We are a Devon-based construction company, specialising in outdoor home improvements. We’ve been transforming the outdoor spaces of residential and commercial properties across Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset for over 25 years.
Our core activities are artificial grass installations and resin paving for driveways, paths, patios and many other outdoor spaces.
Because we are a full-service contractor, we also design and install decking, fences, as well as carry out groundwork, general landscaping and construction maintenance contracts.
All our work is completed by our trained and accredited in-house staff, not subcontractors, so you can be confident in the quality of our work and enjoy peace of mind.
We’re family-run, our reputation is built on old-fashioned values like hard work, clear communication and honest pricing.
Whatever the size of your project, we look forward to arranging your free, no obligation quote with our surveyor.
Wednesday 18th September 2019 by Anthony Abbott
The best surfaces for pool surrounds
Check out our complete guide to the best surfaces for your pool surround. We look at the design, the look and of course the important safety aspects to consider.
When you have gone to the expense of a swimming pool for your home, you will want to make sure it is not just the water that looks inviting.
It’s also about getting the pool surround right too so you have a welcoming and relaxing area around the water where family and friends have a space where they can socialize, as well as swim.
But it’s not just about the aesthetics – you will also want to make sure that the area is safe and free from any hazards that could put users at risk of injury, or worse. If you have areas of mold or paving areas that have cracked or broken tiles, these don’t just look awful, they are trip hazards too.
So whether you are installing a brand new pool or upgrading an existing one, think carefully about the surround, one that combines practicality and style with the all-important safety aspects.
First, a few things to consider.
Ideally, you want to choose a surface that is non-slip to eliminate the risk of trips and falls, but also smooth and accessible for users.
Think about how easy it will be to maintain. You don’t want to be spending hours on cleaning when you could be enjoying a relaxing dip. Where a pool is outside you will want the surround to be cool underfoot and offering UV protection to prevent discolouring.
It is important to try and create a seamless look too, by hiding drain areas for example, which can also remove another potential trip hazard. Finally, don’t forget to think carefully about colour combinations as it is likely you will want a pool surround area that complements your property’s colour palette and doesn’t clash.
Pool surrounds – the options
Tiles or paving stones
With a stunning array of colour choices, as well as textures, tiled pool areas have traditionally been the favoured option. You can create a variety or patterns and either use a single colour, or several in combination. Tiles cut to different sizes can also create an interesting and striking finish. Natural stone and slip resistant ceramic tiles are available, but one of the more popular choices is porcelain, which is tough and durable in terms of weather resistance and also has great slip resistant properties.
Another popular and traditional choice for pool surrounds, concrete is slip resistant, as well as tough and durable. It doesn’t have to look bland either with a variety of colour and texture options, many of which can make concrete look like more expensive materials, such as wood, slate or stone.
The increasingly popular, more contemporary solution – composite decking is a viable alternative to the more traditional pool surround options and can create a real stunning, modern look. Slip and stain resistant, composite decking won’t rot or warp like wood and is resistant to algae and infestation making it a leading contender for your pool surround. Here at Harbron Home Improvements, we offer products from one of the market leaders in this field, Millboard who are putting even conventional composite board in the shade.
Most composite products are a mix of plastic and wood fibres, but Millboard only use timber to make the mould for their decking which is made from tough resin and mineral stone. It is designed to look exactly like wood – but will easily out perform it.
Resin pool surrounds
Another specialty of Harbron, the versatility and unique features of resin make it one of the most popular choices for outdoors and indoor swimming pool surrounds.
Cost effective, with a 25 year life span, resin pool surrounds are fast to install. As long as the base is safe and structurally sound, it can be laid to many existing surfaces without excavation or groundworks.
Resin bound means a seamless finish too, with no loose stones. What’s more, resin keeps its cool too – even in direct sunlight, so is ideal for bare foot users around the pool.
With a stunning range of colours and textures available you can personalise your design, even incorporating patterns, motifs – and even company logos into the finished surface. It’s the perfect material to camouflage unsightly drains and filters too, making it an ideal choice for pool surrounds.
Always think pool safety too!
Whatever your final option for a pool surround is, remember to ensure you make the area as safe as possible for users, particularly young children. It maybe necessary to install gates and fencing as part of your pool area, as well as ensuring surfaces are anti-slip and non-abrasive. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Think about introducing rules for pool users too, so they know what to do to keep themselves as safe as possible. These may include no running, diving or pushing near the water and young children are forbidden from going into the water unsupervised.
