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Creating a stylish driveway

Here at Gilston Building Services, we offer a wide range of services from roofing and plastering, to brickwork. And one of our most popular services is creating driveways. With an increasing number of homes needing additional space for two or even three cars, driveways need to be practical, as well as attractive. As a result, we have produced this guide to creating a stylish driveway.

Why is the driveway important?

First of all, why is the driveway so important? Well, the driveway is the first thing any potential buyer, passer by, or nosy neighbour will see. And this essentially gives the first impression of your home. If you want to make a good impression, your driveway needs to look the part.

Driveway options

There are a variety of driveway cover options that can help you achieve the desired effect. These include:

  • flagstones
  • paving
  • gravel

Flagstones for your driveway

Laying flagstones to create your driveway can be a effective choice. Flagstones tend to be very attractive in appearance, hence the extra price tag. But this can create a unique, classy, driveway.

Flagstones can also be cut into different shapes and sizes, and arranged in a bespoke way to make your driveway truly stunning.


Paving can also be incredibly attractive and involves laying stones in different ways. With lots of patterns and layout choices available, you can really design a driveway that has personality and character.


Creating a driveway from gravel can be a great option. Gravel is available in all different sizes, shapes and colours, so you can really design something that works for you.

For more information or advice about creating a stylish driveway, get in touch with the professionals today, here at Gilston Building Services.

Brickwork bond types

Here at Gilston Building Services, we are brickwork experts. From English bond to the standard stretcher bond, we can lay any type of brickwork you might want. But what are the differences in the brickwork bond types? And what kind of effect does each bond type create?

Stretcher bond or running bond

This is the most common type of brickwork you will often see on houses or on walls. With the longer, narrow face of the brick lined up with the one next to it, the course will overlap at the midsection of the bricks both above and below the course.  Perfect for simple brickwork, this bond is a basic repeating pattern, but will need reinforcing at larger heights.

Header bond

The same as stretcher bond, but with the bricks laid with the header (the square shape) facing outwards, instead of the long rectangular face, as is seen in stretcher bond.

English bond

English bond is a more intricate brick bond type with one course of stretcher bond, and one course of header bond alternating all the way up. This bond type uses a quoin close in the corners. This is a brick cut lengthwise into two halves.

Flemish bond

The most intricate type of bond is the Flemish bond. This uses alternate headers and stretches in the same course. With the headers of one course being centered over the stretchers of the course below.  Every alternate course of Flemish bond starts with header at the corner. As you can tell, this type of bond requires a skilled professional to lay it properly in a secure and stable way.

Choosing a brickwork bond

When choosing a brickwork bond, opt for something that will suit the rest of your home, and compliment it well. Especially if you are creating a home extension. This is because you want the the new part of your home to blend in with the old.

For more information or advice, get in touch with the experts today, here at Gilston Building Services.



Professional wet plastering

Here at Gilston Building Services, we have a range of skills and experience in tackling a variety of building and structural projects. This includes brickwork, guttering and pipework, and plastering. Wet plastering is a job that seriously requires a professional touch. And that’s what we can offer.

What is wet plastering?

A technique that is suitable for any property, wet plastering is simply the application of wet plaster to a surface. This acts as a base coat, before a finish layer or skim is added on top. The aim of the plaster is to provide a fully flat and even surface that is suitable to paint directly onto, or to wallpaper over.

Because the wet plaster will need time to dry out, before the finish layer or skim is added, wet plastering can take longer to complete than dry lining, or hanging plasterboard.

However, the end results can be worth the extra time taken.

As you can tell, it is essential that you hire a professional for this job, as someone without the necessary training or experience will leave your walls flaking or cracking, with the plaster falling off.

Base coats

When plastering, it is also necessary to choose the correct base coat. This is because the different types of base coat should be used for bonding to different types of surfaces. Otherwise you will not get a professional result.

Some of these base coats include:

◾Thistle Bonding Coat- this undercoat plaster will provide a perfect base layer for low suction, smooth substrates, like concrete, blocks and plasterboard
◾Thistle Hardwall- For other surfaces, like bricks and other masonry substrates, this is the perfect undercoat plaster for you. That’s because it can resist impact, and is quick drying.

For more information or to book a professional plastering service, get in touch today, here at Gilston Building Services.

Gutters and pipes

Although January is now out of the way, February and March can always provide some very cold weather, not to mention the April showers. As a result, it’s always a good idea to weatherproof a building at this time of year, to prevent structural or interior damage. This includes checking your gutters and pipes. Here at Gilston Building Services, we are building experts. As a result, we have produced this guide to the gutters and pipes.


Does your building have external pipework or guttering? Whether it’s a garage, a shed, or your home, you need to be vigilant about the down pipes. That’s because a leak from a downpipe can cause water damage to your brickwork of cladding, weakening the structure. If your brickwork is showing discoloured stains, a leaking downpipe could well be the culprit. And, with more cold weather set to to arrive, as well as the rain, this could be a problem.

