When looking at laying a new driveway, both block paving and resin-bound stone driveways are an aesthetically pleasing option. Neither option usually requires planning permission as they are both permeable, meaning rainwater can easily drain away. They are also available in a variety of colours and styles. But this is where the similarity ends.
The advantage of block paving is undoubtedly that it comes in a variety of colours and you can choose what pattern you wish to have. It is very nice to look at and gives your driveway a good traditional appearance. It is also permeable, so you won’t get standing puddles or flooding.
However, most modular block paving is usually made from pigmented cut blocks of stone or concrete. This means that it looks great when first laid, but it will fade within a relatively short space of time as the pigment loses its colour.
Another huge consideration with block paving is the maintenance. The gaps between each block mean that you will inevitably be plagued by weeds growing in between the surface joints. The constant upkeep of de-weeding can be really tiresome. This type of paving is also highly prone to staining.
Block paving is also prone to settlement and displacement issues where an uneven surface can quickly form. This is because they are usually laid on a simple layer of sharp sand for drainage purposes.
In terms of cost, this can vary between design, styles, blocks used and labour. It can be expensive to install and then you need to factor in the maintenance costs and time.
Resin Bound Paving
A resin-bound driveway is an extremely flexible option. The materials are durable, stain-resistant and flexible. According to Craig from The Resin Bonded Slab Company “You can choose from hundreds of different stones and colours which means you have a wide variety of choice. The natural stone makes a resin bound driveway aesthetically pleasing.”
Not only does a resin bound surface look beautiful, it is also extremely durable. Made from stones that have been pressed and bonded together with resin there are no gaps for weeds to grow through.
The surface is SuDS, (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems), compliant which means that it is permeable and you won’t get standing puddles or flooding.
Resin-bound driveways are also stain resistant, fade resistant and they don’t suffer from displacement once laid. You shouldn’t need to patch it or relay it for the average 30-year duration of its life. A sweep and quick jet wash once in a while is all the maintenance you will need to do to keep your resin bound driveway looking in pristine condition.
Obviously the size of the area, and therefore the labour, will affect the overall cost. The nature of the resin-bound paving is that it is laid in one continuous stretch, so if it is a particularly large driveway, several people may work together. However, the advantage of this is, that as soon as it is laid, it is ready to use the same day.
The materials used, ie your choice of stone can also affect the cost, but these don’t vary wildly. If a UV resistant resin is used, which is advisable to prevent sun damage, this may add a small amount to your overall cost. The sun damage only happens to the resin, not the stones themselves.
However, it is worth noting that there are no maintenance costs involved at all with a resin bound driveway.
So which is cheaper?
Overall resin-bound paved driveways are cheaper than block paving. There are of course many factors to consider such as the size of the area, the condition of the surface that you are laying on, materials used and the amount of labour.
However, resin bound driveways will not have weeds growing in between the gaps, as there aren’t any. They will also not have any displacement issues, so no costs to repair or re-lay. They do not get stained or fade, so there is no loss of aesthetics or expensive cleaning treatments.
So, although initial outlay may occasionally be higher, overall it is a far more cost-effective solution than block paving.