News From Harbron Home Improvements

Our latest news and transformations by Harbron Home Improvments.

Get an outdoor transformation just like the TV lifestyle shows

Monday 15th July 2019 by Anthony Abbott

Outdoor transformations like those often featured on two popular home and garden TV shows are helping to raise the profile of resin surfaces, one of the key services of Harbron Home Improvements.

Renovate Don’t Relocate, with leading property expert Sarah Beeny, has used resin finishes in the past, as part of her new layouts and design ideas helping homeowners give a new lease of life to their existing properties, rather than move.

Resin surfaces have also featured in another hit lifestyle programme, Love Your Garden with Alan Titchmarsh, the popular horticulturist, who travels around the UK with his makeover team, transforming gardens.

Just last week, one of the company’s resin steps projects at the entrance to the Devon Bay Hotel in Ilfracombe was on Channel 5’s popular show The Hotel Inspector (July 11).

The company’s team of resin specialists transformed the existing tiled clad steps with a contemporary, resin bound replacement, using their Golden Beach colour

But is not just resin driveways, walkways and paths, patios, swimming pool surrounds, balconies and wheelchair ramps that Harbron offer.

TV lifestyle programmes often show outdoor projects that feature another two key elements of Harbron’s portfolio of services – decking and artificial grass.

The company, which is an established and respected specialist for outdoor transformations across Devon and Cornwall, Somerset and Devon, offers the complete range of artificial grass products, as well as maintenance and aftercare packages.

They also have a wide selection of both timber and modern composite decking solutions, as well as fencing and other landscaping options.  

Find out more about all Harbron Home Improvements outdoor transformation solutions at www.hhigroup.co.uk


Harbron's resin talents step into the TV spotlight

Friday 12th July 2019 by Anthony Abbott

Harbron Home Improvements’ highly regarded range of resin surface solutions was in the TV spotlight last night (July 11) on Channel 5’s popular show The Hotel Inspector.

Presenter Olga Polizzi visited the Devon Bay Hotel in Ilfracombe where viewers watched, as she tried to help a couple inexperienced in hospitality, cope with a potentially busy summer season.

But the viewers will also have seen another prime example of Harbron’s expertise at the hotel – it’s stunning resin steps!

The company’s team of resin specialists replaced the old, tile clad steps with a contemporary, and more stylish, resin bound finish in the Golden Beach colour range, transforming the hotel entrance.

Harbron Group Managing Director James Harbron said he was very proud to see the quality of the finish and praised the installation team for their highly professional work.

“The old tiled steps were badly in need of replacing and the resin bound look is really classy. It is also a much more practical, as well as durable alternative, as hotel steps like that will get a lot of use in years to come,” said James.

Watch the show now via this link:  https://www.my5.tv/the-hotel-inspector/season-15/episode-5   

Harbron Home Improvements has a reputation as one of the South West’s leading resin specialists - and it is finish that has a whole host of other applications, not just steps.

 

The company offers high quality and durable resin products for driveways, walkways and paths, as well as patios, swimming pool surrounds, balconies and wheelchair ramps.

Resin is a much stronger and tougher finish than traditional gravel, tarmac and block paving. It is ten times more durable than tarmac and with the right aftercare, can last 25 years plus.

The porous nature of the resin bound surface also means there’s no puddles or pooling of water either.

What’s more, it’s stain resistant, non-slip and with its UV protection, won’t fade or discolour over time. Maintenance is simple too, with just a regular quick jet wash needed to keep It looking its best.

When it comes to colour and design, the choice is only really restricted by the scope of your imagination.

There is an extensive palette of colours, as well as combinations available and you can even personalise your project with unique patterns, motifs – and even company/personal logos.

 

Find out more about all Harbron Home Improvements outdoor transformation solutions at www.hhigroup.co.uk/resin


The best decking materials – from the experts

Wednesday 10th July 2019 by Anthony Abbott

What are the different types of materials – and what is best in particular conditions?

 

Decking is now recognized as the most common alternative to the use of traditional patio/seating area products, such as paving slabs.

Timber decks, and the more modern composite solutions are the favoured choice for those looking to create the perfect garden space for entertaining and spending time as a family.

But what are the best decking materials – and which work best in certain conditions?

Well, like any outdoor improvement scheme you want to bring to your garden, it’s got to be something you want. There is little point in choosing a product that may have better qualities if you don’t actually like the look it creates.

At the end of the day, you have got to have something that fits in perfectly with your tastes…never compromise the need for individual choice!

There are other factors you will want to consider too. You will probably be working to budget and also looking for something that has longevity. We all lead busy lives too, so ease of maintenance maybe key to your final choice too.

Don’t rush into a decision. Take some to weigh up the positives and negatives of each product. It is good idea to sit down with a piece of paper and, for each decking product, write down the plusses and the minuses of each. It could really help you make your final decisions.

Get the opinions of your friends too, well the ones with good taste! It is also a good idea to find out what the rest of your family like. The last thing you want to do is spend your hard earned money on a stunning new decking area, if you are the only person using it!!

So, let’s see how our two contemporary decking adversaries face off – and which is likely to come out on top.

 

The case for timber…

 

Let’s start with budget. Timber does offer a more cost effective solution over its composite and PVCu rival, but ultimately the actual cost will depend on what type of timber you want to use.

Unsurprisingly, while softwood products are cheaper, they aren’t as durable as hardwood.

Remember that maintenance factor too. Wood, by its very nature, needs looking after with regular treatment using stains, oils, preservatives. Hardwood is tougher, but it doesn’t matter what wood you opt for, completely neglect a timber deck and it will eventually rot and crack.

