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Your guide to aggregates for driveways

Posted on by Emily Mitchell

If you’re planning to renovate your driveway, you might start out very optimistic, full of bold ideas and with a clear vision of what the finished product will look like.

To help our customers get their dream driveway, and to make the process as easy as possible, we have compiled this guide to all things aggregate – helping you to make the best decisions for a driveway you’ll be proud of and that will last.

What is the best aggregate for driveways?

Well, put simply, it depends on what you want the driveway to look like. From shingle to paving, concrete to grass, there are all sorts of options for material, style and size to choose from.

The three main types of aggregates for driveways that you will probably need are MOT Type 1, concrete and 10-20mm gravel.

MOT Type 1

MOT Type 1 is possibly the most commonly used construction material in the UK, forming the basis of all sorts of construction work. Used heavily for roadworks, MOT is made from crushed limestone and concrete, chosen because of its stability as a base material.

Concrete

A material that needs no introduction, concrete has endless applications in construction, and can be a vital part of driveways. Whilst some may choose to use crushed concrete as a base for construction, instead of MOT or similar materials, it is also useful as being the driveway surface itself – ready-mix concrete being finished smoothly on top to provide a no-frills alternative to decorative driveways.

Gravel

Gravel obviously comes in a massive range of shapes, sizes and material. The kind most commonly used for driveways is between 6 and 20mm in size, made up of small round stones spread over the area. The benefit of using gravel is that it is easy to lay and is low maintenance, though its tendency to spread across the garden and through the house might put some off.

How much aggregate do I need for my driveway?

Obviously this will depend on what material you use, how big an area you want to cover and a host of other variables.

A general rule of thumb, for gravel at least, is that the depth should be about two to three times the size of the gravel you’re using – usually meaning no deeper than about 30-40mm. If your gravel is too shallow you might be able to see the base layer underneath, and gaps will become very obvious as time passes. If your gravel is much deeper than 40mm you risk your driveway becoming a racetrack-style gravel trap, with your car plunging to a halt as soon as you try to pull in.

As gravel is essentially just a pile of stones, when pressure is applied, such as when you drive your car over it, all the stones slip past each other, meaning that deep layers aren’t great at supporting weight. It is possible to get types of ‘self-binding’ gravel that support weight a little better by reducing slippage, but you still wouldn’t want to drive into any deep quantity of that.

Keeping Your Driveway In Good Condition

After all the time, effort and money that it takes to get your driveway just how you wanted it, you will want to be sure that it stays in top condition for years to come.

Some types of driveway, such as paving, tarmacadam and concrete, are easy to care for and can usually simply be cleaned of moss with a pressure washer or a garden broom. If you have opted for a hard surface, the chances of weeds growing are slim, though they often find a way through any small gaps or cracks – but these can be dealt with using any available weed killer.

Gravel driveways present a slightly lower maintenance option than hard surfaces. Gravel provides better drainage than other surfaces and so won’t need to be cleaned, but will probably need regular weed killer sessions. To avoid weeds, it is best to use a sheet of landscape fabric between your driveway material and the ground – rot-proof, semi-permeable fabric that prevents your expensive materials disappearing and also prevents too much unwanted weed growth.

The use of borders, either in the form of decorative stone blocks, wood panels, road bumps or drainage dips, will prevent both gravel escaping the driveway and the garden encroaching on the area.

How can AMA Aggregates help with your driveway?

When it comes to building your ideal driveway, or even something simple and practical, there are plenty of things that you need to take into consideration. Not only will you first have to decide what it will be made of, the style and size of the driveway, but you need to think about the time it will take, the manpower required and just how you’re going to get the materials on-site.

To alleviate the stresses of driveway construction, AMA Aggregates’ services come in a range of shapes and sizes to help with any job. We provide all sorts of aggregates, from MOT Type 1, gravel and concrete mentioned above through to topsoil, sand and even plenty of environmentally friendly recycled materials. Everything we offer is available either loose or in bulk bags too, meaning we can deliver the right amount to any site, no matter how big or small it might be.

Not only do we have all the materials you could need, but our service is second to none too. With next day delivery across all the UK, we can be on site as soon as you need, armed with all the workmen you need to get your materials unloaded and into position. If you have any material left over or any waste from your job, we will handle that, taking everything away and recycling whatever we can – AMA Aggregates really does offer a complete package of driveway services!

To find out a little more about what you need for your job, what the best way to tackle your driveway is and a little extra about why AMA is the right company for you, just complete an email form online or call us now on 0845 4757 287.

Posted in Latest News |

Recycled Aggregates – Making Every Stage Of Your Job Green

Posted on by Emily Mitchell

The uses of aggregates are varied and well known. From construction work through to landscaping and road surfacing, aggregates have a thousand uses, despite being perhaps the least glamourous aspect of a job.

Although aggregates are, quite literally, the foundation and cornerstone of any project, very little consideration goes into their selection compared to materials used in other parts of construction. As long as it’s the correct type of material, it doesn’t matter, right?

