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Choosing The Perfect Driveway

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  • Driveways in Kent
  • Posted date:
  • 04-05-2022
Choosing The Perfect Driveway

Read this guide to Choosing the perfect Driveway. We look at the best driveway materials and ideas for choosing the perfect driveway for your home or business.

The materials that you use to make your driveway must be practical, durable, and, if you want, attractive. You will likely be looking at it and using it every day, so durability is as important as the look.

This can be a hard combination to make work, but never fear because we are here to help. This article is all about what materials to use for your driveway to look its best.

Choosing The Right Driveway

What you use your driveway for dictates what material would best suit you. For example, you might want a driveway specifically for parking, to work on your car, or for children to play on. If you want a driveway to park your car safely, you don't have to limit yourself to selecting fewer materials.

But for a driveway to let children play on and use to work on cars, you will need to make your driveway out of hardy and solid materials. You may also decide to factor in materials that are easy to clean. By using such materials as concrete and asphalt, your driveway will require less maintenance. 

Best Driveway Material

The following list covers the advantages and disadvantages of the available driveway materials. 


Permeable, block paved driveways are easy to maintain and straightforward to repair. If one paver breaks, that block is replaced instead of breaking up the whole driveway.

Block paving has a neat finish and comes in a range of colours and styles to complement the exterior of any property. You could, for example, design your driveway to be made up of rotated blocks that allow water to naturally drain between them.


The main con of having permeable block paver driveways is that installing each block individually takes up a lot of time, and other materials can be installed quicker.

Additionally, due to the weight of block paving, you will need to hire a professional company to do it for you, adding to the cost. Excluding installation, it can cost around £30 per square metre.


Concrete driveways are durable and make them suitable for heavier vehicles. It also prevents surface damage if oils or other fluids spill onto it. Concrete will, of course, stain from oil, but the driveway will not be damaged.

Concrete is a low-maintenance, and hard-wearing option for driveways as the material can last up to 20 years. There is an array of colours to choose from which can be easily changed in the future if you so wish.


Water runoff is not an issue if it has been properly installed. On the other hand, if it is not designed or installed correctly, it can lead to earlier signs of cracks and water damage.

As mentioned previously, concrete is prone to discolouration and will stain if in contact with oils, making it less ideal for those who want a driveway to work on your car.


Permeable tarmac driveways are more cost-effective than other options and are a durable solution for your driveway. You can make your tarmac driveway low maintenance by using a high-quality sealant finish.

A well designed, installed and maintained tarmac driveway can provide a life of around 20 years.The costs are relatively cheap compared to other materials, with materials costing approximately £20 per square metre excluding installation.


If you use the sealant, then the permeability of the tarmac is reduced. Unfortunately, there is less flexibility to transform a tarmac driveway into an eye-catching statement, as there are limited colour options.


Porcelain paving makes for a sturdy and solid driveway that is scratch-resistant. As we will subsequently explain, porcelain is not a recommended standard material to use for driveways.


Heavier cars will eventually wear down porcelain over time, exceeding the surface's strength and causing cracks. Porcelain as a material is quite costly when compared to other materials, selling at around £70 per square metre.


A driveway made from resin material allows for a lot of choices. You can decide upon many colours, whether you want permeable or impermeable solutions, and what drainage requirements you want.

They can be low-maintenance and quick to install, but an occasional jet wash will maintain their upkeep.


Resin-bound driveways are quite expensive. If you still want a resin driveway, expect to see prices between £50 and £75 per square metre, including installation costs.


Stone Pavers are known for their natural aesthetic and durability. Stone pavers are frost-resistant in the winter and will retain their appearance over time.

Paving slabs for your driveway is a great way to get a bespoke look without breaking the bank. The natural colour of stones blends into your home and suit hedge borders around it.


Despite their durability, stone pavers will need re-sealing and maintenance every few years to protect them from oil stains and long-term weathering.

Stone paver driveways will need an effective drainage solution to maintain their durability.

Additionally, this material is prohibitively expensive, with certain varieties of stone costing between £70 to £100 per square metre.


Gravel material makes for the most wallet-friendly driveway and the quickest to layout of all the available options in this guide. You can choose from an expansive guide of blends and colours. Gravel suppliers usually remove the fine dust particles before installation to bind the clean pebbles and chips and, therefore, the sturdiness of the gravel.

Further points to mention are that gravel is a great material to cover large areas, last a long time, and requires little maintenance. You may want to move the gravel around every so often so that an even cover remains. Gravel driveways look great, but they aren't for the bare feet trips to the bins!

Additionally, compared to other materials with many advantages, the price does not reflect how great gravel driveways can be. They can cost as little as £4 per square metre.


Gravel driveways are more labour intensive than they seem because they involve laying three to four layers of stones. Edges are necessary to stop gravel stones from entering your lawn and garden.

If you do not have a good hardcore foundation before laying the gravel, the success of the drive is threatened.


Grass paving driveways can carry a lot of weight from people and vehicles alike. They are a relatively cheap option, costing between £8 and £12 per square metre for material supply, while installation costs can easily drive this up.


However great looking a grass-paved driveway can look, it has many drawbacks. There are risks of weeds that damage the aesthetic of a good-looking driveway. It requires watering, feeding, and mowing to maintain it and will require a flat foundation to prevent mud subsidence.

There are also asphalt driveways. Asphalt may not sound too pleasing to the ear, but it can be to the eye once you see how sophisticated it looks. A mixture of stones can be scattered before being compacted down, which can break up the pure onyx look of the asphalt and add character to your driveway.

Should your driveway have a foundation?

Creating the best driveway requires preparation. You will need a hardcore between 100 to 150mm placed on top of the substantial membrane. This discourages any vegetation from growing in your driveway and separates the hardcore and soil.

To surmise, a well-compacted hardcore gives your driveway a solid base that will better support whatever surface layer you decide to use.

Planning Permission

If you want to pave more than five square metres of your front garden, you must obtain appropriate planning permission due to the introduction of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) to tackle flooding.

It is SuDS compliant if the paving is not made from a permeable material.

Planning permission is not required for homeowners wanting to create a driveway made from permeable material, semi-permeable material, or that has a solution in place that directs water to naturally drain elsewhere.

Permeable materials include some in the above list, such as resin-bound, gravel, and stone pavers.

You will also require planning permission if the home you want to build a driveway on is located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation area, or National Park.

Guide to Choosing the perfect Driveway

What Building Codes and Regulations Should I Follow?

Think about how much space you will take up when building a new driveway or replacing an existing one. Ensure that you consider any minimum clearance heights, obstructions, and kerb dropping rules by checking with your local council beforehand. 

If you want to have your kerb dropped for easier access to your driveway, you must apply for planning permission first.

In 2008, the UK government introduced changes in the General Permitted Development Order, whereby the hard surfacing of over 5 square metres on domestic front gardens was permitted development if the surface in question is of a permeable material. 

Other permitted methods of permitted development include soakaways and rain gardens. 

Are you looking for landscapers in Maidstone and Kent? We recommend visiting the following pages on our landscaping services website: