Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a collection of categorised commonly asked questions click on the title for the answer, if you cannot find an answer to your question feel free to contact us.


What is SMA     
Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) is a high strength material that produces a surface that in many instances out-performs that of traditional Hot Rolled Asphalt and pre-coated chippings. 6mm SMA is particularly suited to house drives and car parks where it is more resistant to the scuffing action of vehicles turning in confined spaces.

How will you construct my tarmac driveway?   
We have a page dedicated to this topic, visit here.

What tarmac colours are available?   
Tarmac is available in black and red, see our photo gallery for examples of both. Red tarmac is more expensive than black tarmac.

I have been told my drive can be overlaid, what does this mean?   
We have an entire page dedicated to this here.

Block Paving

How deep are the paver’s you use?   
This depends on the usage requirements of the area they will be installed, in a residential setting we nearly always use 50mm paver’s, however for commercial work they can be anything from 60mm to a 100mm deep.

Are clay pavers better than concrete pavers?   
Visit this website for an extensive explanation of all things block paving.

What is the difference between clay and concrete block paver’s?   
Visit this website for an extensive explanation of all things block paving.

White stuff on my paving?   
That white stuff on your paving is called efflorescence the very best advice we can give you is to visit this web page which willl give you all the information you need.

Are you a member of Interlay or any other paving organisation?
No we are not, we see no point in paying for the privilege of being in an organisation whose members have to meet token requirements for membership, these groups are interested in earning money plain and simple.

How will you construct my block paved driveway?    
We have a page dedicated to this topic, visit here.


Why have you spelled colour the American way?   
Well, when the the business was started many moons ago and the name was picked the logo had the Colordrives name sitting inside the roof of a house, except it wouldn’t fit properly so we dropped the “u”, and that was that.

What is SUDS Do I need planning permission?   
The idea behind SUDS is to try to replicate natural systems that use cost effective solutions with low environmental impact to drain away dirty and surface water run-off through collection, storage, and cleaning before allowing it to be released slowly back into the environment, such as into water courses. This is to counter the effects of conventional drainage systems that often allow for flooding, pollution of the environment – with the resultant harm to wildlife – and contamination of groundwater sources used to provide drinking water. The paradigm of SUDS solutions should be that of a system that is easy to manage, requiring little or no energy input (except from environmental sources such as sunlight, etc.), resilient to use, and being environmentally as well as aesthetically attractive. Examples of this type of system are reed beds and other wetland habitats that collect, store, and filter dirty water along with providing a habitat for wildlife.

Originally the term SUDS described the UK approach to sustainable urban drainage systems. These developments may not necessarily be in “urban” areas, and thus the “urban” part of SUDS is now usually dropped to reduce confusion. Other countries have similar approaches in place using a different terminology such as best management practice (BMP) and low-impact development in the United States, and water-sensitive urban design in Australia.

SuDS use the following techniques:

  • source control
  • permeable paving such as pervious concrete
  • storm water detention
  • storm water infiltration
  • evapo-transpiration (e.g. from a green roof)

A common misconception of SUDS systems is that they reduce flooding on the development site. In fact the SUDS system is designed to reduce the impact that the surface water drainage system of one site has on other sites. For instance, sewer flooding is a problem in many places. This happens when flows entering a sewer exceed its capacity and it overflows. The SUDS system aims to minimise or eliminate discharges from the site, thus reducing the impact, the idea being that if all development sites incorporated SUDS then urban sewer flooding would be less of a problem. Unlike traditional urban storm water drainage systems, SUDS can also help to protect and enhance ground water quality.

Do I need planning permission? 
From 1st October 2008, a submission for Planning Permission may be required for impermeable surfaces like Tarmac, Concrete, and Block Paving. The purpose of this new regulation is to prevent stormwater drains, and eventually the rivers, from being unnecessarily overfilled during periods of heavy rainfall due to overdevelopment. These regulations apply to the area between the front of the house and the road if the area is over 5 square metres. We will try and satisfy the requirements of our customers and local council by using various drainage systems where the rainwater can be drained into the surrounding areas, i.e. using Aco drains, Soak-aways, French drains or simply by creating falls allowing water to drain towards planters. On particularly poor drainage properties, or where Soak-aways are too close to the property, we are permitted to use storm drains. Providing we make our best effort to drain driveway accumulated rainwater into the sub-soils below, THEN YOU WILL NOT REQUIRE PLANNING PERMISSION. Our trained site surveyor will look at all options in order that all requirements are met.


What is a raised stretcher course?   
A raised stretcher course is a method of edging a driveway, Colordrives uses clay block pavers as their quality is superior to most other blocks. The pavers are laid on a concrete bed and haunched with concrete, they are then cement jointed. The term raised is used to describe the fact that part of the side of the paver will be visible on the completed driveway. Using a raised stretcher course has the benefit of defining the outline of a driveway and additionally acts as a water guide to ensure rainfall is directed to the relevant drainage points. Raised strecher courses also have the advantage of alerting a driver to the fact they have gone off the driveway as apposed to tarmac level edgings.


What does 20mm Golden Blend gravel look like?
20mm Golden blend flint based gravel is an ideal gravel for driveways, it is a very hard gravel that does not crush up and consists of natural earthy colours, it often goes well with charcoal border detail and aprons. Many examples of Golden Blend can be found in our gravel gallery.

Payment & After Sales

Will I be charged VAT?     
Yes, Colordrives is a VAT registered company and we must charge VAT. There are however a few instances where you do not need to pay VAT or you can pay VAT at a reduced rate.

  • Your house is a new build house, this means the existing house was completely demolished and you are not yet living in the property. Further information can be found here.
  • Certain works to a disabled persons property can attract no VAT or a reduced rate, more information here.
  • If in doubt or you have any questions contact HM Revenue & Customs

What is your guarantee?   
Our guarantee period is dependant upon the type of work done but will vary from 3 years to 5 years, when we visit your site we can inform you of the period that will apply.

Here's What A Few Of Our Clients Have Said

  • Colordrives did a resin bound driveway for us that transformed our property, the workmanship was excellent and the guys were polite and tidy. Dominic was highly  knowledgeable and did what he said he would when he said he would, Super pleased!

  • Colordrives did a fantastic job of our driveway and patio, a large job with a lot of awkward bits. We were really pleased with the result and the efficiency of Dominic and his team.