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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Driveway?

There are three key elements that you need for a good driveway, it should have excellent drainage, a solid sub base and an aesthetically pleasing long lasting surface.

Introduction

When you’re looking around your property and considering improvements it is easy to forget your driveway. It certainly isn’t the most glamorous part of your estate but it is definitely one of the hardest working and one of the first things that people see when they arrive at your property.

Content

If you are considering either replacing an existing driveway or building a new one then this article will provide you with an idea of the costs you should expect to incur for a professional driveway installation as well as examine the different options that are available to you.

Armed with this information you will be able to make the correct, well informed choice and have a driveway that will not only last a lifetime but will set off your house perfectly. You will no longer wonder how much does it cost to install a driveway.

As you will see there are many options available and assuming that the cost is within budget the choice is yours.

When considering how much does it cost to install a driveway you will need to consider numerous factors that all contribute to either reducing, or increasing costs. There are many hidden costs such as waste disposal which can add a significant amount to your project and is often forgotten when you are creating a first draft costing. Every possible combination has its benefits and downsides and we will cover some these in more detail.

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Driveway?

So, you have decided that you are going to build, or replace your driveway. Which materials are available and what are the associated costs with each one. We will examine the most popular ones and examine the pros and cons of each further on but before we do we will try and establish how much does it cost to install a driveway using each of these materials.

Total costs are dependent on the material selected, which driveway fitters you choose and the amount of groundworks required to complete your driveway as well as other factors explored below. Gravel tends to be the cheapest, with concrete and resin coming out the most expensive.

Additional factors that will affect the total costs as below:

  • Will you be using a contractor or are you doing it yourself?
  • How many days labour are required?
  • The total area that the driveway will cover
  • The present condition of the site for your new driveway, does it need clearing or levelling
  • Is any specialist equipment required?
  • How much waste will the work generate

There is currently a huge variation in the cost of skip hire and this varies considerably depending on your location so once you have calculated how much waste you have it is worth ringing around several local companies for the most competitive quote. There are also some online companies that provide a national service.

Having considered and researched the above you will be more aware of how

Gravel Driveways

Cost of a Gravel Driveway

The average cost of a 50 M2 gravel driveway is between £1,100 and £1,500, this is for a simple overlay but if digging is also required then you can expect this to rise to between £2500 and £3,000.

If you are also adding a sub-base (the foundation for a durable driveway)  then you will incur additional costs dependent on the material used, this ranges from £150 per cubic metre for crushed concrete or MOT 1 to £450 per cubic metre for ready-mix concrete.

You will also need to consider the cost for disposal of any excavated waste.

So you have probably realised that although there are guidelines the question of how much does it cost to install a driveway can have many answers but the above range is typical of the average installation for this type of driveway.

Why consider a Gravel Driveway?

A gravel driveway, also referred to as chipping, is one of the cheapest types available and can be the most attractive option. A gravel driveway is often associated with larger rural properties.   Gravel is available in many sizes with the most common being 10mm and 20 mm width. Prices do vary and generally the more you pay, the more consistent the stones are in colour, shape and size. These driveways are usually created by unloading a large amount of gravel and levelling it.

Pros of gravel driveways

  • The noise that is produced when gravel is walked on or driven over offers excellent security
  • Gravel is available in a wide range of colours to suit different properties
  • Relatively cheap as installation time is very quick
  • Gravel is aesthetically very pleasing and is usually associated with high-value homes
  • Easy installation, will not crack or sink

Cons of gravel driveways

  • Gravel can only be used on a flat surface, no slopes for obvious reasons
  • Maintenance is required to manage the stones
  • Unsuitable for children’s bikes and cars
  • Especially difficult to roll wheelie bins across
  • Can be problematic in snowy weather

Asphalt / Tarmac Driveways

Cost of an Asphalt / Tarmac Driveway

The average cost of a 50 M2 asphalt driveway is between £2,000 and £4,000, dependent on location and where excavation is required. If you are quoted prices below the average rate of £45 to £80 per square metre then this is highly likely to be an inferior product which may not last more than a few months before failing.

