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Creating the ideal driveway

Our guide to creating the ideal driveway

For many, having one’s own driveway is a luxury; for others, it’s a necessity. For larger families with more than one car, those who find themselves with parking permit limitations or individuals in rural areas, a driveway provides both a practical and secure area for vehicles, not to mention valuable exterior space. 

According to the RAC Foundation, as of September 2019, the UK was home to 38.9 million licensed vehicles, a 1.3% increase to that of September 2018. With cars making up 32 million (82.2%) of this figure*, it’s no wonder that more and more car owners desire a driveway in front of their home. 

Whether a city dweller or country mouse, creating the ideal driveway is a sure-fire way to make your house become a home.  We’ve put together some hints and tips to help you create your dream driveway.

First impressions count

Nothing says ‘welcome home’ more than an open and inviting space in which to park your car, motorbike or van.  All too often, the exterior of a house can be overlooked, yet a driveway can in fact provide the finishing touch to the overall visual impact of a property. 

Choosing the right materials to suit your space is vital; whilst gravel is a desirable option for larger drives, brick or paving may be more practical for urban locations.  Think about your budget too – not only will it cost to install the driveway initially, the upkeep of certain materials will vary, according to how they naturally weather. 

Gravel tends to be the cheapest and quickest option of driveway materials, especially if you have an existing base on which to lay it.  There are several varieties of cut and colour too. As it is not bound to a fixed surface, the material will naturally move and therefore must be swept back into place every so often, but maintenance levels are low.

Tarmac is another value for money driveway material and provides users with a highly durable, weather resistant option.  You will need to reseal for longevity. 

Concrete driveways are more expensive than their tarmac cousins, yet cheaper in the long-run due their high durability and little to no requirement for upkeep or maintenance. 

Paving using stone or brick is commonly the most expensive driveway option, yet offers an attractive and desirable material which can last for years and requires very little maintenance, other than cleaning.

 Safe and secure

Having a designated parking area is often the safer way to store your vehicle than on-street parking may be, especially if you reside in a busy town or city. If you opt for a gravel driveway, the physical sound it will create when vehicles or pedestrians arrive can be an alert for unexpected visitors, especially after-dark.  If you have a solid base drive, it may be an idea to install sensor security lights or even CCTV monitoring systems to keep a keen eye on those who decide to pay you a visit – particularly if living in rural areas or for those who spend longer periods of time away from home.  

Add value

For homeowners, there’s no doubt that having a driveway will increase the value of your property. Estimations show that adding a driveway to your home can add up to 10% to its value. Parking is certainly a premium feature in urban areas, so making use of any exterior space you have is important if you wish to maximise potential selling prices or increase rents.  

Drain away

Permeable driveways such as gravel, block-paving and resin-bound, allow water to drain away, replenishing underground water tables and keeping your drive safe and dry. Porous substances will also avoid the need for planning permission. 

For concrete or non-porous tarmac driveways which are non-permeable, it may be necessary to think about installing a channel drainage system to reduce to risk of puddles or flooding, which can eventually lead to damaging pot holes.  

Whatever style of driveway you are planning, NYEs can help pave the way to creating your ideal driveway.  

You can see all our products for driveways and gardens here or get in touch with our Kingsfold depot and speak to our friendly team who can advise on the most suitable driveway materials to suit you and your home.