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How To: Achieve A Professional Brickwork Finish

Today we are giving you an insight into how to achieve better brickwork, to make your life easier with these simple tips which can save you time and money on your brickwork project.

Brick Storage

Bricks should be stored on a level, free-draining surface that is protected from the elements. Polythene wrapping gives the bricks protection from bad weather; if this is removed at all it then needs to be replaced or alternative protection needs to be provided as soon as possible.

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Blending Bricks

Bricks should be loaded-out from a minimum of three packs and it is advisable to draw from the packs in vertical rather than horizontal slices. By doing this, it helps to avoid colour patchiness or banding in the brickwork, to give a lovely professional and aesthetic finish.

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Protection of Newly Built Brickwork

When work is stopped or interrupted by unfavourable weather conditions, your brickwork should be immediately protected with polythene sheeting that is held in place with a suitable fixing. If new brickwork is not protected, lime stains, efflorescence, patchy mortar colour and patchy brickwork can occur. It is always worth noting that if the temperature falls below three degrees or if a frost occurs, then the laying of brickwork should come to a halt until the weather heats up.

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Frost Protection

Freestanding Walls:
These can be subjected to severe weather conditions. In order to minimise frost damage, careful consideration must be paid to the following aspects of design:

  • Class B quality bricks should be used from foundation level to 150mm (minimum) above ground level (M12 mortar or 1: ¼ :3). This will also act as a rigid DPC.
  • The main body of the wall is to be constructed “F2/S2” quality facing bricks (M6 mortar or 1: ½ :4 ½).
  • All copings must “F2/S2” quality and have a water absorption not exceeding 7% (M12 mortar or 1: ¼ :3).
  • It is recommended drip channels be introduced on all copings to shed rain clear of the wall face.
  • Drip channels should have sharp edges and be free from mortar or other obstruction.
  • Copings should overhang the wall face by at least 45mm.
  • “F1” quality bricks must not be used for the main body of the wall, cappings or copings on freestanding walls.

Mortar joints are not resistant to moisture. You can alter this by using a high bond continuous damp proof membrane immediately below the copings, projecting at least 13mm beyond the mortar.

A flexible DPC should be avoided at all times as this will reduce overall structural stability.

Earth Retaining Walls:
Where brickwork is in direct contact with reserved earth, it is exposed to ground water which consistently contains salts.

  • To minimise the risk of efflorescence on the exposed face of the wall, a waterproof barrier between the reserved earth and the brickwork should be provided.
  • The waterproof barrier will also aid in the minimisation of frost damage and sulphate attack.
  • All other detailing should be in accordance with that stated for a freestanding wall.
  • Rendering of the wall is not recommended under any circumstances.

A cement rich M12 mortar (1: ¼ : 3 cement : lime : sand or equivalent should be used for cappings and copings on both freestanding and retaining walls.

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Frost Attack

In extreme weather conditions even frost resistant F2 bricks have been known to fail. Where there is a likelihood of long term saturation during cyclic frost conditions occurring, it is advisable to choose a brick of high strength and low water absorption as an added precaution.

It is important to follow the above-mentioned good building practice details when constructing walls and other vulnerable structures.

eDecks offers some of the best deals on maintenance-free Bricks around, including all of the installation supplies and tools you may need. Not only do we provide plenty of unbeatable deals but also:

Super-fast FREE delivery on orders over £100*

Handy FREE installation guides.

*Free delivery applies to most of the UK, but some areas may incur a charge. Please check the eDecks website for more details.

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How To: Choose the Right Bricks for You

Bricks are a super sustainable building material, which are durable, require little to no maintenance and can be recycled once you are finished with them. They also contribute to thermal mass, meaning that buildings require less energy for heating and cooling.

Brick Advantages

  • Little to no maintenance required
  • Contributes to thermal mass
  • Provides heat and noise insulation
  • Excellent resistance to fire
  • Allows the flexibility for buildings to be altered for re-use
  • Recyclable
  • Natural and traditional building material with lovely aesthetic qualities
  • A+ rating in the BRE Green Guide
  • Can be used to build homes to the highest levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes

Bricks are available in many different colours and textures and here at eDecks we believe in quality, not quantity and source a select range of bricks which give you options of a classic to a contemporary brick and everything in between.

