Start from the bottom
As with any building project, the key to success is great foundations. We start with Type 2 Recycled Aggregate, and use it to form a sub-base, on which the whole structure will rest. The depth of the sub-base can depend on each new project, and the amount of traffic the drive will experience, which is why we don’t cut corners by assuming a standard measurement. Each new drive will be built based on each customer’s needs!
As well as choosing the best base materials, we manually check ground conditions after excavating to the agreed depth. If the ground is especially soft, we remove it until a solid base is located, and fill with more aggregate material as needed.
Close to the edge!
The Edging Course (also referred to as the Soldier Course) is one of the most important parts of driveway installation, and yet it’s often something ignored by many sub-par builders. The Edging Course surrounds the entire perimeter of the driveway, and also dictates its height and gradient.
This section should be set on concrete before any other blocks are laid, which is why you should run a mile if a contractor tells you they’re going to do it after the driveway has been laid! We give the section time and attention, to ensure your driveway will look immaculate.
Laying bed and blocks
Another way that some contractors cut corners is by using cheap materials for the laying bed, which is the level that your blocks will be laid on. We use a compacted bed of grit sand or crushed glass, depending on which is better for each project. Something that will set your driveway apart from a standard, or sub-par, installation, is that we set the level of the laying bed 10mm above the finished height. This allows for compaction, meaning your finished driveway will look fantastic and neat.
We then lay out all the full blocks to the edge and start on cutting the remaining blocks to finish! We always use stone saws, instead of block splitters, as they provide a much finer finish, and a tighter, more durable drive.
Finally, we use a compactor to ensure the driveway is completely solid. By adding kiln-dried sand to fill the spaces between the blocks, we make sure that your driveway won’t move or sink over time.
Along with passion for what we do, these are just some of the reasons that choosing Firstlight for your driveway will mean you have a drive that looks amazing and stands the test of time. Get in touch now to discuss a design for your driveway!