Australia’s spending habits have changed dramatically during April 2020. We review some of the more popular DIY paving projects home owners have taken on as they remain house-bound during lock down.
A DIY frenzy has escalated since the start of the Coronavirus lock-downs. We were even = forced to turn D-I-Y on our Anzac Day Dawn Services! The first of its kind in decades, the cheap but cheerful driveway candle light vigil was the only sensible alternative to community gatherings.
The traditional dawn services risked exposing the elderly to Coronavirus, the group most at-risk if they were to contract the disease. The result? The #drivewayatdawn service and #AnzacAtHome DIY movement gave way to an incredibly moving experience. A series of ‘last post’ bugle calls broke the morning silence at 6am, echoing eerily from neighbourhood to neighbourhood – moreso than a ‘single bugle’, otherwise heard at the more sparsely held RSL services.
The unexpected result was much more sombre, true to how bugle calls would have cried out to each other across the deadly silent open plains of the battlefields of World War One, over 100 years ago.
DIY products too have been booming as Australians find themselves spending more and more time restricted to their place of residence under continued Lockdown. Toilet paper aside, our shift in home handyman habits was first reported in the Australian on 18th March “Bunnings banks on house-bound handymen” as retailers like Bunnings experienced significant demand for cleaning and sanitary products “mainly for face masks, hand sanitiser and toilet paper have been flying off the shelves.”
Australia’s Corona habits.. The good and the bad!
Amusingly, Australia’s shopping shifted generally from ‘panic buying’ Toilet paper behaviour to drinking Alcohol and taking on DIY projects! (Activities we here at StoneSet do not advise are done in tandem) A March Commsec report showing in March bottle shops sales boomed with a massive 86% increase compared with the same period last year.
The DIY trend continued well into late April, which was again reported the boom in DIY sales, this time shifting from “essential cleaning and hygiene products and home office supplies” to now be heavily focused on Hardware and Alcohol sales- presumably as we all look to batten down the hatches
Demand grew in DIY as an increased number of the workforce were relegated to the trusty office studies, many now had these maintenance problems front of mind. New ‘work from home’ arrangements incentivised the will to finally tackle that long standing to do list. Productivity gains were the added incentive that stood to benefit from finally getting around to these long standing issues. An April Fairfax article again detailed in Melbourne’s The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald how DIY was taking off with Homeowners who planned to take on some of the more involved projects on the list
Sales were surging “at least 50 per cent” on weekends as homeowners turned into do-it-yourself tradespeople. A recent Bunnings Warehouse survey of about 1000 people showed 64 per cent were aiming to tackle one do-it-yourself project a month, with gardening, de-cluttering, painting and landscaping the most popular.
Fancy a Pebble resurfacer with your isolation?
Here at StoneSet were all about opening up the options for Homeowners and Tradesmen alike! As a homeowner StoneSet offers the same level quality as our installed products as ‘supply only’ – access to the highest quality polyurethane resin and high grade natural decorative stone, for smaller manageable residential projects. Old driveways, loose pebble or cracked concrete had not escaped homeowners eyes during this time. Awareness around StoneSet ‘supply only’ brands – Pour’On (gravel binding resin) and StoneSet DIY (Resin and clean grade stone) has boomed, in line with the increased time in front of computer (as more and more options to venture outside are shut down).
Internet-search wise, our most popular viewed webpages over the last month across our brands were DIY related;
- A quick guide to making a gravel pathway
- Keep Annoying Gravel Spillage Off Your Driveway
Some videos that saw significant views in April were our short how-to mini projects that inspire homeowners and trades in solving common headaches in regard to residential paving.
This video documents the steps to transform a practically unusable 3 square meter utilities / pebble bay into a water porous, trackable, smooth stone surface using Pour’On gravel binding resin
Driveway first aid is detailed in a blog post here explaining a practical and aesthetic solution for that ‘problem child’ of Australia’s driveways – the eye sore centre strip. There are no excuses now for the otherwise ‘all-to-hard’ nightmare option of ripping all the old concrete out, paying for it to go to the recyclers and having it all re-based and re-pave or a new slab thrown.
We talk with a Homeowner in Melbourne who took on the challenge of solving her water drainage issues with porous paving. With no landscaping background, we see the incredible visual and economical result from the successful application of our Pour’On DIY product. Fire Pits have been another popular little paving project leading into the winter. A ‘pit’ implies excavating a hole in-ground and lining this with fire bricks (high heat/crack resistant clay typically used to line pizza ovens). However, why limit this area just to fires? By creating a paved fire ‘platform’ it can also be used for tables and chairs!
It should be noted, excavating and preparing a sound base for a fire pit is very important – practically the same as process for creating a pathway base. Following this guide to establish a sound base means you avoid any future ‘subsidence’ (or sinkage) that may lead to cracking of the ridgid StoneSet top layer in the future StoneSet is ideal for Fire pits on many levels!
- Resin bound stone is so easily shaped! no complicated cutting pavers to shapes and sizes to fit circle borders like shown below
- Its retains the natural setting of being outdoors around a fire
- Stone will resistant that harsh heat and embers and
- Porous stone is easily hosed down – Ash stains are quickly pressure cleaned off
Not only have we packaged StoneSet materials into convenient “DIY kits” and tubs of resin, we’ve also invested in resources for inspiration via short but detailed DIY videos.