants are another great way to add some colour to your driveway without the need for taking up any space from your front garden. Potted plants are easily accessible, simply purchase some pots and get planting!

Potted plants are great as they add the same colour and look and feel as flowerbeds, but they give you the flexibility to be able to easily move them around your driveway if needed. If you’re finding that you’d prefer one to be in a different location, it’s easy to move them and make it happen.

Lighting

Lighting is a fantastic way of transforming a driveway into a modern-looking one. With lighting that leads along the driveway, it adds a modern touch to the driveway without the expensive cost of a new driveway. Lighting can be installed in two ways, either through a professional or through DIY light lighting.

Hiring a professional will include a rigorous installation and connection to your home’s power, allowing you to turn the lights on and off at the flick of a switch. As nice as this is, it means your driveway will need to be dug up and most likely replaced, so unless you’re replacing the driveway, the DIY method may be better.

To DIY some lighting for your driveway, there is a very easy way to do this. Solar lights! Solar lights have a battery in them and only activate once it gets dark enough, allowing your driveway to still benefit from the professional look of lighting installation without the costs of installing one. There are many types of solar lights, from ones that stick into the ground to ones you can hang on a fence. Either way, these are sure to give your driveway a bit of a renovation.

Colour

If your driveway is near a wall or a fence that’s yours, you might wish to consider painting this. A little bit of colour can change the look and feel of your driveway, and although the actual driveway itself hasn’t been changed, adding some colour around the driveway puts it in a new environment and can help to make the front of your house look appealing.

Decorative Features

Decorating is what a lot of people enjoy doing the most. Buying something you enjoy or like the looks of is a nice feeling, and having a reason to do so is even better.

Many different types of decorative features live outdoors, from gnomes and statues to water features. You won’t want to purchase anything like this to go on your driveway, but you may wish to purchase these things for the front of your house to give your driveway a little bit of character.  

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve talked all about driveways and the different designs that you can get for your driveway. We’ve covered the different types of driveway materials out there, helping you to understand what different types of driveway you can get for your home.

Outside of this, we’ve also discussed some themes of driveways and what makes these what they are. It’s important that if you’re going to renovate your driveway that you do the right theme for your home, which is where the themes will help you. This will at least help you to focus your design one way or another!

Afterwards, we talked about the final features for your driveway to help you add the finishing touches. These can be added at any point, so if you’re not looking to revamp and change your driveway just yet, you can still change the look and feel of your driveway.

We hope you’ve found this article useful, and we wish you the best of luck in renovating your driveway!

Looking for the best artificial grass is a daunting task. You want to be sure that you are making the right choice based on what your needs are and your budget.

This guide will give reasons as to why you may want to install artificial grass, the different types there are (along with their pros and cons), and how to choose the best artificial grass for you. This includes the different features to look out for that you may not have known about before. It is important to not only think about the aesthetics of the artificial grass but also the features that make up a high-quality lawn that performs well and ticks all of your boxes.

Contents

All of this information will help you so that you can make the most informed decision possible and find the best artificial grass for you

Why Install Artificial Grass?

Having a perfect, natural garden is a lot of hard work that takes time to keep it looking fresh and neat. Not only to they need mowing but they also need to be routinely fed and watered and can grow weeds and moss which also takes time to remove. After all of that the grass still may not respond well, leaving you with an untidy looking garden and feeling fed-up.

This is where artificial grass comes in, with brilliant results that require little effort on your part.

  • Low maintenance

You do not need to mow, weed, water or feed your artificial grass. Once installed it requires little maintenance as the grass does not need to grow, does not die and stays the same vibrant colour. It may require a brush every now and then to remove any debris from trees or that has been blown in by the wind but overall, artificial grass doesn’t require much care.

When you have chosen the type that you want, you can guarantee that it’s going to look and feel exactly how you want. This means that instead of constantly looking after your grass, you can actually enjoy your garden.

  • Saves you money

Even though the initial cost of installing your artificial grass may seem like a big investment, in the long run it can save you money. This is because you do not need to spend on the countless items and products that come with maintaining a healthy, natural garden including fertilisers, pesticides, lawnmowers, shears, hoses, rakes, weed killers, and grass feed.

