What is the best driveway surface?

Choosing the best driveway surface for your home used to be something of an afterthought, but times have changed and things have gotten serious. Nowadays you are required to put an awful lot of thought into this process and a well-planned driveway can actually add some decent ROI when you decide to sell the place and move on. We’ll discuss the most popular choices today and their individual merits. Whether you are considering a new driveway or merely rueing your recent choice of surface, hopefully this article will be of some interest to you.

Why Does It Matter?

Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t, but you have to agree that the visual properties of an immaculate driveway certainly add a lot to the overall picture. The details should be correct on a functional as well as a physical aspect. If the home you are trying to sell has everything just right, but somehow the driveway is not right, most potential buyers will walk away. The problem with choosing the best surface is that you need to really think about how it will fit your individual home but also how it can help you to market your home in the future.

Gravel

There can be little doubt that gravel has a lot of charm but it is also pretty messy and not really easy to maintain. A gravel driveway will need replenishing at least once every 3 years, and gravel ain’t that cheap. This type of medium will suit a larger home will a decent length driveway. The favoured medium is either crushed granite chippings or crushed limestone. It is a good idea to checkout similar properties in your area and decide which one you can live with for the next 3 years. Just ensure that you choose a reputable firm and avoid those fly by night opportunists who pop up unannounced…as if by magic.

Resin Bonded Gravel

One of the biggest problems with having a gravel based driveway is the maintenance required to keep it looking spic and span. And if you have an incline to deal with, you may as well forget it. But resin-bonded gravel could be a rather nice compromise. It is more expensive than plain gravel but far more attractive and versatile. Essentially, resin-bonded gravel is a combination of tarmac base with fine gravel bonded to the surface. It gives you the look and feel of gravel but without the annoyance of an untidy feature. Resin-bonded gravel is also weather proof and you don’t get that annoying dust that gets kicked up when the 4×4 brigade rock up to your front door.

Cobblestone

Mock Tudor house with driveAnother fairly popular option for a driveway surface material is cobblestone, and it’s the most durable and also creates a rather cool ‘old world’ look for your home. Also known as Belgian block paving, this style will not be cheap but the granite based material will be there probably longer than the occupants. A cheaper way to approach this option is to have a cobblestone apron or border or perhaps get some concrete paving that looks close to the real thing.

Tarmac

Tarmac is one of the less expensive options but it certainly does the job and looks the part. If your driveway sees more than its fair share of 4 wheel action, this will certainly be the sensible choice. The finished article is usually a very smooth surface and this actually becomes more so with increased traffic.

The Choice is Yours

At the end of the day, it is down to you and you’ll have all of the credit if you choose wisely, but heaven forbid that you pick the wrong surface. Spend a little time and eventually the best choice will become obvious, remember the budget and the amount of time you plan on living in this house.