Continue reading below to find out which driveway is most suitable for your needs and important buying advice.

Ultimate Guide to Driveways 2018

INTRODUCTION

 Driveways have always been an eye catching and wonderful addition to any property adding huge kerb appeal and transforming the whole aesthetic of a home.  Unfortunately it has never been easy deciding what type of paving or method to use. Most homeowners have very little knowledge about how to lay a driveway or the advantages and disadvantages of different laying methods. This is quite understandable with so much conflicting advice from cowboy contractors and salesmen who aren’t in the trade, in this guide we will provide you with professional and impartial advice so you can make the right decision before it’s too late.

Driveways have always been an eye catching and wonderful addition to any property adding huge kerb appeal and transforming the whole aesthetic of a home.

Unfortunately it has never been easy deciding what type of paving or method to use. Most homeowners have very little knowledge about how to lay a driveway or the advantages and disadvantages of different laying methods. This is quite understandable with so much conflicting advice from cowboy contractors and salesmen who aren’t in the trade, in this guide we will provide you with professional and impartial advice so you can make the right decision before it’s too late.


Choosing a driveway company

 Where can you find a reputable driveway company? This can be a difficult question. There are a number of things you should look for before deciding on the right company for the job.   Most reputable companies and installers do not knock on doors canvassing for work, it is the oldest trick in the book the travelling ‘salesman’ who just so happens to be ‘working down the road’ is more than likely an untrustworthy character who you should not trust to lay a driveway. Experience is important, always look for a company who use highly experienced installers to ensure you get the best job possible. Another important point when buying a driveway is having the option to look at previous work the company have completed and past customers to talk to, a good job and a happy customer minimises the chances of a shoddy job. Vetting companies such as  Checkatrade  can help to ensure that who you are dealing with have the necessary insurance policies, certifications and a host of past customer reviews. Social media like  Facebook  has become a credible way of vetting a company for yourself. It is essential to obtain a written quotation or order form, detailing terms and conditions as a legally binding document to protect yourself, this should state the total cost including VAT, as well as warranty details, payment terms and legal terms. Finally an  insurance backed guarantee  underwrites the workmanship and  deposits  if the company was unfortunate enough to go into liquidation before or after the work is completed, this should give you total peace of mind. This begs the next question how much does a driveway cost? Well it is very difficult to say if you follow these steps you can almost guarantee that you will have a great driveway to enjoy for years to come however you will have to pay for the privilege but it is very much a case of you get what you pay for. You can request a free quotation for any methods below by  clicking here.

Where can you find a reputable driveway company? This can be a difficult question. There are a number of things you should look for before deciding on the right company for the job. 

Most reputable companies and installers do not knock on doors canvassing for work, it is the oldest trick in the book the travelling ‘salesman’ who just so happens to be ‘working down the road’ is more than likely an untrustworthy character who you should not trust to lay a driveway. Experience is important, always look for a company who use highly experienced installers to ensure you get the best job possible. Another important point when buying a driveway is having the option to look at previous work the company have completed and past customers to talk to, a good job and a happy customer minimises the chances of a shoddy job. Vetting companies such as Checkatrade can help to ensure that who you are dealing with have the necessary insurance policies, certifications and a host of past customer reviews. Social media like Facebook has become a credible way of vetting a company for yourself. It is essential to obtain a written quotation or order form, detailing terms and conditions as a legally binding document to protect yourself, this should state the total cost including VAT, as well as warranty details, payment terms and legal terms. Finally an insurance backed guarantee underwrites the workmanship and deposits if the company was unfortunate enough to go into liquidation before or after the work is completed, this should give you total peace of mind. This begs the next question how much does a driveway cost? Well it is very difficult to say if you follow these steps you can almost guarantee that you will have a great driveway to enjoy for years to come however you will have to pay for the privilege but it is very much a case of you get what you pay for. You can request a free quotation for any methods below by clicking here.

