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5 Simple Things You Can Do to Boost Your Curb Appeal

September 8th, 2016 by

The exterior appearance of your property is known as it’s ‘curb appeal’ and this can play an important role in the valuation of your home. Although it might seem superficial when compared to the internal features of your home, first impressions really do count on the modern property market. This week, we run through five things you can do to boost the curb appeal of your home.

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Re-do your driveway

In most Australian front yards, paving takes up a significant proportion of the yard space and therefore plays an important role in determining curb appeal. Resurfacing your asphalt paving or driveway is a simple, cost effective way to make your yard look neat and fresh.

 

Give your lawn some TLC

Nothing damages a property’s curb appeal quite like a scrappy, unkempt looking front lawn. If you are committed to the idea of having a lawn as part of your garden landscape, make sure you properly maintain it with regular mowing, weeding, watering and fertilising. On the other hand, if you decide lawn upkeep is too demanding, get rid of it and opt instead for a low maintenance option like paving or a rock garden.

 

Don’t forget about your front door

The front door is the central focal point of your home’s exterior, and it’s often the first thing the viewer’s eye is drawn to when looking at your property. As such, painting your front door in a statement colour, or investing in a quirky knocker and doorknob is an easy and affordable way to enhance the exterior of your home, and pique a potential buyer’s interest about what might lie inside.

 

Think about your perimeter

Hardscaping elements like your garage door, fence, and mailbox might seem like minor details to you, but these things provide your front hard with shape and definition, so it’s important not to overlook them. Taking the time to ensure these details are properly maintained will help convey the image of a neat, well cared for home to potential buyers.

 

Show your garden some love

A thriving front garden is essential window dressing when it comes to impressing potential buyers. Even if you’re not a passionate green thumb, it’s possible to make a statement using hardy, low maintenance plants like native grasses and succulents near the entranceway.

 

Custom Asphalt are one of the most respected asphalt companies in Melbourne. To learn more about our capabilities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling us on 0418 137 943.

Car Park Trivia

September 8th, 2016 by

For most people, car parks are at best, a mundane necessity in everyday life and at worst, a daily trial that tests even the calmest driver’s patience. But if you dig a little below the surface, parking lots have quite a colourful history, which if nothing else, might make the next time you have to endlessly circle one looking for a space a little less painful. Here are five strange and interesting facts about the unassuming car park.

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  1. The first multi storey car park was built in 1901 in London

It had seven floors covering over 19,000 square feet, room for 100 cars, and an electric elevator which moved the vehicles between floors.

 

  1. Melbourne has a car park on the Victorian Heritage Register

Built in 1972, the west entrance to the Melbourne University Underground Car Park is flanked by two Atlas figures which were salvaged from the demolished Colonial Bank on Elizabeth Street, whilst the east entrance boasts a door from a house built in Dublin in 1745. The inside of the car park was also used to film scenes from the movie Mad Max.

 

  1. Car parks are a source of rich archaeological finds

In 2012, archaeologists uncovered the final resting place of King Richard III of England underneath a parking lot in Leicester, England. The king died in 1485 during The Battle of Bosworth Field and although he was eventually interred in a church, the unpopular king’s tomb remained a mystery for five centuries. Other notable archaeological discoveries beneath car parks include the Jerusalem palace of Queen Helena of Adiabene who lived there from 30 CE until the Romans sacked Jerusalem in 70 CE, a warship from the Texas Navy dating to around 1839, the private chapel of Henry VIII, and the first Canadian Parliament which was burned to the ground by an angry mob in 1849.

 

  1. California Disneyland is home to the world’s largest car park

It boasts 10,000 parking spaces.

  1. Car parks are going green

This year, the world’s first multi storey underground car park with recharging points for hybrid and electric cars was opened in Abu Dhabi. It contains for recharging bays for the environmentally friendly vehicles.

 

Custom Asphalt offer a diverse range of asphalt paving services in Melbourne which includes car park installation for businesses and property developers. To learn more about our capabilities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 0418 137 943.

The Benefits of Edging your Path or Driveway

August 31st, 2016 by

Edging the garden path is one of the last things homeowners think about when landscaping their garden. Although it is only a small, subtle thing, garden edging can have a huge impact on the appearance and functionality of your garden. This week, we take a look at four key benefits associated with installing edging along your garden path or driveway.