We offer a wide range of brick styles and manufacturers, including Hanson, Carlton Brick, Colinwell, Ibstock, Wienerberger and more. Bricks can be bought individually or in packs, so we can offer everything you need for your project, whatever style you prefer or quantity you need – there’s no need to buy full packs of bricks if you only need a small amount.

Three easy steps to choosing your bricks;

Step 1: Choose a Colour

We have a variety of colours available, including hues of reds, buff, yellow, brown, and blues and greys.

Step 2: Choose a Texture

  • Smooth – Smooth finish or smooth sandfaced finish, consistent and uniform in character.

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  • Light textured – Modern and uniform, with an indented or printed finish.

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  • Heavy textured – A harder and rougher texture is given from a rusticated brick with a consistent finish.

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  • Stock: Pressed – A smooth sandfaced finish, consistent and uniform in character.

stock pressed

  • Stock: Thrown – A slightly irregular shape, with a creased texture, replicating the appearance of hand-made bricks.

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  • Tumbled – Distressed and irregular in shape offering a rustic charm associated with reclaimed bricks.

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Step 3: Choose a Size

The standard brick size is 215mm x 102.5mm x 65mm but some of our bricks are made in a 73mm format for greater coverage.

eDecks offers some of the best deals on maintenance-free Bricks around, including all of the tools you may need. Bulk discounts are available across our entire range of bricks. Not only do we provide plenty of unbeatable deals but also:

Super-fast FREE delivery on orders over £100*

*Free delivery applies to most of the UK, but some areas may incur a charge. Please check the eDecks website for more details.

Please note that bricks are delivered roadside/kerbside or as close to the property as access will allow with the aid of a hand pallet truck.

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Composite Fence Panels: A Contemporary Addition

A majority of fences are made from hard or soft woods, although recently, there has been a surge in the popularity of composite fence panels due to its contemporary style, which is a relatively new building material that is made from a mixture of plastic and real wood. Composite fence panels are often made from recycled materials, making it an eco-friendly option. The wood composition gives it a beautifully authentic look, while the plastic allows the fencing to last much longer than wholly organic materials. Using composite fencing means your fence will last far longer than the original wooden versions, resulting in fewer replacements and therefore fewer trees are cut down to replace them.

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There are many attributes to composite fence panels;

  • Deflects noise pollution – allowing you to enjoy the tranquillity of your garden without outside noise pollution seeping in.
  • Heavy duty – They have reinforced vertical slats ensuring they are gale force proof, resulting in no more cracked or blown out panels.
  • Maintenance free – No more painting and staining, as composite panels don’t fade like traditional fencing.
  • Superior durability – When compared to wood, composite fence panels don’t rot or splinter which is often the case in traditional wooden fencing.
  • Design – Our composite fence panels are designed to fit within your existing structure. No fixings are required as the composite fence panel fits within traditional concrete posts.
  • Cost effective – No need to buy replacement wooden panels after bad winters, as composite fence panels are excellent at withstanding harsh conditions.
  • Easy to assemble – Our composite fencing panels come ready made, so all you need to do is slot them between the original concrete posts.

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Our composite fence panels come in a range of sizes and are suitable for fitting in-between existing concrete posts. They are dual sided meaning you could even split the cost with your neighbours so that you can both enjoy the aesthetic qualities of the fencing. We also offer a variety of colours to complement our composite decking collection, including Natural, Walnut and Graphite.

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Composite fencing can be slightly more expensive than traditional pure wood fencing, but you can save yourself money by purchasing your fencing online, without the costs of showrooms and stores throughout the country. Online retailers can offer huge discounts on exactly the same products you may find at local hardware stores, so having a quick browse online can be a very cost effective solution. You will then still have the same guarantee as you would in person, with the added benefit that your goods will be delivered straight to your door. If you’re looking for extra guidance on installation, eDecks offers an incredible support service which you can use prior to any purchase, as well as offering professional guides to follow as you build.

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To go with your composite fence panels, we also offer a range of accessories, including Composite Fence Posts, Composite Fence Post Caps, available in Flat, Acorn or Globe styles, Composite Fence Post Bolt Downs, to make the installation of a small fence quick and easy, meaning that concrete drives are no longer a problem, and lastly Supaspikes, which have fins that bite into the soft ground giving a stable base for smaller fences.

