Common Questions

What is the lead time before installation starts?

Lead time depends on our work load when the order is placed but normally it will be between one week and six weeks. If you have a particular need we may be able to bring your fitting date forward.

How long will it take to carry out the job?

Dependant upon the size of stamped concrete project it normally takes between 7 and 10 days. We only leave your job if weather conditions dictate or are waiting for the concrete to cure.

How much does the weather affect the installation of the pattern imprinted concrete?

We are quite used to gauging the work load to accommodate the bad weather where possible, however if the conditions prevent us from continuing for a day or two we will obviously keep you informed of any new schedules.We are able to cope with most conditions, however severe cold and rain will interrupt proceedings.

Will you work on our project continuously from start to finish?

Yes, unlike some of our competitors, we will not excavate a number of jobs then pour them in sequence after that. We will excavate one day, pour, colour and stamp the concrete the next , weather permitting .We then leave the concrete in a clean and walkable state for 7 days whilst the concrete cures and then return to seal and finish off. That way you have our full attention throughout and your project is completed with as little fuss as possible.

To what depth do you dig out?

This depends on the ground conditions we come across. We need to accommodate the imprinted concrete slab which is usually 100mm-125mm thick for a standard driveway. This needs to be laid on a solid sub base.The mot type 1 sub base can be anywhere between 150mm thick on unstable ground to making use of an existing solid , suitable existing base.

How deep do you lay the patterned concrete?

On a domestic driveway we pour the patterned concrete to a minimum depth of 100mm – 125mm and on patios or pathways to a depth of between 75mm-100mm.

Once the drive or patio is laid how long do I have to stay off it?

The stamped concrete will be set sufficiently by the following morning for it to be walked on. For a driveway it needs seven days curing time to take the weight of a domestic car, by which time we should have the paving sealed and protected.

What about access to my home once the imprinted concrete has been laid?

When planning any installation access is one of the primary considerations. Even though the imprinted concrete can be walked on the next day we aim to keep the inconvenience to a minimum.There are a number of options available, including the temporary removal of a neighbour’s fence panel or using planks which would be set up securely between a doorway and a firm piece of ground. There is always a solution!

What about maintenance for the pattern imprinted concrete?

Nothing in life is totally maintenance free but as far as paving is concerned our pattern imprinted concrete is as close as it gets. The colour hardeners dramatically reduce the effects of wear through usage. The solvent based acrylic lacquer does not allow the growth of moss or algae and it also prevents the ingress of dirt and stains. It can be power washed if extremely dirty however the occasional sweep off or rinse with a detergent is the most it will require. The key to keeping your stamped concrete in good condition is to get it cleaned and resealed occasionally. The frequency of this depends mainly on the type of use it gets but as an average anywhere between 4 and 10 years is the norm for a pattern imprinted concrete driveway.

Do we need planning permission for a new concrete driveway?

Regulations came into effect in 2008 to try to reduce the problem of flooding due to the increased area of hard surfacing in England,Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The ruling states that whether it is either a new or a replacement driveway the surface water drainage should be contained within the owners property by using a porous paving material or by collecting the surface water run off and directing it into soakaways. As block paving, tarmac and concrete are not porous, any new driveway needs to be designed so that the drainage complies with the regulations and is also able to cope with incidences of high rainfall. It is usually quite a simple process to include a drainage solution into the initial design of a Pattern Imprinted Concrete Driveway so that all legal requirements are met without the need to apply for planning permission and the costs involved.

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Can my existing driveway be widened?

The initial consultation will determine the required size and shape of the new driveway. Through experience we know the best dimensions to create the parking spaces required.

Will you be able to pave entire garden and make it all into a driveway?

If that is required, yes. We can do this at the same time being able to control surface water drainage to comply with local authority regulations and the environment agency regulations. We will however work to maintain an area that does not have the cold appeal of a carpark but design a layout that doesn’t detract from the looks of the property but actually enhance it.

Can you build walls?

Yes we can. If it is part of the project we have qualified brick layers who carry out all necessary walling requirements. We can even add decorative renders to replicate natural stone walls.

Can you replace or fit new fencing?

Yes we can. We can advise on fencing and if it is part of the paving project will be happy to quote for the supply and installation.

What about any drainage for the new driveway?

All necessary drainage requirements are assessed at the initial design stage and then reassessed during construction. All drainage will comply with regulations and also take into account possible effects of severe rainfall episodes.

How many different patterns are available?

We can offer over a dozen different basic patterns, including over six types of cobble. These patterns can then be used in multiple ways and with numerous border edging combinations.

How many colours are there to choose from?

There are around fifteen base colours available. These can then be blended on the concrete in numerous options, as well as then adding the final staining details.

Can I see examples of your work before I go ahead?

We will be more than happy to offer you a list of completed pattern imprinted concrete projects in your area of varying ages and styles.

How long does the acrylic sealant last?

For an average driveway it would need renewing between 4 and 10 years depending on wear and tear. A new coat of sealant restores the stamped concrete surface to a virtually as new state in most cases. It also helps to maintain its ability to repel dirt, oil and algae.

How do I know when the concrete needs resealing?

If the surface is starting to get some algae growth or is starting to look a bit pale ( but the colour looks fine when wet ) then it could do with a clean and reseal. If in doubt give us a call and we will call by to check it.

Can the imprinted concrete be installed at any time of year?

We are able to continue working throughout the year, we just have to alter our working practises to suit the conditions. If frost or rain are forecast then we are able to protect the decorative concrete surface from their effects. Likewise if the conditions are very warm we need to be able to pre-empt the possibility of shrinkage cracks forming.

How strong is the concrete?

We will advise on the suitable depth of the concrete and wether it requires any further reinforcement when we have our initial discussion. Generally a slab 100mm – 125mm thick is sufficient for a standard driveway.

Is it a messy job?

We aim to contain the mess to a minimum. During preparation sturdy boards are used to prevent damage to lawns or aprons. When laying the pattern imprinted concrete all walls are masked to prevent staining. We use a cleaner method of imprinting that doesn’t use the standard loose coloured powder.

Are there any dos and don’ts with my new decorative concrete paving?

Excessive use of rock salt to de-ice the surface may cause spalling of the concrete. If a de-icing product is required there are non-corrosive products available. The use of certain solvents may affect the sealant and require professional attention.

How long will my driveway last?

If laid correctly and with the occasional reseal a pattern imprinted concrete surface should indefinitely.

Is it necessary to have a skip outside my house?

We usually use a grab wagon to remove the rubbish, if a skip is used it is generally gone on the same day.

Does the choice of pattern and colour for the concrete affect the price?

The design, colour or pattern of the decorative concrete does not affect the price, which means we are not restricted in created the best area possible.

Is pattern imprinted concrete paving more expensive than other products?

Pattern imprinted concrete is generally equivalent in price to good quality tarmac, block paving or Indian sandstone. When the lifespan and lack of maintenance is taken into account then it starts to be the most cost effective option.

Can the imprinted concrete crack?

The risk of cracking can never be completely ruled out with any type of concrete paving, however, this risk is greatly reduced by high installation specifications. In our experience, if a crack does eventually develop it will generally remain barely visible.

Can the decorative concrete paving fade?

The colour pigments used in the decorative concrete process will not fade. If the colour seems to be getting paler then this is usually an indication of it needing resealing.

Mobile: 0775 144 1237

Email: info@decorative-driveways.co.uk

Decorative Driveways
15 Victory Court
Mold
North Wales
CH7 1GL

Areas we cover:

  • Chester
  • Ellesmere Port
  • Flintshire
  • Frodsham
  • North Wales
  • Wirral
  • Wrexham