You can also save money on your water bills as you do not need to worry about watering the grass. Another benefit to this is that it is also better for the environment as you are reducing your water usage, especially in the summer months.

Finding the best artificial grass makes for a far more cost effective garden overall as it will last longer and does not cost you in all the small and regular expenses that natural grass requires.

  • Hard-wearing and durable

Come rain or shine artificial grass is not affected by the weather. In comparison to natural grass which will dry up and go brown in the sun or become waterlogged in rainy conditions, artificial grass is made to last.

Artificial grass is dig-proof for animals, is stain and fade resistant. All of these benefits is something that you would not get with natural grass, meaning that artificial grass is the best option for if you need a durable and hard-wearing garden or lawn.

  • A wide variety of options

We will be going into more detail about the options of artificial grass that there are but for now all you need to know is that there are different colours, lengths, textures, and design options. This means that you can research and decide on the best artificial grass for you and what you want the end result to look like.

Because of the wide variety of options you can choose what suits the shape of the area that you are looking to cover, for example artificial grass is perfect if you want to cover a roof terrace, decking areas and balconies.

  • Easy to clean

You can remove any debris from your artificial grass easily using a leaf blower, brush, or rake so that it can always look pristine and clean. If it does get dirty you can easily clean it too. There are special cleaners that you can buy that are made for artificial grass or you can use a mild detergent and a brush.

You do have to be careful when using a homemade cleaner or one that is not specially labelled for artificial grass. This is because the formulas for artificial grass cleaners usually are child and pet friendly and free from dangerous chemicals that could hurt you and your family but also could damage your grass.

Types of Artificial Grass

What we mean when we say the ‘types’ of artificial grass is the main material that the fibres are made from. There are different types of artificial grass to suit the different needs of the buyer. For example, if you are on a budget or if you are willing to spend as an investment, or if you have pets or children.

Artificial grass is made from synthetic fibres that are stitched to a primary and secondary backing. The choice of the core material is three different plastics: polypropene, polyethylene and nylon. We are going to start by giving you more information of nylon and why it could be the best artificial grass choice for you.

Types of Artificial Grass

Nylon Artificial Grass

Pros

Nylon artificial grass is the most resilient of the three plastic fibres. This is because nylon has the highest melting point meaning that during the hot summer months, the fibres in the other plastics can become more pliable compared to nylon which will stay strong.

Poor resilience in artificial grass can lead to the lawn losing its ability to spring back after it has been walked over or after any furniture is moved after being on top of it for a long time. As upright fibres are what gives artificial grass a more realistic look, you want to make sure that the grass you are purchasing can withstand all the foot traffic that may be going over it otherwise it will look flat and unrealistic.

Nylon is also a strong plastic fibre. Because of its strength it is used to make all sorts of products from fishing lines to carpets and rugs. This is what makes it a superior material for artificial grass. It can outlast and outperform other plastic fibres because it can withstand heavy usage.

Another benefit to nylon artificial grass is that it is more environmentally friendly. Many companies offer to recycle your artificial grass, however there are some instances where they end up at landfill. Nylon has a long lifespan, meaning that you will need to replace and throw away your old grass less than if you were using a different material.

As nylon fibres are more resilient and stronger than the other options, choosing nylon will save you money in the long run as you will not have to replace your grass regularly meaning that this investment will save you money in the future.

Cons

We have said that choosing nylon can save you money in the long run, however, It should be noted that nylon is the most expensive option for artificial grass, however if you are going to get a lot of use out of it then it is worth the spend. This is because polypropylene and polyethylene do not last as long if you are using the grass often because their appearance and performance will deteriorate over time.

Because nylon is hard-wearing, it does not have the same softness as the other materials which may be what you are looking for when thinking about artificial grass that looks and feels real.

Why Use Nylon?

Because it is so strong, you should consider a nylon plastic fibre for your artificial grass if you have a family or pets and you use your garden a lot. It will last longer than any other type of artificial grass because it is strong and resilient. We all know that a garden that is used a lot needs to be resilient whether that be because of the swing sets and slides sitting there for years or because of a new puppy running around, a family friendly garden needs to withstand all sorts of situations.

