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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.

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