The driveway is an important aspect of any property as it is the first thing people see when they approach your home or business. Your driveway says as much as meeting someone for the first time – first impressions mean everything. A driveway will often say a lot about you as an individual and/or family and the pride and effort you take in your landscape and exterior of your property.
There are many driveway options available and choosing the most suitable driveway for your lifestyle and property can be a difficult decision. We have listed a number of driveway alternatives, and advantages and disadvantages to each to help you make an informed decision about your driveway surface solution.
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In recent years, gravel has become a popular material for driveway surface solutions. Gravel driveways create a simplistic look, although, whilst not always appearing defined, neat and tidy, this suits some people’s lifestyles.
Advantages of a gravel driveway
- Cost-Effective: Cost is often an important factor when it comes deciding what type of driveway to opt for. Gravel driveways are relatively cheap to install, however, the upkeep and maintenance of a gravel driveway are often where the costs begin to pile up compared to other low-maintenance alternatives.
- Diverse in style: Gravel comes in a variety of options including colour alternatives. Homeowners are able to tailor the type of gravel to their property to ensure it enhances the exterior of the property and landscape.
- Quick installation: Gravel driveways are one of the easiest and quickest materials to install. Once a gravel driveway is installed, it can be used immediately.
Disadvantages of a gravel driveway
- Maintenance: Gravel driveways often require Weeds and moss are still able to penetrate gravel and if left for a long period of time without maintenance, can get out of hand. If gravel driveways are installed correctly using landscape fabrics you can reduce the growth of weeds to a certain degree.
- Weather: The climate and weather conditions can often have a big impact on the quality of your gravel driveway. For example, during winter months, snow and ice are very difficult to remove from gravel driveways.
- Dirt: Gravel driveways often encourage dirt and debris to spread causing the exterior of your property and car to become dirty quite easily.
- Ruts and sinkholes: Due to general usage, overtime gravel driveways will be prone to developing ruts and sinkholes which can become unsightly and should be filled in quickly.
Block Paving Driveways
Block paving has become a popular choice amongst many homeowners because of the range of blocks available, the range of patterns that can be achieved and the attractive finish that can be accomplished by using block paving.
Advantages of block paving driveways
- Diverse style: As previously mentioned, there is a wide range of blocks available in different colours that can be used in block paving drives, homeowners are able to choose the most appropriate block to compliment the exterior of their property. Block paving can also be laid in a variety of different patterns so individuals looking for a unique type of driveway are able to achieve this with block paving.
- Hard wearing: Block paving is a hard wearing surface if installed correctly. If individual blocks lift or become damaged it is easy to repair and doesn’t require the entire driveway to be re-laid.
- Aesthetically Pleasing: As block paving is available in a range of styles and patterns the finished look is often aesthetically pleasing and enhances the entire exterior of a property.
Disadvantages of block paving driveways
- Cost: One of the biggest disadvantages of block paving is the cost. Block paving is often more expensive for install compared to tarmac or gravel driveways. Installing block paving takes time and care. The substrate needs to be very level in preparation to lay the block, and its very time consuming to lay each individual block to achieve the desired pattern and finish.
- Subbase: The substrate or subbase needs to be of good quality and level for a block paved driveway to be installed without short term and long term issues. It is important to use an experienced and professional company if you want to achieve a quality finish.
Resin driveways have become a popular choice in domestic and commercial environments because of their aesthetically pleasing finish and hard-wearing nature.
Advantages of resin driveways
- Aesthetically pleasing: Resin is often used in decorative spaces such as driveways because of the contemporary and professional finish they create if installed correctly. Resin driveways can instantly create curb appeal and enhance the entire exterior of your property and its landscape.
- Drainage: If your resin driveway has been installed correctly, onto a porous surface, you should experience no drainage issues. Resin bound is a permeable driveway solution that allows water to drain through. Resin bonded on the other hand is impermeable and will require drainage.
- Diverse colour options: There are an array of colour options available with resin driveways so on most occasions there is an appropriate colour choice that will complement the landscape and exterior of your property.
- Cost: Resin driveways are usually inexpensive compared to other driveway surface solutions. However, this is only the case if the substrate is in good condition and does not require any remedial work. You can read about the cost of resin driveways here.
- Quick installation: Resin driveways are relatively quick to install and can usually be completed within a couple of day’s dependant on the size of the area.
- Maintenance: Moss and weed should not be a problem with resin driveways providing the surface are kept clean. Therefore, all that should be required is a jet wash or a hose clean and swept to ensure the surface remains looking great.
Disadvantages of resin driveways
- Reputable company: Because there are no regulations for resin contractors and they are easier to install you will often come across companies with little or no experience in installing resin bound/bonded driveways. It is important to research the company or installer before committing to anything.
If you’re interested in installing a resin driveway at your property, read our guide explaining the costs involved with a resin driveway or visit or resin driveway page for more information.
Concrete is a popular material when it comes to installing driveways because it is extremely hard wearing and low maintenance. It is also a popular choice with the recent rise in industrial interiors, which is then complemented by an industrial exterior such as a concrete driveway.
Advantages of concrete driveways
- Maintenance: Concrete driveways require little maintenance.
- Temperature control: Concrete driveways are very good at controlling the temperature so there is no need to worry about the driveway getting too hot during summer months.
- Aesthetically Pleasing: There are an array of colour options available for concrete driveways so you can choose the most suitable colour to enhance the exterior of your property. Although concrete driveways create a simple look, it is one that is professional and sleek.
- Diverse colour options: Concrete driveways can be stained in a variety of colours which a popular choice for homeowners if they’re struggling to find the colour they want with other alternatives.
Disadvantages of concrete driveways
- Cracking: Overtime your concrete driveway may experience cracking which can begin to look unsightly. Unfortunately, to rectify the issue the entire driveway will need removing and reinstalling.
- Cost: Concrete driveways are often more expensive than other driveway alternatives, especially if there is a large area which needs covering. The only benefit is that maintenance costs will be low once installed.
- Surface stains: If oil comes into contact with concrete driveways it will often stain and contrast against the light colour of concrete. It can be time-consuming and expensive to remove oil or surface stains.
Asphalt driveways are probably more frequently recognised as Tarmac driveways, however, this is actually a trademark name of the Tarmac Company. Asphalt is another popular choice when it comes to installing a new driveway.
Advantages of an asphalt driveway
- Cost: Asphalt driveways are cheaper to install than concrete driveways. Therefore those looking for the properties of a concrete driveway but at a cheaper cost, use asphalt as an alternative.
- Longevity: The longevity of an asphalt driveway is a lot higher than most other driveway options. Homeowners can expect their asphalt driveway to last at least 20 years.
- Durability: Asphalt driveways are hard wearing and durable. The seal that is applied on top of your asphalt driveway encourages greater longevity. It is also a malleable material which prevents cracking occurring during the winter months.
- Aesthetically pleasing: Asphalt driveways create a sleek and professional finish which can instantly enhance the curb appeal of your property.
Disadvantages of an asphalt driveway
- Maintenance: Maintenance of asphalt driveways are relatively low, but require more upkeep than a concrete driveway. Luckily, repairs are often minor and affordable. It is the cost of maintaining the sealer which becomes costly.
- Cost: Initially installing an asphalt driveway is more expensive than another driveway alternative, despite being cheaper than concrete.
- Weather damage: A downfall of asphalt is its malleability and flexibility during the summer months when the weather is hot. For example, this can cause tyre marks to appear on the asphalt and potentially dents in the surface.
Get in touch with us on for information on 01622 747909 for more resin driveway options!