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Common uses of washed sharp sand (grit)

Washed Sharp Sand Grit from Avon Material Supplies

Uses and benefits of washed sharp sand (grit) for various projects

Also known as ‘grit sand’ or ‘concrete sand’, washed sharp sand is more coarse and has larger particles than other construction sands such as builder’s sand, which consists of finer grains.

Having a larger grain size than other types of sand means sharp sand is slightly heavier.

Typically, sharp sand is used within applications where more strength and less flexibility is required. For example, it is ideal for mixing concrete and is commonly used for floor screeds and laying paving courses. In addition to construction projects, sharp sand can also be used as a top dressing for lawns, in general landscaping and in seed composts, because it enables moisture movement.

Below, we take a look at common uses of washed sharp sand for typical applications, including concreting, screeding and as a base for laying paving.

Our sharp sand is delivered loose or in bulk bags and is suitable for use in commercial and domestic projects.

Common uses of washed sharp sand

Render and floor screeds

Screed is a thin layer of concrete, which is poured over the base concrete, to provide a flat and smooth surface that the final floor or wall covering can be applied to. Most screeds are made with cement and sharp sand.

Using sharp sand in screeds provides more strength compared to using other types of sand.

Laying paving courses

Sharp sand is commonly used when laying paving courses, such as driveways, paths and patios. When paving, the sand needs to be salt-free to avoid the paving slabs that lie on top of it being eroded and damaged. It’s also desirable to use a sand that provides good drainage.

Sharp sand is ideal for paving as it has a low salt and silt content and drains freely.

Concrete

Sharp sand is mixed with concrete for a wide range of construction projects. Using sharp sand in concrete provides more strength and less flexibility compared to other types of sand.

Projects requiring tough mortar

Mortar is a mix of fine sand particles, cement and water, which can also include lime. Mortar is typically used for bricklaying and pointing. Sharp sand is ideal for mixing with other sands to increase the strength of the mortar and for when it needs to be less workable. A key benefit of adding sharp sand to the mortar mix is that it can prevent cracking during the drying process.

Sharp sand is typically used when a thicker layer of mortar is required, such as for chimney flaunching, bedding roof tiles and in garden projects.

Lawn care and in the garden

Sharp sand drains freely, making it an ideal aggregate for using on lawns and in landscaping. The large grain size, low silt and clay content make sharp sand a free-draining material.

Why use ‘washed’ sand

‘Washed’ refers to the process of removing clay, silt, dust and other unwanted particles from the sand. Once the excess materials have been removed, the sand is left to drain.

Washed sand is ideal for rendering, mixing concrete and for making a less malleable mortar that is often used for and flagstones.

Characteristics and benefits of sharp sand

The three main characteristics and benefits of sharp sand are:

  • The individual grains are jagged (angular) which creates an interlock between the grains. The interlocking of grains provides ‘strength’ in applications such as when mixing concrete or when using as a base layer under paving.
  • The larger grain size of sharp sand reduces the amount of retained water, making it very free draining. Excellent drainage properties make sharp sand ideal for using as a foundation layer for paving and patios or in landscaping.
  • Sharp sand has a low silt and clay content, which also makes it a freely draining material. Being free from silt is desirable for paving, as silt and salt erode paving slabs. Being silt and salt free also makes sharp sand suitable for mixing concrete.
     

Where to Buy Washed Sharp Sand in Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset and Hampshire

Avon Material Supplies (AMS) are leading suppliers of washed sharp sand (grit) to businesses, construction sites and members of the public throughout Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset and Hampshire. To learn more or to place an order, please contact our expert team on 01202 579579.

 

James Howarth joins the team

James Howarth joins AMS

 ‘Release the Howarth’ Industry expert joins Avon Material Supplies to source new disposal facilities

Highly skilled waste recovery specialist, James Howarth has joined leading Dorset based aggregate and haulage supplier, Avon Material Supplies (AMS) as their Project Development Manager.

This appointment allows AMS to directly benefit from the wealth of knowledge and practical experience James has accrued during his 10 years employment in the senior management teams at two of the UK’s largest waste management organisations. The ‘hands-on’ involvement James has had is underpinned by various accreditations, including; a certificate in NEBOSH, a health, safety & environmental practice and management qualification as well as the industry known certification in Six Sigma Green Belt.

