Wednesday July 2 2014

Pave it right

Pavers are an alternative to grass and stone

Pavers are an alternative to grass and stone for the compound. You can use them to beautify your compound the way it was done at Lake Victoria Serena Resort. photo by Rachel Mabala 

By Rachel Kanyoro

Gone are the days when people’s driveways and compounds were made of stones, dirt or for the more privileged ones, tarmac. There is a new revolution and that revolution is pavers, these have become popular for both residential and commercial housing projects.
Pavers are hard blocks which are used outdoors. Pavers can be used for patios, outdoor steps, pathways, driveways as well as construct retaining walls for the compound.

Hadijah Matovu, a landscaper, says when installing pavers, the first choice you have to make is the type of material you want your pavers to be made of.
“Keep in mind that the decisions don’t end there, you will have to choose the colour, the shape and the patterns in which you want the pavers to be installed. When making decisions, it is a good idea to look around at the rest of the features and materials used on your property.”
“ Matching and complimenting the existing materials is a good place to start, or you can always get the advice of your contractor or hire a landscape designer,” she advises.
You should also consider where you plan to place the pavers. Some pavers are more suitable for certain parts of the compound and would be vulnerable to damage elsewhere. For example; pavers used for a garden walkway would be too weak for a driveway.


The most commonly used types of pavers are the natural stone pavers, concrete pavers, clay brick pavers, rubber pavers and grass pavers.

Natural stone pavers
Natural stone is an ideal paving material for they are natural, which means that they are durable and strong, and can withstand the toughest of climates. Hadijah Matovu, a landscaper explains that the use of natural stone pavers will create a rustic and natural appeal.
She says these come in a wide range of material like limestone, bluestone, granite, travertine, cantera, marble and flagstone, among others.
“Natural stone pavers can be applied to garden steps, pathways, patios, driveways, pool surrounds and garden borders.”

Concrete Pavers
You can also opt for concrete pavers. According to Charles Kabugo a brick layer with Cement Look, concrete pavers are made with a combination of two main ingredients; cement and aggregate. “This allows them to withstand harsh conditions and high traffic areas. Concrete pavers are available in a variety of styles and they are manufactured to resemble natural stone.”
Kabugo adds that concrete pavers can be found in almost any colour because colour dyes and pigments are added during the manufacturing process to create any desired colour. Frank of SEB construction limited says the heavy duty 80mm and light duty 60mm concrete pavers cost 3850 per square metre.

Clay brick pavers
Clay brick pavers are made from natural clay that is fired in ovens at a high temperature. This type of process ensures that all the ingredients are well bonded making them durable.
Another benefit of using clay brick pavers is their long-lasting colour. Because clay is a natural material, it maintains its natural colour. They are also available in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the traditional rectangle to bull nose, boardwalk and interlocking octagonal ones. At Uganda clays, the quarry tiles (clay pavers) cost Shs24,210 per square meter and are sold in sizes of six by six,six by 12 and eight by 12.

Rubber pavers
Rubber pavers have become very popular for they are an environmentally friendly paving material. They are made from recycled tires. They are great for play grounds for families that have enough space to serve this purpose.
Not only are they good for the environment but they are cost effective, easy to install, low in maintenance and provide an extremely safe non-slip surface. It’s easy to see why they are becoming a popular paving material.
Grass pavers

According to Joshua Kyalimpa, a Landscaper in Najjanankumbi, grass pavers are what are known as a type of penetrable paver. “They allow water to escape through the grids and soak back into the soil. This means that installing grass pavers can cut the costs involved with drainage systems, pipes, gutters and culverts.”
He further explains that grass pavers involve the use of a plastic grid-like system, similar to a honeycomb, commonly made using recycled plastic. The plastic grid is laid, and then grass is planted in each of the grid holes.
The grid is strong enough for heavy vehicles. It can hold water and gradually the water will absorb into the soil.
“Grass paving systems are often used for parking lots and recreational fields,” the Lanscaper explains.

advantages of pavers

Durability. Pavers are durable making them preferable to things like stones, dirt, grass and tarmac around the house. As long as they are laid properly, they can last for years without any maintenance work.
Easy to install. They are also not hard to install making them suitable for a do-it-yourself home improvement and they can be arranged in very many creative and unique ways.
They are on vogue. If you are a home owner looking to improve your home or you are planning to build a house, using pavers is the trending to improve and beautify your compound.
Variety. Pavers come in different types, material, colour and shape. Therefore, you can get any type of paver that you need.


Hadijah Matovu, a landscaper explains that installing pavers requires some time and effort if it is to be done properly.
1. Map out area.
“First, the area must be carefully mapped out, so that a pattern can be devised.
2. Cut the ground
Then, the ground has to be cut, levelled, and compacted so that the pavers will rest on a flat surface. Failure to do this will result in sinking of the pavers.”
3. Arrange the pavers
She adds that, the pavers are then carefully arranged in the desired pattern and compacted so that they sit evenly.
4. Cover up the cracks
Finally, sand or another packing material is forced between the cracks in the pavers to discourage weed growth and to keep the pavers even and stable. “They can be laid in three ways which include a horizontal interlock or vertical interlock or rotational interlock.”

THE numbers
The price per square metre of the cheapest paver

The price per square metre of the most expensive paver