Benefits Of Building A New Driveway

Despite what most homeowners have been led to believe, the cost of a new driveway doesn’t need to be exceptionally high. Building a new driveway can add a lot of functionality and aesthetic appeal to your home, but it’s important that you create and commit to your budget beforehand.

Only then will you be able to harness the many benefits that driveways provide – increased parking space, decreased weed growth, and better overall value for your home. In the following sections, we’ll talk a little more about how to estimate the driveway cost for your home.

Types of Driveways – Gravel, asphalt, brick & concrete driveway

Gravel Driveways – These driveways are usually created by dunking a load of gravel and leveling it. Gravel driveways are cheap, can last can last of a very long time and require little maintenance. The surface should also be regraded from time to time. The only disadvantage is that homeowners need to remove weeds  and clean small dust, leaves when they appear. This type of driveway is not suitable for children because they can choke or dig into your gravel and the gravel is too sharp for their feet.

Asphalt Driveways – This type of driveway looks a lot like a tarred road and is constructed by tarring or cementing a gravel sheet. It is much cleaner than gravel driveways and many agree that it looks better than concrete driveways.

Concrete driveways – This is probably the most popular driveway in the UK because it can be modified in several styles to look fantastic. Concrete driveways have a tendency to crack when they aren’t constructed correctly but are durable and easy to clean.

Brick driveways – Also known as paved driveways. This type of driveway needs to be constructed correctly for a lasting effect. Brick driveways are popular in residential units and can be changed much easier than concrete or asphalt driveways. Furthermore, the bricks can also be recycled, if you decide to change your yard or driveway later on. The only disadvantage of brick driveways is that they usually require a lot of de-weeding to ensure plants do not end up damaging your driveway.

Driveway Cost – How Much Is A New Driveway?

In the majority of cases,  the driveway cost will depend on: A) the total amount of space, B) Contractor/company, C) the cost of materials, D) the type of driveway that you will go for.

Driveways will increase your property value and this makes the cost of driveways to worth the investment.

If you are going to hire a paving specialist, which is always a good idea if you don’t know how to construct the driveway yourself, then make sure that you contact as many as possible to receive different quotes. Below you will find a relatively accurate estimation on driveway prices for gravel, asphalt, concrete,flagstone and brick driveways.

TypeCost per square metre
Tarmac Driveway Cost£160£1,000£2,000£3,200£6,000£8,000
Gravel Driveway Cost£130£750£1,500£2,400£4,500£6,000
Concrete Driveway Cost£150£875£1,800£2,800£5,300£7,000
Resin Driveway Driveway Cost£170£1,000£2,000£3,200£6,000£8,000
Imprinted Driveway Cost£200£1,300£2,300£3,600£6,800£9,000

As you can see, the cost of different types of driveways can vary quite a bit. The costs of driveway companies can also vary greatly, which can affect the overall driveway cost. To save on driveway costs, you need to do effective research on all the constructional and supply companies so you can find the most suitable construction company at the most affordable price. If you do effective planning and budgeting, then the cost of a new driveway won’t diminish your desire to get a new driveway built.

Driveway Foundation Costs

Putting down a solid foundation for your driveway will ensure that it lasts for a long time. It is best to avoid basic paving since it doesn’t last that long, which will require you to re-construct it later costing you more money.

It would be best to make a solid investment now to avoid hassles later on down the road. With that being said, here are the costs associated with installing different types of driveway foundations:

  • Mini-digger hire -A 5-ton mini digger will cost on average between £65 and £100 for a day, and £350 to £400 for a week.
  • Skip hire – The average skip hire price is around £250, excluding the cost of any skip permit or parking bay suspension.
  • Weed Mat – £40 Per Square Meter
  • 8-inch Hardcore Base – £35 to £65 per tonne
  • Compaction Plate – Hire from £79 to £233 per week, depending on the model

driveway costBasically, as long as you’re careful about the materials, driveway type, and contractors that you choose, you shouldn’t have an issue building a driveway that suits all of your budget-related needs.

Installing a new driveway? Why not choose block paving for a long-lasting, attractive finish

Block paving comes in several materials and styles

Block paving first became popular in the 1980’s, but back then there were a very limited choice of styles and colours. Simple designs and a few different colours were as exciting as it got! However, since the market for block paving driveways has grown and the manufacturing industry has advanced, so too have the options.

