When it comes to creating instant “kerb appeal” a good-looking driveway should be high on the list of priorities to make your house stand out from the crowd – regardless of whether you are thinking of selling or staying put!
The smartest properties and the most glorious gardens can never achieve their full style potential if they are let down by a dreary, unkempt driveway. In addition to the obvious aesthetic benefits of investing in a stunning driveway, there are a number of practical factors to consider. A resin driveways can dispense with the seasonal appearance of unsightly puddles, whilst also providing a clear and uncluttered route from the road to the house – particularly important for when you are regularly unloading a car laden with shopping bags! If you have children, you will also appreciate the additional joy of teaching your child to ride their bike within the safe confines of your own property, rather than risking life and limb on the open road!
Once you’ve decided to invest in a new driveway, you’ll need to give some thought to the following:
Colour – make sure you select a driveway medium which is available in a colour to either complement or contrast with your home and its surroundings
Material – the ultimate driveway material is block paving but be aware that garden paving products are generally not suitable for creating a professional driveway. Alternatives to block paving include gravel (which is great as a burglar deterrent but liable to movement and can be travelled into the house), concrete and tarmac (although you will be limited in terms of choice of colour). There are also a range of resin bound paving solutions which use natural gravel, crushed stone, imported marble and recycled materials, these are available in a wide range of colours and finishes
Drainage – get it right and you can kiss goodbye to pools of water sitting on the driveway. Find a professional driveway installer to ensure your finished driveway drains with ease
Legislation – Remember that following the introduction of legislation which came into effect in October 2008, unless you are working with a permeable driveway paving product you may require planning permission to pave over a front garden.
Lighting – an immaculate driveway will benefit from strategically placed lighting to illuminate a safe route to the door. Low-energy LED lighting can be simple to install, weatherproof and requires minimal maintenance.
If you want your driveway to deliver a dramatic style statement consider laying pavers to incorporate a striking circular or octant pattern. Alternatively for added impact, you can include bands of contrasting pavers to produce either an attractive edging or a distinctive stand alone feature in its own right.
Driveways with a conscience
In built up environments, as much as 95% of rainfall makes it way directly into drains and straight to the watercourse – which puts immense pressure on the country’s drainage systems. The summer of 2007 devastating floods demonstrated the potential catastrophic consequences of placing our drainage systems under too much duress and The Environment Agency has estimated that up to two thirds of the floods in 2007 were caused by the surge in surface water overwhelming the country’s drainage systems.
The growing problem associated with excess surface water running off into our drainage systems has given rise to the new planning legislation which now requires householders looking to pave over their front garden – which could include creating a driveway – will require permission unless permeable materials are used.
If you want to be future perfect and environmentally responsible, there are already several new permeable products on the market which seek to help address the above issue. The systems are designed to enable surface water to drain away at source directly into the ground rather than into the hard pressed sewer systems during times of heavy rainfall.