Garden design and build

Rob McGee & Son

Landscape Gardeners in Kent
patios and walls fencing, gates and decking plants and lawns

Granite stone patios, paving works at Conningbrook lakes country park, Kennington, Ashford, Kent.

A serious natural stone, garden patio upgrade from the original concrete slabs.

Patio in Chinese granite with limestone circle Silver, grey, blue granite Flamed Patio
Paving and plants Indian granite with artificial grass Front garden

The first 4 images shown use flamed Chinese granite and the last 2 are Indian with the addition of artificial grass. They are both dense and durable, standing up to British winters. With black limestone edging.

These high quality, contemporary Ashford waterside landscaped gardens, were completed in 2022 / 2023.

For more information on the works at Conningbrook Lakes and other garden projects and services:

 

Please call 01233 740389 or email.

 

Granite for patios supplied in the UK is typically the colour of varying shades of grey. Where silver grey to blue black variants are most popular. The stone sourced from south east Asian regions tends to have more natural veining, which adds character. When considering the choice of colour, lighter examples can be somewhat overly white. They can be referred to as arctic white or salt and pepper when there is a greater volume of grit looking particles within the stone. As with many things in life, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

The Indian sourced granite often comes with the grippy grooved backs like the standard calibrated sandstone and limestone options, while still being sawn on the other sides. This almost guarantees that they will stay in place for many years to come, with close to no future disconnections for patios. Although we haven't experienced any issues with the smoother backed flagstones, it's good to have that extra assurance.

Flamed material: The surface flaming is done to give a grippy surface and enhanced appearance, like zoomed in high definition. This practise is basically the industry standard which involves heating the top surface to a high temperature, resulting in micro spalling / flaking on a granular level. The transformation in grip is essential for outdoor safety in wet or icy conditions, especially if some algae has started to establish.

In addition to the professional installation of patios in Kent, we also provide cleaning, re-jointing and rebuilding services.

Resin joints: Our experience. Approx 20 yrs ago the joint compounds first came to the UK. The samples that we were sent from Kent based suppliers arrived for dry use only. They were promoted as having 45 mins of workable time before starting to set. After testing several resins we found that the average working duration was only about 25 minutes. In warmer conditions this dropped to less than 20 mins. Our conclusion was that there simply wasn't enough time for anything other than open ground jointing. In other words, projects that had more intricate detail would take longer to joint than the available working time for the resin. This experience lead us to wait off until a tested, proven product came on the market...

Around 10 years later resin products for patios had improved significantly. They could now be considered a viable alternative to traditional pointing. The new formula was wet application and proved to be pretty good with far greater workability time. Since then they have been getting better and better.

Occasionally contractors have given negative feedback to suppliers regarding excessive oil residue, with oil based staining to the paving slabs (both sealed and unsealed). For some this lead to potentially embarrassing situations with customers. As a result there has been a fair number of garden patio builders refusing to use certain products for the foreseeable future.

Interestingly, where the source of the staining is mostly linseed oil, virtually all of the resin stains evaporate through UV sunlight within a few weeks. So no need to panic!

To avoid those initial unwanted paving deposits, make sure the area is completely clean and wet. There should be no drying out while working on the patio. With a fair amount of water on demand and a range of stiff brooms and brushes, coupled with plenty of sweeping power, you will be left with a clean finish.

Easy work? One of the marketing angles from some resin manufacturers is a process of easy, comfortable application with no or limited back bending. Although this approach is possible, if you appreciate a proper professional finish that gives long term reliability, think again. The reality is that atleast one significant manual compression of the joints will be required. Ensuring sufficient compaction for maximum strength. Remember to keep your boot soles clean and damp along with any tools you are using, to avoid drying out, sticking and staining. It's also best to avoid close to freezing temperatures for the application.

After an initial curing of 2 to 3 days, the joint should be pretty solid. Once fully cured after a month or so, quality products are safe to power wash as and when required in the future.

These jointing compounds are available in a wide range of colours. From buff / neutral to golden in the lighter shades. For a darker finish look to grey, cobalt (graphite) or pitch black.

 

Although there are a shortage of local builders merchants in the Ashford, Kent area that stock high quality granite suitable for garden patios, there are suppliers for a range of jointing compounds and other types of paving slabs from manufactured to natural stone. One of the more established companies is Jewson.

For skip hire, recycling and general waste management a decent local option for consideration : Greenbox.

 

Patio and path flagstone ideas with examples using a range of sandstone, limestone, brick, block and concrete paving slabs completed in and around the Ashford region:

 

Sandstone patio Kennington, Ashford, Kent

A colourful, earthy shades installation at Little burton. The Golden leaf colour is similar to the Raj blend and Autumn gold options.

 

Block and brick patio Willesborough

This one combines Lakenham brick pavers and traditional block paving to create a rustic one off paved area that is in keeping with an old cottage in Willesborough, Ashford, Kent.

 

Black limestone path Boughton Aluph

Front garden path laid with multi sized black natural limestone paving slabs in Boughton Aluph.

 

Recycled paving slab shed base

It looks like a patio, but was actually for a shed base. Created from a mixture of old council spec concrete slabs and some smaller riven buff variations that one of our Ashford, Kent customers had laying around. Sharp sand and cement jointed.

 

Raj green path, Challock, Kent

Raj green path close to our base. Hard durable sandstone slabs for a walkway, giving decent access to the vegetable garden. Complimented with new oak sleepers.

 

Patios Ashford, Kent

A sawn bevelled edge, brown sandstone patio designed and installed for one of our clients that wanted a clean, contemporary finish.

 

Kandla grey sandstone, Kent

900mm x 600mm Kandla grey sandstone patio (an in progress picture). Another natural stone paved area near to us in Challock.

 

Brick patios Ashford, Kent

Brick patio installation near Ashford. These new red paving bricks are made to look old. Very frost resistant yet still easy to cut. In addition to the patio there is also a path. Compacted type one sub bed and sharp sand for the brick bedding. Finished with kiln dried block paving sand joints.

 

Communication, standards and reviews: We keep customers informed with plans, expectations and the progress for each step of the journey. If additional observations and choices come to light, these will be discussed and potentially adjusted according to the client's wishes. Where we provide quotations rather than just estimates, there are no hidden costs. With the exception of additions to the agreed work, the original price is locked and any extras are always confirmed before proceeding. For several decades we have been laying and servicing patios throughout Kent and have a proven track record, taking customer service above and beyond when it comes to attention to detail and the overall finish. Making the whole process as smooth and comfortable as possible. A large proportion of our work still comes from recommendation. For further reassurance we can provide references from satisfied customers on request.

 

Relevant terms:

ashford brick builders challock conningbrook country flamed garden granite installation joints kennington kent lakes laying layers limestone natural park patio patios paving resin riven sandstone sawn services stone works

 

For those who appreciate nature and like to see the positive results from Brett's old quarry: A wildlife walk with plenty of lakes, ponds, woodland and grasslands, please read more from the Kent Wildlife Trust.

 

Rob McGee & Son, Corner Cottage, Challock, Ashford, Kent.

 

Top of this page