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eDecks offers some of the best deals on maintenance-free Composite Fence Panels around, including all of the installation supplies and tools you may need. Composite fence panels are tough and hard-wearing, give the appearance of a wooden finish and are manufactured here in the UK. Not only do we provide plenty of unbeatable deals but also:

Super-fast FREE delivery on orders over £100*

Handy FREE installation guides.

*Free delivery applies to most of the UK, but some areas may incur a charge. Please check the eDecks website for more details.

20 Year Guarantee against rotting! *Provided all products have been fitted and maintained to the manufacturer’s recommend

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Polyester, Plastisol and Anti-Condensation Coatings: What’s the difference?

Here at eRoofs we currently stock a variety of coatings for our roofing sheets, including Polyester, Plastisol, and Anti-Condensation. But, what’s the difference? Let’s find out…

Polyester
High Tensile Polyester felt is a strong, durable and economical method of waterproofing flat and shallow pitched roofing. It consists of a three layer built up system, including a top layer of green or brown mineral coloured felt and has a life expectancy of around twenty years.

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Polyester sheets are made with TATA steel and are ideal for a variety of applications from the construction of basic storage or utility shelters through to bespoke commercial buildings or warehouses. High-quality manufacturing and a broad range of sheet sizes ensure great value for money and long-life in demanding seasonal environments.

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The steel substrate has a hot dipped galvanised coating of 275g per square metre and is primed and coated with 25 microns of high quality Polyester enamel paint. The reverse/internal surface is galvanised and coated with an alkali grey wash coat which ensures its longevity of life and has a moderate resistance to scratching.

polyester sheets

Our Polyester sheets start at just £21.15 each and are available in Goosewing Grey, Juniper Green, Slate Blue and Vandyke Brown.

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Plastisol
Plastisol sheets are designed to have a tough coating, giving the TATA steel sheets a high degree of protection against corrosion. They can be used for various applications, from garage roofs, industrial buildings and garden sheds.

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The Plastisol applied to the sheets consists of Polyvinyl Chloride based Thermoplastic Resins with short molecular chains which gives the sheets excellent resistance to UV. To produce high-quality pre-coated roof sheets, a system of multi-layer coatings is applied to zinc coated high tensile steel strips and then oven cured to ensure maximum adhesion. This then provides the sheet with a high corrosion resistance and climatic protection as well as being resistant to abrasion.

With Plastisol sheets, it is imperative that you double check your measurements as we cut them to your requirements.

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Our Plastisol Sheets start at £40.50 each and are available in Merlin Grey, Goosewing Grey, Olive Green and Vandyke Brown.

Anti-Condensation
This roofing coating is manufactured by bonding a non-woven polyester membrane to the reverse side of the sheet. The membrane then works by absorbing the formed droplets and retains them until the temperature rises, leaving the moisture to then dissipate naturally. These sheets also have improved noise reduction from rainfall due to their cushioning effect.

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Benefits of Anti-Condensation coated roof sheets are that they are easy to clean, by simply using a hose or pressure washer, their durability compared to non-coated sheets and the fact that in the long run due to these other benefits they are more cost-effective as you will not have to continuously replace them.

As with Plastisol sheets, we do recommend that you carefully check your measurements as the sheets are cut to your specifications.

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Our Anti-Condensation Sheets start at £46.02 each and are available in Goosewing Grey, Merlin Grey, Olive Green and Vandyke Brown.

To keep your Polyester, Plastisol or Anti-Condensation coated roofing sheets secure and watertight, we recommend using Tech Bolts, which are ideal for fastening steel sheets down to timber and steel. These stainless bolts are excellent quality and are supplied with a hexagon head which enables fast and reliable installation time after time for exterior construction.

tech bolts

To give your roof the full finish it deserves, be sure to add our Tech Bolt Caps, which conceal the Tech Bolt heads. They are available in matching colours of Goosewing Grey, Juniper Green and Vandyke Brown and ensure a fabulous, professional finish.

tech bolt caps

eRoofs offers some of the best deals on Roofing Sheets around, including all of the supplies and tools you may need. Not only do we provide plenty of unbeatable deals but also:

A flat rate shipping charge of £25.19 applies to all polycarbonate sheets, no matter how large your order! Super-fast FREE delivery on orders over £100*

*Free delivery applies to most of the UK, but some areas may incur a charge. Please check the eRoofs website for more details.

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Limestone v Sandstone: Which Indian Stone Paving Material is Best for You?

