2021 Garden Trends: A Better Driveway Prediction

In addition to being the experts of concrete driveways in Melbourne, our contractors also love seeing the different and creative garden designs that different people apply to their gardens. Which is why we’ve decided to predict some upcoming garden trends for 2021. Take a look at what we think for some quick inspiration.

Balcony gardens

With more and more people moving into apartments where there’s limited room for a garden – the balcony garden has become quite popular. The same can apply to your home if you have a balcony, though. Pick your favourite pot plants and strategically arrange them around your balcony. 

Looking for something a bit more exciting? Consider purchasing a trellis wall, putting it against one of your balcony walls and then growing some climbing plants or vines below it and watch them turn the trellis into a gorgeous and lush vine home.

Sustainable produce

This has been a big one the last few years and our concrete driveway experts believe it will only become more popular. Growing a sustainable vegetable patch or planting fruit in your garden is a sure way to cut costs when going to the supermarket.

Even with so many resources online regarding the best way to grow certain fruit and veggies, it’s still a trial and error and process so it really becomes a hobby at the end of the day. Depending on what you’d like to plant, you don’t even need a large space. In fact, you can even just start a small one on your balcony if you’re that way inclined.

The return of greenhouses

We live in an age where classic tropes get recycled and reintroduced to the newer generations – and we think greenhouses are amongst those making a return. These dainty and practical garden features are fit for both a modern and rustic-looking garden (depending on the design of the greenhouse itself) and are a great place to grow fresh produce and just keep plants that are suited to warmer clients.

The defining trait of a greenhouse is that it will stay warm even through winter, so it’s perfect for plants and produce that thrive in hot seasons. You won’t have to say goodbye to your hibiscus and other heat-loving plants in winter with a greenhouse. Greenhouses come in all shapes and sizes so you can find an option perfect for your needs.

Outdoor living spaces

An outdoor living room is a perfect option for a sizeable backyard. There’s a lot of versatility involved with outdoor living spaces with more lavish options available if you wish to arrange one on your deck or even create an undercover concrete patio area. The latter can really be transformed into a true living room with furnishings, a fireplace, kitchen and even some entertainment hardware like speakers or a television. Being undercover makes them a lot more versatile since they can be enjoyed at any time of the year.

Alternatively, outdoor living spaces can also be more relaxed. They can be nestled in a garden or even just be something as simple as a table and a set of chairs in an open area. If you have the room, you can look at building or purchasing a pergola (which can have a solid or partial roof) to add some charm to it. Outdoor living spaces are perfect for relaxing and taking in nature or even entertaining guests.

Arid gardens

2021 may finally be the year where people embrace the arid, dry Australian climate. This means lots of succulents and other plants that are prone to the dry weather in a light brown, bark garden patch perhaps. This aesthetic also works well when matched with a lot of modern concrete townhouses and homes that have similar, light colours. An arid garden will stand-out and allow you the opportunity to grown many different types of plants you may not usually be able to such as portulaca or coneflower.

Are you looking for specialists in concrete driveways in Melbourne?

A Better Driveway employs premium concrete driveway experts in Melbourne that can help you with all your driveway solutions – whether you’re in need of a new one or would like to repair your current one. From exposed aggregate to coloured concrete – our specialists will provide you with premium and durable solutions that can be enjoyed for years to come.

If you would like to get in contact with us, then please feel free to call (03) 9308 6112 or fill out our online enquiry form so we can get back to you as soon as possible. 

4 Power Tools Every DIY Enthusiast Should Own

Our Melbourne-based driveway experts know that to some people – DIY projects are a way of life. There’s something special about putting the work in and admiring the end-result – or, even better, actually using whatever you’ve built. Pergolas, raised garden beds, benches and even items the kids can play on – there is an endless list of DIY projects so why not be prepared? Today we’re going to be highlighting some key power tools that will come in handy if you’re someone who likes tackling DIY projects regularly.

 

1.     Circular saw

The circular saw is probably the most useful power tool you can have in your arsenal. It uses a blade which will have either smooth or toothed edges to cut through different materials. In DIY situations it’s primarily used for cutting through wood or timber but can also handle plastic or metal.

A circular saw is a much-favoured alternative to a manual saw in DIY situations as it requires a lot less labour and will also yield cleaner, more accurate cuts. Circular saws can be handheld or mounted and are available in corded or cordless battery-powered options.