That means you may have another costly outlay for a new deck! With the right level of care, some timber deck solutions can last up to 25 years – and sometimes longer. It really depends if you have both the time, and the inclination, to maintain it.

 It should be said though that modern timber products are improving all the time to better compete with their contemporary composite rivals. Wood too, arguably, looks more natural in garden surroundings although there is an increasing number of composite products coming to market that look just like timber.

Timber also looks great when it’s used to create steps and/or walkways, as well as for a seating areas, as it blends in well and provides a great contrast to the rich greenery of lawn areas and foliage.

Wood decks do present a slip hazard too. To help combat this, pressure washing to remove algae can help, but too much washing can cause timber to deteriorate at a faster rate. There are also products on the market that can create a better grip to the surface, small inobtrusive aluminum inserts fitted into the deck.

 

The case for composite/PVCu…

 

If you want a tough, hardwearing decking solution that requires minimal maintenance, yet still has a life span of 20 to 30 years – and more, then composite could just be the product for you.

In this contest, it’s definitely the heavyweight contender, although hard wood products are punching in a similar category.

Composite won’t crack, rot or warp, has great non-slip properties and you won’t need to be reaching for the oils, stains and preservatives…ever. Just the occasional wash down will keep it looking great. No sanding, no sealing, the advantages just go on and on.

Boards also come in a range of colours and finishes, whereas with wood, you have to put plenty of hard work in if you want to change its colour!

The PVCu alternatives often come in cheaper than timber too, but don’t have the same visual appeal as timber. But as we have already indicated, there are many composite brand that look so much like timber, it is difficult to tell the difference unless you look close up.

Where the modern composite products perhaps work best, is in a more contemporary setting, but if it is the traditional look and feel you are seeking to achieve, then timber decking is probably the winner for you.

 

Millboard composite decking – is it in a class of its own?

 

Alongside more cost effective composite solutions, Harbron Home Improvements work with the Millboard range of composite products that have raised the bar for quality and durability.

But what makes the Millboard composite deck so good?

The main reason lies in the manufacturing technique. While extrusion techniques are used to form most composite boards, Millboard’s team of experts hand mould the deck from original timber. It retains the appearance of wood and can be hand coloured at the same time.

The materials used in the construction are quite different to those that make up other composite products. Instead of a combination of wood fibres and plastic, Millboard uses mineral stone with a unique resin mineral.

There’s no rotting or warping, and the Millboard deck is also damp free. It also won’t fall victim to insect infestation either. What’ also perhaps surprising, is that despite its touch composition, the Millboard deck is also remarkable easy to cut, as well as shape. It doesn’t even require predrilling for fixings.

What’s more its environmentally friendly do, so you will be doing your bit for the plant is you choose Millboard composite decking boards.

 

Choose Harbron for Millboard composite – and other, more cost effective composite decking solutions.

The in-house decking installation team at Harbron Home Improvements has completed a specialist, advanced training course with Millboard – so you can trust in their knowledge and expertise if you choose this premium product for your decking project.

Find out more about composite and all our decking solutions at www.hhigroup.co.uk/decking

 

    

 

 


Fencing Laws – everything you need to consider

Monday 8th July 2019 by Anthony Abbott

Here’s our overview of the laws relating to fencing - and what you need to be aware of concerning boundary issues.

 

Nothing drives a rift between neighbours more than a good old-fashioned boundary dispute – well maybe all-night raves, if you are really unlucky.

Location and height of fencing, walls or gates, and the problem of associated overgrowth of trees and hedge, can become a battleground, which is why there are certain laws in place in the UK.

Before you start, it is important to establish which boundary fence you are responsible for. It is usually the right hand side of your property, but it is a good idea to check the deeds, or the local authority should be able to help you with this information. 

Don’t forget the other really important rule when it comes to this issue though!

The best way to avoid falling foul of your neighbours is good communication, so before you even contemplate any changes to the boundaries you share, speak to them about what you intend to do.

Technically, you cannot even apply a coat of stain or preservative to your side of the fencing that is owned by your neighbor, without getting permission in writing from him or her.

Everybody needs good neighbours, so talk to them about exactly what you want to do. Who knows, they may even agree to share the cost of the work, if you get on really well!

 

So what are the main laws relating to boundaries?

Before we start, remember, we are not legal experts so if you end up in any type of dispute, it is important to seek the appropriate legal advice, but again, before you take any official action, speak to your neighbour to see if you can remedy the situation without resorting to a costly and acrimonious legal battle.

That should really be the very last resort…

Also, it is a good idea to be aware of any restrictions or covenants in place relating to any boundary changes you wish to make. Again, any information about this should be in the deeds of the property.

 

Do I need formal planning permission to erect fencing or other types of boundary markers?

 

  • If fencing, walls or gates are above two metres in height, you will need planning permission to erect it. It doesn’t matter if the fence panels are below with trellis on the top. If that trellis takes the height to more than two metres, you must get local authority permission
  • If you live in a listed property, or your home borders one, then you will need local authority permission to carry out any work on the boundary fence
  • Where a proposed fence, gate or wall adjoins a public road, you must seek planning permission if that fencing is higher than one metre.
  • Where the front of properties is open to the public paths and highways, there is likely to be restrictions in place for erecting any kind of fence, or indeed hedge, in this kind of location - so check with the local authority before doing any work

 

REMEMBER! If you have any doubts or concerns at all, don’t erect fencing or any other kind of boundary marker before checking with the relevant local authority official.

