Building a New Driveway – Concrete or Block Paving?
There are many great ideas for driveways. If you are looking to install a new driveway, yet cannot find the exact finish you need, we have written this article and added examples of driveways that may suit your tastes and your property perfectly.
Although the word concrete may not strike you with much by way of spectacular design and artwork, it can be used to add a magnificent finish to any driveway.
Instead of the matte grey finish that you expect concrete to provide, it surprisingly can be manipulated, printed and coloured to all types of finish.
Patterns can be imprinted onto large concrete slabs, and the concrete can be injected with colour too using acrylic stain or dye. This gives manufacturers the opportunity to recreate the effect of brick, cobblestones, York paving and other types of stone – it can even mimic the look of a hardwood floor.
What concrete provides you with over other types of material is that it’s an extremely low maintenance way to re-lay a driveway. Concrete doesn’t shift like block paving can, and you don’t risk unsightly weeds coming up in-between the bricks.
Provided the concrete is laid properly, which should be onto a suitably prepared and laid substrate, and is finished with a seal to repel extreme weather – the driveway will be very long lasting and should not crack or split in wintry or extremely hot conditions.
Block Paving Stones
Paving stones are a popular choice, and the bricks used are readily available.
All kinds of pattern can be selected to best suit your property. Should you wish to have sweeping swirls, split patterns, herringbone or a basket weave then it is achievable using block paving.
It can be a great way to create individual type of look to suit your home. Complimentary brick can be used to create steps up to your front door or a kerbs and edgings that lead to a turfed area through which paths, water features and patios can be created. Incorporating drains and channels so rainwater can be washed away safely is a must, the last thing you want to do after completeing the job is to have to break up your new driveway or use a bench grinder to cut a path for the water to run off correctly.
Block paving large areas may require lots of maintenance. Whilst the driveway will look fantastic in its first year, moss, algae and weeds can gather in the cracks, so it is important to clean the driveway regularly.
Ask your installer if they will finish off your driveway by using a matte or glossy sealant. If they will, the sealant used should inhibit the growth of weeds and act as a stain preventative, which of course will need to be re-applied on a regular basis. This is the same for stone driveways; however, different types of sealants will be required depending on the actual stone or brick used.
Whilst there are usually many different options, you may even consider a carbon neutral bioverse option that incorporates grass for a positive effect on the environment.
There are a few things to consider cost-wise. Materials are always a big factor when it comes to cost. Just like roofing, something like slate tiles are far more expensive than the regular tar type shingle most home use.
A skip will be required, sturdy foundations will need to be laid and excavation of the current material will be required. Weed matting or geo-textile will also be required, as well as the material that is to create the final finish, as well as sealant.
Up to a foot of earth will need to be removed to make room for foundations so that the final layer of drive can be at the same level as it currently is. The skip used will probably cost around $80-$100 and, depending on where it is to be located, a permit may be required to place it on a road or public highway. This can cost around $30.
You may be looking at around $100 for a miniature digger for a day and aggregate to create the foundations should be around $20-$35 per half tonne (approximately coverage of 1m2) which, when bought in bulk, a supplier will usually apply a discount.
A compaction plate to compact down the aggregate could be around $25 with the weed mat costing approximately 45p per metre, but they usually are supplied in very wide rolls.
Depending on the company you select, you may be charged labor at around $150-$250 per day.
Planning blocked paving properly can result in a beautiful driveway that can compliment a modern or traditionally built home.
It is clear to see that installing a new driveway can be expensive. Yet if you choose a reputable company, and are fully aware of the maintenance required on the materials you choose, it can be a real investment and a perfect addition to your home.
Driveways should be as individual as you and your property. By contacting a professional company with a good level of experience, a multitude of options are open to you.
Maintaining Your Driveway
There are a number of solutions for keeping your driveway and rest of your outdoor area clean and tidy. A fantastic driveway cleaning service can easily come and power wash your driveway so that it practically looks brand new.