I'm fed-up with my existing driveway and patio. What's the best paving for me to use?
If it's simply a matter of having something cheap and functional, then simple concrete hardstanding or plain black tarmacadam would be all the rage. They're not, because we recognise that we may want something with colour, or texture, or pattern; that we want something to complement the property; that we don't want to be the same as our neighbours; that we want to express personal taste and individualism; that we have varying ideas on how much maintenance we are prepared to undertake; that we have different budgets.
The various introductory pages on this website run through the main pros and cons for the popular types of paving and surfacing used in Britain and Ireland. No one type is best (or most appropriate) and, equally, no one type is worst (or least appropriate).
There are no right or wrong answers. Given the same project, two different clients or contractors may well choose two completely different types of paving based on what they like, how they want to use the pavement, and how much they want to spend.
The best advice is to make a shortlist of what you like. Maybe you've seen a driveway that caught your eye, or the paving in the retail park near town was very attractive. The footpaths you saw on holiday were just the sort of thing you love, or your sister's neighbour has a gorgeous patio. Perhaps you want a particular colour or texture, or maybe you like the look of setts but don't like block paving.
Once you're narrowed it down to, say, two or three types of paving, further research into the pros and cons, costs and timescales for each type will help identify the more likely candidate. And once it's down to a single type or style of paving, then it's a matter of finding the particular product or mix of products that will give the project just the style and feel that you desire.