 

Types of fencing

 

So, you want to replace your tired, old wooden fencing and your neighbour is fully on board too…but which type to choose?

 

Fencing is still one of the most popular options for marking the boundary to your property at the rear. It is good quality, yet affordable solution.

 

 It is also good for security and to stop pets escaping. It tends to be more pleasing in appearance too.

 

There are three main types of fencing:

 

  • Lap larch, with its horizontal, over lapping boards, it is one of the most popular fence solutions and particularly suitable for flat surfaces.
  • Featherboard (also known as featheredge) is where the boards run vertically and makes for the ideal solution for sloping and uneven garden surfaces.
  • Decorative fencing is also a very popular choice, combining sections of fence with trellis. With straight or curved lines, there are a whole host of sizes and attractive designs available.

 

Why choose fencing from Harbron Home Improvements?

 

Quality, affordable wooden fencing is a specialty of Harbron Home Improvements.

Many customers across Devon and Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset have already taken advantage of our flexible and cost effective service.

Whether it’s brand new panels or replacements for old/storm damaged fences, our skilled in-house team will meet your exact requirements. Removing your old fencing can also be arranged.

Pressure treated to extend their lifespan, we also offer an unrivalled 7- 25 year guarantee, depending on the wood grade you choose – and what a choice there is.

Lap larch fence panels, feather edge boards, decorative panels and trellis, we have a whole range of fencing types, as well as different designs, styles and colours.

Key benefits of Harbron fencing solutions:

  • 7-25 year guarantee
  • Full design, groundwork and installation
  • Many sizes, wood grades and colours
  • Ultra-resistant all-weather protected
  • 100% in-house installers.

 

Enhance your fencing with a host of other landscaping products and services from Harbron Home Improvements

Harbron Home Improvements offers resin bound driveways, patios, pathways, steps, pool surrounds and balconies. Personalise your outdoor space too, with a range of colours and designs.

We also offer more traditional driveway/path surfaces in concrete, block paving, gravel and tarmac. For artificial grass, choose from a whole array of colour options – styles designed for all budgets, but don’t compromise on quality.     

But our services don’t end there. Choose Harbron Home Improvements for:

  • Fencing
  • Timber decking
  • Glass Balustrades
  • Landscaping
  • Groundworks
  • Driveway extensions/repairs.
  • Property maintenance.

To find out more about all these services, visit our website at www.hhigroup.co.uk

Whatever the job, whatever the size, whatever the surface – Harbron Home Improvements is all about giving your property kerb appeal…and helping you to become the envy of your neighbours! We also offer a ten year guarantee on products and labour.


We've got the hot tips and the skills to get you #summerready

Monday 1st July 2019 by Anthony Abbott

Are you #summerready?

The outdoor transformation teams from Harbron Home Improvements are - ready to make your summer landscaping dreams a reality.

When the sun shines, you want to be able to entertain in style and get the very best out of your garden space.

That’s where the experience and expertise of Harbron can really count.

It’s quite simply, all the landscaping solutions you need, delivered by one tried, tested and trusted contractor with a long-established reputation.

Harbron’s skilled and highly knowledgeable installation teams are gearing up for a busy July and August, helping customers to be the envy of their neighbours with this summer’s must have outdoor makeovers.

The company will also be using its own social media channels and online presence to really push its range of services.

But that’s not all…

The company will be sharing the transformation tips that will also help customers add value to their properties.

Look out for the posts that will be offering advice on the best kind of transformation projects to give your home the ‘wow factor’ – and make it more appealing to prospective buyers.

Harbron Home Improvements are established and respected specialists in garden transformation across Devon and Cornwall and into Somerset and Dorset.

Specialising in resin driveways and artificial grass, as well as the complete composite/timber decking and fencing solutions, the company is much sought after by both residential and commercial customers.

Why not choose the very latest composite decking products from a company at the cutting edge of these tough and durable garden products, Millboard.

Harbron’s installers are specially trained in fitting Millboard, which is even putting conventional composite products in the shade.

But don’t worry if budgets don’t stretch to these premium products. Harbron can also give customers access to more cost-effective composite products, as well as a variety of more traditional timber solutions.

Harbron is also the home of the very latest artificial grass products that are also setting new standards in quality and durability. Easy to install and offering low maintenance, artificial grass gives an amazing, stylish finish to any garden.

With the latest resin bound driveways, pathways, patios and pool surrounds, as well as more traditional paved, gravel, concrete and tarmac surfaces, Harbron has got all the outdoor transformation and landscaping services covered.

What’s more, all its products and services are backed up by powerful guarantees and warranties.


Beware the bogus callers claiming to be from Harbron Home Improvements

Monday 17th June 2019 by Anthony Abbott

Beware the bogus landscapers – that’s the message from Harbron Home Improvements boss James Harbron to customers considering their own outdoor transformation project this summer.

 James has been alarmed by several reports of people claiming to represent his company in areas where his team has already carried out improvement schemes.

 He urged people to make sure they check the credentials of any caller who claims to be from Harbron to ensure they don’t become a possible victim of a shoddy and  unprofessional service.

 “We have established an excellent reputation for what we do and I wouldn’t want that tarnished by customers wrongly believing they are dealing with someone from our company,” said James, Managing Director of the Harbron Group.

 “All our staff carry identification and if anyone is in any doubt, they should call our main office number where someone will be able to confirm the identities and give them peace of mind.

