Want to Add Value to Your Home? Don't Overlook Your Driveway.

Driveways are a much-overlooked aspect of the modern property. That's a shame because a driveway is so much more than a route in and out of your garage. Installing the perfect driveway for your home is an invaluable chance at influencing the look and feel of the place before guests or potential buyers even enter. 

Starting out

The installation, renovation, or extension of your driveway is work that should only be carried out by an experienced tradesperson with a proven track record at laying driveways. If your driveway is installed incorrectly, that can cause a lot of problems. That's why you should get as much information as possible before you choose a contractor. 

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Seeking out a contractor: 5 quick tips

  •  Interview as many professionals as possible
  • Ask as many questions as you need
  • Turn up prepared having done your homework
  • Weigh up the information supplied by each contractor
  • Be wary of the contractor who nods and agrees with everything ad claims that anything is possible.

Driveway materials 

You and your contractor can decide on the materials you'll use based on: The type of driveway you decide upon, and the materials used, will depend upon a variety of different factors, including

  • The lie of the land; weather conditions
  • What vehicles will regularly use the driveway
  • The surrounding environment and architecture
  • Personal likes and dislikes
  • Budgetary constraints

Block Paving

Block paving is both durable, hard-wearing and weather resistant. Available in a range of tones, block paving is ideally suited to complement a wide range of styles. A mid-maintenance option, it's ideal for both small and large driveways.

Pros:

  • Easily replaced repaired
  • Once re-sanded and sealed it will once again look brand new

Cons:

  • Requires annual maintenance
  • Re-sanding and sealing can be an inconvenience

Pattern Imprinted Concrete

Pattern imprinted concrete has become a favorite over the past few years. A great alternative to the old-style plain concrete driveways, they are not only aesthetically appealing but offer depth, color and texture, and allow fantastic opportunities for creative homeowners. Widely available and affordable, pattern imprinted concrete is the perfect choice for large driveways.

Pros

  • Strong
  • Capable of supporting heavy vehicles
  • Requires very little maintenance

Cons

  • Repairs can be expensive and unsightly
  • Difficult to match exact color and pattern

Tarmac Driveways

Tarmac driveways have undergone somewhat of a resurgence over the past years with the arrival of different shades of tarmac. Ideal for all types of vehicles, tarmac driveways are quick and easy to lay and are extremely low maintenance.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Low maintenance
  • Practical

Cons

  • Unoriginal
  • Limited design options
  • Prone to damage from substances such as oil, diesel and gas

Gravel

Gravel driveways are extremely popular in some areas. Although one of the cheapest driveway materials, gravel is also one of the most eye-catching when installed correctly. Gravel also comes in a choice of colors and is hard-wearing.

Pros:

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Never needs repairing

Con:

  • Needs frequent and ongoing maintenance
  • Prone to weeds

One unique benefit is that due to their audible nature, gravel drives are often recommended by police and security experts for the unique addition they add to home security. The noise caused walking or driving over gravel is a great burglar deterrent. 

A word on resins

Resin driveways are available either bound or bonded with each option having quite different attributes. Resin bound offers a smooth, waterproof finish, while resin bonded has a rough finish and is not water permeable. The choice of which resin to use will depend on your personal requirements.  The qualities both these methods share is that they are both low maintenance and both offer up stable, textured surfaces that can really stand out.

Pros

  • Large choice of colors and textures
  • Hard-wearing

Cons:

  • Resin bonded driveways may require planning permission
  • The rough finish is not suitable for all vehicles

Regardless of what material you choose and how much you wish to spend, one thing remains the same: if your driveway is prepped and carried out by a reliable professional with proven experience, then it'll not only serve its course but add significant value and appeal to your property.

Remember to do your research and ask the right questions. More often than not you'll receive what you want and much more!


This article was written by Callum at North East Paving & Garden.