Utilising his unrivaled experience and knowledge of the local area, AMS have high expectations of James securing short and medium to long-term disposal options, which will allow the organisation to recover and reuse waste materials that currently are not recycled at their Canford Inert Recycling facility. 

In addition to researching and opening new disposal channels, James is also expected to play a pivotal role in enhancing the existing strategy AMS relies upon to remain highly successful in the competitive marketplaces that AMS currently operates in. 

“I am excited by the opportunity to work in a fast paced environment where decisions and changes can be quickly implemented to allow Avon Material Supplies to achieve further positive results.” – James Howarth, Project Development Manager

“We are thrilled to have appointed James as our Project Development Manager and believe that his knowledge and enthusiasm will allow us to explore exciting new environmentally conscious opportunities for developing AMS and its large range of products and services.” – Ian Mariner, Managing Director

Founded in 1993, Avon Material Supplies is now in its 25th year of business and is regarded as one of the leading aggregate and haulage suppliers in Dorset, Somerset, and West Hampshire.

We’re hiring

 

Looking for an exciting new challenge? 

We are recruiting for the role of Campaign (Marketing) & Internal Sales Co-ordinator at our office on the Woolsbridge Industrial Estate near Three Legged Cross. 

Principal job responsibilities: 

To deal with all web-based enquiries and new business related emails sent to our main email account.In addition, the Campaign (Marketing) & Internal Co-ordinator will be required to distribute regular email campaigns to our existing customer database.

Day to day responsibilities will include generating new business from incoming enquiries, following up on live on-going enquiries, requesting online reviews from clients, updating CRM (customer relationship management) / IT systems and reporting on success levels. Alongside the completion of daily tasks, the successful candidate will be required to provide occasional cover for the AMS Sales Office, specifically on Thursday afternoons until 5pm.

Days flexible to suit the successful candidate, with hours in the region of 16 to 20 hours per week.

More information and how to apply

For further details and information please download our job description and apply by email to enquiries@avonmaterialsupplies.co.uk.

Three new recruits join the team

More smiley, happy people join Avon Material Supplies

L-R James Howarth – Project Development Manager, Paul Harper – Transport Manager, Zania Wilkinson – Transport Co-ordinator, Ian Mariner – Managing Director

The Directors of Avon Material Supplies (AMS) are delighted to announce that three vastly knowledgeable, highly skilled professionals have recently joined the business.

The successful individuals Zania Wilkinson, Paul Harper, and James Howarth were chosen from a large number of candidates because each of them was able to demonstrate a superior level of expertise in their chosen specialisms.

The roles the new recruits will occupy are Transport Co-ordinator (Zania), Transport Manager (Paul) and Project Development Manager (James).

These appointments are expected to help AMS to maintain its high levels of customer satisfaction whilst also creating capacity within the business to explore new opportunities and markets.

From John O’Groats to Lands End in the ‘Mighty Micra’

From John O’Groats to Lands End in the ‘Mighty Micra’


Paul Harper, Transport Manager for Avon Material Supplies has recently completed a charity driving challenge from John O’Groats in Scotland to Lands End in Cornwall. 

The challenge was different because of the amount of petrol and time Paul was allowed to use to complete his journey. Here’s a rundown of how his trip went. 

Beginning his journey from John O’Groats on Saturday 1st September at 05:30 am, Paul drove the first 280 miles to get him to Edinburgh. A well-deserved quick pit stop for coffee and fuel was waiting for him, but keen to skip the traffic he decided to avoid the motorways for the next part of his journey. 

Another full tank of petrol got Paul to Retford in Nottingham, at this point he had travelled over 520 miles in his Micra, but day 1 didn’t stop there. With another refuel and cup of coffee, he was ready to endure some more miles. 

With light traffic, great weather and the Micra performing well, Paul decided to push on past Leicester, the original planned overnight stop and drive on to Cirencester. Day 1 finished at 8 pm with a total of 661 miles driven.

An early 5.00 am start on Sunday, meant Paul was on track to finish his challenge in good time. With the third fuel stop of the trip complete, Paul headed for Plymouth, which would be his next rest point. Knowing this would then leave only 75 miles to cover, Paul could continue safe in the knowledge, the finish was in sight.

