Key Factors to Consider When Creating a New Driveway
Demand for new driveways has soared in the UK in recent years. The cost of off-street parking, the convenience of having somewhere to put your car, plus the potential for reduced insurance premiums, mean that it is one of the most desirable features a home can have. A survey has shown that potential home-buyers consistently put it in their top 10 ‘must-haves’.
Here ready mix concrete company Madmix, who are based in Cambridge, look at some of the key factors to consider if you are considering a new drive as your next DIY project, and why concrete makes the best surface.
Think About Landscaping
Often, a driveway is the gateway to your property. Many people will even sacrifice their entire front garden for one, just so they don’t have to park their car on the street.
However, there’s no reason to lose all your plants. If you have the room, create a driveway that is sufficient to park your car and not much more. This will leave you space to plant trees and shrubs, softening its impact. The view from your front windows will also look better when you can see plants through them and not just a car.
…and Lighting Too
Lighting will also help you to avoid bumps and scratches, lessen the chance of your vehicle being stolen and make the journey to ad from vehicle easier. Also, strategically placed lights will highlight your plants as well. Lights with motion sensors are more environmentally friendly and cheaper than permanent lamps.
Straight or Curved?
This again will be determined by how much space you have and your own personal preference.
Straight driveways work best in more modern homes, particularly in urban locations. Curved ones are better suited in more a rural environment as they blend in better with the nature.
Obeying the Law
If you plan to install a new driveway or move an existing one to a new position, you may need to have your kerb dropped. In such a case, you will need to apply for planning permission from your local authority (usually a district council) as the crossover point may need strengthening to protect services buried underground, such as water pipes.
This work is usually carried out by council employees or contractors, who will usually come back and check after the driveway has been installed to see that the water is draining away effectively. Drainage is important because if you use a long-lasting, durable, but non-porous substance like concrete, you are not allowed to let any rain drain onto the main road. For this reason, you either need to use a porous material, or build in some form of soakaway.
This can take the form of a flowerbed, a channel directing the water into your own property’s drains, or you can leave a small strip either side of your drive and fill it with decorative stone, which allows for good natural drainage.
Driveways have to be able to cope with all that the British weather can throw at them – snow, hail, sleet, rain – and even some sunshine. They also have to bear the weight of at least one vehicle, as well as a significant amount of footfall over their lifetime.
If your driveway is likely to see a lot of traffic – human or vehicular – we often recommend our fibre-reinforced concrete, which we supply across Cambridgeshire. This is because it contains polypropylene fibres which makes it less likely to suffer from abrasions, impacts or shattering. And, like all our concrete admixtures, it’s accredited, which means it’s guaranteed to be of a high quality.
Concrete is also ideal for driveways because it looks timeless and is very low maintenance compared to gravel, which needs replenishing every so often.
Using Madmix for Your Driveway Concrete
You can calculate how much concrete you will need for your new driveway simply and quickly using our online concrete calculator. If you don’t get the exact amount you need right, don’t worry, because we will take away any excess at no extra cost.
You can either collect your order from our plant on the outskirts of Cambridge, or we can deliver it for you – call us on 01954 212212 for a quote on your ready mix concrete delivery or collection needs.
At Madmix, we supply and deliver a range of ready mix concrete to our customers in Cambridge, Cambourne, Ely, Huntingdon, Newmarket, as well as many other towns and villages in the area.
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