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Stamped driveway costs
Often referred to as pressed concrete, stamped concrete and pressed concrete are one in the same thing. One of the great advantages of stamped concrete is that it can be made to look like a much more expensive driveway surface using colour dyes and different patterns and designs.
Stamped driveway costs:
|Size of driveway in square metres||Estimated supply cost||Estimated labour cost||Time Required|
|15 metre square – small||£619-£825||£1,200-£1,601||2-3 days|
|25 metre square – medium||£1,031-£1,375||£2,001-£2,668||3-4 days|
|35 metre square – large||£1,444-£1,925||£2,802-£2,736||5-6 days|
What factors affect the cost of a stamped concrete driveway?
There are a number of different things which influence stamped driveway costs and these are:-
- The overall area of the driveway
- Odd or unusual shapes take longer to lay and cost more
- Gradient or slope
- Removal of the existing driveway
- Excavation and groundworks for the sub-base
- Geotextile for weed proofing
- The pattern and complexity of the design
- Drainage system if not using permeable or semi-permeable concrete
- Access to the site
- Skip and tool hire
- Planning permission charges if using non-permeable concrete
- Where you live – the cost of materials doesn’t vary too much but labour charges are usually higher in London and the Southeast
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Stamped driveway choices
There are two different types of decorative concrete driveway, Concrete Block Paving or CBP or Pattern Imprinted Concrete (PIC) also known as stamped concrete.
Stamped concrete is a newer development than concrete block paving which uses a jigsaw of individual concrete blocks to create a driveway. Stamped concrete is liquid and poured onto a sub-base before a colour is applied and then a hardener to set the surface. The pattern is stamped onto the wet surface with different designs including stone, brickwork and textured stone. This gives each driveway a unique finish which is aesthetically appealing. Stamped concrete can be created to mimic the appearance of paving slabs and coloured to create a slate or brick weave effect.
There are several principal patterns for a stamped concrete driveway. These are:-
Colour options are generally green, black, blue, grey and red.
Concrete block paving is an older product and is also called brick paving. This material was popular for driveways during the 1970s and 1980s. Design and colour choices were limited but now, concrete block paving has developed to offer a huge range of modern and traditional designs which can work with all styles and ages of property.
Concrete block paving is laid on a sub-base and sand course and framed by an edge restraint. The paving blocks fit together and produce a very tough and durable driveway surface with a nice, appealing appearance.
Funding a new stamped concrete driveway
Most people use either savings or look for finance to fund the cost for stamped concrete driveways. If you have equity in your property, then you can apply to your current lender for a home improvement loan. You will need to pass their affordability test to demonstrate that you can meet the extra repayments, but they will be spread over the remaining mortgage term, so they are not usually very high. Some people do this on a re-mortgage by releasing capital sums to pay for home improvements.
A new driveway can increase the value of your home by between 5%-10% so it is definitely worth the cost for stamped concrete driveway. However, even though stamped concrete is a relatively affordable driveway choice, stamped driveway costs can soon mount up by the time you add in drainage, some edging stones and maybe lighting.
Some driveway installers partner with an independent finance company, and they might mention this when they come out to do a site visit. It can be appealing to wrap everything up together and save the time and trouble of looking around for finance, but it is always worth trawling the market because you could get a better deal somewhere else. Any finance offered by your driveway installer will also be subject to credit checks and the normal rules on status.
Finding the right driveway company
Stamped concrete driveways are very popular so there are plenty of companies offering this type of surface with a patterned finish. Start by asking around your immediate circle of friends and family to see if they can provide a recommendation. If not, broaden the search, social media can be a good place to find some names and numbers. However, just remember if you post on a Facebook neighbourhood or community group, that many people who answer it you will not know personally, and it can be quite hard to authenticate who they are recommending. It may not be someone who has installed a driveway for them at all.
Another option is to use a trader platform or portal which is a quick way to obtain lots of quotes on stamped driveway costs directly to your inbox. It only takes a matter of minutes to input your contact details and add the size of your driveway. If you don’t know, then describe the area by the number of cars. State whether there is an existing driveway to be removed or whether it is in good condition, and you want to use it as a base for the new concrete material. Press ‘enter’ and wait for the emails to arrive. Always obtain a minimum of three quotes.
Questions to ask a driveway installer
Invite three contractors out for a site visit based on either a recommendation or a rough quote you have already received. A contractor will need to assess the site for access, the condition of the existing driveway and measure up. It’s easy to end up having a general conversation with a contractor and then forgetting to ask some key questions. Here is a list of the main things you need to discuss which you can keep with you, so you don’t get sidetracked.
- Is everything included on the quotation or are there third-party costs like skip or equipment hire which will be billed separately?
- Do you think stamped concrete is the right surface for my home?
- What pattern do you recommend?
- Can you lay the new concrete on top of my current driveway?
- Is the concrete semi-permeable?
- Do I require a drainage system with this driveway and where would the water run to?
- How long will it take you to do the job?
- How long will it be before I can walk on the concrete?
- When can I put cars on it and drive across it?
- Are there any problems with access to the site?
- Are you correctly licensed and insured?
- Do you have any previous customers with a stamped concrete driveway who will give you a reference?
- How much deposit do you require?
- Do you offer warranties and guarantees for your work and the materials?
- How long has your company been trading for?
What are the advantages of a stamped concrete driveway?
- Stamped concrete is tough and durable and resilient to both weathering and lots of vehicle traffic
- Installation is quick and much faster than laying concrete block paving
- As there are no slabs with space between them, it is much harder for moss and weeds to grow. To make doubly sure, add a weed membrane on top of the sub-base before the wet concrete is poured
- If you use semi-porous concrete, then it can reduce your reliance on additional drainage but do check this carefully with your local planning department if the driveway is over five square metres in size
What are the disadvantages of stamped concrete driveways?
