Unlike in commercial building projects the preparation of paving is based not on good construction practice but solely on cost. Notwithstanding cost commercial building recognise that Paving preparation is a key to avoiding coming back and reworking the paving.

Lets face it —- paviours will not be able to use the argument “that it is not my fault lady, the ground moved” to an Architect.

What then is good paving preparation?

The area to be paved should be prepared correctly first. In a commercial building project that will mean the ground is excavated down to a reduced level and at least 150 mm of quarry rubble or dolomite filling provided, compacted to 98% before the laying of the paving. This protects against ground movement, which in areas east of Adelaide can be quite excessive.

If this is not done I can almost guarantee, particularly if the area being paved is a driveway, that concrete paving will crack and brick paving will suffer for significant heaving and dipping.

As much as people discredit builders for poor work my experience is they invariably are professionals who know most if not all aspects of building and who have access to an engineers specification to guide them. It is the other contractors, those coming in afterwards that cause most of the problems in a house. Paviours are one of these and are, generally speaking, less qualified with less access to expert engineering.

They do not know what they don’t know.

I remember witnessing a paviour many years ago telling their client in Woodcroft…..”it is not my fault lady, the ground moved.”

What that contractor did no know and probably doesn’t today is that prior “good” paving preparation (as described above) would avoid ground movement problems. I was also aware, living a few doors down, that his paving preparation was only to scrape the dirt and lay reinforcing on this dirt and pour the concrete over the top.

Because of poor paving preparation the paving, in this case concrete, was always going to crack. And it did, within just a few months.