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5 Low Cost Driveway Ideas To Suit Your Budget

5 Low Cost Driveway Ideas To Suit Your Budget

Improving or replacing your driveway is probably one of the most expensive home improvement projects you can undertake.

It can make a huge difference to the look of your home, but you do need to invest anywhere from a few hundred to many thousands to achieve the look you want.

If you are wanting to improve your driveway and you need a low cost option, there are a few ways you can make the job cheaper. But will it give you value for money and will the driveway look as good as you hoped?

Estate agents tell us that it is possible to improve the value of your home by as much as 20% by simply updating the outdoor space.

By making the outside of your home more attractive and turning it into a more usable space, you can have a home that is worth significantly more. But you need to balance this positive outcome with your ability to make the investment in the first place.

If you have a limited budget your choices may be more limited. That said, there are some great driveway ideas that will help you to stay within your budget. Here we will go through the main driveway types and suggests ways you can lower the cost.

Low Cost Option No.1: Natural Earth

Probably the cheapest and easiest driveway option is a simple earth driveway. These use compacted earth (sometimes mixed with aggregate for stability) to create a driveway that looks natural and rustic.

They are usually graded to achieve a raised central section which is designed to encourage water run off to the sides. These become compacted with use, reducing the risk of potholes.

You can even build this driveway yourself with nothing more than hard work, but it will require maintenance work that needs to be carried out on a very regular basis. In terms of costs, this will be little more than the added stone, if you decide you need it.

5 Low Cost Driveway Ideas To Suit Your Budget

The level of the driveway will also be higher than it was, so this could affect the entrance from the road. This lower cost driveway solution will be instant impact, but may not give the value for money you want

Low Cost Option No.2: Gravel

Once again, this can be a great D.I.Y option and therefore it has significantly lowered costs compared to some other driveway choices. Your gravel driveway would need to be dug down by a few inches and a weed barrier material added to prevent weeds growing through.

Then simply add a few layers of stone in varying sizes until you reach the gravel layer on the top. This all works to give the driveway good drainage and will provide the stable long lasting surface you need.

The costs will be little more than the cost of the gravel and stone, but bear in mind that you will need much more than you expect and that you will need to top up the gravel from time to time as it sinks into the earth. In terms of maintenance, a gravel driveway needs to be raked occasionally to level out the surface.

Low Cost Option No.3 Concrete and Asphalt

These paved surfaces are a popular choice for anyone wishing to reduce the costs of their driveway improvement project.

When done in the usual way with the old driveway being removed, a new sub-base installed and an all new surface poured, the results are usually very good, but the job a little more expensive. You can lower the cost by opting for a resurface instead.

A concrete or asphalt resurface involves a new layer of material being poured over your existing driveway. This is a short term solution and has a number of drawbacks.

You need to ensure that the base is in very good condition with no cracks or crumbling and you need to be aware that you may have to carry out more regular repairs on the new surface.

The level of the driveway will also be higher than it was, so this could affect the entrance from the road. This lower cost driveway solution will be instant impact, but may not give the value for money you want.

5 Low Cost Driveway Ideas To Suit Your Budget

The way to reduce the costs on this type of driveway involve laying the bricks directly onto the old driveway surface. This can be achieved if the base is not cracked and is reasonably level

Low Cost Option No.4: Brick Pavers

These are the most expensive type of driveway, mostly because of the cost of the materials and the time it takes to lay the bricks or stones. However these do have a huge visual impact and can vastly improve the look of your home.

The usual way of laying a brick or stone paver driveway is by digging down to the required depth, carefully grading the area to make sure it is level and adding a layer of sand. The bricks or stones are then embedded into this sand. But this type of driveway can still be made less costly.

The way to reduce the costs on this type of driveway involve laying the bricks directly onto the old driveway surface. This can be achieved if the base is not cracked and is reasonably level.

The bricks may need to be set into concrete rather than sand, but the result can look good. There is a huge risk however that the lower base could crack and lead to problems with the bricks moving and lifting. In general it is rarely recommended to put pavers onto a concrete or asphalt base.

5 Low Cost Driveway Ideas To Suit Your Budget

Improving your driveway using any of the options listed above will have the effect of improving the value of your home and the way it looks!

Resin Bound Surfacing: A Cost-Effective Choice

In terms of value for money, this driveway type really is the best option of them all. Resin bound driveways consist of a mixture of resin and aggregate stone in the colour of your choice.

This is laid directly onto an asphalt base that has been poured over a layer of crushed stone for drainage. You will expect a driveway that will last up to 30 years, and one that will maintain its good looks for that entire time.

People choose resin bound because it offers excellent value for money and needs little or no maintenance.

But what if you would like to lower the cost of a resin bound driveway? Despite it needing well prepared base construction, it is still possible to make it slightly cheaper. A large proportion of the cost of laying a resin bound driveway is the preparation of the base.

It is possible to lower the cost by doing some of this work yourself. You can dig up your existing driveway and level it off yourself – digging down to the required depth. This is work that can be carried out before you contractor arrives, but you should agree this in advance.

You can also save some money on a resin bound driveway by choosing aggregate stone that is at the cheaper end of the scale. More abundant stones are often cheaper to buy and will therefore lower the overall cost of the project. You may have fewer options to choose from, but the look can still be impressive.

Improving your driveway using any of the options listed above will have the effect of improving the value of your home and the way it looks.

Some are cheaper than others and this is reflected in the length of time it will last before needing to be replaced and in the amount of maintenance you might be expected to do. The best advice when it comes to your driveway is always to get the very best driveway you can within your budget.

This almost always means that the driveway is laid from scratch rather than resurfaced. If this means you have to get your hands dirty – that might be well worth the effort.

Ready to upgrade your existing driveway to an ultra-low maintenance alternative? Take the first step to transforming your driveway’s surface today, by giving us a call on 0800 1700 636. Alternatively, simply click the button below to get the ball rolling today!