When it comes to making the most of a property, too many people forget about their driveways. Driveways may serve a fairly standard purpose, but that is no reason to ignore their potential; as well as supporting your household vehicles, a driveway can also add to the aesthetics of a property. If you want your home to make a great first impression, front-facing features like the driveway should receive as much attention as anything else!

It is also worth keeping in mind just how valuable a driveway can be as a home feature. In cities like London, parking spaces can be invaluable assets. Adding a parking space to a property could add five figures to its asking price as a minimum in the right location. Some homeowners even rent out their driveways as a side-business, adding a sizable nest egg to their household incomes.

But what type of material is best for a driveway? What do you need to consider in terms of aesthetics, longevity and, perhaps most importantly, price?

Let’s take a look at the different options for creating a driveway.

Driveway ideas

When choosing a driveway, there are a few different factors to take into account:

  • Price – Take the time to consider the short and long-term costs of installing your chosen driveway. Remember, the low price of certain materials can hide expensive installation and maintenance costs, so do not take cheap quotes at face value!
  • Maintenance – While certain driveway materials will be cheaper than others, they may also require more frequent maintenance work. You may be able to do this yourself, but the effort required could quickly outweigh the initial savings
  • Appearance – Certain materials may be cheaper, but they will also look cheaper. Choosing the lowest-priced material possible for your driveway could even have a negative effect on the value of your property. You should also keep in mind that cheaper materials often require more long-term maintenance, so think carefully about each of your options instead of simply opting for the cheapest available

Choosing a driveway material

  • Block paving – Block paving driveways can come in a variety of colours, patterns and sizes. When installed properly, the surface will also be extremely hard-wearing and long-lasting. The disadvantage is that paving blocks can be more expensive to install, especially when it comes to creating elaborate patterns. A cheaply installed sub-base could also lead to a variety of issues in the long term
  • Gravel – Gravel might not be the most attractive option available, but it is cheap and easy to shape. The material is also simple to install, and comes in a variety of colours, sizes and grades that can allow it to suit virtually any aesthetic style. However, the long term maintenance costs put many people off
  • Concrete – Hard wearing, low maintenance and beautiful with the right design, concrete driveways are an enduringly popular choice. Concrete also comes in a surprising number of colours that can suit virtually any palette. The disadvantage is that concrete can be expensive to install, though the low maintenance costs can more than make up for this
  • Resin – A more contemporary option, resin driveways have become quite popular in recent years. Hard-wearing, easy-to-install and resistant to moss or weeds, resin can provide a durable yet aesthetically pleasing driveway material. Resin is also permeable, which will help you to prevent flooding if your driveway is in an awkward area
  • Asphalt – Often referred to as ‘Tarmac’ driveways, asphalt driveways are cheap, long-lasting, durable and beautiful to look at. Unfortunately, the material can be more expensive to install than alternatives like concrete. Asphalt is also fairly malleable, which can lead to dents or other imperfections in particularly hot weather