How to choose the right driveway for your property
For many homes throughout the UK, the driveway is one of the focal points of your front garden – and often the first thing you see when entering your property.
A new drive is likely to last several decades, so it is important that you choose the right driveway style – one that is both attractive and practical.
There are several popular driveway choices available for homeowners in the UK, each with differing benefits and disadvantages.
Block paving driveways
Block paving is one of the most commonly used hard surfaces for driveways, patios and paths within the UK, with the finished result providing a long-lasting, durable and aesthetically pleasing driveway.
Prices for block paving installation vary depending on the type and style of paver you choose, with many standard and premium varieties available.
Block paving requires little maintenance, but weeds can grow in between pavers. Regularly paver cleaning is an effective and affordable method of removing the weeds, as well as lifting any dirt, grime, oil or other stains that have built up. After cleaning, the pavers can be re-sealed, which will make your drive look brand new again.
Pattern imprinted concrete driveways
Traditionally, concrete driveways have been popular amongst British homeowners, but over the past decade there has been a shift away from the use of plain concrete drives.
Nowadays, most consumers opt for pattern imprinted concrete driveways, which use the same base material, but have a very different finished result.
Pattern imprinted concrete driveways allow consumers to customise the look of their driveway, with different patterns and colours available. An imprinted concrete driveway, path or patio is far more attractive than one of plain concrete, while still retaining strength and durability.
Gravel driveways are amongst the cheapest options available, and they can also look great when correctly installed.
Gravel is available in a range of different colours and sizes, and can be used for both driveways and paths. Gravel driveways can also provide added security, as many burglars are deterred due to the sounds made whilst walking over gravel.
However, gravel driveways do require more maintenance than many other types of driveway, as the gravel can move, and requires regular flattening. The stones can also end up in nearby gardens and lawns, which can be time consuming to remove. Weeds can also easily grow through the gravel, though regular treatment with a residual weed killer will keep them under control.
There are two main forms of resin driveway – resin bound and resin bonded. Whilst they may have similar names, the end result is quite different, so if you are considering a resin driveway, it is important you understand the different types.
Resin bound driveways are permeable to water, which is important for drainage and prevents the build-up of puddles. They have a smooth finish, are slightly more expensive than resin bonded driveways, and are created by mixing the resin with stones, which is then hand trowelled to create an even finish.
In contrast, resin bonded driveways are not water permeable, and alternative drainage is often required. They are slightly cheaper than resin bound drives, have a rough surface, and are created by applying the resin, and then sprinkling small stones onto the drying resin.
Tarmac has a proven track record as it used on many roads throughout the UK and the world. Tarmac drives are extremely durable, and require little maintenance. They are also one of the cheaper driveway options.
On the downside, most tarmac drives are black, which makes them less appealing to many homeowners, though coloured options are starting to become widely available.
Tarmac can also be damaged by oils, petrol and diesel, which will break down the surface of the drive and lead to holes forming. As such, leaking vehicles and spills should be cleaned and prevented before they can cause any damage.