Some pattern imprinted concrete driveway costs in more detail
Concrete always used to be the poor relation when it came to a new driveway surface, functional and durable but really rather unattractive. Now, concrete has reinvented itself and there are two distinct options available which can provide a cost-effective and tough surface plus add a unique design to your home.
How much do Concrete Print Driveways Cost on Average?
How much concrete print driveways cost will depend on several main factors:
|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 other factors influence the cost of imprinted concrete driveways?
There are a number of different considerations which can impact concrete print driveways costs which include:-
- The size of the driveway
- The shape of the driveway, unusual or odd shapes always take longer to lay
- Driveway gradient
- Whether an old driveway needs to be removed first
- How much preparation is required for the sub-base
- Weed proof membrane
- The type and complexity of the design
- Colour choice
- Drainage system – PIC is not permeable so an additional drainage system will need to be installed which directs surface water to a location elsewhere on the property
- Access to the site
- Equipment hire such as a skip to take away spoil when the base is created will increase the cost of an imprinted concrete driveway
- Planning permission fees – PIC is non-permeable so will require planning consent
- Your postcode – where you live can impact pattern imprinted concrete driveway costs. Materials and labour with the highest prices are found in London and the Southeast
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What is Concrete Block Paving?
Concrete block paving, also sometimes called brick paving, became popular during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Right at the outset, design and colour choice was pretty limited. However, fast forward a few decades and now concrete block paving has expanded hugely to incorporate traditional and modern designs, something for every style of property.
Concrete block paving is framed by an edge restraint and laid on top of a sub-base and sand course. The blocks interlock with one another to create a bond and a very strong and durable driveway surface.
So how much do printed concrete driveways cost?
What is Pattern Imprinted Concrete?
Pattern Imprinted Concrete is sometimes also called stamped concrete, and this is a much newer product than concrete block paving. Instead of creating a driveway using a jigsaw of concrete blocks, PIC is a layer of concrete poured onto a suitable sub-base. A colour is then applied and a colour hardener to set the surface. The pattern is created on the wet concrete and different designs range from stone to brickwork to textured stone. The idea is to give the concrete a more unusual and appealing finish which can be quite individual to the property and even mimic a more expensive driveway surface.
What are the advantages of Pattern Imprinted Concrete driveways?
- Installation is pretty quick and efficient, certainly when compared to concrete block paving. The process of PIC allows you to cover large areas much more quickly and so will reduce the overall cost of imprinted concrete driveway installation.
- Weed and moss growth is deterred as the surface is laid as one complete unit rather than lots of individual blocks which can be prone to weed and grass incursion in the joins. To make certain, a weed membrane can be added to the sub-base before the wet concrete is poured
- Pattern imprinted concrete driveways are very tough and durable and unlikely to suffer from any movement or sinking
What are the disadvantages of Pattern Imprinted Concrete Driveways?
- Some people still feel they are less visually attractive than other forms of surface
- PIC driveways can be prone to cracking and if the cracks become too large then large areas of the driveway may need to be renewed or resurfaced which can cause a problem matching with the original installation
- Patching and repairs can be expensive
- PIC is not permeable which is one of the main drawbacks so a proper drainage solution will need to be provided. A PIC driveway won’t comply with new planning regulations unless there is adequate drainage installed for surface water run-off
- The sealant used on a pattern imprinted concrete driveway can be very slippery when its icy in the winter and using deicers or winter treatments to aid grip can damage the concrete surface
What are the choices of print, pattern and colour?
There are four main designs for a pattern imprinted concrete driveway and these are herringbone, cobblestone, basketweave and flagstone. Some of the colour choices include green, black, red, blue and grey. Having a one of these colours will increase the cost of an imprinted concrete driveway.
How to find the right installer for a pattern imprinted concrete driveway
PIC driveways are pretty popular and so there are plenty of tradespeople offering this service. See if you can find a personal recommendation from a friend, family member or work colleague. You can broaden your search to social media and ask neighbourhood or local community groups for some suggestions. Social media enquiries always receive lots of replies so try and drill down and find a driveway contractor who has actually installed a concrete imprinted driveway for the person posting. People do just love to add a name on a post, and it could be someone who has never installed that type of driveway surface at all.
Trader platforms are very popular, not just finding contractors but getting a quick quote. Just pop some brief details on the form – it helps if you know the size of your driveway but it’s not crucial – add some contact information and then wait for the quotes to land in your inbox from local contractors who can do the job. This saves so much time trawling the internet, reading reviews and phoning or emailing individual companies.
Questions to ask a driveway installer
Always obtain at least three quotes and don’t accept a quote from a contractor who has not made a site visit. A contractor will need to assess the site, look at the current driveway if there is one to be removed and of course, measure up. Here are some questions you can ask all the contractors you invite out to help you make a choice.
- Is the quote fully inclusive or are there other expenses which will be invoiced separately like skip hire?
- Do you think pattern imprinted concrete is the right surface for my home?
- Can you lay the new surface on top of my old driveway?
- What are your proposals for the drainage system?
- How long will it take you to do the job?
- How long will it be before I can walk on it and put cars on the new driveway?
- Do you foresee any difficulties with the site or access to the site?
- Are you fully insured and licensed?
- Do you have any previous customers with concrete imprinted driveways who I can speak to for a testimonial?
- What are your payment terms?
- Are there warranties or guarantees for the materials and the workmanship?
- How long have you been in business for?
