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Comprehensive Guide to Driveway Options.

Updated: Apr 11, 2020

Choosing the Right Type of Driveway for Your Home.

Everyone is aware of how important the first impression is. The driveway in front of your home is one of the key first impressions your visitors see, so it is vital to make sure you choose the right type of driveway for your budget and your property. There are a few different types of driveways that you can choose from. When deciding on your new driveway, you want to take a few factors into consideration:

  • the costs

  • the material

  • the method (overlay or full dig out).

In this comprehensive Guide to Driveway Options, we’ll take a look at several factors that can help you choose the best driveway for your home.

Cost and your budget

The cost of a new driveway depends on the type of material used, the size of the area and drainage requirements. Your budget can be either a choice limiting or opening up factor. It may be tempting to opt for the cheapest driveway surface, but it is important to consider several driveway ideas before deciding which is best for you.


The material you choose for your driveway really depends on the intended use and budget. If your driveway will be only used for parking vehicles on, then you are not limited to just a few different types of material. If your driveway is likely to be used as a place for your children to play or yourself to work on your car, then you will need to consider something that is more durable, solid and easy to clean (i.e. concrete).

The most popular materials used for driveways in the UK are:

  • Gravel and stones

  • Block paving

  • Tarmac

  • Concrete

Gravel & Stones

Gravel & Stones driveways are one of the cheapest, quickest to install and most popular options. There are many colours of gravel to choose from and the additional drainage is not required.

Gravel driveways are perfect for traditional properties but are very difficult to keep clean, and unfortunately difficult to keep in place, as gravel shifts and relocates easily.

Block Paving

This option feels much more comfortable underfoot than gravel and stones. Block paving is aesthetically pleasing, clean, durable, significantly easy to clean & maintain, and long-lasting choice for a driveway. Paved driveways can be made of bricks, concrete, and other materials, each coming with their own pros and cons. The blocks or pavers are hard-wearing, available in a variety of different colours, styles, and shapes to suit any style of home. The small shapes can be built to accommodate slopes or make the uneven ground even.

Pavers tend to be less slippery than concrete, offering better control over your car if your driveway is sloped or prone to rain. Paved driveways need very little time to settle in place. If anything causes damage leading to crack, repair cost for block paving is not high. Individual blocks can be removed and replaced as required.

It is important to remember that paved driveways require additional drainage considerations.


Tarmac consists of hot tar on a gravel base, with loose stone chips added to the tar and solidified in place. This flat, even, flexible surface, is cost-effective, versatile, durable, comes in a range of colours and textures. It is a good choice if you already have a driveway, as it can be laid directly over the top of any existing hard surface or compacted sub-base (subject to the condition of the existing driveway). Tarmac can support heavy loads, is low-maintenance (loose stones need to be replaced from time to time), and resists high and low temperatures with ease.

Tarmac driveways are relatively cheap and easy to install as they do not require any sealant or extra work.


A traditional choice for many driveways, popular in urban and suburban settings. This is the most cost-effective, relatively quick and easy to install driveway material available on the market. It can be stamped with patterns and colours to create a unique surface. Requires simple maintenance (power wash, a sweep, and occasionally some chemical stain remover for rubber and tyre marks) and it is long-lasting.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to repair cracks, and the surface may show early signs of wear and tear. To prevent cracking relief joints, which can’t always be hidden, need to be cut into the concrete.

Overlay or a full dig out?

If the existing driveway surface is in excellent condition, an overlay may seem like the best option. This method is much cheaper than a full dig out, takes less time to complete the job, and leads to producing very little waste. If the existing driveway has some imperfections (i.e. cracks, dips) those often transfer through to some driveway surfaces (i.e. tarmac) and a full dig out is highly recommended.

It is vital to discuss turning your driveway ideas into reality with the installation team as there are some factors that go into choosing the right method of installing your new driveway.


It is important to make sure that the driveway you choose suits all your needs. Please consider what it will be used for and bear in mind that it needs to be kept with the style of your home. Do you want to invest in a new driveway? Here at Yew Tree Landscapes, we specialise in building beautiful, long-lasting drives at affordable prices. Get in touch with us today at 01420 489818 or 07553402009 and let us guide you through the process of choosing the right driveway to suit you and your property.


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