The price of a Tarmac driveway drops in cost per m² for larger driveways and also the conditions in which the work is carried out. For instance, if installation happens during heavy rain, this can cool down the tarmac prematurely and may not offer the best results.

If you are also adding a sub-base (the foundation for a durable driveway) then you will incur additional costs dependent on the material used, this ranges from £150 per cubic metre dependent on material used.

You will also need to consider the cost for disposal of any excavated waste.

So you have probably realised that although there are guidelines the question of how much does it cost to install a driveway can have many answers but the above range is typical of the average installation for this type of driveway.

Why consider a Tarmac driveway?

Tarmac is actually a tradename that derived from John Loudon McAdam in the 1920s. Tarmac is a combination of crushed stones that are fused with tar.

When compared to alternative driveway materials, Tarmac is more than often cheaper than its counterparts. It does require specialist equipment to complete the job, but for a simple installation, only a couple of days would be required to finish a smaller driveway.

One of the benefits of Tarmac is that it can adhere to many surfaces. It is initially laid as a liquid and is then compacted into shape with a roller. The drying process is very quick, and you can walk on the driveway after 24 hours, but it is usually recommended to leave it for 7 days until you start parking your car on top of the surface.

As a weather-resistant material, Tarmac repels water very well, this product is impermeable and is one of the better options for colder conditions. The only issue this may raise is with regards to drainage, so you will need to ensure that any water doesn’t pass onto public spaces, if this is the case then you may require planning permission or additional drainage and soakaways.

Pros of Tarmac driveways

  • A Tarmac driveway is much cleaner than gravel
  • Tarmac can be much cheaper than concrete
  • Easy to repair
  • Adapts well to different temperatures
  • Fast drying

Cons of Tarmac driveways

  • Tarmac driveways are only available in black
  • Can be less durable than other materials
  • Requires resealing every 4 or 5 years and may need resurfacing

Brick/Paved/Block driveway

Cost of a Brick/Paved Driveway

The average cost of a 50 M2 brick paved driveway can range from £3,000 to £5,500, if this is a very basic brick driveway with no base it will cost around £45 per M2. Adding additional courses ( bases ) will add another £7 or £8 per square metre and costs can soon be exceed £100 per square metre if excavation and sub bases are required.

You will also need to consider the cost for disposal of any excavated waste.

Why Consider a Brick / Paved Driveway?

Also referred to as block paving this has a very high appeal aesthetically as there are a limitless amount of designs available. Additionally, once installed individual blocks can be replaced if damaged. To ensure the best results and longevity a correct construction and application is essential.

Pros of a Brick driveway

  • Available in a wide variety of textures and colours
  • Brick paving is very long lasting
  • Aesthetically pleasing

Cons of a Brick driveway

  • These driveways need to be sealed and washed, adding to installation costs
  • This is more expensive option compared to other options
  • Can be prone to weeds, moss and lichen

Concrete Driveways

Cost of a Concrete Driveway

The average cost of a 50 M2 concrete driveway can range from £1,750 to £2,500. You can expect to pay between £35 and £50 per square meter which includes the excavation costs.

Again there are numerous other factors that need to be considered such as accessibility, land clearing and equipment needs. Additionally, you will need to allow for the costs of finishing which varies according to the method used, from £2 per square metre for a trowelled finish to £7 per square metre for a power float finish.

Because concrete is not a permeable material, you will have to apply for planning permission from your local authority. Anything non-permeable and over 50m2 will need permission, anything less than this will not. If you are not sure, then always check with your local authority.

So by now it is a safe bet that you have probably perceived that although there are guidelines the question of how much does it cost to install a driveway can have many answers but the above range is typical of the average installation for this type of driveway.

You will also need to consider the cost for disposal of any excavated waste.

Why Consider a Concrete Driveway?

If your driveway is showing signs of wear and tear, then you may want to consider having a concrete drive installed – or more specifically an imprinted concrete drive. Imprinted concrete driveways are one of the most popular outdoor home improvements homeowners are currently undertaking, as they are durable, low maintenance and affordable. The individual style of the imprint will also add a stylish and personal touch to your driveway, as there are hundreds of patterns to choose from as well as a number of colours available. Having an imprinted driveway can add a bit of personality to your home, whilst also relieving you of any maintenance headaches that may come with other driveways such as tarmac for example.
 