 “It is also important that all customers remember to deal with the team leader on their project so they always have a trusted point of contact for any issues that may arise.”

 It is not the first time that James has had to urge customers to exercise caution when  they are looking to hire a landscaping or outdoor transformation company like Harbron Home Improvements.

A number of times recently, his company’s in-house installers have had to put right  shoddy workmanship carried out by other, so called, professional installers.

“Fortunately, the majority of companies who offer the services we do are very capable and reputable. It is only a few that don’t have the same abilities or integrity,” said James.

“For that reason, it is important that people take some time to look into the track record of a company they may be considering for their own project.”

James said that people should avoid those businesses that:

  • Insist on full cash payment upfront
  • Demand part cash payment up front without a written agreement
  • Fail to produce any paperwork or refuse to sign a contract
  • Refuse to give even a rough timescale for a project
  • Don’t have a registered business address
  • Don’t have basic contact details, mobile phone and/or landline, email
  • Aren’t VAT registered
  • Can’t provide written references.

 “Any reputable, professional builder will be more than happy to provide you with examples of previous work, but make sure you can go and view that work and speak to the customers involved, added James.


Swimming pool fence

Monday 10th June 2019 by Anthony Abbott

Swimming Pool Fencing – what are the rules and regulations?

 

A swimming pool fence is vital to keep your family safe. Here, we explore whether there are also any specific rules around the need for pool fencing.  

 

A swimming pool can be an amazing addition to any property If you can afford and outdoor pool, it is bound to afford you many hours of pleasure – as long as you get a bit of help from the good old English weather.

But an outdoor swimming pool isn’t just a potentially expensive purchase, it needs a lot of thought, with particular attention paid to the inherent risks it may pose to you and your family.

Young children, in particular, are at risk from any body of water, not just pools, but garden ponds or where rivers may run adjacent to property. That’s why you must do everything you can to protect them.

That’s why fencing is vital component of any outdoor pool project and you ignore it at your peril! A pool left completely open is an accident waiting to happen, and where small children and toddlers are concerned, that can have fatal consequences.

 

With outdoor pools - think safety first

Unlike a number of countries, such as Australia and USA, where there are laws around safety provision at private swimming pools, there are no similar laws or legislation in the UK. This shouldn’t make any difference though - fencing should still be a priority though. Your family’s safety may depend on it.

Fencing not only protects against accidents, fatal or otherwise, it will still enable you to supervise youngsters. Bow top railings or mesh fencing, which are recommended for, still afford good visibility even if you are some distance away.

Bow top railings are low maintenance and aren’t too intrusive. They offer a good level of security too, as they are difficult to climb over, especially if you are an inquisitive young child who has spotted the outdoor swimming pool and is momentarily out of sight of adults. Mesh fencing is a great deterrent for stopping anyone entering pool area unsupervised, as well as offering good visibility where supervision is required.

The fencing is there to do a job, but you want it to be aesthetically pleasing too. All you need is a four or five foot tall fence to ensure, not only safety but that the view isn’t spoiled either. It is possible to erect fencing that still fits in with the design and look of your garden, as well as ticking health and safety boxes.

You want your fencing to do the job it’s supposed to, so make sure you enlist the services of a professional fencing company or outdoor transformation specialist. They will have experience of a variety of pool fencing projects and can advise and recommend the best course of action and product for every setting.

Harbron can also offer customers a range of other affordable fencing solutions, such as wood, for privacy, security and to enhance the overall aesthetic qualities of your garden, or other outside space. Lap larch, featheredge boards, decorative panel or trellis, there is much to choose from- and all products are pressure treated with 7-25 year guarantees, depending on wood grades. 

You want your outdoor pool to be the ultimate dream addition to your property – not an accident nightmare so always think safety first.

 

 

 

Harbron is also the home of resin pool surrounds

Alongside fencing, another safety factor to consider is ensuring any pool surround you have is slip resistant, as well as non-abrasive. It is not just drowning that poses a risk around pools, serious injuries can be cause through slips and falls.

With its versatile and unique features, resin is now recognised as one of the leading products of choice for outdoors and indoor swimming pool surrounds.

Harbron Home Improvements is the recognised specialist in this field, across Devon and Cornwall; Somerset and Dorset.

Cost effective, with a life expectancy of 25 years if maintained properly, resin pool surrounds are fast to install too.  If the base is safe and structurally sound, resin can usually be laid to many existing surfaces without the need to excavate/or groundworks.

With its even surface with no loose stones. resin bound gravel stays cool too – even in direct sunlight. It’s comfortable and smooth, as well as low maintenance. 

It’s completely flexible as well. You can incorporate patterns, motifs – and even company logos into the design. You can even camouflage unsightly drains and filters with resin so they blend better with their surroundings. 

Harbron Home Improvements also has a 10 year guarantee on all its resin surface products, subject to certain terms and conditions. Harbron is also able to advise on aftercare and maintenance of its resin pool surrounds, as well as its range of other resin surface solutionsdriveways. Patios, pathways, steps and balconies.

 

Staying safe in and around your outdoor pool

While pool fencing and the slip resistant qualities of resin will help keep your family safe, there are some simple, general tips to follow to ensure they are protected at all times.

Supervise your children while they are in the pool, never leaving them unattended and ensure they learn to swim from the earliest possible age. It is also important that adults are swimmers too. For non-swimmers and very young children always use appropriate life jackets or buoyancy aids.

Keep both children and adults away from drain pipes and fit anti-entrapment devices to combat the danger of getting trapped by the suction action, in and around drain pipes.