Finishing the challenge after 20.5 hours of driving, Paul arrived at 11 am at Lands End after using 87 litres of petrol and travelling 952 miles with no need to add extra oil or water. 

As fun as the challenge was, Paul was raising money for the Cancer Research UK.  So far he has raised a total of £1110 and with a target of £1500, he’s very close to his goal. 

See the gallery below for some pictures from his challenge >> 

 

New Transport Manager strengthens the team at Avon Material Supplies

Paul Harper joins Avon Material Supplies

Paul Harper has joined leading Dorset based aggregate and haulage supplier, Avon Material Supplies (AMS) as their Transport Manager.

With almost 30 years of experience in the transport industry, including challenging roles as both a Network and Operations Manager, Paul brings a wealth knowledge to the already, highly skilled AMS management team.

The role of a Transport Manager at AMS is diverse and will involve Paul overseeing the operation and upkeep of a large vehicle fleet, which includes variously sized tipper, skip and grab trucks. In addition to this, Paul will be working closely with the skilled drivers employed by AMS to ensure the fleet continues to be operated safely in an efficient manner that is environmentally conscious.

It is also hoped that Paul’s proven background in transport, management, compliance and engineering will allow AMS to achieve higher fuel efficiencies and lower ongoing maintenance costs without compromising the organisation’s high service standards.

“The appointment of Paul as our Transport Manager is seen within AMS as a huge success because his enthusiasm and experience is exactly what we need to move AMS forward, through the achievement of improved fleet operations”. – Ian Mariner, Managing Director

 With a healthy ‘fleet’ of accreditations and qualifications under his belt, Paul will be supporting both the Managing Director Ian Mariner and General Manager Niall Roberts, with the day-to-day management of Avon Material Supplies.

 “I am keen to utilise my skills and practical experience so the AMS fleet operates efficiently whilst being able to provide a larger range of services to its ever-growing customer base in the areas of Dorset and Hampshire.” – Paul Harper, Transport Manager

Founded in 1993, Avon Material Supplies is now one of the leading aggregate and haulage suppliers in Dorset, Somerset and West Hampshire.

Top tips for choosing local skip hire

Top tips for choosing local skip hire

When looking for local skip hire in Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset you will want to be sure you are receiving a competitive price from a reputable provider who offers a reliable service and great customer care, so the process from ordering to the pickup of the skip is hassle-free.

With this in mind, below we have outlined our top tips to use when starting your search for a local skip hire company.

Order when you’re ready to start filling

It’s all well and good getting organised, but realistically, you want your skip to be ready when you are, this way it won’t be sitting there for longer than necessary, possibly racking up extra rental charges that are easily avoidable.

If your home is on a busy street or your skip will be kept on your businesses forecourt, you will also want to ensure that passersby don’t use your skip as their own tip… another reason to fill it up and get the skip removed as soon as you can!

It’s good to know that at Avon Material Supplies (AMS), we can deliver, exchange and collect our skips the next day in most cases, so you don’t have to worry about it hanging around.

Did you know? Our local skip hire prices include a 2 week hire period, so you won’t receive an unexpected bill for keeping your skip on the driveway for up to 14 days!

Do your research

When looking for local skip hire you may be overwhelmed by how many companies there are to choose from. Some local skip hire companies will entice you in with cheap prices, but catch you out on their terms and conditions, meaning you will probably end up paying more in the long run.

At AMS, our ‘all in’ pricing is completely transparent and when booking we will be sure to inform you of any extra charges that may incur, such as hire of lights & cones, road permits and rental charges for extra weeks.

When researching your shortlisted skip hire companies, consider the following:

  • Cost – are they going to catch you out?
  • Legal requirements – do they have the correct licences, permits and insurances to be able to carry out the service you require. Please remember its the waste producers responsibility to ensure their waste is collected and disposed of legally!
  • Convenience – how quickly can they drop off, exchange and pick up the skip?
  • Reviews – have they got a Google Business page or Facebook page to back up what they are saying?