Pros of a Concrete driveway

  • Far more affordable than alternative options
  • Low maintenance and durable
  • Many different colours available

Cons of a Concrete driveway

  • Unsuitable for self installation
  • Very unforgiving, once done it is done for good!
  • Concrete driveways may crack under changing weather conditions
  • More care required if working around utility services, gas and water pipes etc.

Resin Driveways

Cost of a Resin Driveway

The average cost of a 50 M2 resin driveway can range from £2,000 to £3,500. You can expect to pay more dependent on the size of the stones to be embedded in the resin as less depth will be required to cover these stones. This is the reason why resin gravel driveway costs can vary so much. This is because the larger aggregate stones require, on average, three times their size in-depth to be dug out before they are installed.

If you wish to have your resin UV protected then this will also increase the costs.

Obviously the question of how much does it cost to install a driveway can have many answers but the above range is typical of the average installation for a resin of driveway although regional and other factors will make differences.

You will also need to consider the cost for disposal of any excavated waste.

Why Consider a Resin Driveway?

A resin driveway is similar to gravel but is far less likely to move, and due to its permeable qualities it is an efficient solution for sloping driveways. A resin driveway offers the aesthetically pleasing look of gravel but without the dust and the movement.

If you already have a concrete driveway then it may be possible to lay the new resin straight on top. However, if not, or if there are significant cracks in the current driveway, then the old driveway will have to be removed first and the base prepared. As you can imagine this is time consuming, and will add significant cost to the job.

Resin driveways need to have a completely flat and stable base before they are laid so it is important that they are not laid on to any surface which is cracked, crumbling or could move. This means that a previously gravelled driveway would need all of the gravel removing prior to the resin being laid as well, which would be another increase to your cost.

Choosing a more expensive stone may have a higher initial outlay, but there are many benefits to this in the long run. Opting for larger stones enables more efficient water drainage to occur naturally, stopping water from pooling, subsequently reducing the occurrence of puddles. Opting for a lighter colour stone will require the use of a special resin which has UV protection within it, but this will stop your newly resin laid driveway from changing colours in locations that re exposed to sunlight and will also help to prevent cracking due to excessive heat.

Pros of a Resin driveway

  • A wide variety of finishes available dependent on stones selected
  • Very durable, long lasting solution
  • Porous surface and suitable for sloped surfaces

Cons of a Resin driveway

  • This can be more expensive than other alternatives
  • Maintenance is regularly required to deter moss and lichen growth

Conclusion

If you have got this far then you should no longer be wondering ‘how much does it cost to install a driveway’. Although the variables are numerous, and each installation is totally individual you should have an idea of how much the various types of installation will cost. You should now be able to request estimates and quotes from local driveway installers and be confident that you should know what kind of figures to expect.

Bear in mind however that the above figures are for illustration purposes only and there is no magic number that fits every type of installation but you will feel more confident when asking how much does it cost to install a driveway. For example, labour costs in London and the South East are significantly higher than the rest of the country and this can soon mount up and make a significant difference to the total cost of your installation.

It must also be mentioned that not all driveway installers are the same and some have received a bad press for various reasons. This is why you should approach several contractors / installation companies and assess them individually. Take the time to look at various reviews and ask to see their portfolio of previous installations.

As a final check, if they are local then ask for some addresses of previous installations so you can have a quick drive past inspection, this will ensure that the pictures that they have shown you are genuine. This may seem a little extreme however it is ultimately for your own benefit and any respectable installer should be willing to share this information.

However, if you can find the right installer, and the right materials for your property then you will have a driveway to be proud of, and have increased both the kerb appeal, and the value of your property.

Summary
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Driveway?
Article Name
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Driveway?
Description
When you’re looking around your property and considering improvements it is easy to forget your driveway. It certainly isn’t the most glamorous part of your estate but it is definitely one of the hardest working and one of the first things that people see when they arrive at your property.
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Valingo Landscapes
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