Nylon is also a good choice if you are looking to purchase the best artificial grass for a school, playground or for areas of public use. Because nylon is strong, it will be able to withstand the weight of a playhouse, pet kennels, garden furniture and more so it is the smartest choice if you want to maintain the look of the grass so that it looks real even after items have been placed over it.

Polyethylene Artificial Grass


Pros

An aesthetic benefit to polyethylene artificial grass is that it is a realistic looking material. It is the most popular choice for those who want to reap the benefits of artificial grass without sacrificing the look of their garden or lawn. It has a vibrant green colour and is soft to the touch and is still resilient.

Polyethylene is not as resilient as nylon, however, it is more resilient than polypropylene so it is a good middle ground if you do not want to spend as much as nylon aesthetic grass but you still want a good quality option.

Another benefit to using polyethylene artificial grass is that it has a lower static charge than polypropylene, meaning it attracts less dirt and dust which for you means that it requires less cleaning than other materials would.


Cons

As polyethylene is not as strong as other materials such as nylon, then there may be an issue with the grass not springing back after time from being trodden on over and over again. The general rule is that softer fibres are weaker meaning that if you want to use a soft material, there is a higher change that you will have to replace your grass more frequently than if you were using a stronger material.

Even though polyethylene is not as expensive as the nylon artificial grass, it may cost more in the future. This is because, as just mentioned, polyethylene is weaker than other materials so if it is used too much then it will deteriorate. This means that it will need to be replaced which is not only a bad thing for your wallet but also for the environment as if it can’t be recycled then it will end up at landfill.

Why Use Polyethylene?

Polyethylene may be the best artificial grass for you if you have a garden that is not used too often as it lasts well when there is not large amount of foot traffic or furniture being placed on it. 

It may be the right choice for you if you are looking to put grass down on an athletic field as when it is combined with nylon as a secondary thatch then it has the vibrant colour, is soft to the touch but is also quite resilient.

Polypropylene Artificial Grass


Pros

Polypropylene is considered as the most realistic looking artificial grass because it has the finest fibres. This option is good for those on a budget as it is the least expensive type of artificial grass. Because it is the least expensive, however, there are a fair number of reasons that show why it is inexpensive.

Cons

Polypropylene has a considerably lower quality than it’s counterparts. This is because it is the least strong and resilient material, meaning that if it is walked over or if furniture is placed over it then the grass will not spring back and therefore not look as realistic anymore.

Because of the lower quality, polypropylene is more likely to be damaged by UV rays which makes it even more susceptible to breakages. This can mean that your grass will need to be replaced more frequently than the artificial grass made from other materials which will cost you money and time to fix it.

This process, as mentioned, is also damaging to the environment due to the amount of used artificial grass that will need to be thrown away if it is unable to be recycled.

Why Use Polypropylene?

Because polypropylene is the cheapest option, then it is perfect to use for creative indoor or outdoor projects whether that be a DIY or a school project. This is because for small projects that mean the grass is not being used on a garden or lawn, it makes more sense economically to save money and buy the cheaper option.

Another use for polypropylene artificial grass is if you need to put a small area of grass on a balcony or rooftop to add some greenery to the area. Again, this is because if you are looking for grass that does not need to be trodden on and that will look realistic, then polypropylene could be the best artificial grass option for you!


A final use is for home putting greens where the buyer desires realistic looking grass with a vibrant colour that is soft so they can hit their balls nice and neatly.

How to Choose the Best Quality Artificial Grass

There are different considerations to think about when deciding on the best artificial grass for you and your needs. Here we are going to list some factors to think about when comparing different artificial grass options in order to find the best. You should obviously think about the type of material you want, as explained above so we are going to talk about the other factors that you should consider.

Testing for Harmful Substances

In the past, there were instances where harmful substances were used in artificial grass which is obviously not healthy for you, your family, your pets and the environment. To make sure that your grass is safe to use, good advice is to check if the grass has been manufactured in Europe.

This is because the regulations ensuring safety in the EU are specific on what is acceptable and what is not. In order to comply with these regulations, artificial grass in Europe has to be analysed for harmful substances. Therefore, to know that your grass is safe, you need to check where it has been manufactured and if it has been assessed.

