Landscaping in Aberdeen considers whether a driveway is functional or a means of adding value to your property!
Make a great first impression with a driveway that’s both stylish and practical. Your driveway is the first thing people see when they approach your home, so it’s a vital part of creating a good first impression when you’re transforming your home’s exterior.
Not only can a new-look drive add enhanced appeal, but it can also add value to your home. Some materials, such as loose gravel, which crunches underfoot, can also improve security – both for your property and vehicles.
HOW MUCH WILL A NEW DRIVEWAY COST?
The price of a new drive varies greatly depending on the size of the area, the amount of preparation work needed, and material chosen.
Groundwork should cost around £20 per square metre, with the cost for surfaces range from £4 per square metre for gravel, to £54 per square metre for resin-bound paving.
WHICH MATERIAL TO USE FOR YOUR DRIVEWAY?
Your driveway materials should echo your home’s exterior and any walls in your front garden; all this will also affect the material’s colour, with darker shades suiting both contemporary and traditional properties and being practical for hiding oil spills.
Mixing and matching complementary materials will add interest to your front garden’s design, especially if your house has an understated facade. If your home’s exterior full of detail, choose a more plain finish.
Drainage considerations will affect your material choice, as will ease of replacement – blocks and paving are simpler and cheaper to replace than poured surfaces if damaged.
There are many driveway surface and paving materials to choose from depending on how you want your drive to look and function.
Gravel or pebbles are a good-value and ecologically friendly option, as they retain rainwater rather than sending it into the drains. Gravel also acts as a security feature because you can hear when people are approaching your home. It will require regular maintenance, such as replacing and sweeping the gravel that’s gone astray, and is not suitable for a sloping site.
Water-permeable, it comes in a range of colours and sizes, and is best used with a cellular grid to keep it in place. For larger driveways, laying angular gravel in three or four layers, each one rolled and given a day to settle, will minimise the gravel’s movement.
Usually made from moulded concrete blocks, clay bricks or natural stone, paving can be permeable to allow water to drain away. It’s worth checking whether the paving needs sealing as this will add to cost and may change its appearance; find out too if it is truly slip-resistant.
Using paving allows you to be creative with your design – shades of terracotta and grey being the most popular. ‘Block paving is both durable and easy to maintain,’ says Emma Stone, at Marshalls. However, bear in mind that having paving patterns laid will add to your costs.
Hardwearing concrete blocks are available in a range of colours, textures and finishes, but can fade; durable clay blocks also come in range of colours and won’t fade; natural stone is durable, too, but if you’re on a budget, look at Indian sandstone.
Concrete and asphalt
These may not be the prettiest options, but they are low cost, durable and low maintenance. You can find permeable concrete and asphalt, which allow water to drain away. They also make an ideal base for more attractive top layers, such as resin-bound paving. Both materials can fade and stain and cracks can open up in them due to tree roots or freezing weather. Both are suitable for sloping sites and can look very contemporary in the right setting.
This is a single-stone layer, created by applying a film of resin onto the surface, and scattering clean, dry aggregate on top – meaning it is quite rough and there may be some loose stone. Newer products are permeable; are suitable for slopes; available in different colours and textures; and even can be laid over existing surfaces.
Self-binding gravel is another alternative to loose gravel. It looks natural, is permeable and can be used on gentle slopes – plus it’s very affordable.
Grass is ideal if your home is in the countryside with a setting that would be spoilt by hard landscaping. Plus, it’s an eco-friendly, permeable material. However, you can’t just drive over a conventional lawn – you’ll need to use a sub-base.
For more information on your driveway options please get in touch.