Skip to main content

Bluestone poolside coping and paving

In our earlier meetings with Ned of DesertScapes by Design, he made recommendations for materials and finishes. That included bluestone paving as a pool surround, and drop face coping. An advantage of drop face coping is that when you are in the pool, looking at the underside of the coping, you can't see the thick bedding layer the coping is sitting on.  It also makes the coping look much thicker.

In fact, with anything to do with pools, also consider what it will look like from underneath - your head is below ground level when in a pool and you'll see things from a very different angle.

Our original budget didn't extend to bluestone and drop face coping - but we were convinced and we pruned back our plans elsewhere so as to get the best finish we could.

We were also advised by multiple people to ensure you use the same paving company for the coping and the pool surrounds. This is because if there is a crack between the coping and surrounding paving, and you've used two different companies, they will blame each other for it and no-one will fix it.

Our contract with the pool company required us to supply the coping, and they use their landscaper/paver to lay it. In this case, that is Craig Taylor of Craig Taylor Landscapes.

We had the pavers delivered from a local supplier two weeks before paving was to start. Unfortunately the three crates of pavers were dropped too close to our entry, not leaving enough room for a wheelbarrow to fit past. We had to carry two crates of pavers through to the backyard ourselves (one-by-one), and remove the crates to free up enough space to get through. What was more annoying was that I'd written on the driveway in chalk where I wanted the pavers left - but rain the night before washed it away.

At the start of the week the concrete slab and the coping were laid.

A concrete slab was laid across the whole area to be paved.

We paid extra for the corner pieces, each cut from a single piece of bluestone. This gives a neat finish to each corner. We were warned that there are often problems with this style of corner not being 'square' so we ordered extra standard coping so it could be done conventionally too. Fortunately ours were all perfect.

Bluestone dropface coping.
Following from the coping, Craig laid the 600mm square bluestone pavers. He did a great job, including silicone sealing numerous expansion joins to minimise the likelihood of cracking.  Every paver was stuck down with adhesive too.

A clever gap was left one paver out from the house, leading to our stormwater system. Instead of a typical grate over a channel, a groove was left in the slab, and a gap in the pavers, to catch rainwater and pool runoff before it reaches the house. The drain is virtually un-noticeable.


Popular posts from this blog

Walk-in pantry: advice for designing yours

Now we've been in our renovated home for a week, we've picked up on some minor issues that anyone considering a walk-in pantry or butlers pantry may want to consider. I think we got ours right, and the minor issues are ones we'll correct ourselves, shortly, at low cost.

 Our pantry is exactly that on most days - a pantry. There's no sink, no oven or hot plates, and no exhaust fan. It does have a microwave and a milkshake maker, storage for irregularly used appliances, and a bench top that can be worked on. We could fit plumbing for a sink later, but can't see a need right now.

Big cost savings can be made with a walk-in pantry. By having a separate room and door, there's absolutely no need for cupboards and cabinet doors within the pantry. Think of the pantry as a cupboard!  Bench tops can be practical and not showy - you don't need Corian or Caeserstone surfaces. A walk-in pantry is a separate room, so soft-close drawers to keep noise down aren't …

Review: Bag2Bed - the comfiest bean bag there is?

About a month ago, at the Better Homes and Gardens show in Melbourne, we impulsively splashed out on not one, but three, bean bags.  And not just any - three super large ones from Bag2Bed. As our daughter noted, we now have six bean bags, with three being small children sized ones and three large ones, for a family of four.

At the show, we took two conventional large outdoor beanbags immediately and placed an order for the third - the Queen Size Bag2Bed. Within two weeks we received a call and made arrangements to collect the bag from their factory, which is conveniently close to us in Cheltenham, Melbourne.

The Bag2Bed concept is that instead of a bean bag filled with polystyrene balls, the Bag2Bed is filled with a foam mattress rolled into a ball.  The bean bag cover can be easily slipped off, and the filling unfurls into a mattress.  In our case it is a queen size mattress.

It is easily the most comfortable bean bag we've used, with a firm foam filling.  We 'fight' for …

Monkey bars!

A few months back we picked up a discounted set of monkey bars (aka horizontal ladders) from Bunnings.  They were reduced from $299 to $80 because the packaging was damaged and the bolts for attaching the bars to wooden posts were missing. There were about four sets of bars on sale.

Last weekend I started assembling them myself, using about an extra $175 worth of materials (bolts, washers, nuts, four cypress pine posts, quick set concrete).  When it came to erecting them I needed a helping hand, which I received yesterday.

In the process of working out how and where to assemble them I found that the recommended height is 1.8 - 2.0 metres, and preferably 1.8m.  Soft fall is also important, to a depth of 250-300mm for up to 2.5m around the bars (Playground Equipment Safety Bulletin, February 2011). The Bulletin provides advice about selecting soft fall materials.

We've generally followed this advice, although without soft fall for a little while. The Bulletin identifies the following…