It’s the question on everybody’s lips; just how much do driveways cost? What’s the price?
C’mon how much? Just tell me the price!
Between £1,000 and £40,798 – and anywhere in between.
Seriously, there are a number of things that determine how much driveways cost. These include the type driveway paving surface chosen, the size of the existing driveway area, drainage and then of course extras like walling, piers, lighting, fencing, driveway gates and the modern phenomenon of driveway CCTV!
Lastly, a significant cost may be choosing the wrong type of driveway company in the first place. Slick sales processes may mean paying a lot more than you should.
Driveways Cost – It’s all about face – the paving surface
Choosing the right driveway surface for your driveway and/or patio is an important decision.
It helps to ask yourself:
‘What am I looking to achieve?’
A contemporary look?
Staying in style of house?
Are you intending on staying in your house for the forseeable future?
Do you want simple functionality or is enhancing the value of your house the main motivation?
Is the existing driveway causing problems ? (Accessibility or drainage are the main two)
Once you know why you want a new driveway (and please, please make sure you are not talked into having one) make sure you look around other driveways and note down what appeals to you.
Is it the strength and durability of Tarmacadam?
Do the solid, geometric designs of block paving please you?
Does the contemporary look of resin rock your boat?
If you live around a city or town maybe pattern imprinted concrete is the way to go.
Gravel has stood the test of time and can be everything to some people, and nothing but a pile of stones to others!
Driveways cost – Size of existing driveway/patio area
Some of us have sprawling driveways the size of car parks whilst others have to make do with driveways the size of ‘postage stamps’, where just being able to park one vehicle off road can mean a lot!
To keep things simple lets work around an average of 60-70 square metres (the average UK driveway size.) This is large enough for 2 vehicles.
Driveways Cost and preparation stage/groundworks
Nearly all driveway companies will look to complete groundworks (digging out and preparation before laying) as quickly as possible. Using a ‘digger’ is preference of many (less back breaking, dirty hard work) and as long as access allows, these mechanical beasts ensure a quick ‘dig out’.
CAUTION: Always ensure the operator of a digger machine is suitably qualified and check their insurance; before letting them loose on your property!
A further consideration (which is frequently overlooked) is ensuring waste material from your property is disposed of properly. Which ever waste carrier is used ensure you check they have the appropriate ‘waste carrier’ licence. If you’re waste is identified down a farmers lane you will be picking up the tab.
Most companies will use ‘grab lorry’ services (for information about these click here). Typically a grab lorry will also deliver stone (MOT Type 1 is best for a stable base). They will take away the waste and deliver the stone for preparation of the sub base.
Smooth and efficient, eh! Those days of pushing wheelbarrows up dodgy planks into a skip are well in the past!
As a rough guide: 1 ton of stone will provide 10m2 of sub base (compacted)
Driveways costs can increase significantly during the groundworks stage if deep excavations are required. This will translate into more grab lorries and more stone.
1.Qualified digger operator with appropriate insurance
2.Digging carefully (by hand) around house and foundations
3.Exercising extreme caution locating and digging around utilities such as water, gas and electric
Driveways cost – Drainage
Modern driveway surfacing such as permeable block paving and resin do not (usually) need the installation of drainage. Tarmacadam (open grade – larger stone) can also allow water through but is not generally regarded as a permeable surface. Other types of block paving (non permeable) will need drainage and most pattern imprinted concrete surfaces do. Of course, if natural drainage to bedding is available there may not be the need for the installation of drainage channels and soakaways, at all.
SUDs compliance is important and shouldn’t be overlooked by customers and driveway companies alike.
Driveways cost – Extras such as walls, piers, gates and security
If you have existing walls and piers (entrance pillars/columns to driveway) and they are in good condition and will ‘go’ with your new driveway surface; there should be no extra costs.
What a relief!
On the other hand if things are looking a bit shabby and worn replacement walls and piers will need to be calculated into the ‘all in‘ driveways cost. These costs will depend on how many metres of walling and/or piers are needed.
The height of any wall and type of brick will also play a part in these additional costs (as well as any additional features). This part of a driveway installation will need to be completed by a decent experienced bricklayer. Usually a sub contractor will be used (or should be) and it is very important to inspect any previous work they have done. This gives peace of mind that they know how to lay bricks and don’t ‘snake’ bricks or make ‘sandy’ mortar joints that crumble. A well built step is easy to spot compared to an amateur’s attempt.
If you need walling look at the guide below to get some useful information.
Driveways cost – Installing Driveway gates
Driveway gates provide secure peace of mind and. If budget allows always go for electric; not only will these provide a welcome convenience (not having to get in and out of vehicle) but they just look so cool! Who doesn’t like watching electric gates open?
40 years ago only James Bond ‘baddies’ had such luxuries! Go for it, if you can.
Whether you opt for traditional hardwood gates or fanciful wrought iron driveway costs will increase. The longer and higher will be reflected in the price.
Driveways costs – Extra security
If you’re unfortunate and live in a poorer area security needs may mean driveway CCTV. If you live in a richer area security needs may mean driveway CCTV! Alternatively, good gates, walling/fencing and a German Shepherd will do the job.
The example below is a little extreme but will probably become more common in the future.
In summary, it’s just not easy to provide a fixed price of driveways costs because there are so many variables. You’ll find quotation services that give a price but these will be estimated and should be taken with a ‘pinch of salt’.
If you’re looking for a quick fix and/or looking to sell up because you are concerned about house prices READ THIS
If your in for the long haul remember to take your time and make an informed decision.
Whatever your driveway needs make sure you contact us first to find a professional installer. Fill in details in form (top right)