Is it Fire-Resistant?

It is important to check with the artificial grass’ manufacturer that the grass is fire resistant as you want to be reassured that any fire is not likely to spread and be made worse because of your garden or lawn.


There are also regulations of the fire-resistance of all flooring products, meaning that checking to see if the manufacturer complies with the regulations could save you later on in the unfortunate event of a fire.

Warranty

The longer the warranty, the better the product. To give you peace of mind that you have protection against factors that you cannot control such as fibre loss or UV damage it is important to check the small print of the warranty.

Be aware though, warranty will not cover improper use or failure to maintain your artificial grass, so you need to make sure that you are looking after it (even though artificial grass does require little maintenance!).

Special Technologies

Due to the increase in popularity of artificial grass and increase in research, there are new technologies that you can think about so that you can buy the best artificial grass for you.

Instant recovery technologyis when the artificial grass has been made with nylon fibres so that the grass will recover from any weight that has been placed on top of it and bounce back to its original condition. This is for if you want your grass to stay looking realistic for long amounts of time.

Feelgood technologyis all about how the artificial grass feels temperature wise. During hot summers, artificial grass can easily become hot to the touch. Feelgood technology was developed to keep the grass cool by reflecting the air back into the atmosphere rather than absorbing it.

Depending on the lighting conditions and the angle that the grass is being seen from, artificial grass can look smooth and polished and not very realistic. Natural look technologywas developed to minimise the glare that artificial grass can have due to it being made from synthetic materials.

Pile Height and Density

The pile height of your grass is the length of each fibre from the backing to the tip of the grass. This is personal preference as some people will want their feet to sink into their grass in the back garden but others will want a short length so they can tee off their golf ball.

In terms of density, the greater the number, the lusher the grass will look. The look that you want to go for is again personal preference, however it is recommended that higher use areas have a higher density and ornamental areas have a lower density.

Colour

When you think of artificial grass you may have a picture of a fake-looking dark green in your mind but this is not the case! Much like natural grass, there are many different shades that artificial grass comes in meaning that you can choose what looks best for your tastes.

A tip is to think about the light exposure that the grass will have depending on where it is put. This is because different light levels may affect how the grass looks, in sunny areas the grass will look brighter than in shaded areas or inside.

Conclusion

As you can tell by all of this information, finding the best artificial grass comes down to personal preference depending on what you are looking for, how much you want to spend, where you want the grass to be and what you want it to look like.

You can also tell the importance of research as it will be hard to make an informed decision without assessing your needs against what each type of artificial grass can offer you. Reading this article is a good step towards your purchase as hopefully now you have the information necessary to start looking at manufacturers and the types of artificial grass that they offer.

Introduction

This article will explain the different types of guttering that are currently available, and examine the benefits, and any downfalls of each different type.

Contents

You may not be aware of how vital the guttering on your property is and just treat it as an extension of your roof and something that you needn’t be concerned about. Gutters are often overlooked by property owners because they are one of those things that just function on their own and get on with their role, making it easy to forget that they need to be regularly maintained.

The exact opposite is actually true, and your guttering is essential to the longevity of your property, and at in a worst case scenario failing guttering can significantly damage the structural integrity of your property and undermine walls and foundations. The good news however is that repairs to your property’s guttering can be relatively cheap, and apart from having to work at heights, a relatively easy task for the average DIY enthusiast.

Why do we Need Guttering?

Before we look at the different types of guttering available it is worth considering why our property actually needs to have gutters. Gutters have one job and one job only, to divert water away from your property. This water is channelled through downpipes where it exits away from your home. It can also channel water into a tank or barrel for garden use during dry weather.

The most important tasks that your gutters perform on your property are to prevent erosion and to protect the foundations of your home, a pretty major responsibility for a very over looked building component. The foundations of your property can become damaged by non-functioning or bad guttering, a constant flow of water can cause cracks to start to form.

Guttering systems that are not well maintained can cause water to run underneath your roof tiles, potentially causing significant roof damage. Additionally, your gutters will prevent staining to the exterior of your home, potential damage to any rendering or paint, and will prevent the growth of mildew and mould.

If your property has a cellar or basement then this can also be liable to flood if your guttering is not functioning correctly.