- Some people still prefer to use a material other than concrete even though it can be almost completely disguised by the stamped design
- If the concrete cracks, then it cannot be replaced in sections very easily unlike concrete paving or other types of slabs. If new areas need to be re-laid, then it can be hard to match them with the original concrete surface
- Patching and repairs are expensive
- Stamped concrete is usually not permeable so a drainage solution will need to be added to the driveway quote otherwise the driveway won’t comply with new planning regulations for surface water run-off
- Stamped concrete driveways are usually finished with a sealant product once the material has completely dried and cured. The sealant can be very slippery in the winter and the use of de-icers and other winter treatments is not recommended as this can permanently damage the concrete surface
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What is the Saving Cost for Stamped Concrete Driveways
If your chosen driveway and contractor have come in over budget then discuss ways you could reduce your spend; there are some areas where you can save money and others, like the sub-base, where you really shouldn’t cut costs.
Leaving your old driveway in place as a base is one option as this saves the labour costs and waste disposal charges of removing it. However, if the surface is cracked and crumbling then your concrete driveway will quickly deteriorate and end up costing you more in the long run in repairs and remediation work. A professional installer will never agree to lay a new stamped concrete driveway on top of an inadequate surface.
Why not simplify the design? Using one pattern rather than a complicated combination will take much less time for the contractor to stamp. Leave it a natural colour rather than adding a dye. This saves money on both materials and labour.
Reduce the size of the driveway or, consider doing the work in stages if you have a large area to resurface. It can be hard to get the colour and shade to match if you add concrete sections in stages but if you plan to use different tones and designs then it can all still work as one seamless design.
Some householders remove the old driveway themselves and this can save labour costs and it doesn’t require any particular skill although always check first that there are no pipes or cabling that run below it. There will still be a charge for skip hire for waste disposal and possibly pneumatic tools if you need them so it is not entirely a cost-free process, but it can save a lot of money if you old driveway is quite large.
Checkout this short video on a pressed concrete driveway installation:
If a stamped driveway costs too much there are other alternatives such as Asphalt at around £50 to £80 per square metre, Gravel at around £10-£15 per square metre, or Tar and Chip at around £17.50 per square metre.
A new driveway can increase the value of your home by between 5%-10% so it is definitely worth the cost for stamped concrete driveway.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will a stamped concrete driveway support the weight of heavier vehicles?
If you have a long wheelbase work van, a 4×4 or a motorhome then concrete is definitely one of the better surfaces when it comes to supporting heavier vehicles without causing damage. Discuss both the type of vehicles you own and also how much movement and traffic there is with your installer when they come out to do a site visit. Reinforced concrete is one option, and it is also possible to create either a great depth to the driveway or increase the sub-base or both
How long will it be before I can use the driveway?
The concrete should be dry enough for foot traffic after 48 hours, but most contractors will recommend leaving the concrete for a month before you start driving on it.
What is the best time of year to install a stamped concrete driveway?
Most contractors will tell you that drier weather is better but do try and avoid a heatwave as the concrete will dry out too quickly which causes other problems like cracking. It can be cheaper to book someone to do it in the late spring or early autumn as most driveway contractors have less work.
How do I manage a stamped concrete driveway in the winter?
Stamped concrete is known to be slippery when it is icy or frosty. Unfortunately, regular de-icing products will cause their own issues with the driveway and can damage the surface. You can plan for this and install pathways around the parking bays using a different surface like stone slabs or use temporary matting which you can pick up when the weather changes. Always wash down the concrete once the thaw has happened. Your cars will pick up rock salt from the road which is transferred onto the underside of the car and into the wheel arches so this can also affect the concrete even if you specifically avoid using de-icers.
Stamped concrete is not usually a porous surface so you will need to apply for planning permission otherwise your new driveway will be in contravention of modern planning regulations. New rules were introduced in 2007 to minimise flooding in severe weather. The driveway will need a drainage system which discharges excess surface water run-off to a point in front of the house like a lawn or flowerbed and doesn’t empty into the public drain.
You will also need separate permission for a dropped kerb; the planning permission for the actual driveway doesn’t usually include this. If you have a dropped kerb but it needs to be wider because the driveway and entrance/exit point are also to be wider, then you will need planning permission for this too.
To be eligible for a dropped kerb, your new driveway must have a minimum width of 2.75 metres and be at least 4.5 metres wide at right angles to the road or the same length as your car. The site must be absent from obstructions larger than 0.6 metres in height which block clear visibility into the road.
If your house is listed and/or in a conservation area, then permission under the listing regulations will be something additional. Listing regulations apply to the land around the property, not just the house. There may be conditions imposed on the design of the driveway, the colour and the type of materials you can use. The new driveway must be in line with the style and age of the house and, in a conservation area, in keeping with the properties around it.
Can you lay stamped concrete on a sloping driveway?
All driveways should be laid with a very slight gradient to promote drainage but if your driveway is really sloping then you should discuss the logistics with your installer. It is possible to lay a wet surface on a slope, but it has to be done in stages and will add to the labour charges and time taken.
Sources and References
I’m Mike – writer and part-time home improvement expert at Refurbb. Since owning and refurbishing my own property in 2018, I’ve since been developing rental properties, writing about my home improvement endeavours, sharing what I’ve learned and connecting readers to reputable tradespeople in the UK. I’m also head of marketing and technical at Raindancer Ltd