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The best driveway materials for your home

The best driveway materials for your home

The best driveway materials for your home

A well-kept, beautifully presented driveway sets the tone for the rest of your home. Providing visitors and neighbours alike with a great first impression, it says something about you and your household.

If you’re considering having a new driveway installed, you may be wondering which material would be most suited to the look you want to achieve and is affordable for the budget you’re working to. Here’s our driveway materials guide to help you navigate a number of popular choices.

Material avg. cost per square foot[1]
Gravel £3.26
Concrete £6.52
Paving £19.56
Tarmac/Asphalt £3.26

Gravel

Average cost per square foot: £3.26

Gravel, pebbles or shingles can create a rustic look and a pleasing crunch when you drive across them. Of all the driveway materials you might choose, they’re the fastest to install. However, they’re not suitable for all driveways. For example, if your property is built on a slope or the area where you live is particularly prone to heavy snowfall, gravel products aren’t practical. On the plus side, gravel driveways are easy to maintain – simply add more product every few years.

 Concrete

 Average cost per square foot: £6.52

Concrete is a hard-wearing, long-lasting driveway materials choice and can be finished in a surprising number of ways, as the poured variety can be stamped with patterns.

Concrete has a very long lifespan of four decades or more. However, there are some negatives associated with this material. Staining can be an issue, as can the cracking which may be caused by freezing conditions and rogue tree roots. One option that prevents this potential problem is concrete block paving, which will deliver the same hardwearing quality but allows you to replace sections that are damaged or broken as time passes, rather than having to begin from scratch.

 Paving

 Average cost per square foot: £19.56

If you appreciate an elegant finish and a great choice of style, paving may be the driveway material for you. The beauty of paving is that you can use it to make a real statement about yourself and your property. Choose from classic setts, vintage-style cobbles or block paving in a vast array of colours, shapes and patterns.

There are also a number of practical advantages to a paved driveway. As well as simply looking good, if a small section of a paved driveway becomes damaged, it is relatively easy to repair in isolation. Those who like to do their bit for the environment will also find paving delivers if they opt for a permeable product. Quality permeable paving allows excess water to drain away from the ground’s surface, which helps to avoid flash flooding and takes the strain off drainage pipes.

 Asphalt/Tarmac

 Average cost per square foot: £3.26

Asphalt is, of course, often the choice for public, municipal areas. However, it can be a very affordable product for domestic settings, too. In extreme temperatures, asphalt performs well, quickly melting snow and standing up against the sun. Aesthetically, the material is perhaps less appealing than those mentioned above but its lifespan (up to 20 years)is long and maintenance is easy. Those looking for good drainage should avoid asphalt as it is not porous and surface water may pool.

Whichever material you select for your driveway, the most important fact to remember is that this is what you’ll return home to for years to come. So, take your time, do your research and make the choice that’s best for you.

[1] http://www.homeadviceguide.com/estimating-cost-of-building-a-new-driveway-tips-and-tricks/

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