If your looking for reliable driveway, pathways and patio’s then you have come to the right place, With our roots firmly in Devon we have block paving squads covering Devon, Cornwall and across the south west.
- Our service
- Imprinted Concrete
- Block Paving
- Garden Patios
We have award winning garden displays at the Shaw Garden Centres as well as the Infinity Home and Garden shows that we do twice yearly
Our Social plans for Akashan
Construction is one of the most ‘brick and mortar’ industries out there. There was a time when it didn’t seem necessary for a construction company to bring their business online, have a website, and participate in social media – but that time is over.
Although the whole process of construction is done physically, you cannot deny the fact that your customers are all hanging out online. And to connect with them, to reach them, and to convince them to hire you, you have to hang out online as well.
Having a website is the first step in doing this, but using social media and increasing your social media presence is another important step.
Speak directly to our customers
With social media, you would be able to identify your target audience easier. With demographics provided by social media analytics, you’ll be able to study your current audience and see what demographics are working better for you. You will then be able to use this information to tweak your website and your other marketing strategies to better connect with your target audience.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make it so easy for your customers to provide you their feedback, and maybe even provide testimonials.
With just a few clicks and typing a few words, they would already be able to tell you what they think of the service you provided, or what they think you can improve on. Even potential customers can connect with you this way. As a small business, this feedback is invaluable.
Connect With Our Customers
Just as it is easy for them to connect with you, it will be easier for you to connect with your audience as well. You can easily address any issues that your audience raise, or you can thank your existing customers for their patronage. It will be easy for you to provide information that potential customers would find useful as well.
Social media makes lead generation so much easier and so much cheaper. With sites like Twitter and Facebook, you can build your audience and easily use your existing audience to reach more people. With filtered searches and geo location, you can find leads and already start pre-qualifying them.
Better yet, leads can find you easier and start calling you if they see your social media presence.
Build Up Your Authority
With social media, you can position yourself as an authority in the construction industry. This will make a big difference in your customer’s perception of you, and will make potential leads trust you more. The credibility and authority that you will be able to build using social media comes at a fraction of the cost when you use other avenues.
Connect With Partners
Using social media also allows you to connect with other businesses that you can partner with. Even if you don’t get partnered with them, you can easily be associated with them by following them on Twitter, liking them on Facebook, or giving them a recommendation in LinkedIn.
Your customers will be able to see that you are associated with big business and this in turn makes you more of an authority by association.
Being active in social media helps your website traffic as well, because it is easier to share useful information through social media and simply direct interested readers to your website. This makes your traffic more targeted too.
And since they already saw your credibility from your social media accounts, it will be easier for them to click to your website and check your services.
Research Your Competitors
Your social media account will allow you to do competitive research also, which will not even really cost you a cent. You can check the pages of your competitors and see what they’re doing and see who is following them.
This also allows you to see what they’re doing right and adopt their strategy and even make it better. You can also see what they are doing wrong and avoid the same mistakes.
New ideas are hard to come by, let alone ideas that would work. Using social media will enable you to check what people are talking about, what new and upcoming technology are around and what your target audience is looking for in services such as yours.
2 Construction Companies that are smashing it on Facebook
Findley Roofing and Building have built up hundreds of followers and likes by sharing their projects and before and afters their facebook page is huge. They have since opened another one for another branch and it only has 2 likes on the page. Be interesting to see if it goes the same way.
Roof Maker – This Company are the perfect example, they have over 66k likes Wow! Thats enough for any company, their page is here.
With information like this, you can now brainstorm new and innovative ideas that you already know will work because you already saw that people are talking about these things.
Content And Knowledge Sharing
Social media is basically a tool of sharing, and you can leverage this purpose into sharing information that positions your business the way you want. If you want to be a go to for information about the industry, then you can regularly post links to articles that are valuable for your audience, even if those posts aren’t on your website.
On the other hand, if you want more people to know more about your business or why they should hire you, you can share tidbits of information that help you achieve this goal.
The best thing about social media is that you can take advantage of all the benefits already mentioned without having to spend a thing. You can incur some costs for upgrades or ads and things like that, but they will be at a fraction of the cost.
We all know that marketing is very expensive, and this is even especially true for small businesses because your primary goal is to grow your business. Social media helps you a lot with this because you will be able to employ strategies that definitely work and that don’t cost too much, or anything at all.
Aside from being cost effective, social media saves time as well. With only a few minutes spent a day in updating your accounts, you will already be able to market your construction business. There are even tools available that allows you to schedule updates so that you can sit down once a week and do all the posts for the week. You probably won’t be spending an hour in doing this.
