Tarmac & Block Paving Services
Block Paving Company
Block Paving Company

At Compact surfacing we are committed to providing a quality service and customer care is at the heart of our business from initial survey through to completion.

Our professional surveyors will spend as much time as is needed in advising you to ensure you reach the best decision.... for you.

Once you place your order, a fixed installation date is agreed and the work is carried out in one visit.

Pattern Imprinted Concrete PAving

Compact Surfacing, with experienced surveyors and expertly trained installers, takes pride in using only the very best materials and printing mats to create driveways and patios which replicate real stone, cobbles, slate, brick or even timber decking in over 100 natural colour combinations. Pattern imprinted concrete driveways and patios have a permanent texture and colour, are free of weeds and when installed by Compact Surfacing will last a lifetime.

Ensuring the design of the driveway or patio compliments your home, garden and aspirations is a crucial part of the total service we offer but there are also practical considerations which must be dealt with. These include Planning Permission, Building Regulations, Drainage & Rain Gardens, Steps & Ramps and Control of Cracking within the concrete surface.

For more information see our 'processes' and 'what comes as standard' pages.

Planning Permission

On 1st October 2008 new rules were introduced for householders wanting to pave over their front gardens. The basic rule is that you will NOT need planning permission if a new driveway uses permeable or porous surfacing which allows water to drain through or if the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally.

If the surface to be covered between the property and the public highway is more than five square metres, planning permission WILL be needed for laying traditional, impermeable surfaces that do not control rainwater running off onto roads or into main drainage systems.

The easy solution therefore, is for us to install drainage systems including aco drainage and soakaways so that surface water does not run onto the public highway, but naturally to ground. In the vast majority of cases our driveway installations DO NOT NEED PLANNING PERMISSION, as we will include the required drainage systems into your design and quotation.

Elsewhere around your home there are no restrictions on the area of land which you can cover with hard surfaces at, or near, ground level. However, significant works of embanking or terracing to support a hard surface might need a planning application. Also, these regulations apply to houses in England and different rules may apply to flats and maisonettes in England and to all properties in Wales and Scotland, as they may also do as regards listed buildings and properties in conservation areas.

We have provided a summary of the rules here on our website but if you are in any doubt we advise you to consult your local planning authority as these matters are subject to change. More information is available here.

Building Regulations

Generally a new driveway or patio area does not require building regulations approval but you will need to ensure that any alterations do not make access to the building any less satisfactory than it was before. Also, if several steps are introduced then a balustrade may be required to comply with building regulations. If you are in any doubt, we recommend that you seek advice from your local building control department to clarify the application of current rules to your individual case.

Dropped Kerbs - If you are making a new access into the garden across a footpath you will need to obtain permission from your local council to drop the kerb and strengthen the pavement to protect any services buried in the ground such as water pipes. Compact Surfacing has Highways and Streetworks Accreditation which means that we are authorised to carry out surfacing works on public roads and pavements.

Drainage and Rain Gardens

Ensuring compliance with planning permission and building regulations is obviously a prerequisite in driveway design and installation, but additional considerations may need to be taken into account, which are outside of these regulations.

Aco drainage across the entrance to a driveway taking surface water to a soakaway will comply with planning permission, but you may also need drainage in front of your garage or at regular intervals for very large driveways.

To disguise drainage, a Rain Garden can be installed, and falls created in the driveway which direct surface water into a depression, before slowly allowing it to soak into the ground or flow to drains. These depressions can be located along the edge of the driveway or at a low point in the garden and will form a feature when filled with decorative gravel or cobbles.

Soakaways are a similar idea except that water is piped into a gravel or stone-filled hole in the ground or special container and allowed to soak away naturally.

Steps and Ramps

When the house floor is more than 150 mm above the driveway or patio, steps or ramps may need to be constructed to provide access. These may have been brick built with paving as steps before your new drive is installed but can be constructed from concrete, and coloured and printed to match the rest of the new surface. Good building practice and building control regulations dictate the size of steps and the gradient of ramps. This is particularly important if disabled access is required, and we will work together with you to ensure that not only do they satisfy all regulations but that there is practical access for day to day usage. Also, if several steps are introduced then a balustrade may be required to comply with building regulations.

Controlling Cracking of Concrete

When concrete is cast as a large 'slab' there are occasions when cracks can occur, but joints can be designed in, which reduce the chances of this happening. There are several different types of joints which are used in pattern imprinted concrete construction and include: -

Contraction joints are considered to be the most important, as both the judgement and experience of the installer is required to reduce the risk of cracking. Contraction joints are installed either on the day of the pour for areas at most risk (a 'soft' cut made with a 'groover' or a cutting bar prior to colouring, a quarter to a third of the slab depth) or, in most cases, a few days later (a 'hard' cut made with a diamond blade a third to half of the slab depth). The reason for the contraction joint cuts is to ensure that if the concrete is going to crack at some time in the future, it does so at its weakest point – where the cut has been made. In other words, we choose where it will potentially crack, and that will normally be in line with the pattern. All joints are finally sealed with silicone or mastic sealant to stop dirt gathering in them.

Other factors which can minimise cracking of concrete are referred to elsewhere in this web site and include providing a solid and stable sub-base, and using the correct mix and thickness of concrete.

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