 

2.     Belt sander

When you cut any type of wood, you’re going to want to sand it so it can become smooth. Not only will this be much easier to work with, but it will also look much nicer as well as minimise the risk of getting a splinter. Essentially, a belt sander operates in the same way a normal sander does except it uses a motorised conveyor belt and a looped roll of sandpaper to achieve a much faster and more efficient result.

Similarly to a circular saw, a belt sander removes much of the manual labour making the sanding process much smoother. Additionally, belt sanders also come in corded and cordless options.

 

3.     Drill

A drill is probably something you’re more likely to already have at home compared to some of the other tools. A drill will help you get screws in and out quite quickly and efficiently without the manual labour required when using a screwdriver. Another area a drill excels in over a screwdriver is putting screws into untouched timber – so creating the actual holes with the screws or with specific drill bits.

Doing this requires some short bursts to get started. It can be easy to use too much continuous power and accidentally veer off course – potentially damaging or ruining your materials/project. Drill bits are another big part of drills as there are so many different drill bits available – all of which are great for specific requirements.

Our Melbourne driveway experts recommend purchasing a well-made drill with solid drill bits – budget drill bits will dull very quickly and you’ll end up spending more on replacing them compared to paying a premium up-front cost for a well-crafted bit. Drills are available in battery-powered cordless options or corded ones.

 

4.     Jigsaw

When you want to cut shapes and curves – then a jigsaw is for you. Unlike a circular saw – which is designed explicitly for cutting straight lines – a jigsaw is designed for making those cuts a circular saw just can’t do like cutting a circle in the middle of a piece of timber. Experienced users will be able to cut odd and decorative shapes to achieve some truly unique pieces.

A jigsaw can come in handy when working on decorative projects such as grandeur park benches for the yard that require some curved armrests or picturesque support pieces. Like the above power tools, jigsaws are available for purchase in both corded and cordless options so you can choose the type that works best for you.

 

Are you looking to update your driveway in Melbourne?

Here at A Better Driveway, we pride ourselves on delivering high-quality driveway solutions in Melbourne. A durable and stunning exposed aggregate driveway would work so well with a DIY arbour or even a quaint front yard bench – so don’t waste your time on a subpar driveway – get in touch with A Better Driveway today for a driveway that will last.

Feel free to give us a call on (03) 9308 6112 or fill out the contact form on our website to request a quote or raise any queries you may have.

5 Ways to Enjoy Summer in the Backyard

Summer is a season that many look forward to – it’s the holiday time here in Australia and gives us a chance to enjoy the things we may not have time for during the year. Generally speaking, we can get some pretty hot and sunny weather, prompting many to go out to the beaches with friends and family and soak up the sun and atmosphere. But if you’re not too keen on heading out this summer, then there’s still plenty of ways you can enjoy the holiday season at home – and you don’t need a pool to do it!

 

1.     Read a book

There’s nothing like cosying up in winter with a good book – well, the same can be said for summer. Grab your favourite paperback or e-reader, set up a chair outside and you’re ready to go. Whether you’re on Melbourne’s much-beloved exposed aggregate concrete or a grassy patch, the natural light will make reading a breeze – especially if you’ve brought a pair of sunglasses with you. If you’re using an e-reader, then ensure your brightness is at max to combat the glare, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your exposed skin.

 

2.     Host a party/barbecue

There’s plenty of fun to be had during summer backyard parties – especially when there’s delicious food involved – so clean those barbecues and get cooking. If you don’t have any outdoor furnishings, then you can always hire some foldable chairs and tables fairly inexpensively specifically for the occasion. Otherwise, depending on the type of food you’re having, you can always just lay some blankets down and have a picnic instead. There are always ways around it.

 

3.     Consider meditation or yoga

A fabulous way to soak up the summer ambience is to just relax outdoors. If you’re someone who needs to be doing something though, then why not consider mediation or yoga? Meditation is relaxation with a purpose and can help you re-centre your ambitions and prioritise your goals as well as relieve stress. Even just 10 minutes a day is better than nothing and you’ll feel revitalised and calmer afterwards.

If you’re looking for a more active approach and would like to get in shape as well as re-align your mind, then yoga is the outlet for you. Yoga is highly beneficial for your mind, body and soul and can help you stay in shape and relieve/mitigate stress. Breathing is as much a part of yoga as the stretches and techniques.

There are yoga mats available for purchase at several different price points so even if you’re just thinking of trying it out you can buy a fairly cheap one from Kmart and lay it out in the backyard. There are free videos available on YouTube or even instructional mobile applications so you can get the hang of it. Once you feel comfortable enough, you can try forming your own flows using what you’ve learnt.

