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Resin bound driveways: a complete guide

Resin bound driveways have become increasingly popular in the UK due to their sleek and modern aesthetic. Here, we outline the pros and cons of this driveway material, the building regs and planning permission to be aware of, drainage considerations, and the average cost of this home improvement.

What is a resin bound driveway?

Resin bound driveways are made from a mixture of small aggregate stones and resin, that create a smooth, hardened surface once cured.

Also known as a ‘stone carpet’, it’s an attractive, durable, and practical paving solution used for driveways and paths.

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The pros and cons of resin bound driveways

Resin bound paving has grown in popularity and for good reason. However, before we get carried away, it’s important to note the pros and the cons of this type of surface.

The benefits of resin bound paving

  • Visually appealing. Resin paving solutions are both attractive and modern, enhancing the overall kerb appeal of your property
  • Durable. When installed correctly, they are resistant to cracking, fading (if UV-stable resin is used), and weed growth
  • Permeability. As long as your resin bound driveway is laid on a porous surface, you won’t have issues with water pooling on the surface or drainage
  • Low-maintenance. Resin bound driveways don’t need a lot of upkeep and can be power-washed to keep them looking their best
  • Non-slip. Resin bound paving offers excellent skid resistance, reducing the risk of slips and falls
  • A spectrum of colours. With a selection of hues available, a resin bound driveway can be perfectly matched to the style and design of your property

The various shades of resin driveways

What are the disadvantages of a resin driveway?

We’ve outlined why resin bound driveways are so appealing, but what are the drawbacks of resin bound driveways?

  • Cost. Resin bound driveways are generally more expensive as the installation is more involved than block paving, for example
  • Installation complexity. Resin bound driveways must be laid in the correct temperature, humidity, and moisture conditions to get a quality, long-lasting finish. They can take a few days to cure, so be prepared for your driveway to be out of action
  • Lack of regulation. The positives listed above only apply if your resin bound driveway is installed by an experienced professional. There are no official regulations surrounding the installation of resin-based driveways. As such, the quality of installation and material used can vary, which can leave you with problems further down the line
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Rules and regulations for resin bound driveways

Planning regulations in England mean that the specification of permeable surfaces is now heavily encouraged. So what does this mean for the rules and regulations for changing your driveway? Let’s take a look.

1. Planning permission

City councils are increasingly concerned about poor drainage, especially in densely populated areas.

As such, SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) compliance was introduced to ensure adequate drainage and water management.

Resin bound driveways are permeable and SuDS compliant. To that end, they don’t normally require planning permission as long as they’re laid on a suitable porous subbase.

NB. Applications for resin-bonded solutions are more likely to be rejected as they are non-porous.

Additional rules to take note of:

  • Listed buildings and conservation areas. It’s recommended to check with your local planning authority before changing your driveway if you live in a listed property or conservation area
  • Front garden parking. If your plans involve converting your front garden into a driveway, you may need planning permission under the ‘permeable surfacing’ legislation. Generally, the surface must be permeable, or water should be able to drain to a suitable area
  • Kerbs and access. If altering the access to your property, you may need permission from your local council, especially if your plans involve crossing a public footpath

2. What about building regulations?

Driveway installations do not typically require building regulations approval as long as they don’t raise the level of the ground around your property.

It’s always advisable to check with your local authority in advance to be sure.

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Add the details of your job to our request a quote form and we’ll send it on to the recommended resin bound surfacing contractors near you. They’ll get in touch with you directly to provide a quote.

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Resin bound vs. resin bonded driveways

Many people ask what’s the difference between a resin bound and resin-bonded surface.

Resin bonded systems

  • The gravel is scattered onto a pre-applied resin layer before it sets
  • This creates a non-permeable surface with a single-stone layer
  • Resin-bonded finishes have a rougher surface and are ideal for high-traffic roads and disability ramps

Resin bound systems

  • The aggregate and resin are mixed together and then applied to the surface together
  • This creates a permeable, multi-layered surface
  • There are often fewer loose stones in resin bound paving solutions and the finish is far smoother

Resin-bound driveway being installed

How much does a resin bound driveway cost?

The cost of a resin bound driveway depends on a number of factors:

  • The size of your driveway. Starting with an obvious one, the larger the area to be covered, the more expensive your installation will be
  • Use. Depending on whether your resin bound paving is to be a driveway, patio, or path can affect the price
  • Shape. A more complex shape will be more expensive to create
  • Subbase. Having a strong, permeable subbase is crucial for a long-lasting result. Fitting a new subbase will, however, add to the cost. Don’t be tempted to save money by laying your new driveway on top of your existing tarmac drive, for example
  • Type of resin. Different types and qualities of resin bound surfacing will be priced differently
  • Location. Labour prices will vary depending on your geographical location

On average, you can expect to pay around £110 per m² to install a resin bound driveway. If a new subbase is needed, factor in an additional £70 per m² as a guide.

For more information and advice, check out our resin bound driveway cost guide.

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Are resin bound driveways expensive?

Resin bound driveways do cost more than the likes of tarmac or concrete as the installation is more involved.

How long do resin bound driveways last?

Guarantees are typically between 10-20 years, but a professionally installed resin driveway could last upwards of 25 years.

Do I need drainage with a resin driveway?

As long as your resin bound driveway is laid on a suitable porous subbase, water will be able to drain through (i.e. a porous resin driveway is permeable and therefore SuDS compliant). You therefore won’t need to install extra drainage. However, resin bonded driveways are not permeable and will need extra drainage.

How long does it take to do a resin driveway?

Depending on the size and complexity of the project, a resin driveway can take anywhere from a few days to a week to install.

How long can you not walk on a resin driveway?

A resin driveway takes around eight hours to cure, but it’s recommended not to walk on it for at least 24 hours (48 hours for vehicles).

What other uses does resin have?

The resin used in driveways can be used for multiple applications including paths, patios, car parks, bridges, terraces, towpaths etc.

Why do resin driveways crack?

There are several reasons why a resin driveway could crack. These include poor installation, unsuitable weather during or after installation, incorrect aggregate ratios, and unsuitable base material.

Do weeds come through resin driveways?

No. A professionally installed resin driveway will prevent weeds from growing through from below.

Can you jet wash a resin driveway?

Yes. Resin driveways are solid and durable and can easily withstand the force of a jet washer.

Is resin better than tarmac?

Resin driveways are more durable than tarmac and will generally last longer. Resin is also more environmentally friendly than tarmac and contains fewer volatile materials.

Can you do resin driveways yourself?

It is possible to install a resin driveway yourself, but it’s recommended to use an experienced contractor to get a professional, long-lasting finish.

Can you put plant pots on a resin driveway?

It’s not recommended to place heavy, concrete plant pots on your resin driveway to help maintain its appearance for many years to come.

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