Driveway paving and resurfacing might look like it’s straightforward work but it can be a complex and intricate service. Surfaces need to be carefully prepared and drainage has to be precisely engineered. That’s why an experienced driveway surfacing expert is really valuable. They’ll be able to clearly explain what’s going to affect the cost of the job and what you’ll need to consider. The cost of laying a driveway is mostly steered by the surface you choose.
Your expert will start the project by excavating the ground to prepare it and lay drainage for the new driveway. You won’t need planning permission for your driveway if it’s made from a porous surface, or if water is going to be directed onto your lawn where it can soak back into the ground steadily. But if you divert water onto the street, you’ll probably need to seek approval from your local planning office.
The subgrade (also called the formation level – the material underneath the driveway) can then be laid, followed by any edging stones. If you’re opting for a fully paved driveway, your professional will mix and tip cement before compacting it down to form a flat, level and smooth surface for your slabs or bricks to sit on. Other surfaces, such as tarmac, resin-bonding or gravel, will normally also require a cement layer (and potentially a membrane to prevent weeds from growing) to be laid on top of a flat, compacted foundation level.
The average cost of a block-paved driveway is £60 per sqm.
Block paving gives you a huge range of design options and the freedom to find the right style to suit your home. That smart, modern surface comes at a higher price than some alternatives though.
As well as the attractive finish, paved driveways have the added benefit that individual paving stones or slabs can be replaced if they become damaged or stained. In general, they’re lower maintenance and easier to fix.
The average cost of a tarmac driveway is £50 per sqm.
Tarmac is one of the most affordable options for your driveway. It’s cheaper than a block-paved driveway, and it’s durable and smooth. However, heavy machinery is required to compact and apply the tarmac surface and that means running repairs in the future can be pricier and trickier than alternatives.
Concrete offers a similarly smooth finish to tarmac, but it can be cheaper to install – at around £35 per sqm on average. A properly installed and well-maintained concrete driveway can last for many years, even decades, making it very cost-effective over its lifetime.
The average cost of a gravel driveway is £40 per sqm.
Gravel is one of the cheapest materials for driveways, and it’s straightforward to install. The surface is a combination of processed rocks which have been crushed. It’s a low-maintenance driveway surface but that’s not to say there’ll be no ongoing upkeep required. You’ll eventually need to have the driveway regraded, weeded, and refilled. And while it won’t crack, stain, or retain too much water, you might find some areas sink down and allow puddles to appear.
The average cost of a crazy-paving driveway is £50 per sqm.
One of the more traditional options for your driveway is crazy paving – a method that dates back to ancient Rome. Crazy paving involves cutting stones into various shapes and sizes before laying them into an irregular pattern. Mortar is then used to fix the stones into place. The result is a jaunty and always unique path.
Crazy paving isn’t as common in modern homes, but for older properties and those that date back to certain eras it can be a fitting option. This type of driveway is moderately expensive – that’s because cutting each paving stone takes a lot of effort and it’s not the quickest way to pave a driveway.
The average cost of a resin-bound driveway is £65 per sqm.
The average cost of a resin-bonded driveway is £55 per sqm.
Resin-bonded and resin-bound driveways are closely related. Both use resin to create a smooth surface.
Resin bonding is the cheaper option of the two. This process sees a surface of resin (a viscous substance extracted from trees and plants) laid, and a crushed stone aggregate is then scattered and compressed into place on top. It provides a rougher, textured appearance, and is generally hard-wearing– though stones can be dislodged and become scattered over time.
Resin-bound driveways are more expensive, sitting at the mid-price point. This option sees resin mixed together with aggregate and other materials, and then laid to form a smooth compacted finish. The process locks the aggregate into position, meaning less stones are dislodged and the finish is preserved for longer, with less ongoing maintenance.
|General driveway costs|
|Standard paved driveway: per sqm||–||£60||–|
|Tarmac driveway: per sqmr||–||£50||–|
|Gravel driveway: per sqm||–||£40||–|
|Plain concrete driveway: per sqm||–||£40||–|
|Resin bound driveway: per sqm||–||£65||–|
|Resin bonded driveway: per sqm||–||£55||–|
|Crazy-paved driveway: per sqm||–||£50||–|