Brian Wilson, Sales Manager at Tobermore, assesses how paving can enhance the exterior of new homes.
According to an article in The Daily Express, it takes a homebuyer an average of just 27 minutes to make up their mind on whether they want to buy a property. Housebuilders need to make sure a property can make a positive impact in this crucially small amount of time, and the best way to do this is to ensure a property looks its best from the outside. This is the first thing a homebuyer sees and let’s face it – first impressions count.
Tobermore manufactures and supplies a variety of paving and walling products that are designed to enhance the exterior of a home, whether traditional or contemporary in style, or possibly even a blend of both.
Evan McKinnon, Technical Director at Westpoint Homes commented on his experience of working with the company: “We’ve worked with Tobermore on a number of award-winning housing schemes in recent years including West Mill in Edinburgh, Thorngrove Park in Glasgow and Barronsfield Grangs in Newtown Mearns and the products supplied undoubtedly helped achieve the unique style and character onsite.”
Piers Palmer, Owner at PDP Associates Ltd, explained that his objective in designing Grey Towers Village, a David Wilson Homes site in Nunthorpe, was: “to produce a high quality, luxuriant setting that would add kerb appeal to the high-end properties for selling purposes.” Piers explained that the depth of colour, the range of colours available, the laying possibilities and the unique aesthetics of Tobermore paving helped him achieve the desired visual result.
Tobermore offers a visualisation service to help housebuilders envisage what properties will look like with specific paving (or walling) products added to an outdoor space. In addition, a paving design advice service is available with the experienced team of landscape designers who can provide guidance on products alongside inspiration on how best to enhance an outdoor space. This ensures housebuilders can find the most suitable paving solution to suit the design and style of specific properties.
Amrik Gaheer, Architectural Designer at Allford Hall Monagahan Morris, commented on how the company’s paving was used to complement the build design at The Ladbroke Grove, a Taylor Wimpey housing scheme in Chelsea: “The products worked with our landscaping budget and they turned out very well, matching the different brick tones onsite without dominating the space.”
As well as using paving to create visual appeal, practical features will also appeal to homebuyers. This can be achieved through creative landscape design. For example, the creation of a patio area that is positioned towards the west or south can benefit from the setting sun in the evening. Paved pathways in the garden can add a decorative feature, and the addition of walling around raised flower beds can be used as a seating area in the garden.
When it comes to sourcing hard landscaping materials, quality comes first. It may seem easier to choose paving products that are cheaper to meet budget constraints but this can be a costly risk. Poor product performance can result in remedial work and compensation for homeowners further down the line – this is a huge drain on housebuilders’ time and finances. Issues like this are simply unnecessary when there is the option of quality paving products in the marketplace.
As a family-owned company with more than 75 years’ experience, Tobermore understands the importance of manufacturing paving (and walling) products that offer stunning aesthetics and excellent durability. Jonathan Bingham, Construction Director at Junnell Homes, recently specified the company’s products and noted: “The aesthetics and technical capabilities met our design vision: hard-wearing, suited to purpose and offers design flexibility.”
It’s important to remember that with changing trends, homebuyers’ tastes change accordingly. Whilst the company’s traditional product offerings such as Tegula and Roma are still hugely popular with housebuilders, the latest trend in hard landscaping is a move towards natural stone – most likely due to the increasing interest in more contemporary hard landscaping designs.
Natural stone offers impressive aesthetic qualities. However, it is a more expensive option that can be often out of reach for housebuilding projects. The high carbon footprint also means there are environmental disadvantages. In response, Tobermore has launched Braemar paving as an alternative to natural stone. Braemar is manufactured with natural aggregates that emulate the distinct aesthetics of natural stone. It is manufactured as both a block paving and paving flag product, in Ground and Ground Textured finishes, 13 sizes and eight vivid colours – providing housebuilders with a world of design possibilities.
As a premium product, Braemar can add real value to housing projects by fulfilling design aspirations and exceeding technical requirements. Braemar is also more cost-effective and has a lower carbon footprint than natural stone alternatives.