“I cannot say how pleased I am with the service I received enough. The initial query was answered extremely quickly and a quick delivery slot was arranged. The delivery driver was fantastic. It was delivered quickly and neatly in the exact place I asked (not easy to get to!). All in all an absolutely fantastic service all round.” – Sarah, customer of AMS

Save money by speaking to the professionals

When choosing your skip, you may be unsure about the size that you will require. Getting this right first time means you can save a lot of money by avoiding paying for unused space in a skip that is too large or having to book a second skip after you’ve started filling the first.

Our professional team have been helping people pick the right skip size for many years, and although we can only provide suggestions based on the information provided, we should be able to give you a fairly accurate recommendation.

When asking for guidance on skip sizes it’s helpful if you can provide clarification on the type of waste(s) you have to remove and the approximate amount of square metre space you have to remove the waste from. Common waste types placed in our skips include; mixed household, garden, rubble, construction, wood and plasterboard

You can also get a lot of information from our skip brochures, including dimensions, which can be found here >>

Segregate your waste

To get the best value for money, if possible, you should segregate your waste where you can because single waste streams are cheaper to dispose of. For example, when ordering you can specifically choose a garden waste skip for the disposal of green waste because it will be considerably cheaper the same sized mixed waste skip. If you know you have multiple waste streams to dispose of, you could also purchase a skip bag for just £6, which can be filled with the waste stream or mixed waste type you have the least of. This solution will mean the skip can just be filled with the (single) waste type you have the most of.  

Discussing your waste type with your chosen local skip hire company will ensure that you get the best and often the cheapest solution for your job.

Tell your chosen skip hire company as much as you can

To ensure that the process of hiring a skip in Bouremouth, Poole and Dorset is seamless, it’s important to inform your chosen skip hire company of as many important details as you can, things to tell them should include;

  • What the access is like to your property or business
  • Where you would like the skip located on your property
  • If you require any permits and/or lights & cones
  • Your preferred times for delivery
  • A mobile number in case the driver needs to call you

With these tips in mind, order your local skip hire with AMS

As one of the leading skip hire and recycled aggregates company in Dorset, Somerset and West Hampshire, our reputation has been built up through great customer service and trust. We provide many businesses, homeowners and tradespeople with local skip hire and ensure that they always have a direct point of contact should they have any issues or questions.

Give our team a call on 01202 579579!

Our team are on hand all day Monday – Friday and on Saturday mornings to answer any of your local skip hire questions, or alternatively, you can contact us via email here.

Best bagged aggregates for your garden renovation project?

Bagged aggregates for your garden 

Completing any home or garden improvements can be stressful, time-consuming and sometimes expensive. However, the sense of pride and that ‘YOU DID IT’ moment can make it all worthwhile.

Having a well-planned idea, the correct tools, materials and bagged aggregates will help the project to run smoothly.

If restoring the garden is part of your renovation plans, there are many elements to think about. For example, do you have the creativity to landscape the space yourself or will you be consulting a professional? How big is the area you have to work with? Do you require a range of different materials to achieve your desired look? And finally, what’s the budget you are working to?

All of these are important questions to answer before starting the project. In this article, we highlight some of the aggregates delivered in bags that may be of use if you are changing part of your garden or the exterior areas.

The all-important lawn

Do you dream of having the perfect lawn, like the ones you see on TV where the grass is the perfect shade of green and always free of weeds? Creating a show-stopping lawn is not as hard as you think and actually can be achieved fairly quickly.

If you can, it’s advised to start with a blank canvas, which could mean removing what is currently there and replacing with a new layer of topsoil that can be seeded or turfed.

At Avon Material Supplies, we offer a manufactured topsoil that is perfect for lawn restoration and makes a more affordable alternative to traditional topsoil. Our alternative topsoil can be delivered bagged or loose, whichever works best for you.

A suitable seating area

So, you’ve now got fresh grass, but the thought of ruining it with seating and tables is out of the question, therefore you will need an area away from the lawn for enjoying the sunshine and family BBQs.

This is when our other bagged aggregates may come in handy… whether it’s for creating a sub-base suitable for supporting decking or laying a decorative aggregate or shingle on pathways and seating areas.

Our ‘in stock’ bagged materials are mainly construction aggregates. However, if you require a decorative aggregate such as Cotswold chipping our associated company, AMS Nationwide can normally supply this within 1 – 2 days. For prices and availability please call our friendly Nationwide team on 01202 810938.  