 

4.     Tend to your yard

Gardening can be a rewarding activity – especially in the summer when it feels so nice to be outdoors. There are plenty of plants that will both thrive and also need some extra care in the hotter seasons so it’s a good time to get out there and put in the hours. If you have a veggie patch or are looking to start one, then tomatoes, sweet potatoes and even cucumbers are just a few of the vegetables that will grow in summer.

Concentrating on the garden can be a relaxing pastime, but summer is also a good time to do some landscaping – even if it’s just some DIY stuff – so if you’ve had some changes in mind, now is the perfect time to take action.

 

5.     Get a firepit

For those milder evenings, a firepit is an exceptional idea as it’ll provide a source of warmth whilst also acting as a conversation piece. Invite some friends over and toast marshmallows with them. A firepit, with the right accessory, can also become a coal or wood-fire barbecue which is great for a different sort of cooking experience. Coal-fire steaks can be especially delicious when cooked properly.

 

Are you looking for exposed aggregate solutions in Melbourne?

A Better Driveway are the experts of exposed aggregate in Melbourne. Whether you’re after a new driveway or path, our contractors will deliver high-quality solutions in a timely and unobtrusive manner so you can enjoy a premium exposed aggregate concrete product for years to come.

If you would like to know more about our service or would like to request a quote, then please feel free to give us a call on (03) 9308 6112 or fill out our online contact form.

5 Ways to Border your Exposed Aggregate Driveway

An exposed aggregate driveway is the best possible solution for your home. It’s durable, customisable and practical. Whilst we’ve spoken about the benefits before in great lengths and some different design combinations you can choose – we thought we would explore its versatility when it comes to other elements of the yard, specifically bordering it.

Adding a border to your driveway and even your paths can add a layer of sophistication and order to your yard’s overall aesthetic. There are several types of borders you can choose from – so let’s break down five popular ones that will make your exposed aggregate driveway shine.

 

1.     Picket fence

A classic and conservative looking picket fence is a perfect introduction to driveway borders. Available in a multitude of colours and patterns (and even more if you’re willing to do a bit of DIY) there’s an option that will suit every type of exposed aggregate concrete combination. A good rule of thumb is to pick contrasting colours. For example, a lighter exposed aggregate driveway would work better with a darker coloured picket fence and vice versa. If you have a picket fence bordering your yard, then a miniature version flanking your driveway would match quite well.

 

2.     Grass edging

You don’t have to add pieces to your exposed aggregate driveway to achieve a border. If you’re after a minimalist and understated look, then why not consider edging the grass beside your driveway? Edging is fairly easy depending on what sort of tools you use. If you don’t already own one and don’t mind purchasing a new tool – then an edger is made specifically for this sort of task and will immensely simplify the job. Otherwise, a simple spade or shovel will get the job done, albeit with a little more effort. Maintenance is not very difficult and is typically only required once a year to be done with the same tools.

 

3.     Garden beds

For a more regal aesthetic, planting a garden bed on either side of your exposed aggregate driveway is a fantastic solution. Not only will you have some gorgeous flowers and/or shrubs bordering your driveway, but you will also give yourself something routine to do in the yard as the plants will need regular maintenance. Of course, if you don’t have the time to water them consistently, then you can set up an irrigation system that will consistently water them. There is a myriad of plants you can choose from so, just like your exposed aggregate driveway, you can customise and combine styles to make it uniquely yours.

 

4.     Bricks

Bricks are surprisingly versatile as they can give you both a neat bordering look as well as a relaxed, rustic one depending on the condition of the bricks. Undamaged, painted bricks can be made to look immaculate. If you are looking for something more relaxed, however, then spare, unpainted ones that may have some chips and other physical damage here and there will work great. Similarly to the garden edging technique, you’ll have to do some mild digging to ensure the bricks have a stable base.

 

5.     Outdoor lights

Outdoor lights are a modern bordering solution and possibly one of the most practical – particularly when it comes to the evenings. Outdoor lights are available in all shapes and sizes from simple, solar-powered lights that stick into the ground – to more complex smart-lighting solutions that allow for automations and can be controlled remotely.

The latter option opens up a whole world of possibility with different coloured lights that can change on-demand and automatically activate just before you arrive home – giving you the ultimate touch of luxury and convenience. Another fantastic benefit of outdoor lighting is that they can be combined with any of the above border types. They’ll work especially well when placed in garden beds as they’ll accentuate the plants at night and showcase them (quite literally) in a new light.

 

Are you looking for exposed aggregate driveway solutions in Melbourne?

