When considering an upgrade on the property, many owners think about laying a new driveway. While this will add value to the property, there is also the consideration of how much it will cost to lay the driveway and what options of materials are the best to use. For driveways in Liverpool, be sure to contact us.

You may want to consider the length of time you intend to stay in the house before deciding on the material. If you intend to live there forever, then it may be worth paying more and having a long-lasting driveway. If you are long for a ‘quick fix’ solution, then you may consider a cheaper version.

Before you consider the type of driveway you should remember to include a base for it. This means that you – or someone else – will need to dig out an area which will be right under the top layer. It should be 4” deep at least and be treated with some sort of weed killer. If you don’t do this, you will find that very soon you have weeds popping up.

So, you will need for any type of driveway, a skip to remove the earth, and a person to dig and fill the skip.

A six-yard skip will run you around £230 and an eight-yard skip will cost about £270. This price will vary per area, depending on where you live. Labour starts at £8 per hour although you may be able to quote for a job instead of per hour and this may work out cheaper.

Let’s look at some options and their costs

Gravel

This is the most popular option for laying a driveway. It is also normally the cheapest. It is also the quickest to lay. Once you have a solid base which has been weed killed, the gravel is dumped in the close vicinity and then shovelled out along the area.

The advantage of a gravel driveway is that if you are in relatively good health you can do this yourself. You can also do it over a period of time, perhaps at weekends until it is all done.

Gravel may not be suitable for children or pets as it is unpleasant to walk on.

If you use a full dig out for your gravel driveway you can expect to pay around £60 per square metre. This will vary in different areas of the UK.

Pavers or blocks

This is a very popular option to use because of the choice of colours and styles. There are literally hundreds of combinations here.

One advantage of pavers or blocks is that if you want to extend later, you can simply dig out the base and add them on to it.

Pavers are very hardwearing and last well and therefore more expensive than gravel. You can do this yourself although it is heavy work. It does nor need a specialist to do it, many landscape gardeners can lay pavers.

What is more important with pavers is that the base is completely flat and compacted so the pavers all lie at the same height. If not, this will be a tripping hazard.

For a full dig out and paver driveway you can expect to pay in the region of £110 per square metre.

Asphalt

Before the advent of pavers, this was the number one choice for driveways. It is still very popular because it is hardwearing and long lasting.

Asphalt is quick to lay although it must be done by a professional company. The asphalt is poured hot and in several pours at the same time so this is not something that can be done over several days. It is also vital that nothing touches it until it is cured which can be several days. The first three days are important as it will still be soft. Factor on not using it for the first week or two.

Asphalt can be prone to crack, particularly if the base is not well prepared. It cannot be coloured although it will fade over time.

One advantage with asphalt is that if you need to you can add onto it later and it can be overlaid to improve the appearance.

A full dig out for an asphalt driveway will set you back about £80 per square meter, with just the top costing around £50 per square metre depending on area.

Concrete

Although concrete is costly it is so versatile that many homeowners use it. It is readily available, so you won’t have too lone to wait for a delivery.

Concrete comes in many different colours and can even have a patterned finish or be stamped.

The advantage of concrete is that it can be overlaid onto almost any other material. The base does not have to be perfectly flat for the concrete top.

The disadvantage of concrete is that you will need to repair any cracks that occur and this needs to be carried out by a professional.

A full dig out for a concrete driveway will set you back about £90 per square metre.

To sum up

Prices of hiring a skip and labour will differ from area to area depending on where you live. Digging the base involves a lot of strenuous work so is not a good idea if you are unfit or have back issues.

The material you choose for your driveway is a personal choice, although you should keep in mind the other laid driveways in your vicinity. Often neighbours will be able to recommend a company to lay it for you.

Gravel, pavers or blocks can be added onto without too much trouble while asphalt and concrete will have a visible join which you may want to cover, so this will add an extra cost. However, the result will be long-lasting and durable.

Consider that you will need to add a layer of weed liner or use a weed killer before you start with gravel or pavers to stop weeds from coming up.

While most forms of driveway will last for years, concrete will outlast most other materials and still look good after almost 25 years.