Adopt your own set of pool safety rules too and make sure everyone is not only aware of those rules, but they conform to them too. Such rules could include no access to the pool area or water without permission, as well as no diving, running or pushing as these all increase the potential for injury – or much worse.

Don’t allow any eating or drinking near or in the pool and ensure any adults who may have drunk too much alcohol don’t use the pool or supervise others using the pool, particularly children. Make sure there are no electronic devices allowed, either in the pool or the vicinity of the pool area.

 

  

  

  

 

 

  


Driveway Maintenance

Monday 10th June 2019 by Anthony Abbott

Top tips for maintaining your driveway.

Why it’s crucial to keep your driveway in tip top condition – and how it could save you costly replacements in the long run.

 

The changing seasons each bring their own challenges when it comes to driveway maintenance, but it doesn’t take too much time or effort to look after it – whatever your surface of choice.

Resin bound, concrete, gravel, block paving – this our definitive guide to looking after your driveway, whatever the great British weather throws at it.

Like many things it life, with a bit of care and attention, it is possible to ensure your driveway lasts for many years to come and saving you the cost of having to replace it out of necessity, rather than choice.

What’s more, you might be surprised at how little effort it takes…

 

The advantages of resin driveway solutions

Talking of little effort. as the resin specialists in the South West, here at Harbron Home Improvements we believe it offers the most practical and durable driveway solution – with minimal maintenance required to keep it looking its best.

Resin has so many advantages over traditional driveway surfaces. For examples, as its permeable, you don’t have the issue of water pooling, which, in turn, greatly reduces the risk of ice when winter temperatures plunge.

All that durability and it only needs a little T and C. A regular sweep with a broom and hose down with clean water, job done!  You can use a pressure washer too, but just take care not to get too close to the surface and don’t direct the jet on one place for too long, use your washer in a sweeping motion.

If that still sounds too much like hard work, you can always call in our team of resin specialists to do the cleaning for you. We offer a range of aftercare/maintenance packages. You might be just too busy to dedicate the time to cleaning your driveway – so let Harbron do it for you.

 

Aftercare for resin driveways

Spring, summer autumn or winter – whatever the season it doesn’t take too much care and attention to ensure your resin driveway is well looked after. Here’s Harbron’s handy tips for resin driveway prevention…and cure.

Vehicle tyre marks can be hazard, but quick and easy to remove too, by lightly wiping with a damp rag and white spirit. Try to remember not to turn the steering wheel when your car is stationary as this increases the risks of tyre marks.

Don’t allow cement/plaster to set on resin as this makes it very difficult to remove. Take care not to spill harsh chemicals or liquids either. Oil and grease, for example, will stain a resin surface it not cleaned up straight away, while petrol and other harsh solvents can cause resin to soften.

Don’t drag heavy metal objects across the surface and if you need to use a skip, do not put it directly on the resin surface. Use wood to make a base and spread the load. Car jacks too can damage the surface so again, use wooden blocks to support the jack.

Weeds and miss should be a thing of the past when you have a resin surface installed, but if new ones do grow, use an appropriate weed killer, while moss can be removed quite easily using a stiff broom followed by a wash down.

These straight forward maintenance techniques should ensure that your resin driveway lasts – and looks its best for many years, but Harbron recommend seeking independent, specialist advice before using any particular cleaning product on a resin surface.

 

Alternative driveway surfaces

 

But what if resin isn’t your surface of choice? Well, again you might be surprised at how little effort is required to keep the more traditional driveway surfaces in tip top condition too.

 

Gravel

Gravel offers a great value for money driveway solution, but loose stone, by its very nature, needs looking after to look its absolute best! It’s not that time consuming though, but little and often is the key. 15 to 20 minutes each week should be enough time to clear any weeds followed by a good rake to distribute the stones more evenly. Make sure you also keep an eye out for any dips in the surface and/or potholes, filling them to make the whole surface more even again.

 

Tarmac/asphalt

Tarmac is another low maintenance option, but regular upkeep is required with a once a week hosing to get rid of any dirt and debris. You will need to check for any vehicle spillages too, as they can damage an asphalt/tarmac surfaces. Water may be enough to tackle most spills effectively, but some degreaser or detergent may be needed for more stubborn stains. Refill any holes or cracks too.

 

Brick/block paving

It’s the kind or surface that oozes kerb appeal, but you need to do a bit of work to make sure it is always looking its stunning best. Tackling the whole surface with weed killer once a week and clearing away dead greenery and any debris shouldn’t take much longer than 10-15 minutes – depending on the surface area of course. Once a month, use a yard brush to get any dirt out of the surface before washing it down with soap and hot water. Be careful if you use a power washer, as this could cause an issue where any blocks are loose.

Concrete

The main job for maintaining concrete driveways is not only cleaning, but sealing too. On average you should re-seal your concrete driveway every two years. It does depend though on usage. Heavy traffic areas may have to be sealed more regularly than that. You will find a range of sealants available from most hardware/DIY stores and application is straight forward. When it comes to cleaning, a pressure wash once a month should do the trick. Make sure you clear up spillages immediately too as they can cause a discolouration of a concrete surface. Again though, how often you will have to clean depends on usage and the kind of vehicles you park on your driveway. Heavy, agricultural machinery is likely to leave more dirt around than the family car, for example.

 

Maintenance solutions from Harbron Home Improvements

Don’t forget that if all this still sounds like too much effort, Harbron offer range of aftercare and maintenance solutions on products, such as our artificial grass ranges and resin solutions for driveways, patios, pathways, steps, pool surrounds and balconies.

