So you are thinking of changing your front garden into a driveway? This is quite a common step for many households as it generally is requires much lower maintenance and allows the front of your home to be more functional, whilst also adding to the style and decor of your property (when done right!). There are a number of things you will need to consider before you initiate getting a new driveway - below we highlight some of the key areas.
You can build a driveway from tarmac, block paving, gravel, resin, cobblestone, concrete and stone slabs. As there are a number of materials to choose from, making sure you pick the right one for your property is very important, especially given the new driveway will be the first thing guests see of your home. We dig in deeper on materials in a later blog post.
Pretty much all of the materials listed above will be able to be enhanced with some type of design element, be it a block paved border around your tarmac driveway or using decorative concrete, which gives the illusion of an expensive, hard wearing finish. This is a very important consideration and it would definitely help if you do your research to confirm which style is the most appropriate for your property.
There are two things you will be paying a driveways contractor for. The first is the materials, which your contractor may be able to source at trade price, saving you potentially thousands. And the second is labour. Generally, people will tend to go for the cheapest quote - in our experience cheap generally means cheap materials and work. Make sure when you contact a driveways contractor you obtain samples of their previous work so you can judge if they are able to provide the finish your property deserves.
With general advancement in technology, pretty much all the driveway materials are highly durable and would come with at least a 5 year guarantee from any reputable driveway contractor.
Minimising time spent on maintaining is most homeowners dream. Surfaces such as block paving can be high maintenance if a weed membrane is not installed below the surface. Tarmac is generally considered the least demanding when it comes to maintenance.
Some additions to your driveway may require planning permission. If you will be required to get a drop kerb installed at the front of your home, the council will need to be notified and have the discretion to block any work before it starts. Added to this, installing a large area of impermeable material, such as concrete or tarmac may also require planning permission as it may increase the flood risk in urban areas if sufficient drainage isn't installed.
As you can see there are so many things to consider in just the planning phase of obtaining your new driveway. We dig in deeper in the next post.
Learn more about driveways
Which material to choose?