Here at A Better Driveway, we are masters of exposed aggregate and can ensure a solid, reliable and premium driveway solution. Our highly trained and qualified team will leverage their knowledge and experience to ensure your exposed aggregate driveway is of the highest quality and will last for years to come.

If you would like to get in touch with us, then please don’t hesitate to fill out our online contact form or give us a call on (03) 9308 6112.

7 Essential Tips for Hosting Christmas

Whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned hosting veteran, there are some essential things you need to prepare for if you’re planning on hosting Christmas this year. Our Melbourne-based driveway experts are here to give you the lowdown on seven essential tips for hosting Christmas so you and your guests can have the best time possible.

 

1.     Consider dietary requirements

It’s easy to forget about allergies and intolerances so be sure to double-check everyone’s dietary requirements before buying the food. If you’re looking for some vegan alternatives to a classic roast lamb or turkey, then a quick Google search will reveal a plethora of recipes that will serve as either a base or as inspiration for an alternative. This chilli-charred brussels sprouts and vegan wellington look especially delicious.

 

2.     Organise seating

Depending on the layout of your home or yard you will also need to make sure there is an appropriate number of chairs for everyone. For starters, they’re necessary for lunch or dinner as people generally sit down during big feasts such as this, and secondly, not all the guests will be able to stand for extended periods (like any elderly family members or friends that may be coming along). If you don’t have enough chairs then you can hire some sturdy, foldable ones from party-hire stores.

 

3.     Secure entertainment for the kids

If you know there are going to be some kids around, then it’s best to make sure they’re occupied to ensure they don’t get bored standing around with the adults. Whilst it’s not uncommon for kids to have their own handheld devices to occupy them, it still might be worth putting a movie on the TV in the living room that they can watch or a game they can play if you have a gaming console.

You could even try introducing them to board games. If you have a large backyard area and the weather holds up – then maybe buy some water guns from Kmart so they can have a bit of fun in the sun (just make sure your yard is large enough that it doesn’t disturb the adults).

 

4.     Don’t forget about dessert

There’s so much to do and remember when you’re hosting so don’t let dessert slip your mind – especially since it’s what a lot of people look forward to. Make plans beforehand to make something yourself or organise some cakes or assorted sweets from a dessert shop. If you do happen to forget about dessert – don’t worry, you can always order something from Uber Eats.

 

5.     Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Hosting large events such as Christmas lunch or dinner can be a big burden and may feel overwhelming at times. Asking for help or even accepting it if it’s offered by other guests beforehand is encouraged as it can ultimately make the day more enjoyable for you and all your guests. You can delegate desserts to them, for example. This is also useful if you have a large party coming over and don’t have enough kitchen space to make everything or refrigerator space to store dishes made earlier like potato salad.

 

6.     Keep a level head

Whatever you do, it’s important to stay calm throughout the day and enjoy yourself. Even if you’re spending most of it dousing fires so-to-speak you should always try to stay positive and look on the bright side of things. Your mood will influence the vibe of the party so try to stay positive regardless of what happens, that way everyone can have a good time. If something doesn’t go exactly how you planned it then you’ll be able to conjure up an improvised solution if you simply keep a cool head.

 

7.     Don’t put too much pressure on formalities

Whilst things like matching cutlery/crockery and ornately presented table settings are stunning and can delight guests – they’re not always necessary. It can be stressful trying to make everything perfect, so don’t put too much pressure on those elements. As long as your guests have a relaxing and enjoyable time – they won’t worry if their names aren’t handwritten on place cards at the table.

 

Do you need a driveway laid in Melbourne?

Make sure your guests are greeted with a stunning and fresh driveway this Christmas. A Better Driveway are the masters of driveways in Melbourne and can lay a variety of driveway styles for you including exposed aggregate and coloured concrete.

Give us a call on (03) 9308 6112 or fill out our contact form if you’d like to request a quote.

5 Alternative Features for your Garden

As Melbourne-based driveway experts, we love to look at gardens and the different ways people express themselves through incredible features and designs – which is why we thought we’d detail five alternative stand-out garden features if you’re looking for a different aesthetic for your garden.

 

1.     Japanese pond

Truly a distinctive and rare feature to see in many gardens around Melbourne – a Japanese pond is a steady project that will keep you busy for a while and also requires heaps of maintenance over its lifetime. The great thing about Japanese ponds is that it won’t feel like a chore to maintain as the individuality of such a garden feature invites serenity and peaceful routine.