Choosing a style of paving

 There are 5 types of driveways that we have analysed in detail, to find out a brief overview of each driveway style keep scrolling to read the short version below, if you would like to read more detail about a particular style please click on the links below or as you go to find out more information such as colours, patterns and how to lay and maintain each style.   Resin Bound Driveways    Pattern Imprinted Concrete Driveways    Block Paved Driveways   Tarmacadam Driveways   Flagstone Driveways

There are 5 types of driveways that we have analysed in detail, to find out a brief overview of each driveway style keep scrolling to read the short version below, if you would like to read more detail about a particular style please click on the links below or as you go to find out more information such as colours, patterns and how to lay and maintain each style.

Resin Bound Driveways

Pattern Imprinted Concrete Driveways

Block Paved Driveways

Tarmacadam Driveways

Flagstone Driveways

Resin bound driveways

 Resin bound driveways are made up of a mixture of loose stones or aggregates and resins which bind the stones together to form a extremely durable, solid structure which cannot move but gives the appearance of a gravel driveway. Resin driveways are getting more popular due to the short amount of time it takes to install whilst causing minimal disruption. Click to find more information on  resin bound maintenance  or  how to lay a resin bound driveway .   Depending on whether an existing driveway can be used to overlay the resin is the deciding factor on whether resin bound is a cost effective method of paving. Resin bound can be laid over existing solid bases such as concrete or tarmacadam in this case they are significantly cheaper to install than if a new base is required. Click to find out more detail on  bases for resin .  Another great feature of resin bound driveways are the number of different style and colour combinations possible including patterns which you can  read more about here.   In summary resin bound driveways are definitely worth considering especially if low maintenance is  a deciding factor, if you do not have a suitable base to lay resin bound on then it may be worth considering one of the other styles if budget is also a deciding factor.  To read our full analysis of resin bound driveways, styles, colours, how to lay resin bound  click here .  If you are ready for a free site survey and no obligation quote  click here.

Resin bound driveways are made up of a mixture of loose stones or aggregates and resins which bind the stones together to form a extremely durable, solid structure which cannot move but gives the appearance of a gravel driveway. Resin driveways are getting more popular due to the short amount of time it takes to install whilst causing minimal disruption. Click to find more information on resin bound maintenance or how to lay a resin bound driveway.   Depending on whether an existing driveway can be used to overlay the resin is the deciding factor on whether resin bound is a cost effective method of paving. Resin bound can be laid over existing solid bases such as concrete or tarmacadam in this case they are significantly cheaper to install than if a new base is required. Click to find out more detail on bases for resin.  Another great feature of resin bound driveways are the number of different style and colour combinations possible including patterns which you can read more about here.

In summary resin bound driveways are definitely worth considering especially if low maintenance is  a deciding factor, if you do not have a suitable base to lay resin bound on then it may be worth considering one of the other styles if budget is also a deciding factor.

To read our full analysis of resin bound driveways, styles, colours, how to lay resin bound click here.

If you are ready for a free site survey and no obligation quote click here.

Pattern Imprinted Concrete Driveways

 Pattern imprinted concrete driveways are installed by creating a new concrete base and imprinting a or stamping a pattern into the concrete whilst it is then colour dyed to give many different effects such as cobbles, natural stone and block paving. Imprinted concrete has been readily available for longer than resin bound driveways so are still more popular once again due to being relatively low maintenance  compared to traditional methods such as block paving.  Patterned imprinted concrete takes on average 7 days from start to finish to install which is longer than resin bound which sometimes only takes 2 days and roughly the same amount of time as block paving. The major benefit of using a solid concrete slab is that there is not any cavities for weeds to grow into which is usually the deciding factor for homeowners that opt for imprinted concrete. There is however some maintenance involved, mainly recolouring, to find out more about patterned imprinted concrete maintenance  click here . Similar again to  resin bound driveways , another reason imprinted concrete driveways are popular is the number of different colour and pattern combinations available which you can read about  here .  Apart from the maintenance involved with pattern imprinted concrete it can be prone to cracking and some sealants can be slippery, to find out how to minimise these risks  click here .   In summary patterned imprinted concrete driveways can be another great method of paving if maintenance is a deciding factor. It can also be more cost effective than resin bound if a new base is needed to lay the resin bound driveway, which is obviously something to consider if this applies to you and budget is part of your decision making process. However like all of the other methods great care should be taken when choosing a driveway company to install it.  If you are ready for a free site survey and no obligation quote  click here .

