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How to Plan Your New Driveway
by Stephen Davies
January 27, 2020

When people pass by your home, the driveway is often the first thing that catches their eye. If your driveway has seen better days—or even worse, you don’t have one—you should consider installing one. Not only will it add much-needed kerb appeal, but a driveway will also add value to your property.

Designing a driveway is a personal project. What works for your neighbours may not work for you. Follow these steps to plan your new driveway.

Create an Eye-Catching Design

You can’t start laying tiles or cement until you have an idea of the design. In the layout, make sure you determine the entrance and exit routes for your driveway. You should also include a path to your front door or garage, if applicable. Be sure to allow ample room to park. Drive around town to get a few ideas of how other driveways in the area look.

At this point, you should also consider planting and lighting. The design needs to allow room to add enough plants if you desire. Plants provide shade and privacy. If you are tight on space, potted plants or window planters may work best.

You don’t want to come home to a dark house in the evening. The driveway design should include enough lighting options to make walking from your car to the front door easy. Motion sensors have also become necessary for both convenience and safety purposes.

Determine the Right Materials

The best driveways complement the home’s exterior. It may surprise you to learn how many different materials are available. Some of the most popular are gravel, asphalt, and block paving. Choose one that not only matches your style but also fits into your budget. Gravel is the most affordable at about £4 per square metre. Asphalt and block paving will run about £15 and £28, respectively. Whichever you choose, make sure your budget allows for it.

If you don’t have a lot of DIY skill, a gravel driveway is a good option. Gravel aggregate is not only cheap, but it’s simple to lay. You can pour and finish a beautiful gravel driveway in a single afternoon, making it the perfect weekend project.

Asphalt takes a bit more skill to lay. However, it’s highly durable and flexible enough for sloping driveways. If you do choose it, be aware that you will need to resurface it from time to time to maintain its condition.

Paving blocks have become more popular because of their aesthetic appeal. They are also very hard-wearing, with some varieties lasting for as long as 25 years! Paving blocks are highly decorative, but they aren’t stain-resilient. Apply a layer of sealant to your pavers to protect the surface from oil spills.

DIY or Hire a Trader?

Cost of driveway? Use a driveway cost calculator which you will find on the page via the link to work out an estimate on a new tarmac, concrete or gravel drive. Some homeowners find they have enough time and skill to lay a new driveway by themselves. Others prefer to hire a trader to do it for them. If you choose DIY, you will save money in the long run. After materials, labour is the next most significant expense.

Even though hiring a trader does cost more, it will save you time. Before you settle on a tradesperson, make sure they have experience laying driveways. It also helps if they know how to work with the materials you selected.

Whether you choose DIY or hire out, your new driveway will be a welcome addition to the kerb appeal of your home.

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