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Permeable Pavers

Permeable pavers are interlocking pavers that have joints between them that are filled with small stones. Because of the space in the joints between the interlocking pavers, water enters this space and flows through to a base of crushed stone layers and then into the soil below. As a result the stones in the joints, this provides 100% surface permeability and reduces storm water and filters out pollutants.

The Future of Interlocking Pavers

Last year on July 8th, 2014, we all felt the after effects of one of the biggest rain storms to hit the Greater Toronto Area. With reports of major streets completely underwater and even a major rescue operation on the GO train, storm water has become an issue as a result of all the impervious surfaces that have been created to handle ever increasing volume of vehicular traffic. As a result, this has impacted stream bank erosion, flooding and polluting of streams, lakes and rivers which also affects our source of drinking water. It should come as no surprise that cities are now looking for cost effective storm water management solutions. Permeable pavements are what cities around the world are looking at now and beyond to help combat storm water runoff. It is also something that homeowners should be considering as well to help contribute to the reduction of harmful and potentially devastating effects of storm water on our environment.

It’s “Green” = More $$$?

The cost of installing permeable pavers is comparable to the installation of standard interlocking pavers. At Toemar, we have a product called Moderna and it can be configured in a specific pattern so that it is permeable while creating the high end look of regular square-cut flagstone. In addition, the base created for permeable pavers is essentially identical with the exception of using more pervious base such as ¾ clear stone and high performance bedding (HPB) which will allow a flow through of the water into the soil base.

Check out this video on Moderna’s permeable capabilities starting at 1:48.

How does it look?

Depending on what your needs are and your taste, you can setup your permeable pavers in many different configurations for your driveway and/or walkway. You can set it up so that it looks just like a standard interlocking paver driveway or you can “green it up” as part of the natural look. Check out some samples of what people have done:

permeable-paver-designs

Other Benefits of Permeable Pavers

In addition to diverting water from storm sewers which goes into stream, permeable pavers can also reduce something called “heat island effect”. This effect is caused by the buildup of heat in and around cities, towns, and structures. Asphalt and concrete absorb sunlight and convert it to heat and that is why when you walk on your driveway or a mall parking lot it feels that much warmer.
Lastly, by retaining water on your property you not only water the plants but also return water to the water table on your property.

Feel free to reach out to us should you have any more questions by commenting below or contacting us phone or email.

Flagstone – How to Buy for Patios, Walkways and Driveways

Buying flagstone may seem like a daunting task to the everyday homeowner, but it doesn’t have to be. You just need to understand some basics and you can have a good grasp of what your potential dream flagstone patio, walkways or driveway may cost you.

Here are some things you should know:

How is it sold?

Flagstone is typically sold by the weight, specifically either in lbs or tonnes. The reason it is sold by weight is because of how it is sold by the quarries and because of the irregular shape of each piece of flagstone.

How do I measure or figure out how much I need?

There is an industry standard that everyone goes by to determine the amount of flagstone one needs to purchase. For every 100 square feet of coverage, you will need approximately 1 tonne or 2000 pounds of flagstone that is between 1″ to 1.5″ thickness with spacing between each flagstone around 1/2″ to 1″ wide gap.

What varieties are available of flagstone?

Slate, limestone, and sandstone are just a few varieties of flagstone that are available in the market today. In Ontario, the most common type of flagstone available is called Wiarton since the quarries are located in Southern Ontario. Wiarton is a form of limestone that comes in various colors. However, the most common color range is from light grey to charcoal grey.

What thickness should I use?

Flagstone thickness ranges from 3/4″ up to 3″ and possibly even more. The most common thickness from 1″ to 1.5″ thickness. This flagstone thickness is good for paved concrete surfaces. The reason for a thinner flagstone is because of there little chance the flagstone would be affected by winter on a concrete pad. For surfaces where the base is gravel, you would want to purchase flagstone that is at least 2″ to 3″ thick. The reason for this thickness is that the weight and the thickness of the flagstone will to help counteract heaving during the freeze thaw cycle that happens each year and minimize any potential for cracking that may occur.

What are the jointing materials that I need to finish the flagstone project?

As it was mentioned earlier, there are different types of jointing materials that can be used. If your flagstone base is a concrete platform/pad, then you should use cement or other types of mortar. If you have a gravel base, then you should use sand (fine or coarse), pea gravel, or even polymeric sand (wide joint variety) as a mortar. The sand or pea gravel is a more forgiving and will not show cracks should the flagstone have movement after the freeze-thaw cycle of winter.