Your driveway is an important aspect of your home and is one of the first things people notice. It is also what many people first notice when passing by your home. A great new year’s goal is to keep your driveway clean as that can show that the rest of your home and life are just as clean.
Below are five tips that are an easy way to make sure you always have a clean driveway. These tips are used by all the best driveway companies and were passed on to us at a recent supplier meeting buy Jay Droughton who owns NEPG award winning driveway installers covering Newcastle
Tip #1: Sweep
Driveways are the easiest place for dirt and grime to build up. Cars can easily bring in dirt, oil leaks, and other unwanted substances. People and small animals also add to the mess by trekking in dirt and mud. Of course, there are always things like leaves, twigs, dirt, and other small things that end up building making the entirety of the driveway look messy.
By frequently sweeping, you can get rid of the majority of the dirt. Make sure to focus on any cracks in your driveway, as this will be the place that you will see most of the dirt. Even if you do this weekly, or more if you feel that your driveway builds up dirt quickly, you will begin to see that in the long-run, your driveway will usually always be clean.
Tip #2: Hose
If sweeping is not enough and you still feel that your driveway looks dirty, try using a hose. Make sure that you first do a general sweep of the area though to get rid of any large pieces of trash. A conventional garden hose will usually do the job, and if you use this frequently enough, you can save on having to hire a professional pressure washer to clean your driveway. The water from a hose will wash away the smallest dirt particles that cannot be seen through sweeping.
Tip #3: Scrub
If you want your driveway to be extra clean, you should try and scrub your whole driveway. This is as easy as filling a bucket or large container with hot water and adding some washing liquid to it. If you do not have any specific liquid, dish soap or any other cleaning substance will work just fine. Put a brush or a washcloth into the water and let it soak for a little. Then scrub your whole driveway. Make sure you are reaching any cracks your driveway may have. Once you have gotten a good scrub, rinse the whole driveway with water.
Oil stains on a driveway can prove to be challenging, even after scrubbing the area. If you have a leaking car that let off many oil stains, you can try and buy stain removal. A homemade removal that you can use is first to use a cloth or rag to soak up the excess oil. Then pour a little cat litter onto the stain. You will need to stand on it to press the cat litter into the oil. Leave it there for a period, and then sweep it off. You will probably have to repeat this process a few times, but by the end, you should be able to see the stain disappear, or at least significantly faded.
Tip #4: Pressure Washer
The previous tips are great for a cheap way to keep your driveway spotless. However, if you are hoping to put in a little extra money you can consider a pressure washer. Make sure that your washer can dispense cleaning products and water. By using cleaning products, you can speed the cleaning process and ensure that your driveway is clean. Make sure that you follow all the directions and are safe while using a pressure washer. They can be dangerous, and if used incorrectly, can not only damage your property but also cause injury.
Tip #5: Professional Cleaner
If you are not comfortable using a pressure washer yourself, consider hiring a professional cleaner. Over time, this will be the most expensive option. However, if you do not trust yourself with a pressure washer or do not have time to put in the work, a professional cleaner will make sure that your driveway is spick and span. Akashan have hundreds of happy drive clean customers.
When choosing companies make sure to ask them the specific services they offer, and ask for their credentials. Also, never take a verbal statement, and instead have them write down a contract before you start working with them. NEPG offer free trail areas for customers to see the results they also have a cleaning team for their driveways.
Akashan will be doing the same in 2015
There are plenty of options to ensure that your driveway is clean, and if you follow through year round, you will be bound to see improvements in your home in 2015.
Block paving is increasingly becoming more popular due to many reasons. It is quite durable and can be laid in a variety of patterns, colours, styles and finishes. It is also extremely easy to maintain, and can be easily replaced with individual blocks if a certain part is stained or damage. Another reason it is a top choice for some is because of how cost effective it is.
We are at the bottom end of the country and our block prices are closer to northern companies than south based firms. This Leeds website shows they charge nearly identical prices to us. Below are a few of the top concerns in the cost that you will need to address:
Block paving costs in London can be expensive due to several reasons. The largest cost is determined by the area size you want to be paved. This not only directly changes the cost, but also determines how much material you will need to use.
You will have plenty of choices of material to choose from for the block paving, and this will be what will drive up the cost the most. The cost will be determined by the type and size of the brick you are using. Also, prices could go up if you are looking for a specific pattern.
A lot of the cost will also depend on the quality of the blocks you use. It is important to look at the quality beforehand though because you do not want to have to keep on replacing parts of the driveway. This will end up being much more costly than if you just went with a more expensive material to start.
Background / After Work
Of course, the block paving cost will also depend on how much previous work needs to be done. For example, even though the costs of the raw materials may be quite small, you may need to dig out the ground for where the driveway will go. After a layer of hardcore, you will also usually need the top surface applied. Everything added up can begin to get quite costly.