These types of ponds also don’t have to be extravagant as Japanese ponds come in all shapes and sizes. Choose the style and features that will suit your yard best – whether it is a small pond with some koi fish and lily pads scattered around graciously or a more exotic stone waterfall and/or fountain.

 

2.     Tile arrangements

Have you ever thought of adding a subtle piece of art to your backyard? Something that not everyone will notice – but something you will always know is there? With tiles, you can create a shape or design that will only be recognised when viewed from certain angles. You might think you’ll need a large space for this – and it will help for larger designs – but this is still achievable with smaller gardens.

The surroundings can be filled with either grass or even contrasting smaller pebbles. The tiles themselves are available in a variety of different materials or colours allowing you to achieve the design you desire.

 

3.     Synthetic grass

Synthetic grass isn’t so much a rare feature as it is a highly recommended one. Maintaining a genuine lawn can be a lot of effort and a lot of it goes to waste since Australia is a dry country to begin with. But with synthetic grass, you won’t have to worry about any of that. There’s no watering or mowing involved because it will always stay green and the same length.

Whilst there is a bit of an initial cost involved – synthetic grass will last anywhere between 15 – 25 years with some minimal maintenance. The only real regular maintenance that should be done is sweeping debris and small aggregates off of it every couple of weeks to avoid a build-up. You should be sweeping against the grass’ natural position to bring it into an upright position.

 

4.     Vertical garden

Creating a sprawling and exquisite vertical garden is an absolute must. It offers an additional dimension to your garden and there’s endless potential in terms of style and design aesthetics that can be followed. Two classic vertical garden types our driveway experts recommend involve cinder blocks and a trellis/fence.

A cinderblock vertical garden will require a cinder block (or a similar material) wall with some blocks sticking outwards – offering slots for the plants to sit in. The second is more of a DIY aesthetic as you will be tying pot plants to a fence or trellis. It’s easy to do and allows you to tie a myriad of different types of pots to the base.

 

5.     Garden bench

Featuring an old-school, stone garden bench in your yard (front or back) creates a gorgeous aesthetic that harks back to Victorian-era England and also invites a unique opportunity for surrounding decorations. You could plant medium-large sized shrubberies and flowers around the bench and create a cosy little oasis that’s hidden from the rest of the garden. Add a few cushions (make sure they’re durable enough to survive the elements for the upcoming summer) and you can sit and relax with a good book or just take in the ambience.

 

Are you looking to upgrade your driveway in Melbourne?

A Better Driveway are the quintessential driveway experts in Melbourne and can help revive your old, weathered driveway or lay down a gorgeous and durable brand new one. Whether you’re after a highly versatile and practical exposed aggregate driveway or a subtler coloured concrete driveway, our experts will be happy to oblige.

If you’d like to get in contact with us, then please give us a call on (03) 9308 6112 or fill out our online enquiry form on our website.

6 Gorgeous Christmas Decorations to Match with your Exposed Aggregate Driveway

At A Better Driveway, we put a lot of effort into making your exposed aggregate driveway the best it can possibly be so it can remain durable and attractive all year round. We’re fast approaching Christmas after what has been a difficult year for a lot of people. The festive season is something we need now more than ever – so why not go all in this year and dress up your front yard with some of these fabulous Christmas decorations? Today we’ll be sharing our top six picks so you can select the right decoration for your yard or mix and match a few.

1.     Fairy lights

An absolute Christmas essential, you can never go wrong with fairy lights and there’s so much you can do with them beyond hanging them around trees or fences. Think decked out trellis creations. Essentially, you could light up a life-sized Santa Clause cut-out with fairy lights. If you’re running them along a fence that’s quite close to your exposed aggregate driveway, then be sure to opt for similar colours so the exposed aggregates can really pop in the evenings.

 

2.     Inflatable Christmas friends

Whether it’s Santa Clause, Rudolph or some elves – there’s always room for inflatable Christmas friends on your front lawn. These can be to scale or even smaller/larger depending on how extravagant you want to go. They usually come with internal lights to make them stand-out in the evenings. Even something a bit different like a nutcracker will look stunning. Combine a number of them in varying sizes and with some fairy lights to form an illuminated festive wonderland that will truly make your home, lawn and driveway shine.

 

3.     Wreaths galore

It’s pretty standard to hang up a Christmas wreath on your front door – but if you’re looking to take your wreath game to the next level, then you can hang up several around your home’s exterior between windows or even on the garage. Just remember that if you are going to place wreaths around your garage then choose either a matching colour to your exposed aggregate driveway, a stark contrast or even some complementary hues that may be similar for the best effect. You can also add some fairy lights to it to ensure it’s enjoyed at night as well.

