Essential Tips When Buying a new Driveway for the Home
When it comes to holes in your driveway, there’s only so much your poor car can take. Eventually your motor will need a smooth run up to your house, before you cause some serious damage!
Besides the obvious practicalities, there are more than a handful of great benefits to getting a new driveway. There also some things you should know before the work is started too. Here are some essential tips when you’re buying a new driveway for the home.
First Things First
Before the creation of your driveway begins, there are a few things that you need to deal with first. Before you even pick up your tools or the phone to a professional, make sure that you have permission for off street parking. If you don’t have permission, you won’t be able to park on your fantastic new driveway.
There are also rules and regulations about the standards of your driveway, so make sure that your plans are up to scratch. The last thing you want is to be told that you have to take it all up, and start all over again! Or even worse, stare longingly at your pristine new drive which you are not allowed to use!
Always do your homework; whether you’re doing it yourself or paying a professional, good research is everything. You’ll need to know what a company will do for you, and what, if any, of the aspects you will have to tackle yourself. Most companies will go the whole nine yards, but make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for, and get a number of different quotes.
Driveways are one of the practical jobs that most people have trouble estimating the cost of. Once you’ve spoken to one company, it’s very wise to look online for advice and rough prices for similar jobs. Many people post their deals and quotes in forums to stop their fellow home-improvers from being overcharged.
The next essential tip when buying a new driveway is to know the importance of good foundations. Not many people would think that a driveway needs foundations; having no ‘structures’ built upwards, but good foundations are vital nonetheless. If you’re doing the driveway yourself, then you’ll need to know about block thickness too. A 40mm thick block is the standard for driveways that most manufacturers recommend. Also, if your foundations are too soft, then block paving has a tendency to crack when your car or van drives over it.
If you’re going a little fancier, then you might want to use more fragile materials for your drive. If that is the case, a concrete base will be the best option. A good thickness of around 150mm is recommended for the best results, and provides the best foundation for your driveway. If you decide to go for a gravel driveway, remember to match the stone to your area, as it will need a top up of gravel every few years to make up for stones lost over time.
Our final essential tips are all about the aesthetic. Buying a new driveway is a very practical job, but if you haven’t thought about how it looks, you’ll still be unsatisfied. Your driveway is a big part of what people will see from the front of your house, so don’t forget some decoration and presentation.
The sides of your drive can create a wonderful shroud for your car; perhaps one side or even both can be clad with trees, shrubs and plants. Ornaments that match your house and garden will help to create a spectacular entrance to your property, not just a practical place to put your motor. A great tip is to decorate the centre of the drive with plants between the wheel tracks; recessed concrete blocks or special growing mats are available, so get creative!
Our last vital tip is to think about lighting. Lighting is especially important for presentation, but also for practical reasons too. When it gets dark, illuminated driveways are a great way to reduce your bumps and scrapes pulling into your property! Lighting also acts as a good deterrent; proximity or movement sensors can switch them on when something moves in the detection zone.
Remember that your driveway isn’t all about practical, as much as it isn’t all about aesthetic. It’s important to think about every aspect of the creation process, from the first phone call to the finishing touches. Our essential tips will help you get the best deal, and build the driveway that your property deserves.