Are you a DIY fan that likes a project when you move home? Or perhaps your kerb appeal needs some TLC? Then why not consider your options, and how you can make a beautiful first impression, without falling back on that old staple, the traditional block paving. Setts and cobbles may soon be your buzz words of choice, but first it’s time to find out more.
It’s easy to confuse setts and cobbles, but when you know what to look for, you’ll soon see the differences in both. Setts are rectangular quarried stones which were commonplace on steeper streets before cars were invented – they provided horses with a much better grip on their hooves than a smooth surface. Setts are often made from granite, but you’ll also find a choice of sandstone and limestone paving options available. Many suppliers will also allow you to purchase reclaimed stones as well.
Cobbles are a bit different in that they are usually naturally formed, and rounded rocks. In fact the word cobble comes from an ancient English word for ‘cob’ – defined as a rounded lump. Cobble stones are often set in sand or set together with mortar, sometimes laid on an edge to create a pitched, even surface. Cobbles were used as a very early street surface and are still seen and maintained today, despite being surpassed by other materials. Both cobbles and setts are known for being hard wearing and durable – it just depends on your practical and designs needs as to which would be best.
Designing your outdoor space might seem a bit daunting, but it needn’t be if you take the project step by step, and search high and wide for inspiration. You could use your chosen paving to create a great edging to your property, driveway, or perhaps create a pathway to your front door or back garden.
These stones could be mixed or laid in a pattern to create interest through pattern and texture, or you could decide on something more subtle. Work with the stones to create something special, but if you are planning anything significant and live in a listed building, or you’re planning an overhaul which might require embanking or terracing to support a hard service, it’s worth checking out the planning portal and appropriate building regulations as you plan your project.
If you’re not planning to pave your whole driveway space, then don’t forget about your front garden. Whether you want to integrate a footpath, brilliant borders, stepping stones or some other conversation piece, with some planning an expert advice you can integrate setts and cobbles to achieve both the driveway, and front garden that you want.
Front paving and gardens needn’t be hard to manage either. There are plenty of ways to achieve a fuss free space. When you’re planning, consider where your cars and bins will be, the outlook from the road or house, and if there are planting pockets, which low maintenance plants will border the area.
Choose from granite, limestone, or sandstone setts, or cobbles, and complement your outdoor space with some decorative pebbles, feature stone or reclaimed materials to create a stylish natural driveway and outdoor space for your home.
Matt Coussens is the director of Milestone Supplies, which provides natural stone and reclaimed products, including cobbles and setts.