Everything can appear quite complicated in the sand and gravel business to those not in the know. In fact, it can even get complicated for those in the know as there are so many different names for the aggregate products. 

In this piece however I am going to focus on ballast. Of course, ships have ballast and you might need a bit of ballast to stabilise something, however we are discussing aggregate ballast here. 

So, Ballast is in fact a blend of sand, stone and gravel which is mixed with water and cement making concrete which is then used for hard landscaping projects and construction projects. Common projects that we supply ballast for are shed bases, paths, driveways and even for footings to sit a new extension or perhaps a garage on. 

The ratios of sand, stone and gravel have been carefully worked out to produce the right mix in our ballast product. Most commonly cement and water are added to ballast to make concrete. When cement is added the stone and sand combination it produces a strong, durable product used for a wide range of purposes. Sometimes fibres or reinforcing steel are added to concrete to produce an even stronger structure. Different ratios of cement to ballast will also affect the strength of the final concrete mix. Typically, the final thickness of the concrete will also directly affect the strength of the finished product. A footing for a house for example will be much deeper than a base for a garden shed and whilst the base for a garden shed has probably not been specified by an architect the footing for  house is more likely to have to meet exacting dimensions in order to pass the building inspector’s keen eye. 

Essentially the difference between concrete and mortar used for bricklaying is the product added to cement. Ballast is added to produce concrete while building sand, which contains no stones, is added to cement to produce mortar. Concrete is a rough lumpy product whilst mortar is a smooth product. 

We supply ballast either loose, in bulk bags or in 25kg bags for those smaller jobs. As with all our aggregate products you can either collect your ballast direct from our sand and gravel yard in Cheney Manor, Swindon or we can deliver your ballast. We can even deliver two different loose aggregate products at the same time as we have a vehicle with a split bed. 

You could, if you wanted to, make your own ballast by mixing sharp sand and stone. However there would be little point in doing this. Ballast has been produced to take the guesswork out of producing the right mix and to also make your life easier.  

You can now purchase all your aggregates online through this website or of course you can order over the phone or pop into our yard. We welcome trade and domestic customers.