So, for these reasons the installation of gutters is essential, and it cannot be underestimated how important a good, functional guttering system is to your property.

Although on the positive side, guttering isn’t usually very expensive. To some degree it depends on the materials used to make the gutters – whether you go for aluminium, copper, or uPVC. Each material has its pros and cons, so it is important to choose which one is best suited for your home from the wide range of guttering types that are available.

What are the Different Types of Guttering Available

When it comes to choosing guttering there are two main factors that need to be considered, profile and materials. The profile refers to the shape of the cross section of the guttering and the material is pretty much self-explanatory!! We will look at the various options within these factors and this should help you identify the different types of guttering available. This will allow you to identify what you currently have on your property and leave you fully informed if you need to repair or replace any part of your guttering.

Always ensure that your guttering has a guarantee and is constructed to the relevant British Standard.

Additional consideration is required if you live in a terraced or semi-detached property as at some point your neighbours guttering will join yours. This does not have to unduly restrict your choices but it should be considered. The majority of guttering systems can incorporate adaptors that enable you to join onto different systems but you have to be aware of the profile, and sometimes the manufacturer of your neighbours’ system.

Guttering Materials

Your first choice is quite simple, whether to go for plastic or metal. Plastic is by far the most popular and easiest to install, as well as being the cheapest but metal does give you far more scope in terms of the shape and colour options available.

Your choice of guttering materials also needs you to consider three core factors. These are the location of your property, the type of property and the look and style that you wish to achieve from your guttering. There are many different types of guttering available giving you a wide choice that should suit all of your needs.

Plastic / uPVC (Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride) Guttering

For a low cost and reliable guttering system plastic is an excellent choice. A plastic guttering system is easy to install, and can withstand extreme weather conditions and temperature fluctuations without showing any external signs of wear. It is also an excellent choice if you are in area of high rainfall, basically, anywhere in this country !!, as plastic guttering is excellent at handling high volumes of water. 

It is worth noting that nearly all plastic guttering systems come in 4 colours, black, brown, grey and white. Colour is obviously a personal choice but do consider how your property looks from the kerb. Is there an obvious colour scheme or feel? It goes without saying that if your house has the fascias, doors and windows all finished in teak then you should be strongly considering brown rather than white.

Plastic Guttering Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Plastic guttering can be used for commercial, industrial and domestic properties
  • This is a very economical product
  • Plastic guttering is extremely lightweight
  • Very durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions throughout the year
  • Various colours are available
  • Post installation no painting is ever required
  • Plastic guttering is produced in one continuous run so there are no seams or weak points
  • This product will show less scratches, marks or dents
  • Totally water resistant so should not freeze or corrode
  • Plastic guttering is highly flexible so should not lose shape when accumulations of snow, ice and debris gather
Cons
  • Plastic guttering does unfortunately tend to get brittle over the years through exposure to sunlight and extreme weather
  • Plastic guttering can sometimes crack if pressure is placed upon it if there is any brittleness present

Steel Guttering

If you are looking for a low maintenance guttering system that is both ecologically friendly and easy to install then you should strongly consider steel guttering. Steel guttering is fully coated on both the inside and outside by a strengthened magnesium zinc alloy that has excellent anti erosion properties. There is also an additional top coat which provides a scratch resistant finish, something that is worthy of consideration if you are in a coastal environment.

Steel Guttering Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Steel guttering is very durable and should not dent under usual conditions
  • This product will not crack when exposed to heat
  • Seamless runs are available which are less likely to leak.
  • Steel guttering can be painted in whatever colour you choose.
  • These gutters should last for at least 20 years
Cons
  • Steel guttering will expand and contract when exposed to extreme cold and heat
  • Additional regular maintenance is required
  • Higher initial purchase costs
  • Available in a smaller range of styles and colours
  • Can be susceptible to rust if not regularly maintained
  • Plastic guttering can be more expensive, and more difficult to install
  • Less widely available than other different types of guttering

Aluminium Guttering

Aluminium guttering is a popular choice due to its low strength and relatively high strength. Additionally, it is also fully weatherproof and highly durable. Because of these properties it will maintain optimal performance over its lifetime providing excellent value for money. It can also be very appealing visually and can be purchased in a wide range of colours.

