A beautiful new driveway can transform the look of your home and improve its value – it can pepper your home’s entryway with style and class and, if you select carefully, can improve the environmental impact of your home. Unbeknownst to some, there are a wide variety of different driveway options for homes, all with different pros and cons.
How Big Should Your Driveway Be?
There are some rules and regulations in place that prohibit some small front gardens from installing a driveway. If you want your driveway to be practical for most cars, it should be three metres wide for each car you wish to have space for. This is because you need to allow for turning, as there is little as painful as scraping your car in your own home.
What Material Should You Use for Your Driveway?
There is a lot to consider when you are choosing materials for your driveway. You need to contemplate how it looks with your home’s exterior design, as well as drainage and upkeep costs. The list below outlines some of the most popular driveway materials:
Filling your driveway with gravel or pebbles tends to be good value. It is also an ecologically friendly option because loose materials tend to retain rainwater, which reduces the chances of flooding. Loose materials also offer a low-tech security bonus, as you will be able to hear people approaching your home through the drive.
In terms of maintenance, you will need to sweep gravel that has gotten in places where it shouldn’t be, as well as replace the loose material every few years. You can get loose materials in a range of colours and sizes, though gravel is not suitable if your home is on a slope.
Concrete and Asphalt
Concrete and asphalt are low cost and highly durable. They are the perfect driveway if you care about low maintenance over aesthetics. What’s more, concrete and asphalt can be made to be permeable, so water can drain away, and floods can be averted. They are also a good base if you want to add other, perhaps more attractive material on top. However, due to plant overgrowth or freezing weather, cracks can form in concrete and asphalt, which are kryptonite to an otherwise durable material. Concrete and asphalt are, however, great for sloping sites.
Resin Bound Driveways
Resin Bound Driveways offer many benefits. They come in a wide range of colour or texture options, and they are fully permeable for a flood free and environmentally friendly driveway option. They serve the additional benefit of being both attractive and requiring little maintenance, only sweeping away leaves and dirt and the occasional power wash. They are hard-wearing and durable and, despite some urban myths, do not require planning permission if the surface is permeable. You can avoid planning permission for non-permeable resin bound driveways if the surface to be covered is less than five square metres.
Lighting Your Driveway
Lighting should not be an afterthought – you should include it early on when choosing the materials and size of your driveway as you will need to think about wiring etc. Some popular options are uplighters or lights that are set into walls. You can also get drive-over lights for a subtle and modern approach. The two most popular switch options are a simple light switch or a motion sensor (more energy efficient if calibrated correctly).