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Parking the car used to be easy. It sat on the road outside the house. Then came garages, that was even better, until the family grew and the garage filled with bikes,  broken toys, the old spare bed, pots of paint etc etc etc. If that wasn’t enough you needed a second car, parking became a problem, but before you knew it, the children were buying cars, visitors were calling, next door neighbors were parking in your spot!!!  Sound familiar?

Don’t worry, we have the answer.

Our driveways can be tailored to your requirements and are fully SUDS compliant.
Blocks or cobbles for a traditional look, gravel that won’t rut or pothole, permeable surfaces or built in drainage, a drive from us will last a lifetime without sinking or breaking up and we can keep it in top condition for you all year round.

Let’s look at what you could do with a driveway.

The first thing to mention is that like most jobs the preparation is key. The reason drives sink or pot hole is usually poor preparation, cost cutting or lack of understanding. Some things are out of your control such as tree roots or subsidence so it is good to choose a finish that can be repaired. What ever finish you choose it will last a long time but only if it is laid on a suitable foundation. All drives need a good solid base. That means digging out, laying a membrane and compacting the correct amount of hardcore. Then you level with a screed layer, most use sharp sand but we prefer a 5mm gravel, it is harder, doesn’t require compacting and holds no water so drains better.

So now we are ready to lay our finish. So you can make an informed choice here are the options.

Concrete (inc. pattern imprinted.)
This is a very hard and strong mix of aggregate, sand and cement. (Pattern imprinted also has a fibre added to strengthen the molded finish.) Not to everyones taste it is generally maintenance free and will last a long time if it is laid thick enough. Because it is one seamless sheet it can be prone to cracking after years or heavy use and once it cracks it is impossible to repair. Pattern imprinted is pigmented with colour and this will fade over the years and the surface may start to break up. It can be quite expensive and is not very friendly to the environment.

This is a good utility finish, when properly laid it looks smart and clean. Will last many years and is generally maintenance free, which is why it is used for roads and car parks. Drawbacks are, softening in very hot weather and as it ages it becomes more susceptible to frost damage which leads to pot holes as the surface breaks up.

Block paving.
The blocks are man made, pigmented concrete, come in a variety of colours and they are either regular in size, (as seen in many car parks and forecourts) or in mixed sizes (Often called cobbles) They come in varying thickness but for domestic use the 60mm block holds a british standard. Prices vary with quality but all blocks will last indefinitely however after a few years the colour will wash out and they will end up looking like concrete blocks. There is a certain amount of maintenance needed as the sand filled joints are prone to weed growth but a regular maintenance program or surface sealing can be arranged.

Natural stone blocks.
Installed in the same manner as the blocks above, natural stone has the advantage of permanent colour and a variety of shade that makes these blocks an outstanding finish. Suffers the same issues of maintenance but as with all blocks local repair or replacement in the event of damage is easily managed so these surfaces are a safe long term option for drives as they can be extended or altered to suit changing needs. Available in Limestone, Sandstone, Marble and Granite it gives a breathtaking, one of a kind, drive that will enhance any home.

Natural stone cobbles.
“Cobbles” is often a misused phrase when used with man made blocks. It generally describes a smaller stone paver which is laid onto a cement bed rather than a loose screed, it is then jointed with a grout, rather than sand as with close fitting blocks. The effect is like a cobbled street so it is a more traditional and varied surface and can be made from single sized or mixed size stones. Because the joints are hard there is very little maintenance required. Available in a variety of colours and types of stone it gives a truly unique driveway that can really set your house apart.

The idea of a sweeping gravel drive with the crunch underfoot is a romantic image but it is often a choice made by economics and the reality can be gravel migrating, ruts developing and pot holes

appearing. The big advantage is that it is permeable so water drains into the ground and helps to stop flooding rivers. To avoid the problems we use Ecogrid, recycled polymer grids that lock together to form a flexible sheet to hold the gravel in place, stop ruts appearing and no pot holes. This drive system is fully compliant with SUDS regulations so does not require planning consent. The choice of finish is up to you from over 30 different aggregates. Maintenance is minimal and it will last indefinitely. It uses less material and is better for the environment. It can even be recycled if it is ever removed.

Call us today on 01670 712194

Let The Plants & Paving Company provide you with the driveway or patio of your dreams, after all … it’s what we do best.