How to Install Interlocking Patio Pavers Tips – Part 1

Interlocking pavers is probably one of the most cost effective and aesthetically pleasing products on the marketplace to add value to your property. The myriad of colors, shapes, sizes from a multitude of manufacturers will allow you to create the spectacular patio, walkway, terrace, or driveway that you dreamed of while adding value to your home.

As with any DIY project, installing interlocking pavers requires a bit of patience, time and elbow grease to come up with the finished look that you want. Here are some guidelines on how to prepare for the installation of interlocking pavers.

1. Research Interlocking Pavers and Materials

This is probably one of the most important parts of installing interlocking pavers. Good solid research will make your project a relatively smooth one. Here are some key questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What do you want to do or accomplish or build and where do you want to build it? (e.g. pathway, terrace, patio, driveway, etc.)
  • Ask for product catalogs and pricing sheets
  • Visit the interlocking paver manufacturer’s website or visit our showroom or check out their picture gallery for ideas on things can be done.
  • Ask questions to help understand the myriad of options and choices available such as mixing and matching stones from different manufacturers to create that unique look.

2. Draw and Sketch Your Landscape Vision

You don’t have to be a graphic artist to help you visualize your dream landscape. Roughly drawing your landscape layout will help you gather your thoughts and guide you through to the end of your project. By having your vision articulated on paper, you can always easily fine-tune your project with an eraser and pencil. You can start now by downloading this graph paper and sketch away.

3. Taking Measurements

Measure the perimeter (sides) of the project. There are two approaches to measuring out the project.

  • First method – use your garden hose to mark the area where the interlocking stone will be laid down. It is not the most accurate, but it does give you a good idea of how much square footage is being used.
  • Second method – use wooden stakes and string and precisely mark out the area and then measure with a measuring tape.

With the second method, you eliminate the need to stake out the area again when you start digging, thus saving you some time and effort later on.

4. Smart Budgeting

Understanding how much want to spend and sticking with it will give you great satisfaction when you finish. There are typically 3 types of expenses you need budget or account for:

  • Variable Expenses – These expenses are typically related specifically with the quantity, type, size, and color of the interlocking paver.
  • Fixed Expenses – The expenses are the sand and gravel that you require to build a solid foundation. Regardless of what type of interlocking stone you decide to go with, you will typically have the same amount of sand and gravel.
  • Miscellaneous Expenses – These expenses are extraneous items that will help you complete the project such as renting equipment, bins for waste disposal, and accessories.

5. Free Landscaping Advice

It doesn’t hurt that once you’ve got your plans put together to get some free expert advice. Call us and we will help you fine tune your landscape project and provide a quotation on all the required materials.

6. Timing it Right

Once you have finalize your plans, make sure you block out enough time in your schedule (eg. 1 day for 4 weekends, 2 days for 2 weekends) to complete the job in a timely manner. Don’t schedule a project a few weeks before an event because time pressure may cause you to make costly mistakes. Always give yourself extra time to compensate for any unforeseen delays such as rainy days. Lastly, the key to timing is to estimate the pace that you want to work at.

7. Pre-ordering for Less Headaches

Placing your pre-order for materials is also important to making sure that you are off to a smooth start. Landscape materials such as interlocking stone typically require a 24 hour notice for delivery while bulk materials have a turnaround of 4-6 hours. Other items such as bin rentals or tool rentals require 4-6 hours’ notice to ensure that the items are available.

8. Hiring your Friends/Family

Getting your friends and/or family to help you with a part of the job or the entire job will allow you to complete the job faster and make it far more enjoyable.

9. Hiring Local Labour

If none of your friends and/or family can help you out, you can always find local help through your local classified ads (Kijiji or Craigslist). For example, you may need someone to help you dig out the dirt and remove it or move the sand and gravel for you from the driveway to the project area. Make sure that you do your due diligence on the individual(s) and provide right tools to get the job done correctly.

10. Giving Yourself a Break

If you are doing this yourself, remember to give yourself a break every few hours or so that you can last through the day and for the entire project. Have plenty of fluids like water and snacks close by so you grab them when you need them.

To start reading about Part 2 of installing interlocking pavers, go here