Outdoor seating area

Other popular applications that our bagged aggregates are used within include fire pits and rockeries.

A driveway to be proud of

It’s likely to be the first part of your home that people will see, so don’t leave it looking shabby! Our aggregates in bulk bags are used frequently to transform driveways, with some people choosing them for the top ‘decorative’ layer or as part of the base layer. Popular aggregates you or your appointed contractor can trust us to deliver on time, include;

Driveway creating using aggregates

The finishing touches

Your garden is so close to completion, but it’s those finishing touches that people will notice. Creating a simple flower bed is an easy way to make a big impact with splashes of colour and different textures.

Using our bagged topsoil alternative will give you a healthy base to your flower bed, which is ideal for planting in. Hopefully, you will have some left over from your lawn restoration, or alternatively, our tonne bulk bags start from just £36!

Ready to start your transformation?

If you have your plans in place but aren’t sure exactly what you need or how many bags of each aggregate you require, please contact our experts to arrange your free site visit.

Call us today on 01202 579579 or email: enquiries@avonmaterialsupplies.co.uk.  

We’re celebrating 25 years in business

This year sees Avon Material Supplies (AMS) celebrate its 25th year in business.

AMS is 25 years old

Humble beginnings… 

From a cramped start within a shared portacabin on the former WH White landfill site near Wimborne, Ian Mariner began Avon Material Supplies (AMS) by selling recycled aggregates to local contractors.

Determination, hard work and some great products meant sales quickly grew to the point where Ian needed additional support for AMS to continue to flourish. Reinforcements came in the way of Ian’s wife Lyn, Teresa Branicki and Kevin Hawkins a former colleague, who was later to become a Director of the company.

The collective effort of the newly assembled ‘dream team’ resulted in AMS growing and moving to larger offices at the White House adjacent to Canford Magna Garden Centre. The proactive nature of the team and increasing demand for services offered by AMS resulted in the business supplying recycled aggregates for use on a number of high profile projects, including the remediation of Canford Park Arena.

It’s a family affair…

Between 2002 – 2006 Ian’s children, Stuart and Janette joined the business along with another one of his former colleagues, Richard Clarke, now Commercial Manager and Nicola Rogers, the daughter of family friends Ashley and Sharon Rogers.

Personal development, further education and a growing number of years with AMS has allowed Stuart to now assume full responsibility for all major waste management contracts for the business. Janette now occupies a senior environmental compliance position within the organisation, which allows her to utilise the Masters degree in Earth Science she received from the University of Manchester.

With the newer employees successfully working alongside the experienced members of the team, AMS became awash with a wave of new enthusiasm, ideas and opportunities. This resulted in the organisation moving to bigger premises on Canford Recycling Centre and being able to offer a more extensive range of materials.

“I will never operate a fleet of vehicles” famous last words…

With the order book more often than not remaining full, Ian and his staff faced regular challenges to ensure their clients from across Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset always received the materials they ordered on time. This situation coupled with the desire of AMS’s trusted sub-contractor Alan Everett to downsize, provided the perfect opportunity for Avon Material Supplies (Plant Hire) Ltd, an established AMS group company to make the bold step of purchasing Alan’s entire 20 vehicle tipper fleet.  To ensure the acquisition went smoothly and didn’t impact the day-to-day operations of AMS, the business also gained their ‘Goods Vehicle Operators Licence’ allowing it to operate up to 30 vehicles.

Now under the careful guidance of General Manager, Niall Roberts, the well established AMS fleet benefits from the inclusion of a number of new trucks and being operated through another group company, Avon Materials Supplies (Transport) Ltd.

Let’s ‘grab’ more of the market…

With construction sites springing up in more challenging locations, contractors started to ask if AMS operated grab trucks. Not wanting to disappoint their customers, AMS explored the idea of running grab trucks, starting small with the integration of a single 4 wheel Mini Grab into their fleet.  The ever-increasing demand for grab vehicles has resulted in AMS now operating 5 various sized grab trucks in the Bournemouth area alone.

Around the same time that AMS started to offer grab lorries and skip bags, the business also acquired Nationwide Direct, a national waste and aggregate brokerage operating from Woolsbridge Industrial Estate in Three Legged Cross. After a period of stabilisation, the business was relaunched as AMS Nationwide and is now a trusted supplier to a large number of customers throughout the UK.