There are some fantastic wreath DIY videos online (this is one of our favourites) if you’re looking to create your own from a pre-bought base instead of just buying whole ones from a store. This will also allow you to be creative with them and craft different ones to add some real flair to your decorations. If you’re feeling a bit more creative, you can craft your own wreath base – all you’ll need is some flexible branches that you can weave together into a circle and then you can start decorating it.

 

4.     Outdoor Christmas tree

There are two ways you can go about this. The first is if you by chance happen to have a tree in your yard (bonus if it’s a picturesque pine tree) you can decorate it with ornaments, fairy lights and other Christmas decorations to really show your holiday spirit. Depending on how tall your tree is we recommend having a friend or family member assist you, especially if you need to use a ladder. The second option is to simply purchase a real Christmas tree and plant it in your front yard and do the same thing. This is probably a more practicable option as the height will be manageable. When picking decorations, be sure that they’re outdoor-friendly and that they match your home and driveway’s exterior.

 

5.     Festive letterbox

Give your letterbox a Christmas makeover by adding some holly, poinsettias, pine or other festive plants. Arrange them around your letterbox and secure them in place with some wire. The aforementioned plants will be a great contrast if your exposed aggregate driveway is made up of cooler coloured aggregates like blues and greys. If your aggregates are more-so brown/red/orange, then holly and poinsettias will match the driveway – especially if you’ve really emphasised the red. This will give visitors their first hint of Christmas spirit before heading up your driveway.

 

6.     Garland

If the excessive wreaths aren’t quite enough, you can design a garland that will wrap around your front door or even garage door. For a simple DIY, we found this YouTube video that uses a thick rope as the base and thin wire to wrap the premade greenery bouquets around it (the bouquets can be made using a combination of various greenery or even colourful plants). You can use removable adhesive hooks to attach it – just make sure they’re strong enough to survive the elements. Similarly to the wreaths, if you’re placing a garland around your garage, try to design one that either matches, contrasts or complements your driveway.

 

Are you interested in an exposed aggregate driveway in Melbourne?

A Better Driveway are the exposed aggregate driveway specialists. Choose from a multitude of different colours and aggregates to make a driveway that’s distinctively yours.

If you’re interested in a quote or would like to ask some questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us by filling out our online form or by calling (03) 9308 6112.

Your Guide to the Best Outdoor Summer Furniture Materials

Enjoying Australian summer outdoors is a staple of our culture. And, with summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to update your outdoor furniture with some fresh and comfortable pieces for you to enjoy for years to come. It can be tricky, though, sometimes, when navigating all the different furniture styles and materials. We’ve already covered the best furniture for winter – but today, our Melbourne-based exposed aggregate experts have decided to write this guide breaking down some of the key materials that make up durable outdoor furniture that will survive the scorching Australian sun and elements.

 

Teak

One of the key worries when it comes to outdoor furniture is its durability. Being outside for long durations, it’s exposed to a myriad of elements which can wear it down over time. Teak is one of the most durable materials you can purchase for outdoor furniture and is certainly the best available timber option.

Teak’s high oil and resin content are the core factors behind its durability. These make it resistant to the environmental elements and things like insect/pest attacks. Teak also has a gorgeous, dark timber finish which suits both a modern and classic aesthetic – making it highly versatile in terms of style as well as practicality.

 

Metal (aluminium and stainless steel)

If you’re not a fan of timber, then metal might be more suited to your style. If you are thinking of purchasing metal-framed furnishings, then you should look at either powder-coated aluminium or stainless steel. These are both durable metals that won’t rust or corrode. They can offer sleek and minimalistic aesthetics and, with the right combination of fabrics, make for very comfortable furnishings.

Stainless steel, being a heavier metal, is a bit more difficult to move around but you also won’t have to worry about potentially strong winds blowing it around. If you’re looking for more or less stable outdoor furniture to place on your exposed aggregate concrete, then stainless steel furnishings are the way to go.

Something you should be aware of, though, is that metal is a good heat conductor – therefore, it will get quite hot when left in the sun. If your chair has metal armrests, for instance, it might be better to lay a towel or cloth over them to stop your arms from being burnt. Keep your metal furniture in a shaded place to avoid this inconvenience.

 

Fabrics (solution-dyed acrylic)

There are a couple of available options when it comes to fabrics. The best all-rounder, however, is solution-dyed acrylic. Because the yarns are dyed before they’re woven, a durable and long-lasting colour is established in the product that will resist wear from heavy UV exposure.

