What's the best driveway material to use on your drive?
Our driveway expert Steve Goldstone has a look at the different driveway materials on the market today. Considerations are the style of your home and the price of the driveway materials.
What’s the best driveway material to use??
There’s no simple answer! First, think about what you want to achieve before you think about what’s the best driveway material to use.
- Think about the finished look. The easiest way to do this is to find a driveway that you like. Take a good look around your local area and find some great looking block paving, concrete, resin and gravel installations.
- Second, be realistic with your budget. Fit expectations to what you want to spend or can afford.
- Thirdly, ensure appropriate consideration is given to sub base and drainage materials because these can make the difference between a mediocre installation and an outstanding one. Most of all, ensure all specifications are agreed up front and are put in writing. A clear agreement is a must.
- Finally, make sure you choose a material that compliments and enhances the appearance of your home. Do you want to blend in….or stand out?
Below is a brief introduction to popular driveway surfacing options such as gravel, block paving, resin, natural stone and imprinted concrete.
What’s the best driveway material to use – Gravel?
For the cost conscious a gravel drive installation provides the cheapest solution. For anybody considering DIY a gravel driveway is by far the easiest to install.
There are different types of gravel from Cotswold Chippings…to Granite….to Solent and each has their own unique look and charm.
Gravel Installation Considerations:
- If installing from scratch ensure excavation to up to 200mm.
- Compact substrate and fill any holes with larger stone.
- Install a geotextile membrane before laying sub base material!
- Install raised edging
- Use Type 1 MOT stone for sub-base
- Lay gravel!
Variations include using ‘gravel grids’ which support stability and minimises gravel loss.
Consider ditches along sides of drive, if you live in an area prone to raised water levels.
Gravel is a cost effective option but only really suits larger driveway areas.
What’s The Best Driveway Material To Use – Block Paving?
Amazing combinations of block paving are now available. Whether your design aspirations are traditional or contemporary the range of colour blends, effects and various sizes of block can really enhance any driveway surface.
Always choose the best quality blocks!
More on block paving manufacturing.
Installation is straightforward but not really for a DIY project so make sure to choose a professional installer.
What’s The Best Driveway Material To Use – Resin Bound/Bonded
Incredible technological advancements have allowed the resin market for driveways to explode in recent years. Resin is an excellent choice as an overlay product (providing existing area is suitable) and this can offer terrific cost savings. Care must be taken with the type of resin chosen, and most of all using a suitable installer with the right level of experience will make all the difference.
Resin Driveways – A Guide
What’s The Best Driveway Material To Use – Natural Stone
What can beat the look of natural stone? Deep real granite tones are hard to beat and some sandstone designs look amazing if a contemporary look is desired.
Natural stone can price up as one of the more expensive options, hence the popularity of ‘stone looking’ block paving.
What’s The Best Driveway Material To Use – Decorative Concrete
If you’re looking for a wide range of pattern options and choice of unique colour blends then pattern imprinted concrete could be the way to go. Superior strength and durability are the hallmarks of this paving surface which is laid as one ‘monolithic‘ structure! You won’t experience sinkage or weed growth and this is a very low maintenance choice. Longer term maintenance requires the surface to be ‘re-sealed’ every few years to protect colour…and keep it looking Great!