Everyone wants to be able to access their homes easily; parking miles down the street to lug the food shop up the road to your house because you can’t get a space any nearer is obviously not ideal, not to mention the fact that parallel parking is really hard. This is precisely why a lot of people are choosing to install a driveway on the front of their property. It means that they can park right outside their homes, and they are always guaranteed a space. Keeping a car on a driveway as opposed to the street can also help to lower your insurance premiums. If you are thinking about installing a driveway, then you need to be aware of your options, especially in terms of material, so let’s take a look.
A Brief Background to Driveways
In order to choose the right material for your driveway, you will need to consider a few factors. Obviously, you will want it to look nice and flow with the overall aesthetic of your home. It is also worth considering your budget because some materials are more costly than others. Some options will also require maintenance and built-in drainage. Lastly, and perhaps, most importantly, you should also inquire whether you need planning permission to install a driveway. If you have permitted development rights, then you might not need this; otherwise, you will need to submit an application, so be sure to keep that in mind before you break ground.
You have several options for choosing the material for your driveway, most of which are available from experts such as Projects Paving. As mentioned above, you will need to ensure that your materials fit all of the criteria that it needs to.
Resin-bound and resin-bonded driveways are rather similar, and they are both becomingly increasingly popular. They are made up of small stones or gravel, which is then overlayed with a polymer designed to bind it all together. They do tend to be water permeable, which should mean that the rainy conditions in England are not a problem, although if they aren’t prepared or laid properly, they are prone to cracks, and repair work is tricky.
- Indian Stone
As I’m sure you can guess, an Indian stone driveway is made up of natural sandstone paving slabs which are usually imported from India and set in mortar. They provide a natural finish, and they do come in a range of colours and patterns, although sizing is limited. They are also laid as individual flags, which does mean they can loosen or allow weeds to sprout through the gaps meaning they do tend to require a certain level of maintenance.
- Block Paving
These designs tend to be more intricate, consisting of flags and slabs which are set out in a particular way. This does mean that they do tend to take a little longer to install, and they are likely to cost a little more too. However, they do create a lovely finish which is precisely what makes them so popular. That being said, they are often magnets for moss and algae, meaning that they are likely to need cleaning regularly.
- Stone or Gravel
This is a clever material to choose because they make more of a noise when they are driven or walked over, meaning that they can act as a deterrent for burglars. They are one of the easiest materials to install, and they are one of the more affordable options too. They do tend to require regular maintenance because weeds or grass can grow through them since it is often just laid atop what is already there.
Tarmac can be more expensive, but if you only have a small area to cover, then it can be well within your budget. It offers a smooth finish and tends to match the pavement, although colour choice is limited. They usually offer longevity, although they can deteriorate thanks to oil or chemical spills.
- Cobblestones or Brick
Now, these used to be far more common than they currently are, but they are ideal for older homes that want a driveway which is more in keeping with the home’s period aesthetic. They need to be laid by a professional, and they tend to require drainage because they can become very slippery when wet.
- Pattern Imprinted Concrete
This is somewhat like block paving; however, the design is stamped into the concrete as opposed to being made out of individual slabs. This option perhaps offers the best range in terms of pattern, colour and design too.
You do have a number of options at your disposal when it comes to choosing a driveway design. As mentioned above, there are several factors which will include your choices, perhaps most notably, your budget. It is still worth exploring your options, however, so be sure to do some research to work out which option will be the best choice for you.