Find out more at www.hhigroup.co.uk or call us on 01626323523.

 

 

 

 

   

 


Use your imagination - for your perfect transformation

Monday 3rd June 2019 by Anthony Abbott

Let your imagination run riot with an outdoor transformation from Harbron Home Improvements this summer.

The widest possible choice is yours when you choose the unrivalled expertise of one of the leading landscaping professionals in the South West.

Their highly skilled and experienced in-house construction team have been transforming outdoor spaces for countless satisfied customers for more than 25 years.

Harbron started life as a groundwork specialist and today that side of the business is still going strong, offering key services such as, foundations, drainage systems, excavations and much more.

But it’s the scope of outdoor transformation services that have grown alongside that -  the design, installation, repair and maintenance solutions Harbron offers across the full scope of home improvements.

There’s resin bound surfaces, in many colours and designs, for driveways, paths, patios, steps, balconies and pool surrounds, was well as traditional surfaces – gravel, block paving and tarmac.

There’s artificial grass products of the highest quality and durability. Made from high performing synthetic fibre, there is a range of styles to suit all budgets.

Then there’s the full fencing service offering lap larch fence panels, feather edge boards, as well as trellis and decorative panels. Harbron is the number one choice for decking too, from traditional softwood/hardwood products to modern composite solutions – including premium products form one of the industry leaders, Millboard.

Harbron has all the finishing touches you need too with a variety of post rails, steps, balustrades, lighting and a host of other accessories. We have a full range of retaining wall products too – in brick/blockwork or using sleepers, plus a range of decorative edging and kerbing products.  

You can use Harbron’s knowledge and experience for the full scope of gardening services too. Our teams don’t just excel in transforming your outdoor space, they can keep it looking its best all year round too!

Services include hedge cutting, mowing, pruning and weeding and much more, alongside a range of tree services too.   

That’s what customers get from Harbron Home Improvements, the widest possible range of services from one trusted and respected contractor who covers Devon and Cornwall, and into Somerset and Dorset too.


Another satisfied customer of Harbron's transformational powers!

Monday 20th May 2019 by Anthony Abbott

Many customers who have chosen the outdoor transformation talents of Harbron Home Improvements have been quick to praise the quality of the company’s work.

As one of the South West’s leading landscaping professionals, specialising in resin and artificial grass solutions, Harbron always strives to not only meet, but exceed client expectation.

Reviews from customers who have hired Harbron to carry out a variety of landscaping projects show that they are delighted with the results.

Lauren Sparkes of Torquay highly recommends Harbron and gave the company five stars.

“We have recently had Astro turf and a whole new patio installed by Harbron Home Improvements, looks amazing, so happy with my garden now! Our garden has been transformed!,” said Lauren. 

Danny McClure of Newton Abbot agrees and described Harbron as a ‘great company’. He is delighted with his artificial turf too.

“The guys were great, from helping me select the right turf to install. The install ran smoothly and the finish is superb,” said Danny.

“Very friendly and professional and cannot recommend the company enough! As for the turf it has been down a year and is by far the best improvement I have made to my home. Anyone thinking of astro, do it!”

Erica Power of Dawlish was full of praise too and made sure she kept the team well fuelled.

She said: “Great team, very friendly, good laugh, drink a lot of coffee, but work really hard. Oh and they love CAKE!!! Thanks lads for a great job.

 Harbron delivers ‘brilliant customer service, according to Anne Doidge, who said her resin driveway ‘ looks absolutely fantastic.’

 “Excellent company. Very friendly, professional and reasonable. Nothing was too much trouble. Brilliant customer service, would (and have) recommend to you to everyone,” said Anne.

 “Can't thank you enough.”

 Allan Read of Newton Abbot hired Harbron Home Improvements to install artificial turf on his front and back lawns, create a new patio and relay all paths with resin. 

What a fantastic job they made. The crew were marvellous, very professional and accommodating, “ said Allan.

“It has made the garden absolutely brilliant, and NO maintenance (well, very little!). . . Can't recommend this company enough!. . .Thank you!”

Customer satisfaction is important to every member of the team and in the rare event that a project falls short of the company’s usual, very high standards, it will do everything in its power to put it right.

  


Types of artificial grass

Thursday 16th May 2019 by Anthony Abbott

Types of Artificial Grass - Our complete guide

 

If you are considering artificial grass for your home, follow our in-depth guide on the different kinds of grass, the pros and cons – and how it can transform your garden.

 

Artificial grass, with its many advantages, is growing in popularity as a practical alternative to traditional turf.

Also known as artificial lawns, synthetic grass/turf and even fake grass, products have come a long way from the early days when it was only really associated with sports pitches.

Modern day artificial grass feels and looks so realistic, at first glance, it’s difficult to tell the fake from the genuine turf. But when it comes to mess free care and maintenance, the two products could not be more different.

With artificial grass there’s no more mud and mess, no bare or brown patches, no more mowing, weeding or seeding. Tough and hard wearing, it looks great every month of the year and there’s no fading either with the UV protection all products feature.

A permeable surface means water just drains away and it can even be installed on concrete or decking. It’s even chlorine resistant so it’s an ideal alternative to paving, resin or decking for pool surrounds.

Little wonder then that artificial grass is a key component of the stunning displays that often win the top prizes at the Chelsea Flower Show.  With its evergreen and seamless look it can put traditional turf in the shade in terms of aesthetics.

