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What you need to know about driveways in St Albans

A recent survey by a leading insurance company has revealed that a quarter of homeowners in the UK have transformed their front garden into a driveway, indicating that additional off-road parking takes precedence over outdoor spaces for many homeowners. However, there are certain factors to be aware of when turning greenery into driveways. In this article, we’ll highlight the main points for you.

Do driveways in St Albans require planning permission?

There is a simple rule to planning permission regarding driveways in the UK. The government introduced soakaway regulations in 2009, requiring homeowners to seek planning permission for any area more than five metres squared that they intend to pave using a non-permeable material. However, there are ways to install a driveway using both permeable and non-permeable materials that don’t need planning permission.

Consider a permeable driveway covering

If you use a porous material, then you won’t need planning permission regardless of the size of the area you’re paving. Permeable materials like gravel or block paving allow rainwater to soak into the soil below and reduce the risk of overwhelming the storm drain.

Find ways to help rainwater drain away

It’s fine to use non-permeable materials such as concrete, as it negates the need for planning permission if the design of the driveway diverts rainwater to a nearby garden or soakaway. However, to use a rain garden, you might need to look at only partially paving your driveway.

Store rainwater

Use a water butt to collect rainwater to further limit the risk of flash flooding, and the storm drains become submerged.

Assess your flood risk

Finally, even if you’ve never experienced local flooding, checking your flood risk with the Environment Agency before embarking on a new driveway is sensible. Contact our team today if you own a home in St Albans and want more advice about transforming your garden into off-road parking.

Five fantastic ways to create shade for patios in St Albans

As temperatures in the UK and St Albans soar again, and with one of the driest summers in recent times, it might be worth considering how you can create shaded spaces for your patio. Patios are ideal for sun worshippers, but we all need a break from intense UV rays. This article will show you five fantastic ways to create shade for patios.

Install a shade sail
Shade sails are not only highly effective, but they look great too. There are many different patterns and styles on the market, or you can create your own with some fabric cut into a triangle, some eyelets and strong rope to attach it to fence posts or the house exterior.

Use a screen
There are many examples of high-quality electric screens that you can install on your patio to provide shade at the flick of a switch. However, these are expensive methods to shield yourself from the sun. There are screens you can roll manually, or a trellis offers similar results if you’re on a tight budget.

A pergola provides a halfway house for those that want to feel the sun but still want some protection from harmful UV rays. The slated form of the classic pergola offers enough light and shade to achieve a compromise.

If your pergola still requires additional temporary shade, consider fitting a pair of curtains to the wooden slats. Curtains are inexpensive to create extra shade and still provide an aesthetically pleasing outdoor space.

If you’re a fan of the traditional, then why not opt for a simple large umbrella to keep you covered from the sun? Many stylish and contemporary-looking umbrellas on the market can provide all the shade you need.
If you own property in St Albans but you don’t currently have a patio to enjoy, contact us today for more information on how we can help create a summer idyll hideaway for your home.

Where should you position a patio in your St Albans home?

Once you decide that your property in St Albans will benefit from a professionally designed and installed patio, one of the most critical factors in determining the design and features will be the patio’s location within your garden space. Available sunlight typically plays a crucial role in deciding where patios are best positioned, but there are also three other primary considerations that we’ll explain below.

How do you intend to use your patio in St Albans?

How you intend to use your patio will significantly bear where you will locate it in your garden. Patios designed for al fresco dining won’t be impaired from being shaded. However, if you’re looking for a patio that can help boost your summer tan, then aim for the areas that get the most sunlight.

Where will your patio create the best view and look?

Patios are generally located immediately outside the back door as this is where they can be most convenient and practical. That said, if you have a large garden, you might consider multiple patios for different uses, or you might prefer the view from the end of your garden. If you situate a patio away from the house, try to blend it in with plants and flower beds for a more appealing look.

Do you want to position your patio somewhere private?