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Aesthetics

From a design point of view, garden edging adds depth to your landscape and is a great way to give your garden path a clean, polished look. Edging can also be a great way to add contrast and texture to your garden landscape, and pick up plant colours in your garden.

 

Erosion

Garden edging is a fantastic way to manage erosion issues and help keep the different parts of your garden where they belong. Edging not only prevents the edges of your pathway from fraying and deteriorating, it is also an effective barrier that prevents soil and mulch from washing or blowing away. As most types of edging are set several inches below the ground, it can also help to restrict the growth of tree roots, lawn, or groundcover which would otherwise damage the pathway.

 

Definition

Edging helps define both the garden path and the beds on either side of it. Edging can actually be quite useful during the early stages of a landscaping project, as the brick or timber pieces can really help to give shape to the garden and give you a clear idea of the different zones you’re working with.

 

Maintenance

Giving your path a border can also be advantageous from a maintenance point of view, as it minimises the amount of weeding you have to do and makes mowing the lawn a much simpler process. Edging protects plants as well as the pathway, so they are less likely to become damaged from any maintenance work you do on the pathway, it also makes it easier to control which areas of your garden you irrigate, fertilize, and chemically treat.

 

Custom Asphalt offer state of the art asphalt paving services alongside brick and timber edging options. To learn more about our capabilities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 0418 137 943.

Designing the Perfect Garden Bed

August 11th, 2016 by

Planning out a garden bed seems like an intuitive sort of process, you choose what you like, you plant it, and it grows. But unfortunately unlike the spontaneous beauty of plants in nature, your average suburban flower bed requires careful thought if it’s to look anywhere near as aesthetically pleasing as you imagine. This week, we take a look at the essential elements required to design a perfect garden bed.

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Balance size and colour

Even the most abstract looking wildflower gardens have had some degree of plant curation, and you need to think carefully about the cumulative effect of what you’re putting in the ground. Create a balanced colour ratio by keeping most of the colours in your garden simple but choosing a highlight colour and repeating it throughout. Mixing together plants in the same colour palette but with contrasting shapes and textures is a subtler way to draw in the eye and create depth in the garden bed.

 

Choose a mixture of perennial and annual plants

To ensure your garden bed has at least a few points of interest throughout the year, it’s important to mix in perennials, annuals, bulbs, and hardy ground covers or shrubs with distinctive foliage.

 

Plan for growth

Whilst this might seem obvious to seasoned green thumbs, a lot of novice gardeners making the mistake of planting without considering what the bed will look like as the flowers grow. The result is generally a messy bed that lacks definition, with small flowering plants obscured by larger perennials or fast growing foliage. It’s important to research the mature height of your plants not only to ensure the finished product is visually appealing, but to provide your plants with the best possible chance to thrive and fully mature, by giving them the space they need to spread and grow.

 

Be spatially aware

Take the time to consider the experience of the onlooker walking down the garden path. Placing tall plants at the front of the bed will not only obscure their view, but will also make the walking space feel cramped. Try instead to plant your bed in descending layers, with the tallest shrubs at the back, and the daintiest ground coverings lapping the edge of the path.  Thorny plants like roses, and strong scented plants should also be kept away from the edge of the path, as they can cause injury and attract bees.

 

Don’t forget edging

Proper edging is crucial for giving your garden bed a finished, defined look. Use edging that contrasts with the colour of your path to create visual interest and ‘frame’ the garden bed like you would a painting.

 

Custom Asphalt offer a wide range of residential and commercial asphalting services including asphalt paving with contrast edging in brick or timber. To learn more about our capabilities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 0418 137 943.

10 Important Questions to Ask an Asphalting Contractor

July 28th, 2016 by

 

Finding a good contractor is a crucial part of ensuring the work completed is of a high quality and that you are covered in the instance of damages or accidents. Choosing the right contractor for your work can be challenging if you don’t know the right questions to ask, so this week, we’ve come up with a list of ten essential questions to ask a prospective contractor, and explain why you should ask them.

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  1. What kinds of insurance do you have?

