Top tips for School Teachers when planning a driveway September 2023

1. Practicality and style

When installing a new driveway, there are two main considerations. You need to consider the practicality of the driveway and its intentions. How many people live in your home? Do you have regular visitors? Growing families need to maximise the space for cars, taking into account future teenagers and car drivers too. Those who may be looking to sell in the near future need to focus more on kerb appeal; removing tired old tarmac and replacing with new block paving can add value to your home.

2. Ease of access

There’s no set minimum width for a drive, so the design you choose needs to be practical for the type and number of vehicles that are going to be using it. You should take into account the amount of vehicles you have next to each other and make sure car doors can open easily. Ensure your design gives you easy access from the highway to your driveway, and make sure it is wide enough to allow reversing into your drive from the road, if you need to. Driveway edging stones are a great way of separating your driveway from shrubbery or a pathway – ask your landscaper for ideas on this.

3. Trees and shrubbery

Trees and shrubs are a great way to make the front of your house more private, but bear in mind that any excavation for your driveway could damage existing roots, plus any utilities cables. This is where the choice of a good designer or contractor comes in. They will advise on the correct planting for trees and shrubs that won’t send the roots into your new driveway and undermine the sub base, but will still add biodiversity. Make sure you talk to your installer about any concerns before the work is carried out.

4. Driveway accessories

There are all sorts of ways to turn your new driveway into an inviting entrance to your home. You could choose to have lighting built into the driveway using encapsulating LED lights or perhaps install a range of lights into the kerbs. And when it comes to kerbs, there are options that cater for every taste.

5. Contemporary or traditional

There are various materials to choose from when it comes to designing your driveway and you should always be led by the style of your house. Natural stone paving is often the first choice for those looking to create a classic look, but you can also achieve a traditional look with cobble setts which come in a wide range of colours and shapes. Concrete block paving is the most popular driveway paving option, play around with laying patterns and colours to create something truly unique.

Budget is a consideration, of course, when choosing your products it is worth remembering the 20/80 rule cost guide; 20% of the cost of your project is made up of the products, 80% comes from the sub-base and installation. So, if you are worried that a higher end paving product might be out of your price range, check with your installer, because it might make less difference to the overall cost than you think.

6. Planning permission

Take some time to look at the driveway legislation and the rules when planning a new driveway, however it is worth checking with your local council for the correct advice as the rules vary. Typically, if you can keep your surface rain water run-off within your curtilage and not flowing into the existing drainage systems, you don’t need planning permission. It is not permitted to run your new drainage system into existing drainage without planning permission, but again check with your local authority as they do differ in their approach to this legislation. On new build properties if you take an area that was free draining and turn into a hardstanding area it is likely you will need permission.

7. The importance of drainage

Drainage design is an important factor in the initial driveway design. The surface area of your driveway will dictate the size and design of drainage you need; your designer or contractor will give you the information you need once you’ve finalised the design. If the slope or incline is towards the house you need to make sure the drainage system is robust enough to take away the surface water and not allow it to undermine the house footings or structure of the house.

If you need help and advice on planning your new driveway then please see your listed Teachers Discount driveway specialist for help:

Telephone: 07984 995 659

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