Wrong! As with many things today, environmental concerns can impact on product choice. When designing a house few people would say that any old bricks will do, any glass or any tiles, and the same consideration should now be applied to aggregates.

Should You Use Recycled Materials?

At AMA we are delighted to be able to offer our customers a range of recycled aggregates, providing the same great quality and fulfilling all the roles of regular aggregates, but in more environmentally friendly way. Recycled aggregates can come from a wide variety of sources, including waste from building destruction, spare materials from road construction and even ballast from disused railways.

Recycled aggregates, whatever their origin, can provide real value when undertaking specifically environmentally friendly projects. From green eco-houses to modern garden design, the use of recycled aggregates can perfectly compliment the use of any other green materials you choose. Why build an eco-house and go through the effort of sourcing specialist materials but neglect to use responsible aggregates?

Far from only being useful in eco-projects or individual houses, recycled aggregates can be suitable for any job. In an age of environmental responsibility, it is important that businesses and governments are seen to be doing all they can to save the planet, and by supplementing existing plans with these new products any project can be made greener. All of the aggregates that AMA supply, recycled or not, are available loose and in bulk bags, meaning that we can cater for jobs big or small, and match our services to you.

For more information on any of the products and services that AMA Aggregates offers, to discuss your needs with our expert staff and to take advantage of our next day, nationwide delivery, get in touch today. Complete a contact form on our website or call us on 0845 4757 287.

Posted in Latest News |

Decorative aggregates for gardens – Let AMA Aggregates help!

Posted on by Emily Mitchell

With more television programs and magazine articles than ever showing the benefits and ease of designing your dream garden and “green” housing, there has never been a better time to explore the options and make a change to your property.

AMA Aggregate products and services cater to jobs of all shapes and sizes, from work at home to enormous commercial projects, here’s some examples of projects we can provide materials for:

  • Laying a path
  • New lawns
  • Rooftop gardens
  • Living walls and ponds
  • Garden improvements
  • Topsoil and sand for landscaping
  • Gravel and concrete for paths

All of these meeting strict British standards, providing the highest quality products at affordable prices.

Aggregates have played a part in all sorts of famous landscaping work, from football stadia to golf courses, city tower blocks to country gardens, and whilst your job might not quite reach the scale of The Shard or Hampton Court gardens, we know that we will be able to help, whatever it is you’re planning.

Buying supplies from AMA Aggregates is straight forward and hassle-free

We know that the world of aggregates and landscaping can be a daunting one, especially if you are undertaking your first major job at home. At AMA, we have designed our services to make business as easy and pain-free as possible, helping cut out the worry and get you back on schedule.

Whether you’re planning a designer garden or a ‘Grand Designs’-esque eco-house, we have everything you will need to get the job done. From gardens to pathways, grass roofs to planted walls and garden ponds, whatever landscaping project you have in mind, AMA Aggregates can help.

For more information on any of the products and services we have available, or to place an order, give us a call on 0845 4757 287 or fill out the contact form on our website.

Posted in Latest News |

5 Big Uses Of Aggregates In 2014

Posted on by Emily Mitchell

Whether you realise it or not, aggregates are all around us. From the roads and railways you travel on, to the building you are sitting in right now; aggregates play an essential role in our lives – the unsung and unglamorous heroes of construction.

At AMA we thought it was high time we shed some light on the fantastic array of uses for our aggregates and help inspire you to think big, get planning and make your job a success. So, without further ado, we present 5 of the biggest uses of aggregates in 2014!

1 – Brazil – World Cup Stadiums

Whether you are a football fan or not, you have to be impressed at the scale and ambition of the Brazilian FIFA World Cup building efforts. An estimated $3.5 billion has been spent getting the worlds biggest stages ready for this summer and no fewer than 6 enormous stadiums have been built with another 6 refurbished.

Alongside the stadiums come a dazzling array of new hotels, motorways and infrastructure of all kinds. It is undoubtable that an astonishing quantity of building materials and aggregates have been involved in this mammoth effort – think of that next time you put your feet up to watch the game.

2 – China – Sky City

If all goes to plan, 2014 will also see the completion of Sky City, the world’s tallest building, in Changsha, China. This monumental structure is planned to contain an amazing 5 schools, an entire hospital, 10 tennis courts, a hotel for 1000 guests, 17 helipads and enough living space for nearly 20,000 people! What’s more, actual construction is only expected to take 90 days!

It’s incredible to think that all of this wouldn’t be possible without the very same components that have built your house, driveway and garden. Aggregates truly are useful on any scale!

3 – Worldwide – Roadworks

Now, bear with us here. Next to skyscrapers and football stadiums, roadworks might not seem so glamorous, but just think about the scale and the success of these projects.

In Britain alone, our 1.5 million potholes are estimated to add up to a whopping 295 square miles, twice the size of the Isle of Wight. The cost to taxpayers and governments the world over are enormous and problems like these take an awful lot of fixing.