If your garden design allows you to locate a patio in a secluded area, this is something you might consider. If not, tall plants or garden screening provide plenty of options to deliver to privacy you need.

If you are interested in a stylish and modern patio for your home, contact our friendly team today.

Fantastic methods for making patios in Dunstable seem bigger

With winter set to give way to a delightful Dunstable spring soon, it’s a good time to look at how you can make the most of your patio in the warmer seasons and methods for making it appear larger than it is if it’s on the small side. No matter how small your outdoor space is, we have a few tips to share with you to help enhance a patio in any location.

Utilise vertical space

The only way to go for patios with short and narrow dimensions is up. Use hanging plants to create a canopy and produce a sense of space and airiness that will not only add colour to your garden but much-needed depth. If your patio has a feature wall, you can decorate this with accessories to avoid using much-needed floor space. If you don’t have a brick wall handy, you can use a wooden trellis to move ornaments from the floor and add texture to your patio while improving your privacy.

Use a tiered approach

In keeping with the vertical theme, using a tiered approach to planting flowers and plants is a fantastic method for generating the illusion of space. Stacked terracotta planters are ideal for any plants and deliver a burst of colour to patios.

Make use of existing structures

Suppose your small patio space has existing structures such as a shed or brick outhouse. In that case, you can use these features for displaying knick-knacks, accessories or plants that leave the floor uncluttered but develop a lovely focal point to improve the overall aesthetic.

Contact our expert team today if you live in Dunstable and would like advice on how to get the most out of your patio.

Basics for creating fabulous driveways in St Albans

To develop and build a stunning driveway for your property in St Albans, you need to take time to plan the construction properly and assess what is involved in the process and the type of materials you can use for modern driveways. In this guide, we’ll give an overview of these considerations.

The fundamentals

If you want to create a new driveway or restore an existing one, you’ll need to find a building company that is proficient in groundwork. This includes excavating earth installing a waterproof membrane that helps prevent the growth of weeds before filling the area with compressed hardcore to complete the foundation.

How your new driveway will account for water run-off will also require scrutiny. Driveways that incorporate impermeable materials will require planning permission, but well thought out drainage channels will resolve any planning issues.

Different materials for driveways

  • Gravel – The most economical way of covering a driveway is gravel. Available in various decorative colours, gravel is quick and easy to install. If opting for a gravel driveway, use edging stones to ensure the gravel remain tidy.
  • Concrete – A highly durable method of paving a driveway that requires very little maintenance but can be more costly to repair.
  • Block paving – A widespread choice for driveways, block paving can be arranged in many patterns and comes available in permeable and impermeable blocks.
  • Tarmac – Providing fantastic durability at a mid-range price point, Tarmac has an orderly aesthetic that provides a universal appeal.

Contact our driveway specialists today if you need advice on which type of driveway will best meet your needs and budget for your home in St Albans.

Ideas for creating stylish driveways in Harpenden


There isn’t anything wrong with creating simplistic driveways in Harpenden that meet a practical purpose and durability to deal with a heavy footfall. Still, if you are looking for serious kerb appeal, you need to use some flair and imagination. In this article, we’ll provide a few pointers on how you can make your driveway in Harpenden stand out.

Combine different kinds of materials

If you have a particularly wide or long driveway, then a single material finish can suffer the risk of looking monotonous. By mixing materials such as gravel and tarmac, you can help break the blandness of a one-dimensional appearance. Using stone pavers as an edging material with gravel, tarmac, or resin driveways achieve a compelling and distinctive look.

Create interesting lines

If you’re lucky enough to have ample space to design a new driveway, you can accommodate a lot more features into your design. Curved edges or half-moon shapes create more exciting lines, while a winding path can enhance the overall finish.

Incorporate specialised lighting

Lighting on driveways has a dual purpose: primarily, motion lighting acts as a practical security feature, while driveway spotlights can be used to highlight flowerbeds, trees or pathways. You can utilise bollard lights to increase the landscaping features or lights embedded in the driveway for a sophisticated look.