It’s essential to hire a contractor that is covered for damage done to your property, or injuries sustained by their employees over the course of the project. To be properly covered, a contractor should have personal liability, worker’s compensation and property damage coverage. Failing to ascertain whether or not the contractor has insurance could mean you end up liable for damage or injury.

  1. How long have you been in business?

This will give you some insight into the competency and experience of the contractor. For larger projects, you’ll ideally want a contractor with over ten years of full time experience.

  1. Can you guarantee your work?

This is crucial; the contractor should be able to provide a written guarantee as to the quality of the work provided. Do not accept a verbal guarantee.

  1. How many projects similar to mine have you worked on in the past year?

It’s important to ascertain how familiar a contractor is with your particular project needs. To do this, it’s completely fine to ask for a list of clients or photographic evidence of the work.

  1. Do you have references?

Ask for three references within your community of people who can testify to the quality of the contractor’s work and take the time to call them.

  1. In what timeframe will the work be done?

Getting a clear idea of the timeframe means you can hold the contractor accountable for their efficiency.

  1. What are the working hours?

For longer projects, make sure you ask what hours there will be workers on site. If the contractor is unable to answer, it may be a sign of a lack of organisation.

  1. Have you ever been involved in a legal dispute over your work?

All you’re looking for here is an honest answer. Legal issues are a reality of construction work so even if the contractor has had issues, it is in no way indicative of their capabilities. A contractor who lies to you however, is to be avoided.

  1. Who will be overseeing the project?

Ask about the seniority of the person overseeing the work to ensure your project is being properly managed.

  1. Can you provide me with a written estimate?

A contractor should be able to provide an estimate in writing which breaks down the cost of work to be done, so you know exactly what you’re in for.

 

Custom Asphalt are a leading name in asphalting around Melbourne. We are fully insured, certified by Workcover, and are able to provide an obligation free written estimate. To learn more about our capabilities, please call 0418 137 943.

Why You Should Always Leave Asphalting to the Professionals

July 26th, 2016 by

Tempting as it might be to cut costs on surfacing construction by undertaking it yourself, asphalting isn’t really something you should DIY. Although there are a plethora of DIY asphalting tutorials available on the internet insisting you can get professional results in half a Saturday with equipment from Bunnings, large scale asphalt projects really require a degree of skill and experience to execute. In this article, we run through four solid reasons why you should leave asphalting to the professionals.

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Equipment

First and foremost, any asphalting project that extends beyond filling in a pothole is going to require quite an extensive outlay on equipment. To install an asphalt driveway for example, you’ll need to buy or hire a dump truck, plate compactor, roller, asphalt hand tools, wheelbarrows and a skid steer loader at a minimum. You’ll also need to know how to operate all of this machinery competently to get the job done, which will require a fair amount of research and practice.

 

Labour

Asphalting is hard physical labour and really not a one-man job, so you’ll need to be physically fit and have a few buddies willing to give up their precious weekend to help you. Your old driveway surface has to be cleared, the surface has to be graded, form boards have to be installed, the surface needs to be compacted and a base aggregate needs to be spread out even before you begin the asphalting process. Asphalting is heavy, tiring work, and you put yourself at risk of strain or injury if you don’t know what you’re doing.

 

Time

The time it will take you to complete an asphalt project is also important to consider. Even if you’ve done all your research, are physically fit and have all the equipment readily at hand, it’s still going to take you substantially longer to complete an asphalting project than it would a professional.

 

Quality

Not all asphalt surfaces are created equal and there is a precise science that does into installing asphalt that is both fully functional and aesthetically appealing. Factors such as your soil type, the necessary thickness of the aggregate base layer, the direction of water drainage, and the right size of the aggregate that goes on top all need to be properly identified and catered for if the surface is so have any sort of longevity. Poorly laid asphalt surfaces are vulnerable to a whole range of problems including potholes, cracking and water pooling.

 

If you have a big asphalt project planned, it really is best to leave it to the professionals. Custom Asphalt offer quality asphalt paving services in Melbourne that are both efficient and cost effective. Call us today on 0418 137 943.