Because pattern imprinted concrete is not a permeable surface, it will be necessary to apply for planning permission for the new driveway. Local planners are concerned about surface water run-off under new regulations introduced in 2007 to minimise flooding in severe weather. The driveway will need a drainage system which doesn’t discharge to the public drain but takes water away to a lawn, flower bed or soakaway.
If you need to have a dropped kerb because the driveway is new, or you need a dropped kerb extended because you are making the old driveway bigger, then this will also need planning permission.
To be eligible for a dropped kerb, your new driveway must be at least 4.5 metres wide at right angles to the road or the same length as your car. The driveway must also have a minimum width of 2.75 metres. There must also be no obstructions larger than 0.6 metres in height at the end of your driveway which block clear visibility into the road.
If your house is listed and/or in a conservation area, then permission under the listing regulations is also required. Listing regulations apply to the area around the property not just the house and there may be requirements or restrictions on the materials you can use and what a new driveway will look like. It has to be in keeping with the property and those around it.
Funding a new pattern imprinted driveway
A new driveway can uplift the value of your property by between 5%-10% so it is definitely worth the investment. However, by the time you add the drainage system, some kerb lighting and perhaps some fancy new gates, your bill is likely to top several thousand pounds.
Most people use a combination of savings and/or finance to fund a project like this. You can approach your mortgage lender for a home improvement loan if you have equity in your property and can satisfy their affordability test for the extra payments. Some people release capital sums on a re-mortgage either with their current lender or move to a new mortgage company. The same rules on equity and affordability will apply.
Some driveway companies will have a link with a third-party financial institution and may offer finance when you are discussing their quote. It is tempting to wrap it all up together and get the deal done, particularly when you see images of what your new driveway will look like. But always shop around as you could find a better rate elsewhere. Any finance offered via this route will be subject to the usual rules on status.
Saving costs on a new concrete imprinted driveway
If your choice of driveway and installer are too expensive then talk to your contractor about ways you could save money, so you come within budget. Never skimp on the base as this will seriously affect the quality of the concrete on top of it and could cause issues. Some people are tempted to lay the new surface on an old driveway which is crumbling and cracking, but the likelihood is that it will impact the new concrete and cause problems within a matter of months. A good contractor won’t do this.
Choose a single pattern, this takes less time to stamp. A complex and intricate design will bump up the labour costs. Use a natural colour. By not adding colour, you will save money on materials and labour.
You could consider making the driveway smaller or doing the work in stages although it can be difficult to get the colour and shade to match if sections are laid at different times. Doing away with drainage is not an option but there might be a cheaper way to install the drains.
Some householders lift the old driveway themselves. This can lower pattern imprinted concrete driveway costs such as labour costs and doesn’t require any particular skill, but you will probably need to hire in machinery to break it up if it is concrete and you will still need a skip for waste disposal. Always check first for pipe runs and cabling before you start breaking up the surface.
Checkout this short time lapse video of a pattern imprinted concrete driveway installation:
For more information on concrete print driveways costs, learn more about costs related to pouring concrete, design options such as pressed concrete driveways, what you can do if your driveway is crumbling.
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Because pattern imprinted concrete is not a permeable surface, it will be necessary to apply for planning permission for the new driveway. Local planners are concerned about surface water run-off under new regulations introduced in 2007 to minimise flooding in severe weather.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you lay a pattern imprinted concrete surface on a driveway with a gradient or slope?
It is possible to lay a wet surface on a sloping driveway, but it will add considerably to the labour charges. Your contractor will need to create a wooden framework and lay the concrete in stages to avoid it sliding down the slope. All driveways should be installed with a slight gradient even if the site is flat as this facilitates drainage.
Is there a better time of year to lay a new pattern imprinted concrete driveway?
Most contractors will tell you that dry weather is best so spring or summer. However, concrete should not dry out quickly otherwise it can be prone to cracking so a heatwave isn’t ideal either. It can be cheaper to book someone to do it in the off season as most installers have less work, but you do run the risk of bad weather interfering with the installation.
How long will it be before I can use the driveway?
The concrete should be dry enough to walk over after 48 hours but most contractors will recommend a period of 28 days before you start putting vehicles on it.
Will a pattern imprinted concrete driveway support the weight of heavier vehicles?
Concrete is known to be a stronger surface than, say, resin, and should be able to support heavier vehicles like commercial vans or motorhomes without cracking or leaving indents. If you plan to have larger/heavier vehicles on the driveway, then always discuss this with the installer before you start the work. It is possible that they can use reinforced concrete to help support the added weight or they may need to make the concrete deeper.
How do I manage a pattern imprinted concrete driveway in cold weather?
PIC can be slippery when it is icy or frosty and the type of products you can use to remove ice or provide grip will damage the driveway surface. Some people use temporary matting to provide a walkway to vehicles and to use under tyres if it is really slippery. It is also worth washing down your driveway once the thaw has arrived as your vehicles will pick up rock salt from the road on the underside of the car and in the wheel arches and this can also affect the surface.
My PIC driveway quote is more expensive than concrete block paving, why is this?
Pattern imprinted concrete is usually cheaper per square metre as a baseline when compared with concrete block paving which is much more labour intensive to install. It could be the additional drainage required with PIC which bumps up the final bill. There could also be issues specific to your site which make the cost higher, such as poor access which means the concrete needs to be mixed on site rather than tipped from a lorry or expense associated with removing the old driveway.
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