Contact Stanleys Roofing and Building today if you would like advice on making the most of a new driveway or if you have an existing driveway in need of restoration.

What to expect from quality building contractors in St Albans and Harpenden

Understandably, some people can be reticent when employing the services of a building firm. The numerous scare stories of rip-off merchants and inferior quality work give the industry, in most cases, an undeserved and unwelcome reputation. At Stanleys Roofing and Building, we uphold the ethos that the customer is paramount, so we will always thoroughly discuss your requirements before supplying you with a fair quotation for an honest day’s work. Below we will present our primary services for roofing, patios and driveways in St Albans and Harpenden.

Expert roofing in St Albans and Harpenden

We can carry out all manner of roofing in Harpenden to an exceptional standard. £1million liability insurance guarantees all of our work, should anything out of the ordinary occur. Through our services in the local area, we receive a lot of work through customer recommendations thanks to our value for money offer. The main roofing jobs we undertake include:

  • Roof replacements and repair – If you have a leaking roof, or if the shingles have torn and are beyond repair your roof may need replacing. We will conduct a thorough assessment before advising the level of work required. We can quote for roofing in St Albans for pitched or flat roofs, no matter the size of the project. We also provide a roof cleaning service to avoid the build-up of mould and moss.
  • Tiles – As part of our services for roofing in Harpenden, we can supply any roofing tile and also repair them. We can replace and repoint ridge tiles, chimney stacks and beds, and roof valley channels. We will always attempt to repair existing tiles before considering a replacement.
  • Guttering, soffit and fascia – Blocked guttering can have a damaging effect on roofs. Gathering water can lead to the development of mould that can penetrate shingles and sheathing. We can clear or replace blocked downpipes and guttering to ensure rainwater runs into the correct channels. We also supply and fit uPVC soffits and fascias to protect against weathering and keep your roof in good condition.

Quality driveways in St Albans and Harpenden

The driveway of a property, whether commercial or domestic, can have a lasting impact on peoples impressions. An untidy driveway, with cracked tarmac or broken block paving, can detract from the appearance of a property. At Stanleys Roofing and Building, we deliver high-quality driveways in Harpenden using several different methods and materials.

  • Tarmac – Traditional and used universally, a tarmac driveway is an excellent approach to creating long-lasting and clean looking driveways in St Albans. Tarmac can withstand the weight of multiple vehicles, and we can lay it by hand or machine, depending on the access to the area.
  • Block paving – We have laid block paving for many driveways in Harpenden. It delivers an attractive, robust and durable driveway that is easy to maintain. The layout of block paving is almost unlimited, with many variants of colour and designs available. We can work with you to conceive a look that will complement your property, and possibly add value to it.

In addition to tarmac and block paving, we can also construct driveways using gravel, sandstone, shingles and concrete. As experienced and multi-skilled builders, we will rectify any problems concerning drainage.

Outstanding patios in St Albans

A patio is a marvellous way to create functional outdoor spaces in your garden. Having a patio can provide options for your garden that may not be viable with a lawn. They can provide a stable surface for garden furniture for when you have gatherings, or even as a base for a hot tub.

We can use the same materials for laying a patio as we do for driveways. Block paving is a popular method for creating patios because of their appearance and ability to construct bespoke looks.

Why choose Stanleys Roofing and Building?

We are a building firm that offers a comprehensive ‘one-stop-shop’ for all of your building requirements. All of our employees are highly-skilled and trained, and we never use sub-contractors for any aspect of our work. We work with care, diligence and professionalism to ensure that all of our customers are wholly satisfied. For more information on how we can deliver outstanding building work for your property, contact us today.

House renovation – Choosing the right building contractor

If you own or are considering investing in a rundown property that requires repair, it’s critical that you take the time to select the right contractor to tackle any roofing work. Many empty buildings will suffer from deteriorating roofs due to lack of maintenance. When the damage is extensive, it will usually require a roofing specialist with experience and expertise to conduct a thorough assessment and carry out a professional job.

