Exposed Aggregate - The wonder product for new and existing homes - but......

Exposed Aggregate - The wonder product for new and existing homes - but......

Exposed aggregate is very popular with new and existing homes and has become the preferred product to traditional cement and paving for many home owners.

While the atheistic appeal to the many options is really a personal choice of the property owner, there are a number of key attributes which make the product very appealing to many.

Laid correctly exposed aggregate can look stunning and is available in a broad range of colours. Often the product is used on driveways, patios, alfresco areas, pool surrounds, gazebos and pathways around the home.

What is important for home owners is to ensure that the firm engaged to install the exposed aggregate is appropriately qualified and skilled in the correct preparation, installation and completion of the work. The cost to remove incorrectly installed exposed aggregate can be significant and hence the total costs to lay, remove and relay exposed aggregate can represent significant cost to the home owner which is often not considered.

Unfortunately, the growth in demand for the product has seen a number of sub-standard and unscrupulous suppliers attracted to the industry leaving many home owners substantially out of pocket.

Australian Standards 3827 relates specifically to residential pavements and sets performance requirements. National Construction Code provides references to water drainage. Guide to Standards and Tolerances 2015 provides expectations as to concrete finishes. The Guide to Concrete Flatwork Finishes - Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia provides additional references as does multiple supplier information documents and application requirements. In short, there is a host of external and appropriately documented requirements which establishes the base line for exposed aggregate installation.

Particular issues that we at Houspect WA often come across include:

  • Inappropriate finishes and pitting
  • Incorrect levels
  • Incorrect or inconsistent thickness
  • Falls toward houses as opposed to away from houses
  • Ponding
  • Messing of surrounding surfaces and walls
  • Inappropriate drainage
  • Inconsistent colouring and discolouration
  • Inconsistent aggregate exposure
  • Broken and poor edges

Where exposed aggregate is being utilised outside of a new home contract, home owners must ensure that:

  • Their supplier is well regarded, has significant experience and can provide referrals on past work.
  • Contracts in WA for Exposed Aggregate which exceed $7,500 will fall under the Home Building Contracts Act in WA. There are important protections here that all home owners should be aware .Where the contract is for less than $7,500 home owners are encouraged to apply as much of the attributes of the requirements for contracts captured by the Home Building Contracts Act as is possible.
  • The WA Building Commission can provide support, protection and enforcement for home owners impacted by issues with exposed aggregate.
Houspect WA can provide home owners with a broad range of support including:
  • On site consultations to review exposed aggregate work
  • Independent investigation reports which can be presented to suppliers and will articulate issues that need to be addressed
  • WA Building Commission Complaint Reports, in the format required by the WA Building Commission, to support a formal complaint against the supplier.

Need more Information? Contact Houspect WA on Ph 9240 8855 or visit