 

10 Interesting Asphalt Facts

July 14th, 2016 by

 

Although on the surface, asphalt might not be the most fascinating of subjects, it’s one of the most important construction materials in the world and has a long and interesting history of being used for everything from making arrowheads to embalming Egyptian mummies. In this article, we’ve put together 10 of the most interesting asphalt facts for your perusal.

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  1. Asphalt is the only perpetual pavement

One of asphalt’s most unique qualities is that it can be implemented as a perpetual road surface and endlessly recycled. Because asphalt surfaces are installed in layers, it’s only the top layer that needs to be replaced due to wear and tear. The old top layer of asphalt can then be repurposed as coarse base layering for new asphalt roadways.

  1. It has a long history

Humans first used asphalt in the fifth millennium BC in what is now modern South Asia. It was used to line the bottom of baskets for gathering crops.

  1. It’s naturally occurring

Naturally occurring asphalt is made from the remains of ancient algae and other organisms, and is found in the mud on the bottom of oceans or lakes where these life forms once lived.

  1. It’s the most recycled material in the US

The country recycles some 80 million tons of asphalt annually.

  1. The Egyptians used it to embalm mummies

In fact, the word ‘mummy’ comes from the Arabic word mumiya, which means bitumen of asphalt. The Egyptians believed that asphaltum had medicinal properties and used it to fill out the body cavities of some mummies.

  1. Asphalt can reduce fuel consumption

The smooth road surface that asphalt creates can help reduce fuel consumption. Studies suggest that smoother surfaces can reduce truck fuel consumption by 4.5%.

  1. It plays an important role in stormwater management

Because it is a porous material, asphalt is able to filter road contaminants from stormwater, enabling it to return to aquifers and water sources in a cleansed state.

  1. If was first used as a road surface in 1824

On the Champs- Élysées in Paris, France.

  1. The word is thought to come from the ancient Greek ‘asphaltos’

The word asphalt has been theorised to come from the Greek ‘a’ meaning ‘not’ and ‘sphaltos’ meaning ‘able to be thrown down’ referring to it’s use as a mortar material in building.

  1. It makes the dollar go further

Every dollar spent on asphalt goes 26.9% further than a dollar which is spent on concrete.

 

Custom Asphalt offer asphalt paving services to residents, businesses, and local councils around Melbourne. To learn more about our capabilities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 0418 137 943.

 

 

How to Create a Welcoming Entranceway

July 13th, 2016 by

Whilst the outward appearance to your home might not matter much to you, to a visitor or potential buyer, the first impression they have of your home plays an important role in crystallising their feelings towards the property as a whole, so it’s crucial that you get it right. In this article, we look at five simple ways you can boost the ‘curb appeal’ of your home to make it more enticing for guests or prospective buyers.
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Create a garden path
Pathways play a crucial role in drawing all the different elements of your garden together and providing a clear direction for visitors to walk up. Asphalt paving is an ideal solution if you are working within a tight budget, and want a surfacing solution that doesn’t take away from the colours and textures of your garden.

Make lawn care a priority

A balding lawn is never a good look and it makes your yard appear unkempt. If you have a front lawn, take the time to reseed any bald spots, regularly water it during the summer months, and mow and fertilise it as well. If you don’t have the time or energy required to maintain a traditional lawn, try investigating hardier varieties of grass or consider doing away with it all together.

Paint your door
Your front door is like the exclamation point of your home’s exterior, and we often psychologically associate the appearance of the front door to the interior appearance of a home, so it pays to give it a little TLC from time to time. Consider adding character to the exterior of your home by painting your front door a bright colour, investing in some elegant brass finishing, or placing potted plants either side of the entrance.

Don’t forget about the fence
Things like the door of your garage, mailbox, and fence play more than just a functional role in your front yard, they contribute to the overall aesthetic statement. Schedule regular cleaning, maintenance and painting sessions every six months to keep your yard looking neat.

Get planting

A well considered garden is crucial in creating a good first impression of your home. Low maintenance plants like Australian natives, succulents, cacti and foliage are all ideal options if you’re not a green thumb, as they are hardy, drought tolerant, and still contribute colour and texture to your yard.

