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15 Oct

8 Things To Consider When Planning A Driveway

A driveway is more than just an area that leads you to your garage, it’s the opportunity to make a good first impression with your home, and increase the street appeal which greatly helps when the time comes to sell. But where do you start with your planning of a driveway? Here are the best 8 tips about what to take into consideration when installing a new driveway.

  1. Practicality and style

When installing a new driveway, there are two main considerations. You need to consider the practicality of the driveway and its intentions. Is it leading to a single or multiple car garage? How many people live in your home that are likely to want to park on it? Do you have regular visitors? Growing families need to maximise the space for cars, taking into account future teenagers and their cars. For those who may be considering to sell in the near future will need to focus more on kerb appeal (it is a proven fact that removing concrete and replacing with new paving can add value to your home).

  1. Ease of access

Provided you remain within the local council requirements, there’s no set minimum width for a drive, so the design you choose needs to be practical for the type and number of vehicles that are going to be using it. Don’t forget to allow for door opening for any vehicles that will be parking side by side. Ensure your design gives you easy access from the road into to your driveway from both directions, and whilst on that subject, make sure it is wide enough to allow reversing into your drive from the road with a trailer or boat etc. For aesthetic appeal, driveway edging stones are a great way of separating your driveway from shrubbery or lawn.

  1. Trees and shrubbery

Most properties have some selection of trees and shrubs so bear in mind that any excavation for your driveway could damage existing roots. It is also wise to determine where your utility lines come into the property because damage those and you are up for a pricey repair. If you are using a licensed trades person for your project, they will be able to assist with this matter. They may also be able to advise on the correct planting for any new trees and shrubs that are not prone to sending their roots into your new driveway and undermine the sub-base. Make sure you talk to your installer about any concerns, big or small, before the work is commenced.

  1. Driveway accessories

There are all sorts of ways to turn your new driveway into an inviting and planned entrance to your home. You could choose to have lighting built into the driveway using encapsulating LED lights or perhaps install a range of lights into the kerb on either side. And regarding kerbs, there are any amount of options that cater for every taste depending on whether your style is more of a traditional driveway or the classic style or maybe you prefer the option of a more contemporary driveway.

  1. Contemporary or traditional

There are various materials and colours to choose from when it comes to designing your driveway and first and foremost, allow yourself to be led by the style of your house. Natural stone paving is often the first choice for those looking to create a classic look, but you can also achieve a traditional look with ‘designer’ cobbles available in a wide range of colours and shapes. For paving, concrete block pavers are the most popular for driveways. Try moving away from the ‘norm’ and take the time to experiment with laying out patterns and colours to create something truly unique to you and your property. For a more minimalistic paving, you could look at porcelain driveway paving which is a great low maintenance choice while offering a modern design.

  1. Budget

Budget is a primary consideration and something that you have no doubt already calculated before the planning stages began. When choosing your products it is worth remembering the 20/80 rule of thumb cost guide which is – 20% of the cost of your project is made up of the products, 80% comes from the sub-base and installation. So, if you are concerned that the product you are looking at and liking is at the higher end of the pricing range which may throw your budget out, check with your installer, because it may well make less difference to the overall cost than you think.

  1. Planning permission

There is any amount of information to be found online referencing the driveway legislation in your region together with the rules when planning a new driveway. But a good piece of advice is for you and/or your installer to check with your local council for the correct advice as the rules often vary. As a rule, if you can keep your surface rain water run-off within your curtilage and not have it flowing into the existing drainage systems, you shouldn’t need planning permission. Or put more simply, it is not permitted to run your new drainage system into existing drainage without planning permission. A point to note is that on new build properties if you take an area that was free draining and turn into a hard stand area it is likely you will need permission.

  1. The importance of drainage

Drainage design is a critical factor in your initial driveway design. The surface area of your driveway together with the degree of fall will dictate the size and design of drainage you need. Your designer or licensed contractor should be able to provide you with the information you need once you’ve finalised the overall design. If the slope or incline is towards the house you need to make sure the drainage system is robust enough to take away the surface water and not allow it to flow into your garage or even worse, undermine the house footings or structure of the house.

This blog may have helped you focus on what you need to consider before starting a driveway project. The next step is to find a licensed and insured installer, and we would certainly appreciate the opportunity to offer our services and advice.

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