What Type of Driveway Surfacing Should You Choose?

What Type of Driveway Surfacing Should You Choose?


driveway in essex

Choosing the best type of driveway surfacing for your property can be a difficult task.

Simply advising you to choose the type of surface that you think would look best isn’t good enough.

That’s because there are many other factors that you should consider before choosing the best type of driveway surface.

Things such as budget, drainage and practicality should all be considered before making a decision.

In this latest blog post, we’ll be looking at the different options you have when it comes to surfacing your driveway and we’ll give you some of the pros and cons of each.

After reading this article, hopefully you’ll be able to make an informed decision that ensures you get the driveway of your dreams.

A new drive has many benefits and its sure to transform and add significant value to any property, large or small.

Let’s start by looking at the different options you have available to you.



What Different Driveway Options Are There?


There are 6 main types of driveway surfacing that are popular within the UK.

Concrete, Tarmac/Asphalt, Loose Gravel, Block Paving, Paving Slabs or Resin Bound Gravel.

Each type of surfacing has a unique look and of course, each varies widely in cost and aesthetic appeal.

Each surface also has its pros and its cons.

So, let’s take a closer look at each type of surface one-by-one.





tarmac essex

Tarmac is probably the cheapest type of driveway surfacing.

Its quick and easy to install which makes it ideal for large driveways and car parks.

However, it’s not always the most attractive of surfaces and may not suit your style of property.

Another issue with Tarmac is that if certain areas begin to dip in places, you’ll find that you continuously have standing water on your driveway as tarmac is not porous.





concrete driveway

Concrete is another low-priced form of driveway surfacing. Its also quick to install.

The downside to concrete though is that staining can be an issue. Once it has been stained by oil it can be extremely difficult to remove.

Then there is also the issue of cracking. If the concrete hasn’t been installed correctly, there is the chance of it cracking. And the cracks will only get worse as time goes on.

Unlike block paving, you can’t easily replace sections of your driveway.

A correctly installed concrete driveway may last over 30 years and it’s also a cost-effective option too.

Rather than just plain concrete, you can make it unique by adding coloured dyes or by using a stencil to imprint patterns in the concrete.



Loose Gravel


gravel driveways essex

Loose gravel is a very popular method for surfacing a driveway.

Its relatively quick and cost effective to install which like, tarmac, makes it ideal for large driveway areas.

Gravel driveways tend to work best for older style properties and countryside homes but with such a wide choice of aggregate available these days, there’s always something that will match your priority whether its traditional or ultra-modern.

Another big benefit of this type of system is that it is fully SUDS compliant. That’s because when laid on a permeable sub base, it will be free draining.

This also saves on the cost of drainage install – which is required for most other types of driveway surfacing.



Block Paving


block paving in essex

For the last 20 years or so, block paving has been the most popular type of driveway surfacing in the UK.

And rightly so as there are many benefits of block paving.

With such a wide range of styles, patterns and colours to choose from, you’re sure to find something that suits your property and its surroundings.

Block paving can also be cost effective too.

Standard blocks start around £10 plus VAT per square metre, but prices can go all the way up to around £60 per square metre for something such as Marshalls Drivesys.

Another great benefit of block paving is that its easy to replace any block that gets stained or cracked in the coming years.

Weeds can also be kept at bay by installing weed free jointing sand to the joins or you could even seal your paving – which has the added benefit of enhancing the lifespan of your driveway too.

Unless you are using permeable block paving, one of the downside to this form of paving is that in the majority of cases you’ll need to install drainage.

This usually involves linear drains and a soakaway, which can add significant cost to your driveway installation.



Paving Slabs


paving slab driveway

Another option for your driveway is paving slabs.

Unfortunately, not every type of paving slab is suitable for vehicular traffic so choose your slab wisely.

But there is still a large variety of paving slab types and colours to choose from that are suitable for driveways.

Paving slabs are not quite as straight forward to replace as block paving and tends to be more expensive than using blocks too.

That’s because each slab needs to be individually laid on a concrete bed, whereas block paving is laid on a compacted bed of sharp sand.

Again, like block paving, you’ll need to ensure that you install adequate drainage to comply with SUDS regulations.



Resin Bound Driveways


Resin bound driveway installation essex

Our last, and often the most expensive type of driveway surfacing, is resin bound gravel.

In recent years this type of surfacing has grown at a quite an astonishing rate.

With such a huge variety of decorative aggregate to choose from, there is a style that will suit any property to create a stunning driveway.

A major benefit of resin bound driveways is that there are completely permeable.

Because you won’t need to install additional drainage, sometimes the cost becomes more in line with block paving, as installing drainage can often be an expensive endeavour.

It’s also UV stabilised to prevent against fading and will last over 20 years if installed correctly.





Marshalls Drivesys Split Stone (Grey Green)

Choosing the best type of surfacing for your driveway is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Hopefully this article has armed you with a better understanding of some of the pros and cons of the different types of driveway surfacing.

The next step would be to contact a local installer to obtain some quotations for your preferred driveway surface.

If you live in the Essex area, why not give us a call on 01245 697 688?

We would be more than happy to visit your property, talk you through the options, show you samples and help you decide on the best driveway surface that not only transforms your property but adds significant value to your home too.

Our many years of experience will ensure that you have a long-lasting driveway that will stand the test of time.

If you have any questions regarding driveway surfacing, then leave us a comment below, we look forward to hearing from you!



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