Did you know that making improvements to the outside of your home can increase its value by as much as 10%? Estate agents love homes that look great from the roadside and they know that kerb appeal is nearly as important as a new kitchen or bathroom. So, if your driveway is looking a little worse for wear, you might want to consider improving or replacing it with something smart and practical.
There are a number of options available to you when choosing your driveway material. Your budget will have some bearing on your choice – but you also need to consider longevity, looks, flexibility and ongoing maintenance. One of the main issues you need to be aware of is that a driveway that is made from a non-permeable material may need planning permission – so always check first.
Take a look below for some of the material options you might want to consider.
This is a practical and inexpensive choice for your driveway. Gravel can be laid as a DIY job and you can choose gravel in different colours, sizes and types to suit both your budget and your tastes. Gravel is great because water will seep through the surface ensuring you have no issues with puddles. The main downside is that the gravel will sink into the soil over time and will need to be topped up annually. You also need to give it a rake every now and then.
Concrete or asphalt driveway
These are hard surfaces and long-lasting, but prone to cracking and crumbling – especially if they are not laid on a suitable sub-base. Most homes will be suitable for asphalt or concrete and this makes it a really flexible driveway choice. Both can be edged with attractive uprights or bricks, but the colours cannot really be altered. The surface may also be prone to cracking due to the freeze and thaw cycle. Any cracks can usually be repaired easily however. You can expect these driveways to last 10-15 years.
Paving stones driveway
Whether they are bricks or concrete pavers, this is one of the most expensive, but best looking driveway choices. The traditional look of a paved driveway really does offset your home beautifully, however it is a long job to lay this driveway and you will find it expensive. Paved driveways are not permeable and therefore you will need to install other forms of drainage such as a soakaway or drains to the edges.
Resin bound driveway
This new driveway surface consists of aggregate mixed with resin and meets many of the criteria all good driveways need. It is a permeable material, you can choose any colour you wish and it can be laid quickly onto a suitable base. Resin bound driveways tend to last upwards of 30 years and are therefore more expensive than average. If you want a modern driveway, this is certainly your best option.
Whatever driveway you choose, always spend wisely, choose your contractor carefully and check the planning department or building control to ensure you are fulfilling all of the rules that you need to.