You will also have to check with the specific county you live in as labour costs differ slightly. This will have a change in your cost for sure. Of course, you can always opt to DIY as it can be much cheaper to do the work yourself. However, not everyone has the time nor skills for such a job. You can also talk to the company you plan to work with and see if it will lessen the cost if you do the majority of the preparation by yourself. For example, you could buy the blocks yourself which will save money.
When you are researching companies, always ask for a price quote. You can then compare between the companies. Some companies will charge by the square meter while others will charge you for the whole job. Also remember that just because something is cheap does not mean that it will be great quality. It is always better to pay a little more and ensure that you have top-notch block paving to avoid future costs along the way.
When planning for your driveway, it is important to do prior research so that you are familiar with what exactly you will be doing with your driveway. One of the key components of the process is the material that you will be using. A critical choice that you will need to make is what type of paving you will want. There are variations in color and style, but in general, one of the first choices you will have to make it between block paving or cobble paving.
Here are three key differences that can help you decide what you would like to use for your driveway.
Difference #1: Aesthetic Quality
The aesthetic quality between block paving and cobble paving is probably the largest difference you will want to understand.
Block paving is usually divided into two general categories, concrete and clay. Each material has a different style, and within these styles there are classes including standard, tumbled, or decorative. Standard concrete pavers are quite commonly seen in most driveways in the UK. Clay pavers are slightly more expensive but offer a higher quality than the concrete variation. Tumbled pavers provide a more aged look, so if you are looking for a historical look to your driveway or garden, you should consider the tumbled block paving. Decorative pavers are even more expensive because they cater towards textures and shapes depending on your specific driveway. They cost more because it takes longer for them to produce than the other two.
Cobble paving is different than block paving through the material they use. Cobbles are unworked lumps of rock that usually have not been worked on in any way. They come in their natural shape and size. They are quickly set in sand or crushed stone to provide a surface to walk on that is comparable to that off block paving. Cobble paving has a historical feel to them as well and appear more natural or random than that of block paving.
Difference #2: Pathway Usage
Depending on the purpose of your road, you will want to choose from block or cobble paving. If it is just a driveway, block paving may be a better choice as it is usually quite flat and easy to drive. However, if you are extending the path to a garden or are looking to make it friendly for people to walk on, cobble paving can be an excellent addition. Cobble paving often does not go well with the modern car, but it is great if you intend it for a place to walk as it offers a great, historical feel to your pathway. It can also act as a deterrent for other cars to not come onto your property. Cobble paving is often seen to be more of a decorative element than block paving.
Difference #3: Cost
The cost of block paving will widely be determined by what material you use. You will also need to decide on what quality you will want for your driveway. If you do not want to repair your driveway in the next ten years, and are hoping for quality, you should expect to pay a little more upfront.
Cobble paving can be expensive if you want a quality, nice-looking pathway. Many cobble paving can end up not looking great because people did not put in time to understand the patterns and shapes made by the stones. This is why it may be better to pay for quality so that you will not have retouch anything in the future.
When you are deciding on the material, it is also important to research the companies that are providing you with the services. Understand if they specialize in either block or cobble paving, and try to take a look at some of their previous work. If you are satisfied with how the block and cobble paving looks in other projects, then you can be assured that they will be able to handle your home as well.
Be proactive and ask the companies what materials they use and how they go through the process. Even if you do not understand everything they are saying, you are showing the company that you care about the details of your project, and you are investing in your home.
A beautiful driveway is one of the first things people will notice about your property. It can immediately add value to the outside appearance and if done well, can be minimal work for you. Having a quality driveway contractor can save you a lot of work in the future. Below are a few tips on how to avoid a cowboy contractor and make sure the driveway contractor you choose will do the job well.
Avoiding Cowboy Contractor Tip #1: Research Your Companies
Make sure you do prior research. If people come knocking on your door offering their services to your driveway because they were “in the area”, they most likely will not be providing a quality service. Most legitimate companies will not cold call and if you do take their services, make sure you validate their services by calling into the company they claim to be a part of.
Avoiding Cowboy Contractor Tip #2: Do not accept a Verbal Estimate
When you receive an estimate from a company, make sure you request for a written quotation. Most companies will happily offer it to you with the official paper including business information such as the address and telephone number. If it is an illegitimate company, they will be less likely to hand out a written confirmation or estimate.
You should take note if a company wants to start immediately. Most reputable companies will require some time to schedule the installations, and usually should take a few weeks’ notice. If anything, they will need to come in for a few preliminary checks before they start working.