Pattern imprinted concrete driveways are installed by creating a new concrete base and imprinting a or stamping a pattern into the concrete whilst it is then colour dyed to give many different effects such as cobbles, natural stone and block paving. Imprinted concrete has been readily available for longer than resin bound driveways so are still more popular once again due to being relatively low maintenance  compared to traditional methods such as block paving.  Patterned imprinted concrete takes on average 7 days from start to finish to install which is longer than resin bound which sometimes only takes 2 days and roughly the same amount of time as block paving. The major benefit of using a solid concrete slab is that there is not any cavities for weeds to grow into which is usually the deciding factor for homeowners that opt for imprinted concrete. There is however some maintenance involved, mainly recolouring, to find out more about patterned imprinted concrete maintenance click here. Similar again to resin bound driveways, another reason imprinted concrete driveways are popular is the number of different colour and pattern combinations available which you can read about here.

Apart from the maintenance involved with pattern imprinted concrete it can be prone to cracking and some sealants can be slippery, to find out how to minimise these risks click here

In summary patterned imprinted concrete driveways can be another great method of paving if maintenance is a deciding factor. It can also be more cost effective than resin bound if a new base is needed to lay the resin bound driveway, which is obviously something to consider if this applies to you and budget is part of your decision making process. However like all of the other methods great care should be taken when choosing a driveway company to install it.

If you are ready for a free site survey and no obligation quote click here.

Block Paving Driveways

 Block paving has been used for 30 years as a paving method for domestic driveways and has advanced dramatically. The market for block paving is still huge despite many homeowners now opting for lower maintenance options such as resin bound or pattern imprinted concrete.   Block paving is a labour intensive method that involves digging out the old area and building it up with multiple layers before finally laying concrete blocks on top of sand by hand. If you were to ask people about block paving a sunken and weed infested mess might come to mind with very little options for colours and styles. However now this is not the case, if laid properly block paving will not sink only if it is incorrectly installed. To find out how to lay block paving  click here . Block paving does require a high level of maintenance which many homeowners simply do not have time or energy for. To find out about how to stop weeds growing through block paving  click here .  There are more block paving styles and colours than ever before with over 1200 on the market it is difficult to know where to start looking but it does mean that for each style of property there will be a block paver to suit which makes block paving the most versatile type of paving. To find out how to choose the correct block  click here .  In summary block paving is a great method of paving as long as you have the time to keep up with the maintenance involved. One thing to consider is that all blocks are not made equal so in terms of deciding whether block paving is for the budget conscious this depends on taste, some block paved driveways such as granite can be extremely expensive whilst some can be relatively cheap. One thing is for sure and that is block paving if installed properly and well maintained will look great and last a long time.  If you are ready for a free site survey and no obligation quote  click here .

Block paving has been used for 30 years as a paving method for domestic driveways and has advanced dramatically. The market for block paving is still huge despite many homeowners now opting for lower maintenance options such as resin bound or pattern imprinted concrete. 

Block paving is a labour intensive method that involves digging out the old area and building it up with multiple layers before finally laying concrete blocks on top of sand by hand. If you were to ask people about block paving a sunken and weed infested mess might come to mind with very little options for colours and styles. However now this is not the case, if laid properly block paving will not sink only if it is incorrectly installed. To find out how to lay block paving click here. Block paving does require a high level of maintenance which many homeowners simply do not have time or energy for. To find out about how to stop weeds growing through block paving click here.