If we are talking about pros and cons, it is difficult to see what the cons are. Whether you switch to artificial grass or stay on the traditional turf route, in the final analysis, it will ultimately be about personal taste.

The latest artificial grass products are all made from high quality, synthetic fibres which are dyed and cut to a range of lengths. Nylon products are also available. All the artificial grass solutions are also latex backed and drainage is achieved through the pre-punching of holes.

 

Artificial grass – the choice is yours

 

But what are the different types of grass – and what are they best used for?

The Harbron Super Six artificial grass range offers different style and length choices, but all products combine quality with affordability. There’s a 10 year guarantee on both the product and labour too – but with the right aftercare, modern artificial grass products have a greater lifespan than that.

 

Pine Valley 8mm

At just 8mm, Pine Valley offers the shortest length available, which creates a flatter artificial grass  area, perfect for pets and children’s play areas.  Shock pack underlay can also be used to protect against injuries when children fall.

 

St Andrews 20mm

With its high stitch count, even at a 20mm length, St Andrews offers an amazing low profile lawn, which is particularly good for balcony area and pool surrounds.  

 

Sawgrass 25mm

Slightly longer than the St Andrew’s product, Sawgrass also offers a slightly different colour finish too, with its fibres a little more tightly knit. Makes for a slightly deeper, springier grass surface    

 

Pebble Beach 35mm

Our best seller, the luxurious Pebble Beach, offers two tone green colouring with the addition of strands of beige for added realism. Manufactured to a high standard, there is a deeper and more lush feeling to the pile too.  

 

Brabazon 35mm

 Again with longer strands and the contrast of brown and green strands for a more realistic grass effect, the Brabazon is another quality grade product – and a good all-rounder for a variety of locations.

 

Augusta 38mm

At 38 mm, the Augusta is our top of the range artificial grass choice, a premium product made to an extremely high standard, it is suitable for all locations. Again, like the Pebble Beach, it combines two shades of green with the addition of beige strands for additional realistic effect.

 

 Dog friendly and low maintenance

Artificial grass is a dog owner’s dream.

No more muddy paws soiling the house – no wonder they are are such a hit with pet owners.

Modern artificial grass looks and feels so real, pets won’t even know the difference. The added benefit is that it’s non-toxic and more hygienic than natural grass – the perfect surface for toilet time.

Number ones are absorbed naturally through the permeable surface, while numbers twos can be easily bagged and disposed of.

Traditional turf faces a real battle when it comes to dog waste. With high pH levels in the urine of some dog breeds real grass will start suffering from yellow patches.

It is possible to combat this to a certain extent by using dog rocks, which help to reduce the pH levels in the urine, but with artificial grass, there is no issue. It is stain resistant and urine drains away via the holes. 

Maintenance is also a breeze. Give it a good jet wash to clear debris and clean the surface, as well as regular brushing, which will help raise the grass pile. Top up sand levels too and keep the surrounding areas clear of debris. Weed and moss killer can be used when, or if, needed.

 

Artificial grass aftercare – from Harbron

We all lead busy lives and sometimes there’s not enough time for everything. If you just can’t fit caring for your artificial grass in your schedule, call in the experts to maintain it for you.

Harbron offers comprehensive, cost effective artificial grass maintenance packages to always keep your garden looking its best - whatever time of the year it is. An annual maintenance visit is recommended, but if you have a special outdoor summer event planned, we can give the grass a quick makeover anytime

As the artificial grass specialists, we know what to do to ensure your artificial turf is in tip top condition.

  • All water and vegetation from the artificial grassed area is cleared and dispose of
  • A full inspection, checking for wear and tear around joints/edges, as well as evidence of wildlife damage is then carried out
  • The survey complete, the surface gets a deep clean, using weed or moss killer where necessary before applying a final spray finish
  • Lastly, a special ‘brush and blow’ gets the pile into peak condition.

 

 

 

 


Outdoor Improvements Add Value

Thursday 16th May 2019 by Anthony Abbott

Top 10 outdoor improvements to add value to your home

 

Outdoor improvements have the transformational power to not only add character, interest and kerb appeal to your home…but value too.

 

 

Outdoor transformation projects hold the key to boosting the value of your home. Do not underestimate the power of ‘kerb appeal’ when you want to make sure it’s your home that stands apart from the crowd.

So what are the 10 improvements that you could make to your property to give it that real wow factor, the kind of transformation that will leave prospective buyers powerless to resist your asking price.

 

  1. It’s all about the kerb appeal

 

It all begins at the front – because, as with many things in life, you don’t a second chance to make a first impression. If buyers really like what they see on the outside, it just could be love at first sight. Start by ensuring that it is clean and tidy and steer clear of over cluttering the space with too many plant pots or hanging baskets and garden ornaments. It is important to create a feeling of space – and to make it as welcoming as possible.

Make sure any hedges are neatly trimmed, with trees and other foliage cut back. Letting these areas become overgrown is not only unsightly it can reduce light to the property. There is one addition that can really make an impact – a stunning driveway which will help to make a grand, eye-catching approach to your home that could leave a lasting impression on prospective purchasers.

But even a few little tweaks can help too – they don’t have to be that expensive either. A new coat of paint for a front door and garage door, as well as replacing locks/doorknobs etc. and make sure any flower beds have good al years round colour if you can.

 

 

 

  1. Off street parking

Another outdoor transformational plus. With huge pressures on street parking creating one or two parking spaces will add real value – even if it means having to sacrifice green space to do it. Choose from concrete, Tarmac, block paving or gravel, but try and make sure it is aesthetically pleasing, as well as practical.