A leak can be caused by damage to the pipe itself, or by a blockage. This will need to be resolved for your pipes to work as expected.


Guttering is important on any building, even an outhouse or shed. It is responsible for taking the water away from the roof and walls of your building. Guttering that is broken or tilted, will not be able to carry the water load, and instead will cause water to run down your walls, leaving stains and discolouration. Over time this will cause water damage that can be expensive to fix. So make sure that your guttering is working properly, before the cold weather returns.

If you do notice any issues with your pipes or gutters, you should get your building checked out by a professional. Replacing broken guttering and downpipes is a fairly straight forward job, but it could help prevent expensive damage. Here at Gilston Building Services, we are building experts. If you have any issues, give us a call.

New felt roof this new year

Felt roofing is incredibly popular for commercial roofing, as well as domestic roofing on things like extensions and garages. New year is the perfect time to consider those home improvement jobs you have been planning. Including repairing or replacing that old felt roof. Here at Gilston Building Services we offer a variety of high quality roofing services. This includes built up felt roofing, and high performance felt roofing. As a result, we have produced this guide to help you choose a new felt roof this New Year.

Built up felt roofing

A glass fibre mat of fibres coated on each side with a bituminous coating is called felt. Building up layers of this felt, one on top of the other, and each one bonded to the next, is one of the more common ways to create a felt roof. This is known as built up felt roofing. This makes an incredibly waterproof material that can be used as roofing, to keep out the rain and withstand all weather conditions. The felt is generally finished off with a light sand, chippings or grit, to protect it from the sun. Alternatively, a mineral cap sheet may be used.
A good quality built up felt roof will generally last for about 15 years.

High performance felt roofing

High performance felt roofing differs from built up felt roofing in the type of mat that is used. While built up felt roofing uses a glass fibre mat, high performance felt roofing uses a polyester mat. This makes it both lighter and more flexible. As a result, high performance felt has become more popular for modern building work. It also lasts a lot longer too, with the average lifespan reaching 30 years, double that of a built-up felt roof.

For more information about your new felt roof, get in touch with the experts today, here at Gilston Building Services.

Winter building maintenance tips

Here at Gilston Building Services, we know how important it is that your home stays watertight and weatherproof over the winter. While snow and freezing temperatures can be a big problem for your brickwork, rain can be an issue for your guttering. As a result, it is a good idea to check over your building to make sure its in top condition, before the cold really sets in. These are our winter building maintenance tips.

  • Check your guttering isnt blocked- if your gutters are full of leaves and debris they cant really get rid of the water effectively. In addition, during heavy rain, they may carry this debris down into your down pipe. If this is the case, your down pipe may leak water and stain your brickwork leading to future damage.
  • Check your guttering is sitting right- if your guttering is sagging, or facing the wrong way, you could have a problem. Guttering that is sloping can cause water to cascade over your walls and this will lead to water damage in the future. If your gutters need repairing, do it now before the cold spells, and use the same material as the existing framework.
  • Check your drains- drains that are blocked with leaves and twigs cannot function properly. So if you have a heavy rain spell, the drain will quickly overflow causing flooding and damage.
  • Have a look at your brickwork-if your exterior brickwork is looking a little warn, and the mortar is wearing off, you might want to do some repairs. This is because over the winter, any small imperfection will become much larger and cause much bigger problems.
  • Fill in any cracks- if there are any cracks, either in your guttering, your brickwork, or the cladding of your home, get them filled in. Over the winter, if ice freezes in these cracks, they will become bigger and bigger, exposing more of your home to the elements, and the damage that can bring.

For more information or advice, get in touch with the experts today, here at Gilston Building Services.

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Autumnal Damp

Now that the leaves are falling, it is a great time to check for damp around your property. Once winter hits, damp will become a lot more noticeable, and will create a lot more problems. As a result, autumn is the perfect time to make sure your home is free of damp. But how can you spot damp, and what types of damp are there? Well, here at Gilston Building services, we are damp experts. This is our guide to autumnal damp.

What is damp?

Damp is a common occurrence in all homes, no matter what they are made of and no matter how old they are. Damp can make homes feel cold, increasing the moisture in the air and walls, and causing ugly patches of moisture. Damp can also cause water damage, and this can decrease the value of your home.

Damp types

There are different types of damp, and these will need to be treated in different ways.

