If you’re thinking about replacing your driveway, there are lots of different material options that are available today. Whether your priority is budget or aesthetics, sustainability or longevity, the material choices for driveways are wide. It’s been quoted that a good looking driveway will add up to 10 – 15% to your property value, so we think it’s worth taking time to look the choices thoroughly.
In this blog we look at the some of the most popular material choices for driveways.
Resin bound driveways
This is a popular option for many home owners, with a large range of colour choices. The resin binder is essentially mixed in with very small stone chippings before it’s applied to the driveway. It then sets to produce a heavy duty, smooth finished driveway which is slip resistant, and smooth enough for wheelchair use. It’s also low maintenance. One of the main properties of resin bound driveways is that it’s water permeable, which makes it suitable for all properties. It’s highly durable, flexible and and when laid correctly, is crack resistant.
Indian Stone driveways
India exports large amounts of sandstone, limestone, granite and slate to the UK. Because India, as a country is much larger than the UK, it possesses a huge supply of these natural products. Sandstone is used in many diverse ways, but when applied to driveways, the choices are wide. Many people ask if they can use these slabs where they need to withstand heavy loads. Often time, Indian stone is used for patio areas that don’t have to withstand the heavy loads from cars etc. The answer is yes – providing that the base of the foundation and the slab depth is over 50mm. As long as the slab depth is over 22mm, it will withstand heavy loads without cracking.
There is a large range of colours and textures available in Indian sandstone – smooth or rough.
Your Indian stone driveway may need some maintenance from time to time, as it gets matures – grasses and weeds may develop through the edges or some of them could wobble if they become loose.
This driveway material consists of slabs, flags and concrete blocks. They need accurate installation because they’re usually laid in a pattern. So although the installation costs will be higher than other methods, they can look very attractive. The more interesting the pattern, the more expensive the laying of the driveway will be. Like Indian Stone, block paving driveways will get weeds and moss growing through it eventurally, so regular maintenance is needed to keep your driveway to look fabulous.
Stone and gravel
A Gravel driveway is possibly the most affordable option if you’re on a budget.
The ground is initially prepared with a very strong weed killer to kill off the weeds before a semi permeable membrane is laid. The gravel is laid on top of this membrane and then it’s raked through to level it out.
Perhaps the main benefit of gravel driveways is that they can deter burglars and intruders because when you walk or drive on it, the gravel stones crunch and make some noise, so you’ll be alerted to anyone walking on it.
Gravel driveways will require regular upkeep because, no matter how well you lay your semi permeable membrane, it will break down over time, and this will allow weeds to grow up through it.
Laying tarmac is also one of the most common and cheapest choices for driveways. When applied correctly, it hardens to form a hard wearing, smooth surface that will last for many years, when maintained regularly. The driveway surface isn’t water permeable, so it’s important that regular tlc takes place to look for any deterioration of the material. Tarmac, unfortunately, can break down in the presence of some chemicals and oils. Choices of colour is a bit limited though, and it still remains a good choice for people on a budget.
Patterned imprinted concrete
A relatively new kid on the block for driveway materials, patterned imprinted concrete driveways is basically coloured concrete that is poured onto the driveway and then imprinted with various patterns before it hardens off. Patterned imprinted concrete driveways are extremely durable and long lasting, but because they’re not water permeable, they can be susceptible to cracking and breaking down over the years.
They require little maintenance or upkeep and can add a nice aesthetic to the outside of your property that will look good and last for years.
We are MP Groundworks – a local building services in Gloucestershire, working with commercial and domestic clients for over 20 years. If you require any more information about material choices for driveways, please look at our website mpgroundworks.co.uk or give us a call on 01452 380 887