Driveways Made To LastSeptember 21, 2016
Natural Granite Gives A Sophisticated Look Yet Is Incredibly Hard Wearing
Granite is the most-hard wearing, but also the most expensive material for a driveway. But reclaimed materials can bring granite into anyone’s budget.
Most of us can see the attraction of granite for construction of a driveway, path or patio. The material is remarkably durable, but this means it is heavy and expensive. Many people think that the cost of purchasing it and the skills and equipment needed to properly construct it make it an impossible dream.
However, an additional benefit of granite’s almost indestructible composition is that reclaimed granite setts are readily available and make an ideal material for driveways, paths and patios.
These are a stylish alternative to block paving and unlike man made products, they actually improve with age. Thus, your new granite driveway will instantly blend in to a mature property and will not stick out like a tagged-on afterthought.
What is Granite?
Granite is a very hard, heavy igneous rock. It is composed of a minimum 20% quartz, with a “grainy” texture, from which the rock derives its name. Its strength and durability have always made it a popular construction material for roads, paths and driveways, but traditionally, these same qualities that make it popular also make it expensive to work with. Its weight and strength mean that transporting and cutting it to given shapes and sizes can be awkward, laborious and time-consuming.
In addition, granite naturally occurs in massive formations, requiring difficult and specialist cutting process to extract it.
All of these factors drive up the cost of buying granite “new,” although for some, its long-term sustainability helps to justify the initial cost. Even acid rain, which can cause permanent damage to other driveway materials, has a negligible impact on granite.
Cobbles and setts
The original “cobble” was a rounded river-washed stone, which later gave way to the larger and more regular rectangular shaped “‘sett.”’
The use of cobbles dates back to Roman times, and they can still be seen in many of Britain’s historic towns and cities.
Reclaimed granite setts have a beautiful natural look, yet retain their almost indestructible durability. They are still used in the streets and alleyways of many historic parts of the UK to this day.
A Granite Driveway
It is hard to imagine a more imposing and spectacular entrance than a driveway of mature reclaimed granite.
Cobbles and setts can also transform open expanses into something really special as pathways, edging and patio materials. In addition to giving a stylish look, they are of course incredibly robust and can be enjoyed by generations to come.
The sizes of reclaimed setts can vary, but as with all natural materials, this lack of uniformity is what can make them special. Variations in the depths can be corrected within the bedding process to ensure a safe and level surface for wheeled or foot traffic. And with some artistic inspiration, variations in length can lead to a superb look, lending charm and character to your driveway, path or patio.
With all of this coming at a fraction of the cost of modern block paving, it is hard to imagine how people could consider anything else!