St. Albans based Stanleys Roofing & Building Ltd. is a trusted roofer and driveways contractor that can deliver such a job.

Roofing Work

When buildings fall into disrepair, some of the most common parts of the roof that require inspection are the tiles, chimney stacks and pots, valleys and the guttering. An attentive contractor will always fully assess a job, determining which areas they can repair and which will need replacing. Once the check is complete, and an itemised quote agreed to, all re-pointing and other remedial work will be completed to a high standard. Any items that need replacing, such as ridge tiles, should be in keeping with the existing roof.

Patios and Driveways

As with roofs, driveways and patios can also exhibit a sorry condition after a period of inoccupancy at a house. New hard material driveways, in either tarmac, gravel or block paving, can breathe new vibrancy into a tired looking property. Similarly, patios can also help create a fresh feel to a house and increase it’s rental or resale value.
If you are looking to renovate a property in St. Albans, and you seek a reliable, hardworking and moderately priced contractor, contact Stanleys Roofing & Building Ltd.

Stanleys Roofing and Building – St. Albans

If you are planning to renew or replace your driveway or patio, give us a call.
We at Stanleys Roofing and Building here in St. Albans have many years of experience in the laying and construction of driveways and patios.

We will visit your home, assess your situation and help you to decide what your best options are, whether it be repairing your current driveway or patio, or constructing a totally new one.

We ensure that you are made aware of the current regulations in order that you can make an informed decision about your best way forward.

We offer a wide range of materials, including tarmac, concrete, gravel and block paving, so you will be able to choose exactly the right finish.

We pride ourselves on our capacity to provide the highest possible standard of workmanship, thereby guaranteeing that your patio or driveway will enhance your property for many years to come.

We have an enviable reputation in St. Albans and the surrounding area for expertise in every aspect of roofing. We undertake the repointing of chimneys, the replacement of missing or broken tiles, the repair or replacing of guttering to completely replacing your roof, whether it be pitched or flat. No job is too big or too small!

Our team of roofers work to the highest of standards and endeavour to cause as little disruption as is possible whilst completing their work.

Once they have finished, they will remove any discarded materials, ensuring that your property is left in a clean and tidy state.

Stanleys Roofing & Building Provides Roofing Services for St Albans

Stanleys Roofing & Building provides roofing services in St Albans and the surrounding areas, covering buildings of all kinds and construction, from homes and businesses to civic buildings, churches and schools.

Our team of roofers is well qualified and able to carry out any work needed on your roof. We have expertise in flat roofing systems, as well as standard pitched and tiled roofs.

Chimneys: Our services include repairs to chimneys; re-pointing chimney stacks and re-bedding chimney pots.

Guttering and downpipes: We can replace and clear guttering and downpipes, ensuring the effective removal of water away from your house.

Tiles: We supply and replace standard and ridge tiles. Clay and slate supplied.

Flat roofs: Our roofers can undertake re-felting and re-batten flat roofs, as well as install newer roofing systems.

Other Roofing Services

We supply and fit upvc fascias and soffits, clean roofs and conducts regular health checks for you roof.

When a flat roof at a local clinic started to leak, the building manager called Stanleys Roofing & Building. Our technician spotted a problem with the seal around a sky-light, which is a very common problem, and after considering our quote the customer agreed the work. The repair was relatively simple: we replaced the flashing, which had been affected by wear and tear, and advised the manager that she needed to keep the roof free of debris so that water would drain away properly.

Customers benefit from our efficient approach to small repairs and problem solving – we like to get these sorted ASAP, just as you do. More often than not a faulty roof can be mended with a spot repair that won’t cost a fortune and may prevent further damage in the long run.

Get in touch with Stanleys Roofing & Building for any roofing job in St Albans our team will welcome your call and are happy to talk through your roofing needs.
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