Crushed Limestone Driveway Cost: Is It Good Value For Money?
Improving the look of your driveway can make a huge difference to the value and the accessibility of your home.
Not only does this type of home improvement add as much as 20% to its value, it can mean that you have great off road parking and the ability to drive right up to your door.
Many people choose gravel driveways because they are lower in cost but still deliver good looks and practicality.
The king of the stone driveway is crushed limestone. It is more expensive - but is it the best option when it comes to value for money? It’s time to find out…
What Is Crushed Limestone?
When it comes to gravel driveways, most of us are familiar with pebbles and stones of various sizes, but we may not be aware of what type of gravel it is.
In most cases, it is a mixture of stone types or readily available standard stones. However, contrary to widespread belief, crushed limestone is something different.
Limestone usually comes in large slabs and is used in the construction industry to build large structures. This is due to its strength and durability. It is also used as slabs for pathways, floors, and even worksurfaces.
The reason for the strength of limestone is the fact it is usually older than other forms of gravel. It is found in places that used to be under the sea, and, therefore, has been subject to high levels of pressure that have both smoothed and compressed the stone over millions of years.
The limestone you will use on your driveway will be crushed into small pieces of various sizes, and is usually light in colour, ranging from creamy white, through to a dark slate grey.
Limestone is extremely durable, and will not be crushed further by the weight of vehicles.
Laying A Crushed Stone Driveway
Crushed limestone is laid in much the same way as any other gravel driveway, but you can take advantage of the varied stone sizes to achieve a customised finish.
The best way to lay this type of driveway is to dig down to a depth of around 20cm, and then add a layer of larger stones. These will provide effective drainage, and will prevent the smaller stones laid on top from sinking into the ground.
Adding a further layer of crushed limestone in a smaller size will allow them to bed into the larger rocks, and the jagged nature of the crushed material will mean that they interlock, thereby creating a far more stable surface.
A third layer of even smaller crushed rock will serve to offer the walkable surface you need, as well as a further layer of protection.
Most commonly used in construction, crushed limestone is harder to find, making it much more expensive as a result
Crushed Limestone Driveway Cost
As you can see, the process of laying a crushed limestone driveway is not as simple as it seems; however, it is one of the few types of driveways that will last a reasonable amount of time if laid correctly. It is worth spending the extra money to ensure the process is done by professionals, to prevent problems resurfacing at a later date.
Crushed limestone is more expensive than standard rocks and stones, as it is harder to find, more difficult to process, and is more commonly used in the production of buildings, rather than as a surfacing material.
Prices of crushed limestone start at around £15 per square metre, but you will need to calculate the cost based on the depth you need.
This will depend on whether you are laying it onto soil, or, alternatively onto an existing surface. Most people will expect to spend around £500 for the crushed limestone.
You will, of course, need to pay for the services of your contractor on top of this. Some of this preparation work can probably be done yourself, but diggers and compactors are essential for achieving the desired result, so make sure to factor the hire of equipment into your estimates.
Is Crushed Limestone Good Value?
Compared to many other driveway types such as concrete, asphalt and pavers, crushed limestone possesses favourable aesthetics. However, it is worth noting that this type of driveway will need ongoing maintenance, which can often be costly:
● It seems that no matter how many tonnes of crushed limestone you add to your driveway, it will eventually need more. The material will sink into the soil beneath, be carried away on your tyres, seep into your lawn, or even into the roadway itself. You will therefore need to top it up at least annually. This will mean buying new material, which is already at a higher cost than average.
● Your crushed limestone will need to be raked and moved regularly. While this is not a costly job, it can be time consuming. Crushed limestone is better than most gravels at staying where it should because of the structure of the pieces, but you will find that your car tyres will make troughs in the surface that you will need to rake over from time to time.
● While the act of laying a crushed limestone driveway is relatively low cost, you do need to think about edgings, the sub-base, general landscaping, and removing the old driveway. All of this adds to the cost, and will need to be completed for all types of driveway.
Resin bound material matches form with function to achieve a driveway that will be the envy of your neighbours
Are There Any Alternatives That Offer Better Value For Money?
While you might have your heart set on a crushed limestone driveway, there are a number of other options that offer better value for money. Resin bound material is one of these options, offering unrivalled longevity, and requiring only minimal upkeep to retain its good looks.
Resin bound uses aggregates (including limestone), and mixes it with resin in a special mixer. Once every piece of aggregate is completely coated, the mixture is trowelled onto a prepared asphalt base that has been laid onto a soil and stone sub-base.
This results in a very durable driveway surface, that is permeable to water, adhering the very latest SUDs regulations.
Knowing that your driveway will absorb water is important, as it is this that prevent cracks appearing in the surface, and causing detrimental damage. Water seeps into small cracks and will expand during cold weather. As the cracks expand, you are left with large cracks that cannot be repaired, without requiring significant additional expense.
Resin bound driveways can also be laid in almost any colour you wish. Your crushed limestone driveway can also be dyed to your desired colour, but with resin bound material, the colour is infused throughout the mix, and usually comes from the choice of stones.
This gives you an attractive, but natural looking driveway, that will be the envy of your neighbours-for all the right reasons.
Crushed limestone is a good choice if you really are set on a driveway that’s set to impress, and lasts a decent amount of time before requiring repair.
However, the costs may be more than you expect, and the ongoing maintenance may not make this a good value for money proposition in the long run. By choosing a more durable and long lasting material, you can rest safe in the knowledge that you have a driveway that possesses enviable aesthetics, and the failproof functionality to match.
Seeking a long-lasting surfacing solution that adheres to the very latest SUDs regulations? Resin bound material offers exactly that. Take the first step to upgrading your driveway today, by calling 0800 1700 636, or simply clicking the button below!