If you have travelled around the world, you will know that the UK and US stand out with both the variety of driveway paving options and unique designs.
That isn’t to say the UK and US don’t have their fair share of awful driveways, because they do. (No pictures are necessary, just walk around your neigbourhood.)
Specific to the UK;
Temperatures range considerably from region to region.
A typical driveway in Europe
Substrate soils vary from soft and mushy to rock hard.
Drainage is a problem in some areas and no problem in others. The need for plenty of ‘off road parking’ is high in some places and low in others.
Disposable incomes vary widely regionally, as does the ability to finance home improvements.
Just like all inequality, this leads to disparity between stunningly beautiful driveways and awful ones (again, no pictures necessary!!)
Driveway Paving Options... Number 1. Resin
Resin driveways are gaining in popularity fast!
With so many colours to choose from it’s easy to see why. Resin often gives a neat and modern feel to your driveway.
This driveway product is also an ‘easy‘ overlay product, however, this only works if conditions are right.
If suitable drainage is in place and the sub base is suitable (not cracked or sinking) then a resin bound driveway can provide a cost effective make over.
The increasing popularity of resin is due to it’s modern look, relatively low cost, range of colour options (read this on choosing stone) and speed of installation.
Need a Resin Installer?
Driveway Paving Options... Number 2. Block Paving
The quality of concrete blocks is surprisingly inconsistent in the UK.
Cheap imported blocks can cost as little as £30 for 50 blocks but quality UK manufactured blocks can cost up to £80.
Many colour blends are available, as well as permeable block paving.
This type of block paving satisfies Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) requirements (on the basis of a suitable sub base.)
Block paving can be completed using clay pavers but this type of block doesn’t provide as smooth a finish as manufactured concrete blocks.
Driveway Paving Options... Number 3. Pattern Imprinted Concrete
Pattern Imprinted Concrete is a paving option where your driveway area is covered with a layer of concrete.
Then colour and colour hardener are added. Often 2 colours are used to give the surface a nicer effect.
A pattern of choise is then printed into the concrete with the use of large printing mats.
This type of driveway surfacing is long lasting and very popular in built up suburban areas.
Costs start from as little as £60 per square metre but some folks have paid up to £150 per square metre.
The minimum price is often paid to a Jack of all trades and the maximum price is often extorted by a sales person using smooth talking, false promises and persistant harrassment.
Driveway Paving Options... Number 4. Tarmacadam
As a driveway surfacing option Tarmacadam has proven itself as strong and durable.
It became popular in the 1970s and its popularity continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
However, block paving and pattern imprinted concrete enabled customers to vary colours considerably which led to the decline in demand for the black stuff.
That isn’t to say tarmacadam (which is basically a by product of the oil industry) doesn’t have its uses.
It can be the perfect sub base to install a resin bound driveway on (as long as the right grade of tarmacadam is used) and it can also be easily overlaid onto the most shabby looking of driveways.
It smells nice – well to most of us anyway.
BUT if improving the look of your house is top priority – Tarmacadam falls short and it is far better to opt for a pretty perfect pattern imprinted concrete driveway or a beautiful and stunning block paving driveway or a rapturously delightful resin driveway.
Driveway paving options....... Number 5. Gravel Driveways
Yes. Gravel. The picturesque wide open sweeping driveway leading up to the Manor Born…. The easiest of driveway products to install.
And with the availability of quality grid systems, stability and sinking are a thing of the past.
There are a variety of gravel colour and size options.
Other driveway paving options
Natural stone – when money isn’t an issue, natural stone will always come out top for looks.
Eco friendly – grass grid systems