A great way of achieving this balance is through a modern resin driveway, which are really in vogue and can be customised to your specification. With a range of colour solutions that can be used on their own or combined, the possibilities are endless – and you can even personalise it further by adding patterns, motifs…even company branding/logos for commercial premises.

Low maintenance, highly durable and with no planning permission required, resin is ten times more durable than Tarmac and with UV protection it won’t fade or discolour.

 

  1. Outdoor living is as important as indoor living    

 

Make prospective buyers fall head over heels in love with your garden space, by combining entertaining areas with lawns and other greenery mixed with a dramatic splash of colour. Outdoor space where you can entertain, as well as just sit back and enjoy the wonderful view, are worth their weight in gold. More and more people see rear gardens as an extension of the interior living space, with dining and cooking areas – and comfy chairs/recliners for relaxing.

Again, the possibilities for creating practical spaces like this are endless, only limited by the scope of your own imagination. Create a seating area with hardwood or softwood timber decking, stone paving or with one of the many composite decking solutions now available. The ultra-modern composite decking by Millboard is setting new standards for both durability and style – even tougher than other composite products.

Slip and stain resistant, it won’t rot or warp like wood and is virtually maintenance free. Just a sweep and an occasional power wash will do the trick. Combine landscaping, lawn and planting areas and ensure access through walkways and paths. Like driveways, many people are choosing resin for these access solutions. Non-slip and skid resistant, there’s no discolouration nor degradation issues and with natural drainage – no permanent puddles.

 

  1. Breathe new life into tired areas

 

They are the areas of your outdoor spaces that spoil the rest of the view, overgrown, unsightly borders or bare patches on the lawn. Areas like this can be a real eyesore and may put off purchasers, however good the rest of the outdoor experience is.

It doesn’t take much to revitalise them either. Just by weeding and clearing debris before adding some new soil, perhaps some decorative bark and then planting some fresh, colourful plants and flowers, the effect can be dramatic. Look at the backdrop too. Are there old broken or faded fencing panels that can be replaced or brought to life with some paint/stain.

 

  1. Think low maintenance garden

Time is a precious commodity and while stunning garden spaces are a real must for boosting property value and appeal, one that can be easily maintained is a bonus. So think trees and shrubs that perform well in our climate and don’t need a lot of looking after. Low maintenance plants such as magnolia and lavender are ideal while magnolia, for example, they will fill large areas, helping to keep weeds at a minimum. You want to keep unwanted plants to an absolute minimum so mulch is a real must.

Lawns often require a lot of care and maintenance, making sure mowing and fertilising is done on a regular basis. It is relatively easy to fix patchy or discoloured lawns, but another one option is to make the switch to artificial grass. It looks and feels like the real thing, but is a lot more practical to maintain. Artificial grass is made from synthetic fibre, which is dyed cut to varying lengths. Modern artificial grass solutions are hard wearing and UV protected so look great all year round. What’s more there’s no more mowing, weeding or seeding – you can’t get much more low maintenance than that. The surface is permeable for easy drainage with no muddier and mess. It’s perfect for dogs and shock pack underlay can be used in child play areas to protect against injury from falls

 

  1. The lure of good landscaping

Good landscaping that is practical, as well as pleasing to the eye cannot be underestimated in terms of adding value to your property. There is no doubt that calling on the expertise of a professional landscaping company could prove to be a real winner. They will bring a lot of knowledge and experience to your project, as well as expertise. It’s about swopping sloping or uneven ground for flat easy to access areas. Adding stylish retaining walls flower beds and planters using wooden sleepers. Landscaping professionals are worth the investment. In simple terms, they will know how to turn the most unappealing and impractical garden into an amazing space that will make the neighbours green with envy – and buyers clamouring for you to accept their offer!

 

  1. Add some splashes of colour

This isn’t just about brightly coloured plants and blubs, although, they are obviously important in creating that wow factor. It is also about revitalising garden furniture with a new coat of paint or stain. Transforming drab, weathered fencing and trellis with fresh paint using colours that bring you garden to life. Think about the accessories that can add colour too. Old, discoloured seating cushions and throws should be replaced with more colourful alternatives.

 

 

 

  1. Add some talking points – they could be selling points

 

Adding something a little unique to your outdoor areas create interest and maybe just be what prospective buyers are looking for. So think tasteful water features or ornamental ponds to create an oasis of calm and tranquillity that could really make an impression on purchasers. Make sure your solutions are environmentally friendly too, using re-cycled water. Sculptures and ornaments can help define an open space too, but don’t go over the top in terms of quantity…as well as in taste! Transform a seating area with the addition of a glass balustrade perhaps, bringing a contemporary feel and elegance.  

 

  1. Add a conservatory

Adding a conservatory can add value, as well as extra space to your property, but it is important to ensure it is properly designed and built so complements the rest of our property, rather than being a stark contrast. Something that is poorly designed and incongruous with the rest of the property can equally have a detrimental effect on value. That’s why it is important to go with a more bespoke design. It may cost more, but it is more likely to have the desired effect which prospective buyers see it.   

 

  1. Do plenty of research

Sometimes it is others who come up with the solutions that will work for you too, so don’t be afraid to borrow a theme or style. You will nearly always find that you can put your own stamp on it anyway to create something that is unique to you. Don’t rush into your outdoor transformation project. Trawl the internet and read books to get some inspiration. Remember though, outdoor transformations aren’t just about adding value to the property…they are about enhancing your quality of life too.