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Long Rake Spar recently had the pleasure of attending the Grand Designs exhibition at the Birmingham NEC. The products and services on display were, as you’d expect, both novel and remarkable; from garden cabins to giant ornamental giraffes, there was truly something for whatever grand design you had in mind.

Our presence at the event, however, was not to indulge in a hot tub or to take a selfie with Kevin McCloud; there was work to be done!

One of Long Rake’s valued customers Addagrip have had a slot at the Grand Designs exhibition for several years now, promoting their resin bound and bonded systems. This year, the stand was bigger than ever before, and provided an excellent showcase for the services Addagrip offer:

As we supply the aggregates for Addagrip’s mixes, it was important we had a representative at the event to help field questions from the public. Also present were Resin Bonded Surfacing Ltd, one of Addagrip’s approved contractors and experts in laying resin systems.

Installing a driveway, courtyard or patio is a big decision not to be taken lightly. With so many options out there, and with an unfortunate amount of poorly laid jobs by unqualified contractors, the Grand Designs exhibition offered a fantastic opportunity for the public to find out all the information they required from professional, trusted companies with years of experience in laying resin based surfaces. Having representatives from each of the three companies involved in laying Addagrip’s systems meant that the public could visualise every part of the process and ensure that they were getting the best advice and highest quality materials for their projects.

The interest in the stand was staggering; from the moment the doors opened, we barely had room to breathe due to the sheer mass of people seeking expert advice on how to go about installing an attractive rustic surface that was built to last.

There was therefore significant interest in Addagrip’s exclusive Terrabase Rustic system, which was created as a cost effective way of installing driveways or courtyards without the need for a tarmac or concrete base. This innovative and patented system has proven to be a rousing success, with approved contractors such as Resin Bonded Surfacing having installed countless Terrabase Rustic driveways, patios and courtyards nationwide over the past few years.

One of the most frequently asked questions during the exhibition was what advantages the Terrabase Rustic system holds over tarmac or concrete slabs, and of course how it matched up financially.

Aside from the aesthetic value and the fact that the system is completely porous (as made clear by the clever display on the stand), it is also incredibly easy to look after. The extent of the maintenance required is a semi-regular sweeping and power-washing to remove any seeds or other debris which may have fallen into the gaps, as the geofabric layer means that unlike with slab paving, weeds will never be an issue for this system. It will also never crack or come unstuck, meaning that once it’s down, it’s down for good. With all of these beneficial qualities, one would expect that to be reflected in the cost, but all potential customers left pleasantly surprised upon hearing the guide price.

It is fair to say that the overwhelming number of visitors to the stand was not unexpected. This year Long Rake Spar have experienced record sales, with orders for our washed and dried aggregates not having let up since Easter and still showing very few signs of slowing down, even now with winter approaching. The growth of resin bound systems has been such that we are on the verge of opening a second dryer on site to cope with the demand that Addagrip and others have been creating, and considering the fact that no fewer than 3000 leaflets were distributed throughout the course of Grand Designs exhibition, these trends look set to continue well into 2017.

For those who didn’t attend the exhibition this year, information on all the exhibitors can be found at www.granddesignslive.com

Alternatively, you can be sure to see us back at the NEC next year!

For further information on Addagrip’s Terrabase systems, visit their website here

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