Home sweet home, finally…

Recently AMS relocated again to brand new, purpose-built offices at Canford Inert Recycling Facility near Wimborne, which is ideal because it’s where all their recycled aggregates are manufactured.

What does the future hold…

No one can accurately predict the future, but the business remains in a strong position to provide its growing customer base with services that include recycled & primary aggregates, soils, site clearances, cartaway, skip & rollonoff hire and skip bags.

Recent successes by AMS’s marketing provider, CW Marketing, have demonstrated that aggregates and waste services can be sold online and now the business plans to expand its ‘buy online’ range to include skip and grab truck.

“All that is left to say is a big thank you for supporting Avon Material Supplies over the last 25 years and we very much look forward to continuing to work with you and your colleagues in the future. “ Ian Mariner, Managing Director


AMS 25 year timeline

(Click to expand)

AMS 25 years in business timeline

 


Take a look at some of our recent images

(Click to expand)

Is green waste skip hire the right choice for you?

garden waste disposal in Bournemouth

Green waste skip hire, is it the best way to dispose of your garden waste?

Whether you’ve decided to finally tackle the jungle growing in your back garden or just to trim back your hedges and cut the lawn in preparation for the summer BBQ season, then you’ve probably been left with a pile of garden waste that you’re not quite sure what to do with.

Between Avon Material Supplies, Easy Bag and Commercial Recycling, we’ve got an answer; you can either ‘Bin it’, ‘Bag it’ or ‘Bring it in’.  

Skip it

If you require disposal of large amounts of garden waste, then green waste skip hire is probably your best option. We can accept the following in our garden waste skips;

  • Grass or flower cuttings
  • Hedge trimmings
  • Twigs and small branches
  • Weeds

Our reliable ‘next day’* green waste skip hire is fully licensed and if required, can include the provision of ‘on road’ permits, safety lights and cones, so is perfect for domestic and commercial use.

We offer three different sized skips for garden waste, which are:

  1. The smallest size is a 6-yard ‘builders’ skip and this will hold the equivalent of 60 filled black bin bags
  2. The medium sized green waste skip we offer is 8-yards and this will hold the equivalent of 80 filled black bin bags
  3. The biggest garden waste skip we provide is 12-yards and this is most often used for commercial purposes because each skip can hold around 120 black bin bags.

When hiring your garden waste skip, you can rest assured that all our prices include a 2 week hire period, so you can order your skip at the start of your project and fill it up as you go along. Longer hire periods are possible but may incur a small rental charge, to find out more please contact our friendly skip hire team on 01202 579579.

Once you’re ready for the skip to be exchanged or collected, just contact our team who will usually be able to arrange for the skip lorry to visit you the next working day!

Need something bigger? If a 12-yard skip is not going to be big enough then please contact our team so they can provide you information on grab truck hire and roro (rollonoff) containers.

Bag it

If you have a smaller amount of garden waste, say half a tonne, then a garden waste skip bag would be ideal because it is easy and cheap.

The process of ordering an empty bulk bag for filling with garden waste couldn’t be easier. Simply visit easy-bag.co.uk, order a garden waste collection bag and once your empty skip bag arrives, you fill it and contact Easy Bag again when you would like it collected.

Our skip bags measure 90cm x 90cm x 90cm and can hold just under 1-tonne (850-950 kg) of garden waste.

Bring it in

Alternatively, if you don’t wish to pay for a garden waste collection service you can transport and dispose of the unwanted garden waste at your local recycling centre.

Depending on the rules in place at your nearest household waste recycling centre (HWRC), you may be able to dispose of green waste free of charge. If there are restrictions or charges in place it may be more cost-effective to tip your waste at a commercial disposal facility such as Canford Recycling Centre. To find out more please visit: www.commercialrecycling.co.uk.

Need more advice on green waste skip hire?

If you think that green waste skip hire will be your best option, it’s best to speak to one of our experienced team to make sure you order the right garden waste skip for the job. Our team will take into consideration the amount of waste you have to dispose of and will recommend the best solution for you.

You can then arrange a day for delivery at a time that’s convenient to you. Contact us now on 01202 579579.