There are more block paving styles and colours than ever before with over 1200 on the market it is difficult to know where to start looking but it does mean that for each style of property there will be a block paver to suit which makes block paving the most versatile type of paving. To find out how to choose the correct block click here.

In summary block paving is a great method of paving as long as you have the time to keep up with the maintenance involved. One thing to consider is that all blocks are not made equal so in terms of deciding whether block paving is for the budget conscious this depends on taste, some block paved driveways such as granite can be extremely expensive whilst some can be relatively cheap. One thing is for sure and that is block paving if installed properly and well maintained will look great and last a long time.

If you are ready for a free site survey and no obligation quote click here.

Tarmacadam Driveways

 Tarmacadam driveways are often misnamed Tarmac which is a public company that have copyrighted the use of the word, the actual term is ‘bitmac’.  Bitmac is another product which has been around for a very long time and most commonly used on roads and highways. It is installed by using hot tar and loose stones that are rolled onto an existing surface whilst still hot and compacted to create a level surface.  Bitmac has a bad reputation from past years due to many rogue traders offering to resurface driveways with inappropriate tools, experience and care. The main benefit of using bitmac for a driveway is cost effectiveness, for large areas this method can be extremely cost effective however for smaller areas it is very expensive and often not possible to install correctly. Other disadvantages of using bitmac include the moss and weeds that are attracted to it so it does require a medium level of maintenance, less than  block paving  however.   In summary bitmac driveways should only be considered for very large driveways where other methods of paving are too far out of reach in terms of budget.  Unfortunately we do not install bitmac driveways, if you would like a free quote on any of the other methods please  click here .

Tarmacadam driveways are often misnamed Tarmac which is a public company that have copyrighted the use of the word, the actual term is ‘bitmac’.

Bitmac is another product which has been around for a very long time and most commonly used on roads and highways. It is installed by using hot tar and loose stones that are rolled onto an existing surface whilst still hot and compacted to create a level surface.

Bitmac has a bad reputation from past years due to many rogue traders offering to resurface driveways with inappropriate tools, experience and care. The main benefit of using bitmac for a driveway is cost effectiveness, for large areas this method can be extremely cost effective however for smaller areas it is very expensive and often not possible to install correctly. Other disadvantages of using bitmac include the moss and weeds that are attracted to it so it does require a medium level of maintenance, less than block paving however. 

In summary bitmac driveways should only be considered for very large driveways where other methods of paving are too far out of reach in terms of budget.

Unfortunately we do not install bitmac driveways, if you would like a free quote on any of the other methods please click here.

Flagstone Driveways

 Flagstone driveways in the form of natural stone such as Indian sandstone or Yorkshire stone account for the smallest percentage of driveways in the UK but can look brilliant if laid correctly. Concrete flagstones are more commonly used as driveways however they tend to look very unappealing compared to natural stone driveways, to find out the difference between concrete flagstones and natural stone flagstones  click here . Be careful if deciding on a flagstone driveway as not all slabs are suitable, to find out more about what type of flagstones can be used for a driveway  click here . Flagstone driveways are laid on a bed of mortar and can be arranged in different patterns if you opted for natural stone. The main benefits of a concrete flagstone driveway is it can often be a cost effective method of paving combined with being fairly low maintenance. The disadvantage of using concrete flags of course is the lack of options and style.  On the other hand natural stone driveways are the opposite way around although they are low maintenance a quality installation and grade of stone will be very expensive but the number of options and choices is vast.  In summary a flagstone driveway can be either one of the cheapest methods of laying a driveway if you opt for using concrete flags but at the same time one of the most expensive methods if a high quality natural stone is used. We would recommend either due to the relatively low maintenance features of them but only for customers at the top end or bottom end of the market it terms of budget, if you felt you were somewhere in between we would suggest looking at other options available.  If you are ready for a free site survey and no obligation quote  click here .

