Pattern imprinted concrete uses the latest concrete technology to offer a beautiful driveway product that is also incredibly durable. Imprinted or patterned concrete is available in a wide range of designs including awesome 3D effects to simulate cobbles, slate, brick or stone. You can also choose from a huge range of colours to suit your home and garden. Pattern Imprinted Concrete is no more expensive than conventional block paving and no matter which colour or pattern you choose, the price is the same! In addition, this type of driveway remains weed free and is really easy to maintain with no long term sinking or subsidence. It is also worth noting that imprinted concrete cannot be lifted and taken away during the night, unlike traditional or york stone paving!
Pattern imprinted concrete driveways are incredibly long-lasting too, they should in fact last a lifetime if installed and maintained properly! However, laying a pattern imprinted driveway is definitely not a DIY job, specialist knowledge and tools are required and the pattern mats needed are pretty expensive. Nothing in life is truly maintenance free, but pattern imprinted concrete is pretty close! The material is very resistant to wear and the solvent based acrylic lacquer used prevents the growth of moss or algae, while at the same time prevents the ingress of dirt and stains. Pattern imprinted concrete driveways can be power washed if they are extremely dirty, but an occasional sweep or rinse with a hose is really all that is required. The key to keeping your imprinted concrete in good condition is have it cleaned and resealed every 5 to 10 years (depending on usage).
Planning permission for a new or replacement concrete driveway is not required as long as the surface water is collected and run off into soakaways. Concrete driveways are not porous so need to be designed so that the drainage complies with current regulations and can cope with heavy rainfall. It is a simple process to include a drainage solution into design of a pattern imprinted driveway to meet all legal requirements without the need for a planning application. A professional builder will be able to advise you on the current planning and approvals situation, but you should always check with your local authority to check on planning permission requirements and the associated costs in any case.
Concrete block paving and Pattern imprinted concrete look very similar, so which should you choose? Well, block paving offers a long-lasting and attractive finish, available in a wide range of styles, colours and textures. Block paving is also extremely durable and comes as a permeable option that requires no additional drainage. The downside to block paving mainly concerns the installation and not using the correct sub base which will eventually lead to sinking or movement. The major benefit of pattern imprinted concrete over block paving is the ability to cover large areas quickly and easier installation. However, pattern imprinted concrete is non-permeable, so consideration needs to be taken with regards to drainage to comply with planning regulations for the surfacing of front gardens.