Whether you have a long driveway or just a path in front of your house, there are now plenty of options to create an attractive surface on which to park your car or welcome visitors. A good looking, quality driveway can also help to boost the value of your home.
We describe some of the popular options available when planning a new driveway.
Gravel is available in a range of sizes and colours, is relatively inexpensive and can be laid quickly and easily. 12 mm shingle gravel is popular as it is affordable and attractive. You might want to consider a brick edging to your gravel driveway as this can help to prevent gravel moving outside the intended area. That is the downside to loose gravel - driving or walking on it can move it around, possibly leading to bare patches which can become susceptible to weed growth unless carefully maintained.
Loose slate can be spread in a similar way to gravel and looks good but consists of larger, heavier pieces than gravel and so will move less under vehicles etc. However it can be expensive for quality slate, especially if you need to cover a large area.
Block paving involves the laying down of many small concrete blocks, usually square or rectangular but sometimes other shapes, next to each other to make the new surface. Block paving is available in a multitude of styles and can create a beautiful uniform or patterned blockwork finish to your driveway. The result should be very hard-wearing and can last a lifetime if cared for. If neglected, it's possible that grass or weeds can grow out of cracks between the blocks, but this is easily fixed with cleaning or repair of any cracks.
Tarmac is a surface proven to stand up very well to vehicle traffic and to resist the elements. It is also reasonably quick and simple to lay and requires minimal maintenance to keep it looking good. You may want to combine a tarmac area with block paved edging to add a bit more style and variation. If you don't like the traditional black tarmac, other shades such as red are available, or small lighter coloured stones can be included to give a speckled effect. Tarmac can develop cracks over time which should be repaired as early as possible to prevent greater damage developing.
Resin Bonded Stone
Resin bonded stone is a fairly new technology which involves a gravel similar to that commonly used in loose gravel driveways, except that the gravel is adhered to new or existing hard standings with a strong epoxy binder. This leaves a finish which looks like gravel/stone but won't move around under foot or vehicles, and should be impervious to water penetration or weed growth unless damaged. Not to be confused with resin bound stone which is porous and can be damaged by water freezing/thawing or weeds/moss.
The driveway style you go for will depend on your budget and preferences, but once you have a couple of choices in mind we recommend contacting a trusted driveway specialist on TrustATrader to discuss things further before going ahead.