Now that you know what you should be avoiding, here are a few tips on what to look for when choosing the best driveway contractor for you.
Choosing a Quality Driveway Contractor Tip #1: Background Research
Research between a few companies and get estimates from more than one. Talk to the people at each place and get an understanding of everything they have to offer. Most companies are more than happy to talk with you and help you figure out what is the best choice for your driveway.
Some questions that you should ask every company is how long they have been in business, what references or ACI Certifications the have, and also what type of warranty they provide for their work. Warranty is important, because you want to be clear and not have any miscommunication on understanding the services that they have to offer.
You can also ask for the location or at the least, pictures, of previous projects they have completed. It is good to see a range from recent to even as far as five years ago. If you are able, try and go out to see those projects. Knowing the quality that they produce and seeing their workmanship in existing projects is a great way to understand if you want that company to do work for your house.
Looking at older projects is also crucial because you will have a solid understanding of how long your driveway will hold and how much extra care you will need to put into it in the future.
Choosing a Quality Driveway Contractor Tip #2: Request Written Quotations
For each company, you are researching, request for a written quotation. You should do this for more than one company as you may be tempted to go with the cheapest service. However, the quality may be lacking. If a company does not want to give a written quotation, you can assume that they are not legitimate. You should also ask for a reasonable estimate of the time they will finish the job.
Choosing a Quality Driveway Contractor Tip #3: Project Communication
Make sure that even from the start, you are extremely clear about what you want to see happen in your driveway. The more direct you are at the beginning, the fewer problems you will have in the end. If you are hoping for a particular style or material, you should make that clear when you start. If this is something the company is unable to do, it is better to find out at the beginning rather than half way through the project.
Most companies are more than willing to work with their clients to satisfy their particular wants. Do some research beforehand on materials and the different ways you can pave your driveways. This will help you understand the vocabulary and language that is being used when you are talking to the builders. It will also ensure that you are capable of making choices when it comes to deciding on what type of installation or material to use for your driveway.
You should expect a quality driveway by the end, as long as you are proactive throughout the whole process. Do not be afraid to ask questions along the way and have the company explain to you any concerns you may have. This way, you can ensure that in the end, you will have a quality driveway for your home.
Why You Need An Electrician To Install Akashan Driveway Lighting
Garden lightening is something we are being asked about more and more. Akashan have now installed more than 100 driveways with our bespoke lighting system.
Things you need to know before you order from Akashan
- It’s our bespoke lightening system. Not the same one as recommended on Amazon.
- We only supply the system, we do not install. You will need to hire an electrician.
- Driveway lightening installed by non-qualified electricians could cause serious harm, and Akashan will not accept responsibility.
These days we are always looking for new ways of updating our homes and making them look more attractive. External lighting is certainly one way of adding to the ‘kerb appeal’ of a property – whether it is driveway lighting to offer a feeling of safety and security for homeowners or ambient lighting to create a beautiful garden feature, there are plenty of ideas out there to tempt you.
If you are a keen DIY enthusiast you may be tempted to install your driveway lighting system by yourself but by doing so you could be making a costly mistake. If you insist on installing outdoor lights yourself, then make sure you choose a solar lighting system. The advantages of solar lighting are that there is no wiring to deal with and it won’t cost you a penny on your electricity bills! However, you’ll need to take into consideration our wonderful British weather… on dull, grey days when there isn’t much light around, the lights won’t have much chance to charge so the light may not last quite as long as you want it to.
Electric driveway lights are much more dependable of course, but they do come with their own risks and should always be installed by a Local electrician. We use Caztec Electricians based in Sunderland they are a national company and expert in outdoor electrics.
Following these top tips for your outdoor lighting system, will make for a much safer experience:
- Make sure your outdoor lighting equipment is from a reputable stockist and that it has been built for purpose (i.e. you aren’t using indoor lighting externally)
- Make sure that your outdoor lights are weatherproof and waterproof (particularly if you are going to be using any outdoor lighting in garden water features)
- Have your lighting installed by a qualified, registered electrician, and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Check your outdoor fittings regularly for any damage and make sure they are maintained and kept free from instructions such as leaves
- If a bulb needs to be changed, make sure you switch off the main power supply – if any repairs are required then make sure this is done by a professional electrician.
If you aren’t experienced in the installation of exterior electrics, you should never attempt to install your outdoor lighting yourself – by doing so you are putting yourself (or someone else) at risk of serious injury or death.
It only takes something as simple as a faulty connection and a damp or wet lawn to turn your electric outdoor lighting system into a death trap. It is recommended that you hire an electrician to safely install any external lighting to make sure that it is done so safely and meets the regulations required for outdoor electric work.