What Material Should I Use?

The choice comes down to concrete or clay, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Below is a list of the pros and cons for each:

Gravel driveways : Loose materials like gravel, pebbles or shingles are a cheap driveway material. Various sizes, shapes and coloured gravel are available and are very easy to lay requiring little maintenance except topping up every so often and weeding. If your driveway is on a steep gradient loose materials like gravel will escape easily and are not a good option.

View gravel driveway ideas 

Concrete block paving stones : Standard concrete blocks are the most common material used for driveways because they are hardwearing and cost-effective.  Concrete blocks are also available in a wide variety of colours, textures and finishes but colour will fade over time and use.

View concrete driveway ideas 

Clay block paving : Clay blocks has been used for decades as driveway materials and are a natural, durable option. Clay  also comes in range of colours and shades depending partly on the way it is fired. The main advantage of clay is that the colour runs throughout so does not fade when the paving wears away.

View clay driveway ideas

Stone block paving : Natural stone is the most expensive, durable and long lasting driveway material. Traditionally British stone from York was used but cheaper options are now available. Sandstone imported from India has now become popular because it’s the cheapest kind of natural stone and comes in many colours.  the colour of stone does not fade over time.

View stone driveway ideas

Tarmac : This is a cheap driveway option but it doesn’t look very attractive, can be worn away by petrol spills and is time consuming to lay. If homes in your street have tarmac driveways though, it could be a good idea to match yours.

View tarmac driveway ideas

Poured concrete : This has the same benefits as concrete block paving but it is quicker to lay and doesn’t give a nice a finish.

View poured concrete driveway ideas

What Colour Should I go for?

 The colour of your driveway is quite important and you will want it to blend in with your house and the rest of its surroundings.  There is no definitive guide to choosing a good colour scheme, as it will vary from driveway to driveway. Think about the immediate surroundings, if you have a light stone cottage would a red block paving driveway go? Similarly would a blue block paving driveway go with a red brick house? Often the most successful looks combine a few colours that complement each other, rather than searching for exact carbon copies or on the contrary, stark contrasts.

What Style Should I Opt For?

Again, consider your surroundings. If you live in a rural setting in, say, an 18th century cottage then a modern, chamfered block pave driveway would probably look a tad bizarre. For a driveway to fit in not only with the house but its surroundings too, spare a little thought about what style of paving you go for. Blocks and bricks can be placed into the following four style categories:

  • Standard rectangular
  • Tumbled
  • Decorative
  • Special applications

Block Paving Shapes

Britain has always been a fan of the rectangular look but many other places around Europe use a variety of different shapes. The  W-blocks and the S-blocks have a higher degree of rotational interlock which means they are able to stand much heavier traffic than plain old rectangular blocks.

There are a range of different shapes of block paving shaped for you to choose from, some of the most common are:

W-shaped blocks


s-shaped blocks




How Much Does A Block Paved Driveway Cost?

The average cost of a block paved driveway is in the region of £25 – £130 per sq metre. For a more accurate idea of the costs involved contact a few local paving companies, as they will be able to provide you with a more accurate estimate and also other available option to consider. If you are buying the material yourself and cheapest option is rectangular concrete blocks and the most expensive one clay blocks. The cost for tumble or shaped concrete blocks are in the middle.

How much to concrete a driveway?

Concrete driveway cost will vary depending on the total surface and the quality of the materials, and the contractor’s individual prices. Concrete driveways cost comes around to £6-£12 per square metre, depending on what colour and style you opt for, as well as whether you have them pattern stamped. Labour comes at £75-£85 per square metre (excluding VAT). The best way to get the best prices is to compare concrete driveway quotes from three or more contractors before going ahead with the work. Always check references and insurance credentials before you hire.

Planning for building a driveway

Though it is a mystery how we drive on the parkways and park on the driveways, there is no mystery behind the development of driveways only for a little practical planning. Driveway makes the first and the best impression and hence a lot of consideration goes into building a driveway once you have decided to go for it.

The size, shape, material are very important aspects and so are the aesthetic designs and practical considerations like the style of architecture in which your house is built, the space that you have for a driveway, the number of vehicles that will be parked and also the part of the nation where you are living.

  1. Slope, width 

Although the topography of your land is not in your control, there is surely some scope for deciding on the spot which is not too flat and not too steep for your driveway. The driveway spot should not be too flat because it will cause drainage issues and if it is steep, the driveway will become slippery and dangerous for driving.

