How to choose the right driveway for your property?

CKervin By CKervin, 15th Jun 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Property & Real Estate>General

When it comes to choosing the right driveway for your property, there are a number of different choices available. As most driveways last for several decades, it is essential you choose a style and type that suits your needs and requirements.

Driveway Types

For most properties, the driveway will be one of the focal points of your front garden. When considering a new driveway, there is a lot to consider, from aesthetics through to practicality. Not all driveways will suit your tastes or look of your homes, whilst others may simply be impractical for your needs.

When looking for a new driveway, it is important to consider the main uses for the drive, and your personal preferences. If you will be parking heavy vehicles on your drive, you may want to consider a more solid driveway type, whilst if security is a concern, a gravel driveway will be your best option. Whatever you choose, you will have to love it, as most driveways last for several decades, so ensure you select a style and colours you like.

There are a wide range of different driveway designs and ideas available to homeowners, each with their own benefits and disadvantages. Below are the most commonly installed drives, as well some important considerations to help you choose the best driveway option for your home.

Block Paving

Block paving is a popular choice for many driveways, paths and patios. Brick pavers are available in a wide range of different colours, shapes and styles. This allows homeowners to customise their driveways exactly as they desire.

Block Paving is a mid-priced driveway solution, but prices can vary depending on the type of pavers you choose, with some premium blocks costing several times the price of a standard paver.

Seeds can be blown into the cracks in-between pavers, where they can grow and ruin the look of your driveway. Regular cleaning can help remove and prevent the growth of weeds, as well as removing dirt, grime and mold. After cleaning, the driveway will normally be sealed, which will help the pavers keep their colours and keep your drive weatherproofed.

Repairs are always a concern with driveways, and block pavers are one of the easiest to fix. If a brick is damaged, it is simply removed and a replacement brick is inserted.

Concrete Driveways

For a long time, concrete driveways were one of the most popular options amongst homeowners. They are extremely hard-wearing and last a long time. Nowadays, the use of plain concrete driveways has declined, with homeowners preferring pattern imprinted concrete drives.

Pattern imprinted concrete driveways use the same base materials, but the end result is very different from a plain concrete driveway. Imprinted concrete use patterns and colours to make a unique and aesthetically pleasing driveway, that will match your home and tastes.

There are a wide range of patterns and styles to choose from, and you can select almost any colour you can think of.

Although pattern imprinted drives are strong, if they are damaged, repairs can be expensive and are often noticeable. To keep the colours of your drive looking fresh, cleaning and re-sealing will be required occasionally.

Gravel Driveways

Gravel driveways are one of the most affordable surfacing options. Gravel is available in a range of different colours and styles, which can vary depending on the driveways use and your style preferences.

Gravel is also commonly used to increase a home’s security. As gravel makes an audible sound when walked on, it often deters potential burglars, which is great for homeowners concerned about crime.

Although it is cheaper than many other types of driveways, it also requires the highest level of maintenance. The small stones often move about, and need regular flattening. The gravel can also spread onto your lawn and gardens, which will take time to remove.

Another problem with gravel driveways is the prevalence of weeds. Seeds are easily blown onto gravel drives, where there are many crevices for the seeds to grow. Regular residual weed sprays can be conducted to prevent weed growth.

Tarmac Driveways

Tarmac has a proven track record with its use on roads throughout the world, so it makes sense that it is also a popular choice for driveways. It is often combined with other driveway styles, such as pavers or cement.

Tarmac requires little maintenance, and is very hard-wearing. Unfortunately, solvents including oil and petrol can break down tarmac overtime, which can lead to holes forming. As such, homeowners with tarmac driveways should be mindful of leaking cars and spills.

Tarmac installation requires specialist tools and equipment, so unlike most other types of driveway, it should only be installed by someone with experience and the correct equipment.

Resin Driveways

There are two main types of resin driveways, resin bound and resin bonded. Whilst they have similar names, the end result is quite different, with each being better suited to different purposes.

Resin bound driveways are permeable to water, which is beneficial for drainage. They have a small finish, and are hard-wearing.

Resin bonded driveways are not permeable to water, which can cause issues with puddles forming. The surface is not as smooth, which provides better grip, but can also cause the small stones to dislodge.

Resin Driveways are available in a range of different colours, and can provide a clean and smooth looking surface. They are long lasting, and require minimal maintenance.

Crazy Paving

Crazy paving is a popular choice with homeowners who are looking for something very unique. Crazing paving involves using irregular shaped pavers to create a smooth surface.

Many people believe that because crazy pavers are cheaper to buy, installation prices will also be cheaper. However, the pavers require more time and a greater level of skill to achieve a high-quality finish, so installation costs are often higher than regular paving.

Due to the irregular shapes, and the numerous weak areas in crazy paved driveways, they often have a shorter lifespan than other options. Pavers cannot be easily replaced, and repairs can be unattractive.

Driveway Gates

Gates can add safety and security to your home, whilst also creating a grand entrance into your driveway. They can also be expensive, and in many circumstances homeowners prefer not to have them. When considering gates, it is important to ask why you would want them?

Safety is a popular reason homeowners install gates. Whether you have pets, or perhaps small children, a driveway gate is a great way to ensure your property is enclosed. Quite often, there is a busy road nearby, which could pose a risk to smaller members of your family.

Another reason to install driveway gates is for security. As well as keeping people in, gates can also help keep people out. Gates can be a deterrent for burglars, who do not want the added difficulty of entering your property.

If you would like more privacy to enjoy your front garden, you could consider solid gates. Solid gates are available in a range of different materials, including wood, metal and even opaque glass and plastic.


Driveway Types, Driveways, Home Ideas, Home Improvement

Meet the author

author avatar CKervin
I have worked in building and construction industries in Australia and the UK. I also enjoy photography.

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