Custom Asphalt are Melbourne’s asphalt experts and have extensive experience working with residents, businesses, and local councils to create sophisticated asphalt surfacing solutions. To learn more about how we can help you boost your curb appeal, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 0418 137 943.

5 Asphalt Problems and How to Manage them

April 17th, 2016 by

Asphalt is a fantastic surfacing material but like any other building material, it is subject to problems as a result of wear and tear, improper installation, and damage from the elements. In this article, we look at 5 common asphalt problems and the solutions available.

Potholes

Probably the most easily recognisable asphalt problem, potholes are caused by moisture infiltration and untreated cracking. When cracking is severe, small chunks of asphalt become lose and break away as vehicles or other heavy objects move over the surface. Treatment for this condition requires removing all of the affected concrete (including the cracked areas surrounding it), re-compacting the sub layer and then placing fresh concrete over the top. It’s possible to fix potholes through a DIY method but for large scale problems, it’s better to call in a professional repair team.

5 Asphalt Problems

Edge cracks

These are the cracks which run parallel to the edge of the asphalt and are caused by the base materials weakening through poor drainage or a lack of support. Vegetation and heavy traffic can also cause this type of cracking. Minor edge cracking is relatively easy to repair yourself with a commercially available sealant or filler. Ensure you remove any surrounding vegetation and thoroughly clean the cracks before attempting a repair.

Depressions

Depressions generally occur when water enters through the cracks in the asphalt and enters into the base (lowest) layer of the pavement, causing it to shift and resettle unevenly. This problem if most obvious when it rains and puddles form in the depressions and the pooling water causes even greater damage to the base layer. A surface patch or professionally done infrared patch (where the asphalt is liquefied, scarified, and patched up with virgin asphalt) approach can be used to fix a mild depression however if the base layer has been seriously compromised, resurfacing is the only option.

Slippage cracks

These repeating crescent shaped cracks are caused when the upper layers ‘slip’ over the course underneath. The movement is due to a lack of bonding between layers which can be caused by improper installation or contaminants like oil and dirt entering through cracks. Asphalt damaged by slippage needs to be removed and replaced through partial or full depth patching (where the upper layers of concrete are removed, the sub base is re-compacted and primed, and fresh concrete is placed on top).

Custom Asphalt specialise in a range of asphalt paving services including repair and installation. Get in touch with us today by calling 0418 137 943.

5 Reasons Why You Should Choose the Team at Custom Asphalt

March 23rd, 2016 by

There are plenty of asphalting businesses in and around the Melbourne area but not all are created equal. Custom Asphalt is built on a philosophy that great professional experience and attention to detail creates outstanding results. This is an ethos which has helped our business emerge as one of Melbourne’s foremost providers of asphalting services and has earned us a loyal customer base of businesses, councils and homeowners. In this article, we explore 5 of the key reasons why Custom Asphalt is the team to call on when you have an asphalt surfacing project.

Experienced

For over 15 years, Custom Asphalt has been working with a diverse range of clients in the suburbs of Melbourne. We’ve worked on an extensive array of jobs from large scale pathway installation for local councils to surface repairs for residential driveways. If it’s to do with asphalt, our experienced team will be able to help you.

Flexible

We are dedicated to providing our customers with custom solutions that are tailored to their needs. Our services include everything from trench reinstatements to driveway installations and we have worked with homeowners, business owners, and local councils on projects of every conceivable scope and scale.

Affordable

At Custom Asphalt, we believe that everyone in the community should be able to access quality surfacing solutions and that’s why we strive to provide our clients with services that represent true value for money. Asphalt in of itself is a very economic materials and our skills and experience mean that we can install asphalt surfaces quickly and keep labour costs low.

Australian Owned

We are a proudly Australian owned and operated business which means that when you choose to use us for a construction project, you are supporting small business and putting money back into the Australian economy.

Professional

We guarantee that whatever project we undertake for you will be completed on time, on budget, and to the highest possible quality. Over the years, Custom Asphalt has developed a reputation as the gold standard for asphalting services in the Eastern suburbs and this is something we take great pride in. We treat every project with equal care and attention to ensure our clients are always satisfied with the outcome.

To learn more about why Custom Asphalt is frequently recognised as one of the best asphalt companies in Melbourne, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 0418 137 943.