For non-swimmers and very young children always use appropriate life jackets or buoyancy aids too. Make sure both adults and children stay well away from drainpipes and fit anti-entrapment devices to stop them getting trapped by suction action.
Monday 2nd September 2019 by Anthony Abbott
How to care for and treat your artificial grass
How do you take care of artificial grass? Read our expert artificial grass care tips to ensure the longevity and look of your synthetic lawn. It's simple!
When it comes to landscaping, it’s difficult to beat the look that traditional turf creates. The well-manicured lawn is quintessentially English and is often the centrepiece of every great outdoor space perfectly complementing colourful summer blooms.
But getting that look doesn’t come easy. In fact, it requires a lot of heard work - mowing, weeding regular feeding and treating, it can seem like a full time job.
That’s where artificial grass is a clear winner.
The quality of the modern day artificial grass products means, that nowadays, they look like real grass and they are simple to maintain. It is important to recognise though that doesn’t make them maintenance free.
Yes, artificial lawns don’t need feeding, weeding and watering – but to ensure they always look their best, you will have to put some regular work in. Little and often is the key. Set aside some time once a month to give your artificial grass a good wash and brush up rather than leaving it until the end of the year.
It is important to remember that when your artificial grass is first laid you need to let it settle before doing any kind of maintenance work on it.
Protect the integrity of the grass surface at all times too. Keep heat sources, such as barbeques or bonfires well clear and beware of the damage sharp objects can cause too. Be careful with mirrors and other reflective surfaces too, which could cause sunlight burns to the grass. Heavy vehicles will damage the surface too so keep them well clear.
Right, now you have all those precautions in place, how do you stay on top of the maintenance requirements? Here’s our guide
Don’t delay picking up the debris
First job, clear up the debris and make sure it stays clear. Any build up of dead plants, leaves or other matter could damage the artificial grass over time particularly if it compromises effective drainage. Keep the surface as clear as you can. It helps to cut back any overhanging plants or hedges to prevent a build-up of debris.
The membrane backing helps to keep weeds out, while letting water in, but some weeds and mosses will prove just too clever for this and will always find a way through.
Removing by hand will clear the surface, but the roots will obviously remain underneath. It is vital therefore that if you use a moss/weedkiller product make sure it is water based so as not to damage the artificial turf.
Stay on top of stains and other marks.
Tough and durable, modern day artificial grass is highly stain resistant and a good jet wash and brush using hot water with some washing up liquid should be enough to do the trick. Make sure you clean up after pets quickly too, particularly if you have young children, as faeces do present a health risk.
For tougher stains or oil marks make sure you use approved artificial grass cleaning products to avoid the risk of permanent damage. Do not use strong chemicals like bleach on your artificial lawn as this could discolour the surface permanently.
Brush up on your broom skills regularly too
Brushing artificial grass on a regular basis is a great way to keep it looking its best – and a stiff yard brush is best for the job. Make sure you don’t just brush in one direction either otherwise the grass blades will not look their best. Also, remember you may have to brush more often if your lawn gets a lot of traffic, which can typically happen in the summer months when you are using your outdoor space for entertaining.
Choose Harbron artificial grass maintenance packages
Of course, you could let our expert and experienced maintenance team do all the hard work for you.
Artificial grass aftercare from Harbron covers all the necessary maintenance requirements so you can just sit back, relax and enjoy your new surface.
Whatever the season, out comprehensive and competitively priced aftercare packages will mean your artificial grass is always looking its best… in the spring, summer, autumn or winter.
Our artificial grass specialists have got it all covered:
We suggest an annual maintenance visit, but don’t hesitate to call us in for a quick makeover if you are having a special event like a summer party or a big family barbeque.
Find the right artificial grass product for you
Our Super Six artificial grass range offers different style and length choices, while combining quality and affordability.
Check out our product ranges:
10 year guarantee and product warranty offer complete peace of mind too.
Remember, Harbron Home Improvements offers a 10 year guarantee on artificial grass – and that’s on both the product and labour.
Our artificial grass solutions are of such top quality and durability, with high performance UV protection, that you can expect your artificial grass to last much longer than that.