Solution-dyed acrylic is also resistant to mildew and mould issues as well as being waterproof (which is great for furniture or cushions near a pool that may get splashed). Above all else, though, solution-dyed acrylic is breathable and when made into cushions (which is one of the main products it’s made into) can be quite soft. Other furniture made out of this material includes large umbrellas and awnings.

 

Plastics and synthetic resins

These materials are handy for outdoor summer furniture because they’re quite durable, lightweight and also easy to maintain. The lightweight factor makes them easy to move around – especially moulded resin furnishings like high-grade polyethylene – which are available in a myriad of colours and styles and present a unique aesthetic that predominantly suits modern settings.

Synthetic resin can be used to mimic wicker furnishings – but, unlike traditional wicker rattan – the synthetic resin version will not be affected by the elements and can safely live outdoors. Our exposed aggregate experts recommend high-density polyethylene when looking for synthetic resin wicker furniture due to its increased heat endurance and durability.

 

Are you looking for exposed aggregate solutions in Melbourne?

If you’ve been thinking of updating your outdoor furniture, then now is the perfect time to do it before summer officially hits. In the meantime, it’s also the perfect time to consider a new or updated driveway or concrete path. A Better Driveway strive to deliver the highest quality exposed aggregate solutions across Melbourne. We’ve had experience crafting exposed aggregate driveways and paths for countless residential homes and can ensure you’re equipped with a durable and stylish exposed aggregate product just in time for the summer.

If you’d like to get in touch with us do discuss potential exposed aggregate solutions, then please don’t hesitate to phone (03) 9308 6112 or fill out the contact form online.

5 Last-Minute DIY Driveway Decorations for Halloween

Halloween is almost upon us and even though there won’t be any trick or treaters making their way up your exposed aggregate driveway, it doesn’t mean you still can’t dress your yard up for the spooky season. If you haven’t had time to prepare your yard for Halloween, yet, don’t worry, because we’re going to be giving you five easy last-minute DIY’s you can do for front yard and driveway decorations.

 

1.     Jack o’ lantern

Let’s start with a basic Halloween staple – the jack o’ lantern. Carving it out can take quite a lot of time and patience – one mistake might render it unusable. So, don’t hollow it out. All you have to do is carve a face into it (or whichever design you may choose) and it’ll still look just as good. You can even colour the cut out areas in sharpie to complete the look further. Alternatively, you can also just take a black sharpie to them and draw the faces/designs that way. If you do have a bit of time, though, another option could be to purchase a foam jack o’ lantern and put in the time to shape it now so then you can have it for the following years as well since it won’t rot.

 

2.     Sheet ghosts

Thinking of riddling your yard and exposed aggregate driveway with hauntingly ghost-ish ghouls? It’s a lot easier than you may think. Grab some old sheets and shape the bottoms so they’re pointy/wavy and then cut out some eyeholes at the top for the face. All that’s left now is to prop up some sticks to act as supports (as well as actual sticks you can also use broom/rake handles etc.) and secure the sheets to them with rubber bands. Shape them out how you’d like to and let the bottom of them flow freely. With any luck, there’ll be a bit of wind to pick up the bottoms and make it seem like they’re flying. This haunting flying effect will be especially heightened when the sun goes down and the supports won’t be as visible.

 

3.     Gravestones

Possibly the easiest decoration you can create to give your front yard a haunting aesthetic is to make some gravestones. Purchase thick cardboard or foam and decide whether you want to leave them squared off at the top or shape them into a semi-circle if you have the time. Create names to put on them, put popular fictional characters or simply just write RIP – it’s entirely up to you. If the foam/cardboard isn’t grey, to begin with, then use spray paint to quickly prepare it (remember, the thinner the coat, the quicker it will dry). Glue some wooden pickets or skewers to the back to easily get them into the ground so they won’t fall over.

 

4.     Blood candles

An even quicker option than the gravestone DIY – blood candles will look spooky and ominous if done correctly. Purchase some candles of varying sizes – preferably white ones – and some red food dye. Gently apply the food dye around the top of the candle and then put a flame to it to start melting the wax faster than it usually would. The wax will melt red and make it look like blood is melting against the white candle. Melt the bottoms as well onto plates. The wax will make them stick to the plates so you can place them around your front porch.

