Paved driveways can enhance the character and value of any property, but homeowners should not fall into the trap of thinking nothing can go wrong with these ‘small’ areas of paving. Although not as substantial as car parks or town centres, the installation of residential driveways and patios demands the same specialist skill and expertise as any other paved area.
There are many ‘man & van’ paving and patio comjpanies/installers with just a mobile phone number as their contact – it is advisable to seriously consider if they can be contacted and represented should a problem arise in the future. Always check if they claijm to be part of an approved body or association that they are still a part of this and that it is still current. You can always check our Members list.
Forget the itinerant ‘Cowboy’ block layer with his mobile phone – he won’t be around to pick up the pieces when things fall apart. And if he claims to be part of an approved body, always check first by looking at our ‘Members List‘ and make sure the address and phone numbers are the same.
When looking for a Installer try and avoid the following;
- Only a mobile number or ’08…..’ number, no fixed land line is available
- ‘No fixed abode’ – if they give you an office address, make sure it exists!
- Nice Website – but no address or fixed land line telephone
- ‘We are working in your area and are going to be doing the house over the street’ – check that they are actually going to be doing the work they claim, ask the neighbour if the claim is true
- ‘We have some surplus blocks and can do you a good deal’ – it can happen, but it’s not very likely
- ‘We can only take cash’ – Do not pay with cash unless you actually want to and understand the risks, always make it clear to the layer that you will pay by cheque or credit card and, once this is agreed, stick to it. Contractors who deal only in cash quite often have something to hide.
- Claiming to be a member of a professional organisation – Check them out! All professional organisation have websites like this one to help you identify genuine members. If they are claiming membership of Interlay and are not members, please let us know – we always try to follow up on false membership claims to help protect the public
- Unable to provide references – get references and check them out, talk to the property owner to make sure that the layer actually did the work and is not claiming credit for someone else’s skill and professionalism
- ‘I am a member of Interlay, but the landline is down and I have a new mobile’ – if they are members, then they will contact us and get their details updated on this website
Designing a Driveway
First impressions are lasting and the condition of a driveway is no exception: blighted tarmac or drab cracked concrete can spoil the appearance of an otherwise attractive home.
The effect of a real paved driveway is instantly obvious and welcoming. The manipulation of different coloured blocks can introduce highlights and contrast. A number of attractive laying bonds and patterns can be used to create intriguing geometry, heightened by the chamfered edges of the blocks. Alongside appearance, the driveway should be able to withstand the loading from cars and occasional delivery vehicles without spreading, cracking or subsiding.
Loading conditions will have a bearing on the block thickness, as well as on the depth and density of the sub-base – the foundation layer on which the blocks are laid. What’s more, the main body of paving must be framed by edging blocks or kerbs. These edge restraints not only provide the eye with a defined boundary but are vital to keep the surface intact and the blocks interlocked. Surface drainage or ‘falls’ must be created to ensure that excess water runs off in the right direction and away from the house.
Why not take a look at some of the work our members have created on our Inspirational page. Our members will be more than happy when providing quotations for you to show you some of their other work that they have carried out – often with before and after pictures and images.