• Drives,  Landscapes & Gardens,  Landscaping Ideas

    Dri-lay Drives

    Dry – Lay Drives

    Dri-lay Drives

    We developed ‘Designer Drives’ almost 30 years ago..

    How it all started..

    My partners and I had worked for a London Parks Department. On some of the projects we were working on, we needed to use a strong paving material. At the time Marshalls( one of our suppliers) were testing a product called ‘Monolok’. It had been developed in Europe for use at bus stops. To prevent the heavy buses sinking into the tarmac, on hot days. These ‘monolok’ blocks were of differing sizes and worse ‘z’ shaped. This made them a nightmare to design with.

    They were though, a really clever idea. They interlocked together, without using mortar, this effectively meant they stayed in position, didn’t crack or sink, but could be ‘unzipped’ and then relayed – if say a pipe needed working on below.

    One day our sales contact rushed in with some new ‘brick-shaped’ grey blocks. He told us red would also be available soon. Did we want to try them? We immediately saw an opportunity. Using traditional bricks with a mortar bed required a heavy-duty brick version, worse it took days to point … see below.

    Natural brisk drive hand pointed

    This particular in and out brick driveway took 10 man-days just to point the bricks. Whereas the drive below took 4 hours to ‘sand in’ with kiln-dried silica sand.

     Dri-lay drive with curved side wall

    Saving so much time, significantly increasing our profits on each project. We were soon demanding new, more interesting colours.. here’s one using a brindle colour mix..

    New methods.

    Brindle colour drive

    It didn’t take us long to refine our own techniques. Adding our own recessed manhole covers. Canting the edges so homeowners knew where they were as they drove around their driveway. – The slightly raised edge looked great visually as well. Setting us apart from our competition.


    Raised edge

    Here a well constructed and cut in recessed cover… this time using a softer stock brick.

    Recessed manhole cover

    When well done it’s very hard to see the recessed cover, as in this picture.. there are two in the lower picture!


    Two recessed manhole covers

    New layout pattern

    We soon added a ‘fish- scale’ pattern using granite setts. Then a phorphery sett to our ‘Designer’ collection..

    Here’s some granite…much more expensive but they look superb !



    When using ‘natural’ products. Such as the granite and real bricks it is important to remember that they are often differing sizes. This means that it is very easy to lose the design module. If you have too big an area its important to have adequate changes in direction.

    The stock bricks below work for about a length of 1.8m ( 6ft). Then you need to add a break line or the pattern will start to wander off.

    Laying natural dri-lay bricks

    Below is a combination of natural granite setts and softer stock bricks – my favorite by far!

    Would you like to read more Landscape projects ?     – More Award winning projects   

    We would love to hear your thoughts and comments

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