 

5.     Fairy light bottles

If you have any old wine bottles or even plastic soft drink bottles, then you could be sitting on some rustic outdoor lighting solutions. If you have outdoor fairy lights already, great, if not, you should be able to purchase them relatively inexpensively from stores such as bunnings. Try to look for lights that have a lot of red, green or orange in them for a spookier vibe. All you have to do is trail them along your fence or pergola/trellis structure if you happen to have one in your yard or over your exposed aggregate driveway. Remove the labels from the bottles and insert some of the lights into each bottle periodically. Try to choose smaller lights so they can fit into the bottles. Then, tie some string to them and the fence/structure to suspend them.

 

Are you looking for an exposed aggregate driveway in Melbourne?

With years of experience and a solid track record for premium service behind us, A Better Driveway are the experts you’ll want laying out your new exposed aggregate driveway. Choose from thousands of possible exposed aggregate options and enjoy the practical benefits in no time.

If you’d like to know more about our service, then please give us a call on (03) 9308 6112 or fill out the contact form on our website.

Top 8 Gorgeous Designs for Exposed Aggregate Driveways

It’s no secret that we love exposed aggregate driveways here at A Better Driveway, and honestly, what’s not to love? They’re highly durable, slip-resistant and easy to maintain. But one their greatest advantages is that they’re extraordinarily versatile aesthetically speaking – boasting an almost endless amount of combinations and finishes.

We love seeing what people come up with when planning their exposed aggregate driveway, so, today we thought we’d impart some inspiration in case you’re unsure what type of finish you’re looking for by revealing our top eight favourite and gorgeous designs for exposed aggregate driveways.

 

1.     Single grey

A classic tried and true option, going completely grey is a safe choice appealing to those who want to match grey to their home or even those who may not be too fussed about the aesthetics but just want to reap the practical benefits of exposed aggregate. This would include all grey aggregates of the same shade – ensuring an even and single-tone finish.

 

2.     Multi-tone grey

Grey is a pretty versatile colour when it comes to driveways – but keeping it all grey doesn’t have to be so simple – you can add lighter or even darker aggregates into your single grey blend to add some diversity to the mix. This way, you can still maintain a grey driveway but with some added intricacy.

 

3.     Grey with light brown aggregates

Add some brown aggregates into your grey concrete mix for a chic contrast. The brown will truly shine in the sunlight and it’s also the perfect pairing for a natural-coloured brick veneer or double-brick home.

 

4.     Single light brown

If you’re looking for a single colour but find grey a bit too monotonous, then why not try a light brown? We already know that light brown aggregates look brilliant with a grey concrete base, but combining a light brown concrete mix with some dark and even lighter aggregates will give you a brilliant finish that will still contain some depth thanks to the other aggregate tones.

 

5.     White concrete – dark aggregates

If you’re living in a home with a more modern exterior, then you’ve probably considered white concrete. The good news is that exposed aggregate driveways can be made with white concrete and, of course, any aggregates of your choosing. A simple and beautifully complementing aesthetic is to nominate dark aggregates such as black or dark greys. Feel free to also add some mid-toned stones for extra diversity. Not only will this offer a stark yet smooth contrast, but the white concrete will also make sure your driveway is easily visible at all times of the day and night.

 

6.     More pebbles and stones than aggregates

For a more luxe finish, there’s always the option to include more substantial stones and pebbles than aggregates. You’ll still need a fair amount of smaller aggregates (because that’s what gives the driveway its slip-resistant quality), however, adding some shiny and smoother looking stones can give you a more high-end finish than a standard exposed aggregate driveway.

 

7.     White concrete with blue aggregates

Looking to go all out? Adding some blue and even white aggregates into your driveway is great for a more exotic look. Blue is a cool colour but hot when it comes to popularity. It reflects natural light exquisitely during the day and artificial light just as nicely in the evenings. If you have a front porch light that comes on when you arrive home, then your driveway will glisten with the blue aggregates. A lighter concrete option like white is best suited blue aggregates as it contrasts much nicer.

 

8.     Combining two styles

Not sure which style will best suit your home? Maybe you should consider choosing two and give your driveway a bespoke edge that’s distinguishably yours. Perhaps choose white with dark aggregates for the middle of your driveway and then have grey concrete with brown aggregates bordering either side of it? Mix and match different styles to find what truly speaks to you.

 

Are you looking for driveway specialists in Melbourne?

At A Better Driveway, we pride ourselves in being the exposed aggregate driveway specialists that you can trust. With years of experience and an extensive portfolio behind us, we can guarantee a high-quality exposed aggregate driveway for your home. We’re operating throughout the lockdown period and will be happy to assist you.

If you’d like to learn more or get a quote, then please don’t hesitate to contact us by filling out the enquiry form on our website or by calling (03) 9308 6112.