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Choosing the right paving for your dream garden really matters – you’re going to live with it for a long time. A well-designed and installed garden patio can transform a dull outdoor space into a relaxing place that’s a joy to look at and to use.

Choosing the right garden paving for your garden patio can be a challenge as there is so much choice in different price ranges. Here are some design pointers to help generate ideas for your next project:

Think about your garden paving will be used

Firstly, how much traffic and weight will the slabs have to tolerate, and who or what will it be used by?

Let’s say you’re installing a patio because you want it to be a nice visual addition to the garden. You love the characteristics of natural stone slabs, and you see yourself sitting on your patio in the sun with a glass of wine in hand. In this case, you’re going to be drawn to the slates, limestones and sandstones in our range.

If you think your garden paving will be enduring constant footfall due to children or animals, consider slip resistance and levels of maintenance. Certain slabs like Saxon or Organza have textured surfaces that are very family-friendly.

Choose paving slabs to match your garden style

Performance is important, but so is appearance. Consider how your garden paving will coordinate with the style of your house. Do you have existing garden walls that create a certain look? Does your home have a traditional or contemporary feel? Do you prefer a natural, rustic look or a chic, modern look with sawn-faced stone?

Vintage Manor Setts, Vintage Stone Raven Paving or Wooden Sleepers, for example, are some terrific traditional paving slabs that give a wonderful rustic appeal to your garden. For a more modern look, however, choosing Avant Garde Stone Paving or Gravity Vitrified Paving gives your garden a chic and contemporary look.

If your garden already has strong colour themes created by painted garden furniture and planting schemes, it may be wise to go for the more subtle tones of Dorian Natural Limestone. On the other hand, if you think it could do with an artistic touch, Indian Sandstone in a variation of colours could be just the ticket — especially with a stunning Indian Sandstone Circle, as seen below.

Colour, or neutral and natural?

Think about how to combine stone slabs with the existing features of your garden as many of us like subtle tones and neutral, natural colours. You can create a really unique and dramatic garden setting with tough, high-specification concrete slabs.

Consider the most appropriate colour for your garden paving usage. Kids or animals are going to make light slabs hard to keep clean. Silver or Grey coloured slabs will give you some maintenance challenges if they’re going to see a lot of activity, but they will look stunning and more spacious if your household is quiet and less prone to mess.

Invest in landscaping and increase the value of your home

Ultimately, I doubt you are going to be working with an infinite pot of gold for this so cost is another inevitable factor to take into account. It’s likely already at the forefront of your mind and rightfully so! However, if you’re choosing between paving that you love and paving that you like, at slightly different costs, choosing the higher-quality stone will always be the right decision. Remember, only 20% of the project costs go on paving; by far the larger expenses are ground preparation and installation.

Going for quality stone is undoubtedly going to be more cost-effective in the long run. Potential house buyers will appreciate higher quality landscaping wherever it is found, so the standard of your paving can have a significant impact on the value of your home.


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In Britain, people typically switch their central heating on in October and use it daily until March or April. This coincides with the clocks going back, the drop in temperature and Winter Fuel Payments – to anyone who receives the state pension.

Recent figures show that nearly 2.5m households in the UK are in fuel poverty – which basically means that over 10% of British homes cannot afford to keep warm. While the scale of this problem is significant, not all the solutions need to be complex and costly. So here are just a few simple tips for keeping your home warm for little or no extra cost!

  1. Use your curtains

Heat from the sun is free so make the most of it. Open your curtains and let the sunlight in during the day to make use of this free heat. When it gets dark, shut your curtains, which act as another layer of insulation and keep warmth in your rooms. You should also make sure you don’t have any leaks or gaps so that the warm air can stay in and the cold air stays out – this also helps to reduce condensation.

  1. Move your sofa

It might feel great to have your favourite seat in front of the radiator, but it’s absorbing heat that could be warming your home. By moving it away from the radiator, hot air can circulate freely. The same goes for your curtains or drying clothes – keep them away from the radiator so that you can get the most out of your heat source.

  1. Maximise your insulation

When it comes to heat, around 25% is lost through the roof. This can be easily reduced by installing 25cm of insulation throughout your loft. It’s also worth seeing what’s going on in your walls, as around a third of the heat in an uninsulated home is lost this way. It is not particularly cheap to install, compared with loft insulation, but cavity wall insulation could save up to £160 a year in heating bills. It’s also worth checking with your energy supplier to see if they have any insulation schemes running.

  1. Block out the draughts

Even a simple solution such as a making your own sausage dog draught excluder will help keep the warmth in your home. Professionals estimate that DIY draught-proofing your doors, windows and cracks in the floor could save around £25 per year. Self-adhesive rubber seals around doors and windows and door draught excluders are relatively cheap and easy to install.

  1. Install thermostatic radiator valves

Research at the University of Salford has shown that installing heating controls and thermostatic radiator valves results in energy savings of 40% compared to a house with no controls. These work by allowing you to programme your heating to come on at set times – so you only use energy when you need it. New smart thermostats can also be controlled remotely via your mobile so you can turn on your heating on the way home, ensuring it’s nice and toasty when you arrive.

  1. Reflect the heat

Finally, radiator panels are relatively cheap, easy to install and ensure that heat from your radiators warms up your room and not your walls. They work by reflecting the heat directly back into the room.


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Unique Building Services (UBS) LTD
Brunel House
Brunel Road
Middlesbrough
TS6 6JA