Aluminium Guttering Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Aluminium guttering is very strong and durable and should withstand most weather conditions
  • This product is totally corrosion resistant, no issues about rust, ever !
  • Minimal maintenance is required
  • Available in numerous styles and colours
  • Approximately 65 percent lighter than comparable products constructed in steel or iron
  • Ecologically friendly compared to uPVC
Cons
  • More expensive than some alternatives
  • Aluminium guttering may crack or split when exposed to quick, extreme temperature changes
  • Can be susceptible to leaks around joints
  • Aluminium can be very easily dented

Cast Iron Guttering

If correctly installed cast iron guttering can last over one hundred years, it provides a long life, low maintenance option and is also one hundred percent recyclable making it an excellent ecologically friendly choice.

Cast Iron Guttering Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Cast iron guttering is excellent at handling temperature changes
  • This product is almost impervious to UV light exposure damage
  • Totally recyclable
Cons
  • Traditionally created iron guttering is extremely heavy and can damage walls if they are not strong enough to support the guttering
  • Very difficult to install due to its weight
  • Will rust over time, which can cause leaks through loose joints and holes
  • Cast Iron guttering can bend or distort under pressure

Copper guttering

If you are looking for a stylish finish to your property’s guttering then copper guttering could be your answer. Copper will adjust to the environment and develop an attractive patina and ensure durability and resistance to corrosion in all but the most extreme weather conditions. Moreover, the inherent qualities of copper minimise the growth of lichen and moss which in turn reduce the need for additional cleaning and maintenance.

Copper Guttering Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Copper guttering will last for many years as it can withstand all elements, snow, ice and heat
  • Very efficient as should never need replacing
  • More aesthetically pleasing than other different types of guttering
  • No sagging if correctly installed
  • This product requires minimal maintenance apart from cleaning regularly
Cons
  • Copper guttering can cost many times more than alternative materials
  • Requires a complex installation and is far more labour intensive, this is not an easy installation for the average DIY enthusiast 

Guttering Profiles

When considering the most suitable profile it comes down to one of four choices, each of which have their own qualities, this and their other properties are detailed below. Some are designed purely for efficiency whilst others have been designed with slightly more focus on replication traditional styles, or creating a contemporary look.

If your roof is a standard size and not particularly large or steep, then half round or box guttering will work just fine. If your roof pitch is steeper than normal or if you have a larger property then you may wish to consider either deep flow or ogee which both have larger flow capacities and can subsequently deal with a greater amount of rainwater.

Half Round Gutters

Half round guttering is probably one of the most popular guttering profiles that is available. This design is as simplistic as the name suggests, a half round gutter is a half cylinder, with the open side facing skywards. This profile is ideally suited to both traditional and more contemporary properties due to the fact that they provide a simple, uniform profile with smooth curves. This helps the rainwater to run more smoothly down and into the middle of the gutter channel and away from your property. When considering a downpipe, a half round gutter looks much better with a circular downpipe.

Pros and Cons of a Half Round Gutter Profile

Pros
  • There are no angles in these gutter channels allowing a smooth run through of water, debris should not get caught up and clog the gutters
  • This profile is a lot easier to clean than more complicated designs
  • This profile has a very attractive look, especially when fitted to newer properties
Cons
  • With the exception of uPVC this profile is usually heavier than other different types of guttering
  • This design can be more expensive
  • Water channelling capacities are significantly lower than other profiles
  • This profile does come with some installation difficulties and dedicated fixtures are required

Ogee Gutters

This is certainly the most uniquely named guttering profile, this name originates from a design of guttering that was popular in the Victorian era and was referred to as ‘Old Gothic’, this was abbreviated to ‘OG’ and the rest is obvious!! This design contains several curves in it’s profile and therefore, is sometimes described as an S curve. Because this gutter profile has been designed to replicate the gutters from the Victorian era this profile is ideally suited to period and traditional buildings, but it can also be used to add an air of tradition to more modern properties. When considering a downpipe an ogee gutter can be paired with either a square or circular downpipe.