The types of stone paving available are exhaustive, however two of the most popular are sandstone and limestone paving. Today we are going to take a look at both in a comparable state to help you decide which is the most preferable stone for yourself.

Sandstone is available in multiple colours, from light buff through to beige, silver grey and shades of dark brown and black. Within each shade group you then have complementary tones and bands of colour which appear subtle when dry and then become much more vibrant when wet. Lighter shades of sandstone are ever so slightly more porous than the darker colours and tend to need additional cleaning or a sealant applying. Sandstone has a rippled and uneven surface and hand-cut edges and can either be a hand-cut thickness or calibrated to an even thickness which will help you when laying the paving. There are other effects and finishes when it comes to sandstone, for example antique/tumbled sandstone has been finished with a time-worn effect with a slightly flatter surface and rounded edges to give the appearance that these stones have been walked over for hundreds of years. Antique/tumbled sandstone is often available in more muted shades, making the property more suited to older style properties and period homes. Sandstone with a sawn finish has a very different appearance, making it a more contemporary option, with its sawn straight edges which enable close jointing which complements the contemporary theme. You will find that sawn sandstone usually has either a honed surface making it super smooth to touch or a sandblasted texture, giving it a gritty feel.

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Buff

Limestone paving is rather similar in appearance to sandstone, but tends to have a flatter surface with less riven edges and more of an orange-peel texture to it. The colours available in limestone also tend to be more limited than sandstone with three main colour choices of buff-grey, blue-grey and blue-black. With natural stone, there will always be some variation in colour, however limestone gives off a lot less colour banding and variation of shade than sandstone. One of the great advantages of limestone paving is that it may be placed in numerous areas, such as driveways, patios, walkways, pathways, courtyards, verandas and stepping stones. The versatility of limestone pavers means that they can be applied just about anywhere around your home, both externally and internally. Because limestone is relatively soft compared to other stones, it can therefore be cut much easily to fit in with your intended project.

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Carbon

When using natural stone paving, you will never get two natural stones with the same colouring, patterns and tones, making it completely unique to your property. It is also formed to be able to handle various weather conditions, ensuring it maintains its appearance for centuries, with minimal wear and tear. With regards to caring for your natural stone paving, you will find maintenance a doddle – it is extremely easy to clean and naturally has smaller joints than concrete paving, which even reduces the amount of weeds growing in-between any cracks. Due to natural stone’s durability, you will also find that you won’t have to constantly replace and repair sections of paving as no significant damage should ever occur. It doesn’t have to cost the earth to use natural stone paving, and you will find that in the long run it actually saves you money as you won’t be having to repair or replace the stone.

Indian Stone Mint Fossil
Mint

Colours and shades available in natural stone paving are Raj Green, Carbon, Kota Black, Umbra, Multi Buff, Shadow Grey, Tallow Fossil, Modak, Two Tone, Mint, Lalitpur Yellow, Kotach Blue and Yellow Limestone, giving you endless possibilities to create your dream paving area.

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Raj Green

As it is a natural product, you may eventually find that algae may build up over the years, particularly on a north facing patio with little sunlight. However, this can be prevented by using a sealant such as the Thompson’s Satin or Wet Look Finish Patio & Block Paving Seal, an advanced acrylic formula protection for paving and driveways, which seals and protects from moss and algae growth, whilst leaving a lovely satin or wet look finish. Paving Seal enhances the appearance of your paving, protects against oil or fuel spills, moss and algae growth and damages from weather and wear and tear, so it is definitely worth considering this option with your paving, however it is not recommended for use with Carbon Indian Stone.

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Shadow

When laying your paving, we recommend using the Nexus ProJoint Fusion All Weather Paving Joint Compound in either Buff, Mid Gray, Basalt or Black, which is a quick and easy solution for filling joints between paving slabs and setts, suitable for natural stone and concrete paving. It provides you with a weed-free, frost-resistant joint without staining the paving, saving you both time and money.

eDecks offers some of the best deals on Indian Stone Paving around, including all of the installation supplies and tools you may need. Not only do we provide plenty of unbeatable deals but also:

Super-fast FREE delivery on orders over £100*

48 Hour Delivery on many products

Handy FREE installation guides and instructional videos

*Free delivery applies to most of the UK, but some areas may incur a charge. Please check the eDecks website for more details.