CD Designs Blog
There are a lot of things to consider when you’re planning home improvements, especially if it’s a relatively big project. After you’ve come up with some design ideas and researched contractors, you need to put some thought into issues like planning permission.
Since 2008, projects like installing a new driveway have been considered as – usually – exempt from requiring planning permission. However, there may be issues you’re not aware of related to the classification of your property, or concerning exactly what dimensions your driveway can take up. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and you should make sure that you’re 100% clear about any such conditions affecting your property.
There’s some general information on this website. If you need more information on planning permission specific to your local area, you’ll need to contact your local council’s planning department. It’s more than likely that it won’t be an issue, but there could be some unfortunate repercussions if you go ahead with a project that later turns out to be illegal.
This online planning portal should help you find out what planning restrictions might apply to you. Remember that planning permission applications cost, and that this fee should be taken into consideration when you’re adding up the overall expense of the project.
26th February 2010
Basements and cellars are fantastic places; as well as a generous amount of storage space, they can also give you an extra room or two, if you’re serious about making the most out of them. But for all their benefits, there’s a drawback: the lack of natural light.
If you’ve got a basement or cellar that extends further than the footprint of the ground floor of your property, there’s a solution to this problem. Pavement lights – grids of glass squares in iron or concrete frames – are a reasonably common sight on some of the UK’s streets, and they’re designed to allow natural light into underground spaces.
The frames were traditionally made of iron, but modern pavement light frames are made from concrete. Concrete’s strength makes pavement lights safer than ever, and reinforced pavement lights are available for areas which will experience heavy traffic. This makes pavement lights ideal for both commercial and domestic customers.
Pavement lights can be installed along with smoke outlet panels in order to increase the available ventilation to the underground space beneath in case of a fire. Smoke outlets can be overlaid with a surface that matches the area surrounding them.
Because of the nature of the pattern imprinted concrete driveway installation process, pavement lights and smoke outlet panels could easily be installed simultaneously with your driveway. It’s a chance to solve two problems at once; resurfacing your driveway area, and dealing with the perennial problem of lighting cellars and basements.
25th February 2010
Block paving can be ruined by unsightly weeds, moss and algae. These three organic nuisances work together to compromise the appearance and structure of block paved paths and driveways. Algae can break down the surface of the stones, and this allows moss to grow as well. Weeds can take seed in the moss and algae and flourish.
Most areas of block paving are installed on top of a weed resistant membrane. Whilst this is effective at stopping weeds growing up from beneath the paving, it can’t stop wind-blown weed seeds from landing and taking root. Weed killer can deal help to deal with the problem, but it may require numerous applications. Weed killer can also have a detrimental effect on the food-chain of insects and birds on and around your property.
Because of the nature of concrete driveways – in that they’re by and large one complete surface, without the amount of cracks and gaps that mosses and weeds exploit in block paving – they’re less affected by mosses and weeds. However, the UK is a damp nation, and exterior surfaces will usually end up being affected by algae or lichens. Indeed, no path or driveway surface will be completely free of them, but it’s easy to keep the problem in check.
For both block paving and concrete, prevention is better than cure. Algae can be removed by regularly cleaning the surface with a brush or power-washer. If you’ve got no objection to using chemical weed-killers, the occasional pre-emptive application should stop them before they’ve really had a chance to get going, but you should check to make sure that the active compound in your weed killer won’t adversely affect your concrete.
24th February 2010
Sharing your driveway with a neighbour can sometimes be a difficult prospect. It requires both of you to be considerate in the way in which you park your vehicles, and to respect each other’s boundaries – both in the personal and legal sense. Happily, most people come to an amicable agreement and completely avoid rubbing each other up the wrong way.
But problems can arise if and when the driveway needs to be up-dated. Shared driveways need to be tidy and well maintained – it’s the easiest way to avoid friction. Neighbours who share a drive might find themselves stuck at an impasse when considering resurfacing their drive, especially if they’ve got differing ideas. And, of course, cost is a factor.
CD Designs are confident that we can provide a driveway that’ll match both of your specifications. Pattern imprinted concrete drives offer a massive amount of flexibility in design. And they’re quickly installed as well, meaning the minimum of disruption to all concerned. Our more-than-reasonable prices mean that, with a little bit of planning, you should be able to come up with a solution that pleases everyone, at a price that pleases everyone as well.
If there’s no way you’ll ever agree on one pattern and colour combination, you could even have a driveway installed which is designed to clearly mark the property boundaries or the dividing line between car-spaces. This would be easily achievable using two differing imprinted patterns, or two separate colours of concrete.
23rd February 2010
Part of the wonder of art is that it makes us look at everyday things in a different way. It can do this through presenting us with new angles of looking at things, or by using a material in a way in which it hasn’t previously been used.
Coloured concrete in art is a fine example of this. Concrete is one of the most commonly used man-made substances on the planet; it’s such a common sight that we hardly notice it any more. Which is, presumably, why it’s starting to become a widely used material in art; artists get a chance to really work with something new, whilst benefitting from concrete’s remarkable attributes as a construction material.
This artist uses coloured concrete over steel armatures to create his tables and other sculptural pieces. His work shows that concrete’s flexibility and workability make it an ideal substance for those interested in three-dimensional art. His pieces are also a testament to how attractive coloured and polished concrete can appear.
Over on this website, there are some fine examples of combining art with the utilitarian. The intriguing detailed concrete floors photographed show how construction-grade hard surfaces can benefit from a little artistic flair. It’s modern and sophisticated interior design utilising the best material for the job; concrete.
22nd February 2010