Material options for driveways

Material options for driveways

In this article, we look at the material options for driveways and point out the pros and cons of each.

If you’re considering replacing your driveway, there are many options that are available these days.  Depending on what your priorities are and your budget, you will have many choices on your new driveway, including the look and feel.  It’s been said that a stunning looking driveway can add up to 10% to the value of your property, so it’s worth taking the time to research the options thoroughly.

Resin bound driveways

This is a popular choice for home owners, with a range of colour choices.  The resin  binder is mixed with tiny stone particles before application and it sets to produce a heavy duty, smooth driveway which is slip resistant, wheelchair friendly and low maintenance.  Because it’s water permeable, it’s suitable for all properties.  It’s highly durable and when laid correctly, isresistant to cracking because of its flexibility.

Indian Stone driveways

India exports huge amounts of sandstone, limestone, slate and granite.  Due to its size as a country, it has a mammoth supply of these natural products.  We use sandstone in many different ways, but when applied to driveways, the options are many.  People ask if you can actually use these slabs where they need to withstand heavy loads.  The answer is yes – providing that the base and the slab depth is over 50mm.  You can get away with a slab depth of 22mm and higher, but anything less will make them susceptible to cracking.

Indian sandstone slabs come in a large range of colours and textures – rugged or smooth. 

Your driveway may need some maintenance as it gets older – weeds may sprout through the edges or some of them could become loose and wobble.  They’re easy to repair though, and look fantastic for many years.

Block Paving

These driveways consist of flags, slabs and concrete blocks.  They require precise laying because they’re usually laid to form a pattern.  This makes the installation costs higher than other methods.  The more intricate the pattern, the more expensive the installation will be.  Block paving driveways, like Indian stone, attracts weeds and moss, so regular maintenance is required if you want your driveway to look pristine.

Stone and gravel

Gravel driveways are probably the cheapest option and are perfect for people on a budget.  The gravel is laid on top of a permeable membrane, and it’s a good idea to use a very strong weed killer on the ground before laying the membrane.  Once the gravel is laid, it’s raked through to level it off. 

One of the main benefits of a gravel driveway is that it can act as a burglar deterrent.  As you drive or walk on it, the gravel crunches, so it’s impossible not to hear people walking up the driveway!

Gravel driveways will require regular maintenance as, no matter how well you lay your membrane, it will deteriorate over time, which will allow weeds to grow through it. 


Laying tarmac is also one of the cheapest options for driveways.  When applied properly, it hardens to a smooth, hard wearing surface that should last for years, when well maintained.  The surface of the driveway isn’t water permeable, so it’s important that regular observation takes place to look for breakdown of the material.  Tarmac will dissolve in the presence of some oils and chemicals.  The colour choices are still limited, but it is a good option if you’re on a budget.

Patterned imprinted concrete

A relatively new concept for driveway installations – basically concrete is coloured, laid and then imprinted with a pattern before it hardens off.  Concrete driveways are extremely strong and long lasting, but because they’re not water permeable, they are susceptible to cracking over the years. 

They require very little maintenance and add a certain aesthetic to your property that will last for years.

We are Cotswold Contractors – a local family run construction company working with commercial and domestic clients in the Gloucestershire area for over 20 years.  If you require any further information about material options for driveways, then take a look at our website or give us a call on 01453 453 990