When looking to buy a house, often having a driveway or not having one is the reason for a sale to go through or not. For many people having a driveway is essential. Considering how long most cars are stationary, it is not surprising that people want somewhere safe to leave them.

So, why add a driveway to a property?

Depending on personal circumstances a prospective buyer may want a driveway because they need to load and unload passengers in safety rather than in the road. Wheelchairs and young children may be an issue to look for a driveway rather than street parking.

Your car is protected. Leaving a car, even an older one on the street is a sure-fire way for it to be damaged. Sooner or later someone will accidentally bump into it and scratch it. Bicycles will pass too close and may even use your car as a leaning post. Vandalism is more likely to take place to a vehicle which is parked on the road than if it is parked in your driveway.

Makes your house more desirable. If you plan on selling your house, you will find that offering a garage will make your house more attractive. 84% of all house buyers say that having a garage is the deciding factor to their purchase.

Increase the value. In addition to having a house which is more sellable because of the garage, having this will only add value to your property. Adding a driveway to your property can add up to 10% to the value.

There are several things which will put off prospective buyers such as:

  • Price
  • Condition
  • Lack of garden
  • Lack of garage
  • Crime level in the area
  • Location

This means that if you plan to sell your house, it makes sense to – as far as possible – bring it up to these standards to add value and make the sale. Another way to boost value might be a loft conversion which you can read more about at Loftera.

So, what’s the price of the driveway in relation to the added value?

There are several things you need to consider before laying a driveway. While a beautiful driveway will add value, you should ask whether the actual cost of laying the driveway will be worth it in the long run.

How long you intend to stay in your house will also dictate the type of material you use. If you only plan on staying a few years you may opt for a quick fix, which, while still adding value to your home, will set you back less than other materials.

Things to consider:

  • There are several options for different materials for the driveway, the cheapest material being gravel and the most expensive concrete.
  • For the driveway to stay firm and not crack you will need to dig out a base. This should be 4” thick and compacted down.
  • Some materials such as pavers need to have drainage which will prevent them from sitting water.
  • Skip to remove rubble. These vary from area to area and can often be left in place for different lengths of time.
  • If you need anyone to help you with the earth removal you may need to pay for this.
  • Depending on where you live, the total construction will vary in price. Driveway construction in London will cost less than in Manchester.

According to recent survey the average price of a driveway for one car will set you back about £3,500. 30% of this will go towards the cost of labour, the other portion being for materials and rubbish removal.

A two-car driveway will average around £4,500 with larger driveways averaging about £6,000 and upwards.

Any other ideas for the driveway?

Having had your driveway laid you may want to consider other options to make the driveway pay for itself as well as look attractive.

Depending on where you are located there may be commuters who park their car and walk to the station for the train into a city. Renting out a spot on your driveway will bring you some extra income, as well as give them peace of mind about the safety of their car.

Which material adds the greater value?

Driveway construction is very much a matter of opinion. You may prefer gravel to concrete but it may not be the best choice if you want to add maximum value to your home. While not everyone likes the thought of concrete, it is the most long-lasting. It is also the most expensive to lay but has the least maintenance to keep it looking smart.

If you already have a driveway which is in poor condition, then overlaying asphalt is a quick and easy fix. Concrete will be a little more expensive to repair, and pavers may be difficult to match. Gravel can be ordered and refilled where needed to bring your driveway up to standard.

And driveways which will decrease value?

Some things will decrease the value of your property such as an unkempt garden or lack of curb appeal. Driveways can also contribute to lowering the value of your home if the prospective buyer perceives that there is work to bring it up to standard.

  • Badly drained driveways
  • Badly damaged driveways

Driveways without a slope making it hard to drive a car up. (You should note that you cannot legally drive a car up a footpath. T have a slope for the car, you must get planning permission from your local council).

So, do driveways really add value?

According to a survey only 44% of prospective buyers wanted a garden while 84% said that they would not buy a house without a driveway.

If you are intent on selling your house, you may even consider turning your existing front garden into a driveway to add more value and sell your home quicker.

In the UK the added value to that a driveway can add is upward of £22,000. Renting out some of the space on your driveway can bring in an added income of more than £1,000 per year.

So, to answer the question of whether a driveway adds value to your home – yes it certainly does.

Find out how much does a driveway cost in our last post.