According to general rules, the driveway should not rise more than 15 feet from the ground over a distance of 100 feet. Moreover, if the driveway is flat you should take proper care for the outlets of water so that it does not stagnate and if it is steep, you should consider adding curves and reduce the slope.

  1. Straight, circular, curved?

The decision of the shape of your driveway depends on your liking as well as the space that is available. If you are trying to manage in a small space approaching your garage, you can consider a straight driveway while a curbed driveway will be best suited for a large space and it gives a better look than the straight kind.

The driveways can be made more attractive with color variations, patches and borders and patterns with concrete. Circular driveways are suited for houses which are on a busy street. They avoid backing out of vehicles and accommodate more vehicles. There is a variation, teardrop driveway which will have two separate paths but s single access to the road.  In any case, a circular driveway is best suited to people who have large spaces in the frontyard.

  1. Curb

The driveway is purpose built for utility but no one will deny that it adds a curb appeal to your property and hence one should consider how it will look with your property while planning on a driveway. Adding plants, lights, patterns of concrete are good options to make your drive way catch attention and look unique.

Driveway repair  & maintenance advice

driveway repair costWhether it is asphalt, gravel or concrete, brick, all driveways cost is high when it comes to installing from the scratch as lot of foundation work goes into it. Due to the cost that one has to bear many house owners avoid replacement and choose repair of driveways.

The changing freeze, heat and thaw cycles of the weather cause damage in your driveways yearly. The dame starts showing up when small cracks develop in the driveway, if they are just a quarter inch in width they have not caused major damage and can wait for repairs but anything larger than that needs patchwork.

The cracks which are deeper than few inches show sever damage and filling them will temporarily solve your problem. If you want a concrete solution, patching these cracks with tamping material is very essential. It costs around 3- 5 pounds per square foot if you decide to repair yourself and is half of what you would be paying a contractor.

Driveway repair cost

The repair techniques work only for a while as the water and heat that seeps in these packed materials withers off from seasons to seasons and the driveways become due for replacement. It also depends on the age of your driveway.  If the driveway is anything older than 25 years, it is advisory that the owner calls for replacement of the entire driveway. Also, now there are new techniques like resurfacing which the contractors perform instead of replacing the entire foundation and this saves some money from your pocket and gives your driveway a new look.

Expect charges up to £12 – £15 per square metre  for resurfacing but is worth the price because the pits and cracks in your driveway will not show up unless there is a major issue.

Planning permission for driveways

Most homes do not require planning permission for driveway laying, the exception is if you live in a listed building. There are some rules you need to adhere to though, such as not making access to the property more difficult (with stairs rather than a ramp for example). You must also make sure that you either use permeable materials like gravel, concrete blocks or natural stone which absorb rainwater, or slope the driveway to provide run off to a grassy area. It is important not to build the driveway higher than the height of your damp proof course to prevent rising damp problems.

How do i get planning permission?

To get planning permission you will first need to apply for it. This involves filling in a planning permission application form. Plans of the work must be drawn to scale and a fee that starts from £170 will have to be paid. Planning permission applications for this type of work are usually decided within eight weeks of submission.

How to find the right driveway contractor

Be wary of scamming contractors who might disappear before the task is complete. You should always do proper research on the available contractors to ensure you find a reliable, fast and cost effective team to help you construct your new driveway.

The best way to establish whether a company is secure or not is by reading reviews and requesting testimonials so you can spot illegal or scamming companies. Many new companies will use fake photographs and pretend that they are capable of the task when they actually lack the required skills to lay a driveway effectively. It is much better to invest in companies with good experience in the constructional field.

Check out the following driveway repair video!!



Guidance on the permeable surfacing of front gardens –  – https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/7728/pavingfrontgardens.pdf

Best surfaces for driveways – http://www.countrylife.co.uk/property/country-houses-for-sale-and-property-news/best-surfaces-for-driveways-11951

Homeowners owners: Patios and driveways –   http://www.planningni.gov.uk/index/advice/advice_apply/advice_apply_homes/advice_around_home/advice_home_patios.htm

Driveway ideas and suggestions – http://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/driveway-ideas-and-suggestions.htm

image credit: pinterest.com, pavingexpert.co.uk

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