Pros and Cons of an Ogee Gutter Profile

Pros
  • This profile holds considerably more water than other guttering profiles
  • One of the most attractive gutter designs available
  • Available in many materials
  • Ogee gutters can be easier to install than other profiles, installation cases should be less
  • Minimal maintenance required
  • Also available as a seamless option
Cons
  • This profile can be considerably more difficult to clean than square or half round gutters

Deep Gutters

The deep style gutters are specifically designed for areas that have a higher than average level of rainfall. These are extremely similar to half round gutters but have a deeper channel, enabling more water to be held within the guttering system itself. This design comes into its own when looking at either domestic buildings in high rainfall areas or when considering guttering for properties with a large roof area. When considering a downpipe a deep gutter looks much better with a circular downpipe.

Pros and Cons of a Deep Gutter Profile

Pros
  • This profile is capable of handling very high water volumes, this makes them ideal for properties in areas of heavy rainfall
  • Deep gutters can be manufactured in several types of material
Cons
  • The larger size of this profile can make installation quite challenging, with a corresponding increase in installation costs

Box Gutters

This particular style of guttering profile is also often referred to as a trough gutter or square gutter. Their design is extremely simple, and as the name suggests, just a three sided rectangular channel. Because of this angular, straighter and slightly harder design they are ideal when considering guttering solutions for projects that already contain angular features, for example, contemporary styled apartments and buildings. The design of a box gutter means that they have the largest capacity of all the different types of guttering available and can therefore be used in areas of high rainfall, or with large roof areas with no issues whatsoever. When considering a downpipe an ogee gutter can be paired with either a square or circular downpipe.

Pros and Cons of a Box Gutter Profile

Pros
  • These tend to be quite durable and relatively easy to maintain and repair. If correctly cared for they should last well
  • The appearance of box gutters allows them to blend well into most homes as they are designed to fit into the bottom section of the eaves or roof
Cons
  • Some box gutters are constructed with a wooden base, which is then lined metal. Over time this wood may warp and affect the structural integrity, and performance of the guttering
  • Because these gutters are usually manufactured from coated steel they require painting upon installation and every few years thereafter

Conclusion

If you have got to this point then you should now be extremely well informed about the different types of guttering available and also be in a better position to know exactly what you need to purchase to repair or renovate your existing guttering system. You will be fully aware of the importance attached to the previously unknown profiles and materials used in guttering and should be able to make a well informed decision.

With this newfound knowledge you will now be more aware of the role that a previously ignored piece of plastic, or metal pipe can play in maintaining the structural integrity of your property as well as the aesthetic improvements it can provide. It is admittedly very difficult to become passionate about guttering systems but hopefully you will have a newfound respect for this essential, yet highly underrated component of your property.

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Valingo Landscapes have grown into a full scale Professional Landscaping company over more then a decade. Today, we take pride in the level of Service we deliver.


Frequently Asked Questions?

When you look over your garden or look over a field, you’ll typically see a lot of grass spanning your view. This is very typical for most outdoor areas but isn’t always the most appealing.

Landscaping takes that land and helps to transform it into the owner’s dream. Whether that’s decking for a nice patio, fencing to portion off parts of the land or whatever it may be, that’s how landscaping can transform an area of land. That’s where our skills come into play.

With many years of expertise and knowledge in landscaping, we know how to take the land that you’ve got and your vision of how you’d like it to look and turn that into a reality. We’ll work closely with you to create a plan of action and provide some thoughts based on your ideas, then we’ll action those once you’re happy.

Your land is important to you, and we understand that you’ll want to make the most of it. Let us help you today!

When choosing a landscaping company, it’s vital to find a company that matches your passion and enthusiasm for the project. We know that you’ll have some great ideas and you’ll be looking to transform your land, and we want to help make that happen!

Absolutely. With many happy customers, we’ve been able to use our skills to provide great benefits to many customers and help them achieve the outdoor landscaping space they’ve been dreaming of for quite some time.

The price isn’t straight forward with us, and for good reason. We dedicate our pricing to being as competitive as we can, without compromising on the job quality. We’ll price up and quote every job separately to ensure we’re as competitive as we can be.

If you’d like to learn more about our services, or you’d like to use our services, contact us today. We’ll be more than happy to help with and your projects!

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