Flagstone driveways in the form of natural stone such as Indian sandstone or Yorkshire stone account for the smallest percentage of driveways in the UK but can look brilliant if laid correctly. Concrete flagstones are more commonly used as driveways however they tend to look very unappealing compared to natural stone driveways, to find out the difference between concrete flagstones and natural stone flagstones click here. Be careful if deciding on a flagstone driveway as not all slabs are suitable, to find out more about what type of flagstones can be used for a driveway click here. Flagstone driveways are laid on a bed of mortar and can be arranged in different patterns if you opted for natural stone. The main benefits of a concrete flagstone driveway is it can often be a cost effective method of paving combined with being fairly low maintenance. The disadvantage of using concrete flags of course is the lack of options and style.

On the other hand natural stone driveways are the opposite way around although they are low maintenance a quality installation and grade of stone will be very expensive but the number of options and choices is vast.

In summary a flagstone driveway can be either one of the cheapest methods of laying a driveway if you opt for using concrete flags but at the same time one of the most expensive methods if a high quality natural stone is used. We would recommend either due to the relatively low maintenance features of them but only for customers at the top end or bottom end of the market it terms of budget, if you felt you were somewhere in between we would suggest looking at other options available.

If you are ready for a free site survey and no obligation quote click here.

Funding Options

 An important decision when decided which company or style to use is how are you going to pay for the project. The larger reputable driveway installers will offer different funding options to help you spread the cost of the driveway out as it can often be an expensive project which will cost more than the budget you had in mind. At Bespoke Building & Paving Ltd we work along side Improveasy and offer 0% finance on driveways, this allows you to choose whichever driveway you prefer with the added flexibility of spreading the cost and without paying a premium to do so. To find out more about funding options or for a free site survey and affordability check  click here.

An important decision when decided which company or style to use is how are you going to pay for the project. The larger reputable driveway installers will offer different funding options to help you spread the cost of the driveway out as it can often be an expensive project which will cost more than the budget you had in mind. At Bespoke Building & Paving Ltd we work along side Improveasy and offer 0% finance on driveways, this allows you to choose whichever driveway you prefer with the added flexibility of spreading the cost and without paying a premium to do so. To find out more about funding options or for a free site survey and affordability check click here.

In Summary

 In summary different people like different things and have different priorities when it comes to how much they want to spend or how much time they want to spend maintaining a driveway. If we had to say which driveway is right for you;.  Low Maintenance + Low Budget = Concrete Flags  Low Maintenance + Medium Budget + Existing Base = Resin Bound  Low Maintenance + Medium Budget (Without Existing Base) = Imprinted concrete  Low Maintenance + High Budget = Natural Flagstones  High Maintenance + Low/Medium/High Budget = Block Paving  Very Large Driveways = Tarmacadam/Bitmac     Hopefully this has helped you to narrow the choice down to one or two different styles and you feel confident enough to start looking for driveway companies to compare quotations and past work.    To find out more Bespoke Building & Paving Ltd  click here.   To get a free site survey, quotation and professional advice  click here.   All services are free of charge and no obligation.

In summary different people like different things and have different priorities when it comes to how much they want to spend or how much time they want to spend maintaining a driveway. If we had to say which driveway is right for you;.

Low Maintenance + Low Budget = Concrete Flags

Low Maintenance + Medium Budget + Existing Base = Resin Bound

Low Maintenance + Medium Budget (Without Existing Base) = Imprinted concrete

Low Maintenance + High Budget = Natural Flagstones

High Maintenance + Low/Medium/High Budget = Block Paving

Very Large Driveways = Tarmacadam/Bitmac

 

Hopefully this has helped you to narrow the choice down to one or two different styles and you feel confident enough to start looking for driveway companies to compare quotations and past work.  

To find out more Bespoke Building & Paving Ltd click here.

To get a free site survey, quotation and professional advice click here.

All services are free of charge and no obligation.


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