Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Driveways and Patios Business in the United Kingdom
The driveways and patios consist of design, construction, and maintenance of drive or patio. If you’re planning on starting a driveways and patios business in the United Kingdom, you need professionals to do so. The professional groundwork services for both public and business may include:
- Patios, driveways, and paths
- Block paving
- Car parks
- Tennis courts and stables
- Concrete and tarmac
The overall outlook of the driveways and patios sector is mixed. The growth is on a slow and steady pace with future expectations of ascendancy.
With that in mind, here’s a guide on starting a driveways and patios business in the United Kingdom.
1. Industry Practice
Are you passionate about construction, repair and maintenance? If you are, starting a driveways and patios business in the United Kingdom will excite you even more. In the UK, this business covers all the major types of drive and pathway or patios. The options include resin, tarmac, imprinted pattern concrete and the newest style of rubber compound.
Some of the high-end type and style of driveways include the following:
Most homeowners prefer block paving despite them being a little more expensive than other types of driveways. They need a sub base and blocks that may not work on already existing tarmac pavement. It would mean the area been exhumed, then a hardcore base placed beneath. Once the surface is compressed, a compacted sand layer is put down before laying the blocks. The beauty about block paving is that they have a fantastic view and are SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems) compliant. This means that surface water will drain away.
Patio uses Indian Sandstone primarily because of its versatility. As the name suggests, this type of style is from Indian.
They come in two styles, resin bonded and resin-bound. Resin-bonded is the cheaper of the two, and it’s laid on top of a hard-standing area such as concrete or tarmac base. The resin is spread on top of the hard surface, and then gravel aggregate is sprinkled over the wet resin. As for the resin-bound, you need a sub-base just like the block paving and pattern imprinted concrete. This is the reason why the cost is much higher.
This is one of the latest styles in drive and patio materials. The primary component is recycled tyres which are basically tattered and blended with aggregate making it one of the most environmentally friendly materials.
2. Business Registration Process
Every business success depends on the efforts put into reaching the intended objectives. If you’re planning on starting a driveways and patios business in the United Kingdom, you must understand the fundamentals.
Register Your Business
For you to operate your business, you must have a legal obligation. You acquire that legal obligation through registering your business and getting the certificate of registration. In the UK, the Companies House is the department responsible for company registration in the UK. Before you register your business, you must have a business name. The business name must never contravene the legal laws of registering a business name. It must be unique and align with the nature of your business.
Decide on The Type of Structure
As a beginner, you have a chance to start small either through operating as a sole trader or get into a partnership. However, a driveways and patios business may involve some complex workmanship, and it would be prudent to register as a limited company. To complete the process of UK company incorporation, you must ensure that you have all the legal documents. Some of the common legal documents required may include the following:
- A Memorandum and Articles of Association
- A Certificate of registration
- The details of directors and shareholders
- A bank account
- A business license
These, among others, legal documents must be available for you to start operating in the UK.
For you to understand which potential clientele to target, you must do market research. This will give you an estimate of how much demand is out there concerning your services. Again, you will find out the competition that you’re up against. Some of the methods to employ may include:
- Sub-contract and Contract Work
As a way of getting into the market, you’ll have to approach other businesses that offer the same services regularly. More often than not, other large paving firms may need subcontractors regularly. You may as well consider such opportunities as you grow your business. Another option is approaching the local authority within your locality.
- Determine The Level of Competition
The moment you’ve decided on your target customers, you might as well find out how well they are already served. This will mean you are going out of your way to search for competitors’ advertisements and websites. You’ll get to know what products and services they offer, whether they provide any specialist products or the list of the approved contractor.
How you price your service is vital. Begin by deciding how you’ll charge for the work you offer. For instance, you may charge for laying paving and other complex landscaping services on an hourly or daily basis. Then you’ll add on the cost of any materials you supply. Alternatively, you might decide to charge a particular amount per square meter of coverage. You will then vary the charge depending on the type of paving or other surface covering applied.
Remember, you should always consider your work rate so that it’s clear right from the start. You can decide whether you’d go for working hours or work rate. Some businesses prefer to stick to the regular business hours or may choose to work longer hours. Your work’s bottom line will depend on your own skills and experience and the type of standard you offer.
Boost Your Business
The fact that you’re a beginner in this industry means that not many people will know you. Therefore, it is crucial to advertise your business effectively. Some ways include getting into the local print directories, direct selling, and word of mouth.
Developing A Website
Having an online presence is vital in today’s age of technology. Therefore, you can start by getting your website up and running and sharing the services you offer. Again, you can link your website with social media platforms where would-be customers can access your services. You can also decide to use specialist forums to publicize your brand and your area of specialty.
3. Licenses, Permits, and Regulations
There are no specific licenses in the UK if you operate as a paver, so you may not need one as a corporate service provider in the UK.
If you are transporting building waste within your business, you’ll need a registration certificate as an upper-tier waste carrier. The wastes are classified as controlled waste and consist of materials like old concrete, rubble, and asphalt planings. The Environment Agency issues the certificate and may cost you 155 pounds for the initial registration fee. Remember, a single license is given to your business covering the entire waste transporting vehicles.
When you plan on starting a driveways and patios business in the United Kingdom, you should be aware of the following licenses:
- In case your business operates goods vehicles with gross plated weight exceeding 3.5 tonnes, then you’ll need a goods vehicle operator license.
- If you provide an insurance-backed warranty—you’re bound to be covered by general insurance legislation. The
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) administers the legislation as it’s the principle endorsed insurer.
- The law requires getting a Skip Permit from the local authority for skips placed on a public highway.
Potential customers and main contractors will need the satisfaction that your business offers good quality work using the suitable material. And for you to demonstrate your commitment to quality, you need to gain certification for your workmanship. Some of the UK certificate certificates include British Standards Institution (BSI), Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), and the ISO quality standard. Some institutions in the UK cover the laying specification for block paving, such as BS 7533. It is best to get such certification to prove your workmanship to would-be customers.
Even though it’s not compulsory for plant machinery operators to possess a skills registration card, it’s advisable to have one. It shows that your business complies with the Health and Safety at Work Act requirement for plant operators to be trained appropriately.
Additionally, it’s advisable to get an endorsement from the government quality scheme such as TrustMark for covering work for homeowners. This is a vetted organization whose commitment is to good customer service and technical competence. If you need any further assistance, you can contact 3E Accounting.