The cost of a new driveway is probably less than you think. A new driveway add a healthy dose of functionality and aesthetic appeal with extra parking space, less maintenance, and it will even add value to the selling price of your home. There are a number of popular driveway types available, the most popular being gravel, asphalt, brick & concrete driveways. In this article we will be mostly looking at the advantages of concrete or stone driveways.
Concrete driveways are rapidly becoming the most popular driveway type in the UK, most likely because concrete can now be modified in a number of styles to look fantastic. Concrete driveways are well known for being durable and easy to clean. Stone or paved driveways are popular in all types of properties and can be altered at a later date much easier than concrete driveways. Stone driveways tend to require more weeding to ensure these persistent plants do not end up damaging your drive. of course, no driveway is completely maintenance free, they do need looking after, with the amount of maintenance required depending on the surface of the driveway and the conditions it has been exposed to, but all driveways will need some care and attention over the years.
Concrete block paving stones are the most common material used for new driveways in the UK today. They are extremely hard-wearing and available in a wide range of colours, textures and finishes - many of which mimic natural stone really well. Actual natural stone is more expensive, but even more durable and long lasting. Traditionally, British stone was used but cheaper options are now available from overseas and much of the stone used in driveways today is imported from India. One of the big advantages of natural stone over modern concrete block paving stones, is that the colour of stone does not fade over time as the colour is natural and right through the stone, whereas the colour is just applied to the surface of concrete block paving stones and will wear away over time. Poured concrete offers much of durability benefits of concrete block paving, but is quicker (and therefore cheaper) to lay, but the finish is much plainer and nowhere near as attractive.
To ensure that your concrete or stone driveway will last many years, you need to make sure you kill any weeds in the cracks immediately and fill in cracks that appear before water can get into them and cause frost damage. The same goes for any pot holes or depressions caused by vehicles. Sealing your drive is well worth the cost and you can also apply weed and moss killer periodically.
Laying a concrete drive is beyond the skills of the average DIY enthusiast, but you also need to beware of hiring a cowboy contractor that might disappear before the task is complete, or lay a poorly constructed driveway that will begin to fall apart shortly after the cheque is cleared! You should research contractors to find a reliable and professional team to help you construct a long lasting driveway. One of the best ways to establish whether a company/builder is reliable or not is to check references and read online reviews from previous customers. It is much better to pay slightly more and get a professional and beautiful drive, as opposed to paying a bargain price and having an eyesore that will need completely redoing within a few months.