How to add the best value to your home with a new driveway
Here are some important factors to consider when wondering “how much value does a driveway add?”, both for your own usage and when it comes to sale time.
- Maximizing the space, parking for more vehicles is generally considered desirable. If you have to sacrifice front garden area then you can dress and soften the driveway with potted shrubs, plants and trees
- Consider your future needs, you may end up buying a bigger car and other family members who are not driving currently may also have their own cars in a few years’ time
- Consider large vehicles like 4x4s which won’t fit a standard single parking space and work vehicles like vans or trailers which may require extra space to load and unload and are also heavier than a standard family car
- Turning circles are preferable to linear parking or, you could opt for side-by-side parking but that may require widen the entrance/exit point and a dropped kerb which will need planning permission. Linear parking can cause endless frustration if the household has different daily routines
- Consider the quality of the surface and how much weight it will support. Appearance is important. Many people don’t like asphalt or tar surfaces because they look too urban, try and choose a material that will complement your home. Concrete is very popular is it is endlessly durable and can be coloured and imprinted to create unique designs or the effect of block paving
- With the increase in electric vehicles (EVs), access to an off-road charge point to power an EV is becoming more and more essential. Consider your driveway plans so that one or more vehicles can park adjacent to a location where charge points are currently fitted or could be installed in the future
- Low maintenance driveways will always be the way to go, no-one wants to spend time pulling out weeds and grass growth from between the cracks or using environmentally harmful weed sprays. If your new driveway is going to have gaps because it is paved or a concrete surface with expansion joints, then consider adding a weed mat to the construction. Discuss with your contractor how often you will need to wash or clean the surface and if it requires re-sealing – if so, at what intervals
- Durability is key if you want the driveway to last a long time and beyond your ownership of the house plus, it needs to stay looking good as well as being serviceable.
Sloped or flat driveways
No-one minds a gentle incline, but a sloped driveway can be quite unpopular when compared with a flat surface. Driveways can be placed on a slope deliberately; it can help with drainage and keep the cars out of vision of the windows on the ground floor. However, a sloped drive will limit the choice of surfaces you can use and also puts strain on the handbrake of the vehicle. Opting for a flat surface for parking is generally desirable but levelling ground can be expensive if there is anything more than just a gentle incline.
Planning permission may be required depending upon the size of the new driveway, whether the surface is permeable and will soak up rainwater or if there is a requirement to drop a kerb.
Planning permission is mainly concerned with large driveways where the surface used is not permeable as this will usually trigger a drainage requirement to divert excess water away to a lawn, flowerbed or soakaway.
If your home is listed, then it will be necessary to seek listed building consent which is separate from planning permission; you may require both. Listed building regulations cover not just the property but the land around it and you could find that there are restrictions on the type of material you can use and what it will look like when the driveway is finished.
Below is a video showing the creation of a driveway, which should help you to envision how much value a driveway adds to a house.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best driveway surface to invest in for longevity and appearance?
Brick paving or cobblestones (view cobblestone driveway costs) are some of the most popular options because not only do they look good and suit most styles of property, but they are also really long-lasting. However, any driveway surface which requires hand laying is going to be expensive. Concrete which used to be quite unfashionable, has had something of a makeover in the 21st century and now offers a very durable and more cost-effective option. Imprinting or stamping techniques plus colours and dyes means you can mimic a more expensive brick or cobblestone design plus enjoy the durability that concrete offers.
What do purchasers look for in a driveway when they are buying a house?
The driveway is the first thing a potential buyer will see so an attractive design which is clean and weed free with plenty of parking is bound to make a good impression. Most buyers are interested in how many cars they can park, the ease with which they can turn and enter and exit the property and the structural integrity of the driveway surface. Low maintenance is always a bonus.
Can a driveway decrease the value of a property?
An inadequate driveway or one in poor condition won’t decrease the value of a property but it will give a poor first impression and could put potential buyers off. Parking is one of the top priorities for most purchasers, particularly if the house is located in a busy urban area where on road parking is always difficult. If your driveway is in bad condition but you don’t want the cost of a new one, it might be worth speaking to a local driveway contractor to see if you can improve its appearance superficially, so buyers are not put off.