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How to Plan a Driveway

November 6, 2023Agim Arra |

Planning a driveway is crucial because it helps you choose an option that best suits your property. With the different materials and designs available, you can easily get something that will serve you for a long duration and that's within your budget. There are several things you need to bear in mind ranging from the sloping or your driveway, the length, and getting a qualified driveway contractor among other things. Here's how to efficiently plan your driveway.

wet concrete driveway patterned

Consider the functionality and aesthetics

Driveways are known to improve the kerb appeal of property and the value, should you decide to sell in future. It's advisable to consider a practical design to avoid wasting resources or any unnecessary expenses. You should consider a driveway design that complements the overall style and aesthetic of your home. Another crucial consideration is the number of cars you want on the driveway. This will also help you decide how wide you want your driveway to be. It should also give you a chance to decide how much garden space you want to be left with after the driveway installation.

Determine the type of driveway material

There are various types of driveway materials that you can opt for your road surface; Ranging from gravel, block, and concrete, to resin, among others. They vary in price so you also need to consider your budget; For example, is you're looking for the cheapest driveway materials to work with, you could go with gravel or tarmac. You should also decide whether you want permeable paving or impermeable material for your driveway. Remember, whether or not the material used is porous will determine the need for planning permission and the type of drainage that will be required.

Find a reliable driveway installer

concrete driveway with flowers

You should find a qualified and reliable driveway contractor for your project. An experienced and skilled expert will help you make an informed decision on what to do with your driveway. Various landscapers can work on driveways, but you should ensure that they are skilled in undertaking the task because it will cost you more in the long run when you have to do repairs. Some driveway installers are skilled in installing specific materials so you should first establish their area of specialisation to know if it will suit your project to avoid any disappointment. You can consider referrals from friends and make sure that you check their certifications and reviews from previous clients.

Ground preparation plans

Ground preparation is a crucial part of the process because it will impact the longevity and quality of the driveway. Depending on the type of driveway you want, you might decide to do the preparation as DIY to cut costs. The type of driveway you want to install will determine how much work needs to be done during preparation. You also need to ensure that there are no shrubs or trees around sending roots to your driveway that will compromise the base. Getting a professional driveway company will ensure that everything is done accordingly and that no utility cables or pipes will be damaged in the process.  You should communicate with your driveway installer so that they can advise you accordingly on the right flowers or trees to plant next to your driveway.

Establish whether you'll need any drainage

block paved driveway

Ensuring your driveway has proper drainage is crucial because it will prevent any pooling or flooding in your property and the streets. The type of driveway material you choose will determine whether drainage will be necessary. With porous material, water can drain naturally into the ground but if the material is impermeable, an efficient drainage system is crucial. It's advisable to ensure that the surface is SuDS-compliant (Sustainable urban Drainage System), meaning water can drain into the natural ground or an installed soakaway. The sloping of the driveway is also a crucial consideration when it comes to drainage. An ideal driveway shouldn't be too steep or too flat.

Determine the need for a dropped kerb

Having a dropped kerb allows you easy access to your driveway. It is also a necessity if your driveway passes across an existing footpath. If your driveway needs a dropped kerb, it means you'll have to go through the process of applying for planning permission. Your driveway specialist should advise you accordingly and also let you know whether the planning permission costs are included in the quote they give you so that you can plan well.

Consider the need for planning permission

stone driveway

There are several things that will dictate whether you'll need any planning permission. If you're using impermeable material, having a drainage system will be necessary thus warranting the need for planning permission. Another circumstance is if the driveway needs a dropped kerb. In this case, planning permission is essential because it protects any utility cables or plumbing that might exist underneath. Your driveway contractor should be able to determine whether permission will be necessary at any point of the project to avoid any trouble with the local authorities.

Establish the need for driveway accessories

Your driveway is the face of your property, meaning it creates a lasting impression because it's among the first things guests see when they set foot on your property. You can install LED lights in your driveway or have them added to the kerb. You can also make the driveway borders more interesting by having some colour variation, stamped concrete or some intricate patterns.

Ensure that you get a comprehensive quote

driveway on sloping

It's advisable to get a comprehensive quote so that you can budget accordingly. Always ask your driveway company to break down the cost so that you can know what is being covered. You can get quotes from different companies so that you can get a fair offer. You should also establish whether the quote is VAT-inclusive.

With the above checklist, it's easy to effectively plan for your driveway without exceeding your budget. Working with a qualified driveway builder will ensure that you get a quality outcome because they have the necessary skills and expertise. That said, you should do proper research when looking for a reliable driveway installer.

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