Damp types include:

Condensation- If there is too much condensation in your home, water damage can occur. Condensation usually occurs when there is not enough ventilation in a room of your home, which cause water to collect on cold walls and windows, and run into pools. This causes damp patches to form and can lead to unsightly mould.
Penetrating- Penetrating damp is caused by problems with the exterior of your property. Leaks or roof issues can lead to gaps through which water can penetrate your home. Alternatively, broken guttering and down-pipes can cause water damage to the exterior, which will eventually permeate your home. Because penetrating damp has a obvious cause, your damp issue can easily be rectified by fixing the initial problem.
Rising- Finally, Rising damp is an issue that can occur from moisture rising from ground level, up through the brickwork.

Treating damp

Any type of damp will need the attention of a building professional. Here at Gilston Building Services, we are experts when it comes to damp. For professional advice and support, get in touch today.

Autumn maintenance checks

Now that Autumn has officially arrived, and the weather is getting colder, its time to prepare your home for the worse of the weather yet to come. After all, surely its better to tackle these issues early, rather experience the consequences during the winter. As a result, this is our guide to Autumn maintenance checks, here at Gilston Building Services.

1. Check your brickwork for stains or discolouration

If you notice any stained brickwork, then its time to call a building expert. Staining on your brickwork is usually caused by leaking downpipes. Don’t believe us? Just wait till it rains and then inspect your downpipes. If they are the source of the discolouration, you will see water leaking from the joints. Over time, if this continues, it can lead to damp. So dont wait until the winter hits, make sure you fix it early.

2. Check your gutters

The next thing to do is to see if your gutters are carrying water away from your walls. Any sagging or gaps can lead to serious issues. Make sure you replace any damaged or broken sections as soon as possible, before more rain. If you are not sure how, contact a building expert to take a look.

3. Check your brickwork for signs of frost damage

Moisture that gets trapped in gaps in your brickwork, can freeze. As it freezes it will also expand, and shatter the brickwork surrounding it. This will lead to holes being left in the brickwork, and then with the next frost, these will just keep increasing in size. As a result, now is a good time to check for frost damage, and get in touch with the professionals to find out how to deal with this.

For more information or advice about how to tackle any of the issues listed above, get in touch with the experts today, here at Gilston Building Services.


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Advantages of professional brickwork

Here at Gilston Building Services, we offer a huge range of professional building services. One of the most popular of these services is brickwork. Professional brickwork is something that we excel at, and there are a range of advantages of professional brickwork, when compared to DIY brickwork. This is our guide to those advantages.


Brickwork structures can pose a danger, especially if they are not sturdy or strong, or well maintained. In fact, brickwork structures might not even show any signs of being unsafe or un-sturdy, until they suddenly collapse onto an unknowing bystander. The only way to guarantee that your brickwork structure is safe is to hire a professional and qualified bricklayer or builder. Otherwise you could be taking a risk with your own, or your families safety.


While DIY brickwork might look effective, it will not compare in style or aesthetics to a professionally created structure. Here at Gilston Building Services, we have years of experience when it comes to creating brickwork structures that look incredible. So if style is something that matters to you, make sure you hire a professional.


Building or repairing brickwork is a task that requires a lot of heavy lifting. If you work full time and are planning on building that retaining wall in your spare time, you might have bitten off more than you can chew. Laying bricks is not an easy task. In fact it is physically demanding, and will take up a lot of your time. For your own comfort, to prevent injury to yourself, and to leave you enjoying your free time, hire a professional team.

Here at Gilston Building Services, we are brickwork experts. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you.

Guide to felt roofing

Here at Gilston Building Services we offer a variety of high quality roofing services. This includes built up felt roofing, and high performance felt roofing. As a result, we are often asked a lot of questions about felt, including the different types of felt. So this is our guide to felt roofing.

Firstly, what is felt?

Felt is a mat of fibres which are coated on both sides with a bituminous coating. This makes it an incredibly waterproof material that can be used as roofing, to keep out the rain and withstand all weather conditions. The felt is generally finished off with a light sand or grit.

Felt can be bought in a range of lengths from 8 metres, up to 20 metres, with the width always remaining at around 1 metre.

Different types of felt?

There are a huge variety of felt types which are used for a number of different reasons and purposes. Each different felt type will be made from a different fibrous mat, and will have a different finish.

When it comes to felt roofing, you will need a glass fibre mat or, if you opt for high performance felt, a polyester mat. Either of these will be finished off with sand or slate to give increased protection from the sun.

What is built up felt roofing?

Built up felt roofing is essentially what it says on the tin. It is a method of creating a water proof roof by building up layers of felt. Each of the layers added will be bonded to the next, and this will create a water tight, weather proof and durable roof. It is often seen on flat roofs.

The layers of felt will be finished off with a layer of chippings to protect from the sun, or a mineral cap sheet.

Should I use high performance felt?

If you are considering using high performance felt, you are making the right choice. While a standard, good quality, felt roof will last around 15 years, a high performance felt roof can last up to 30 years. This makes high performance felt extremely cost effective.

If you have any more questions, or if you are looking for a building company you can trust, contact us today at Gilston Building Services.