That’s where suppliers like AMA Aggregates come in. Our MOT Type 1 aggregates are useful for anything from plugging a hole in the M25 to paving your driveway, helping to do our bit for worldwide motorist sanity.

4 – England – Crossrail

As controversial as it may be to some, the Crossrail network being built in London right now is an exciting prospect. With over 100km of new tracks, 42km of tunnelling and loads of station refurbishments and new platforms to be built, Crossrail is now the biggest construction project in all of Europe and possibly the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken in the UK.

It is absolutely staggering to think of how many materials go into a project like this, how many workmen are needed, skips, waste management and everything inbetween! At AMA Aggregates we offer a huge range of products and services for any job, of any size; perfect for a little hobby railway building (just ask permission before you start tunnelling).

5 – USA – One World Trade Centre

In the heart of Manhattan, New York, the finishing touches are being added to the new World Trade Centre, with opening slated for early 2014. Built to replace and remember the buildings and lives lost in the 9/11 attacks 13 years ago, the building will undoubtedly come to be an icon of the Big Apple and, as the USA’s tallest building, of America itself.

Containing nearly 40,000 cubic metres of concrete and 40,000 tonnes of steel, this is an enormous feat of engineering. Not only that, but 80% of the waste produced by the building will be recycled and it is fitted with the latest in solar, green and energy saving technology – an amazing achievement and one that AMA strive to match in every job.

Who knew aggregates could be so useful? Almost the entire world’s biggest and most awe-inspiring projects will use vast quantities of MOT Type 1 and other aggregates.

Luckily for you, we can supply for any need, meaning that whatever you do, from fixing up your garden to laying a new driveway, repairing potholes to building football stadiums, AMA Aggregates can help.

Posted in Latest News |

Recycled Aggregates Contributing to Green Concrete Development

Posted on by AMA Aggregates

Of course, concrete is the go-to construction material for almost every type of build. No matter how simple or complex the project, no matter what you’re trying to achieve aesthetically, concrete has long been the primary way we create structurally sound buildings and constructs. With environmental factors and reducing our carbon output high on the priority list for everyone these days, and with such an abundance of concrete in use so frequently, we could certainly use a greener, cleaner alternative. Fortunately, that’s exactly what the folks at the University of Salerno in Italy are working on right now!

Continue reading →

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Sustainable Building Gains Momentum and Popularity

Posted on by AMA Aggregates

To say sustainability is a factor of modern living that weighs heavily on the minds of many would be a pretty accurate deduction of society. If we’re not hearing about the urgent need for lessening our carbon footprints on TV, we’re reading leaflets in Tesco, seeing advertisements, or routinely sorting our rubbish into glass, compost, paper, and general. It’s unlikely to come as much of a shock then, to learn that environmental awareness is spreading to all aspects of seemingly every industry, even the most unlikely ones, and a recent survey has found the homeowners are looking to greener builds for the future!

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Norfolk’s A11 Dual-It Project on Target for June!

Posted on by AMA Aggregates

It’s safety and economy first on the A11 right now, as work continues to bring Norfolk’s key transport link up to speed by dualling the carriageway up to the Fiveways roundabout. The project itself is a significant one, but despite several weather-based draw backs, the Highways Agency project manager Geoff Chatfield has stated that the contractors are on time to complete the work; all £134 million of it!

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Changi Airport Goes Green Concrete

Posted on by AMA Aggregates

Everywhere we look these days, we’re finding new and improved ways for companies, from huge international corporations, right down to the SMBs and local owners, to turn their operations into ecological funfairs. There’s an array of options available to the keen-eyed project manager, and as we all know, going green doesn’t just mean you’re doing your bit for the environment – it means you’re saving money too. Everybody wins. And the latest example of some rather outlandish efforts to ensure we’re all as ecological as possible? That would be Singapore, and more accurately, the folks at Changai Airport.
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Landfill Bound [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted on by AMA Aggregates

There’s no such thing as being too environmentally friendly, and here at AMA, across our many services from aggregates to skip hire to container hire, and all the rest, we’re dedicated to making sure we’re an efficient and ecological company wherever possible! As such we thought we’d take the time to make everyone aware of where the country stands in our plight, and just where we could get to with a little more elbow grease! Below is our latest infographic, displaying all the most up to date facts and figures on the amount of waste we’re still sending to landfill. It highlights how far behind we are, and also what we are currently doing about it! Have yourself a read through and drink in the knowledge, get inspired and then set out to make sure your company is as economic and ecological as possible!

Naturally, at AMA Aggregates we provide some of the best quality recycled aggregates around, meaning with our help, you can make the first steps or augment your current process for a greener overall output! Which is good news by anyone’s standards. Get in touch today to find out more, but first, why not have a good comb through of this infographic, and should the urge take you, why not share it! We’ve included a text box below with all the code you’ll need to get this lavish image up on your own blog! Alternatively, head to Facebook, Twitter and any other such social media and spread the word!
 
 
 

Embed Landfill Bound on Your Site: Copy and Paste the Code Below

 

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