If you’re thinking of improving the front of your house and maximising parking areas, you’ll want to look at driveway paving.
Our quick and handy guide will tell you what driveway paving is, what type of block paving you might want to consider, its pros and cons, and whether it is the best option for your home.
What is driveway paving?
Driveway paving is the term typically used to describe any type of block paving on a drive. There are three key elements:
- the shape of the driveway
- the blocks used to fill that shape,
- and the installation that fits the blocks together.
The blocks that pave a driveway can be made from many different materials. Historically, cobblestones were used for road and driveway paving. Today, concrete block paving is the preferred choice by many homeowners, although natural stone is still popular.
What type of material do you want to pave your driveway with?
There are many different types of material you could use to pave your driveway, each with their own benefits. The easiest way to narrow down your choices is to think about how you’d like your new drive to look.
Would you like to add a modern feel to your home, with slate paving or sleek sandstone blocks? Or are you looking for a more traditional look, with the concrete block paving of alternate colours?
For older properties, cobbles and setts work extremely well to create a driveway with a more antique feel.
The most popular materials for driveway paving in the UK are:
- Concrete blocks
- Concrete slabs
- Natural stone
- Cobbles and Setts
You’ll need to weigh up the different costs associated which each type of block or slab, as some will be more expensive than others.
Features and accessories: What to consider
Paving can also be installed around other areas of your home, besides your driveway. You may want to consider block paving options for pathways leading to and from doors, or for walkways down the side of a house. It’s also very popular for patios.
As well as the driveway surface, you should also decide if you’d like raised block kerbing to frame your new drive. These blocks look great next to paving but are an added expense. Alternatively, you might just want a flat paved border around your drive.
You can also think about the design you’d like for your paved driveway. Do you want lines of block paving, or would you prefer more unusual patterns? Geometric circles are a common feature on many drives.
Spend some time deciding the colours you like too, as this can also determine the type of material that might be best for you. Sepia tones like oranges and browns bring a traditional feel to your home, whilst the greys of slate or granite can be a lot more contemporary.
Estimating the cost of driveway paving
To get a rough estimate of what a new driveway might cost, you should measure the area you want to pave. You can then work out how much material you’ll need. Most prices for block paving is given in square metres.
Unless you know how to lay driveway paving, you’ll need to factor in the installations costs too.
This won’t come cheaply.
As each brick, stone or slab needs to be laid individually and levelled with the rest of the drive, it can be a time-consuming, highly skilled process. So to get the very best finish, you’ll need to be prepared to pay for the work.
You might want to think about the maintenance costs associated with a paved driveway too. With individual blocks, you may find that some start to come loose and wobble over time and will need to be re-fitted.
The gaps between blocks can also be susceptible to weeds and moss, so you’ll need to consider weed control products and the time needed to apply these.
Concrete block paving can also develop problems like uneven surfaces and gaps between blocks, if it’s not laid correctly.
The alternative to a block paving driveway
If you are thinking about new driveway, it’s important to spend time weighing up all the different factors. A paved driveway can look really great – but the price of individual block paving is high, and the expensive installation costs can put many homeowners off.
But don’t worry, there is an alternative to block paving.
Pattern imprinted concrete is the ideal solution, because installation is a lot simpler, the driveway lasts longer, and maintenance is much lower!
That’s because the concrete can be simply poured to any shape you want, and it’s extremely durable. There’s no gaps between bricks to worry about weeds either.
And you don’t have to sacrifice the look you want for your driveway either. Because you can choose the exact pattern and colour you want. A pattern imprinted concrete driveway can look like a granite paved driveway – with large rectangular block prints, or it can look like a traditional cobblestone drive, with smaller, rounded block prints.
There’s lots of different patterns to choose from, all printed directly onto the new driveway. You can customise your drive however you’d like.