Driveway installation and renovation – the complete guide

May 28, 2019

One of the biggest contributors to your home’s kerb appeal is its driveway. In this post, we detail everything you need to know about driveways and how to get the most out of your installation.

What is a driveway?

A driveway is a short road leading from a public road to a house, or other building.

Do I need planning permission for my driveway?

You can often create or replace a driveway without having to get planning permission, but it will depend on a few factors. Chief amongst them is drainage, which local councils consider as the most important aspect of any modern driveway. If homeowners use a porous material on a new, or replacement driveway then they won’t need to gain planning permission.

However, if the surface covered is more than five square metres and the homeowner is using a traditional impermeable surface then planning permission is needed. In these circumstances, it’s important to have a soakaway or a drainage duct leading to a sewer outlet rather than a drain in a street.
driveway renovation

Will I need a dropped kerb?

If you need to create a new access point for vehicles to your home and it involves crossing an existing pavement or footway then you must have a dropped kerb. A dropped kerb allows vehicles to cross the pavement from the road to a driveway but needs planning permission. If homeowners choose to ignore this process and use the kerb regardless, they could be liable to litigation from the local council, or a by a telecoms or energy company.

What are the laws regarding shared driveways?

shared driveway

Shared driveways aren’t that common but do pose an interesting legal dilemma. Normally, a driveway will be shared if its owned by one homeowner, but with a neighbour having a right of way over it. As such, ownership is rarely split down the middle and often favours one party more than the other. It’s important to check the title of the property, which will set out all the specific conditions of a shared driveway.

What material is right for my driveway?

There are a number of available options when making a decision about the best material to lay on your driveway. It’s a difficult call and there’s a lot to consider. Remember to assess whether your driveway is on a slope, or if you have a particular style in mind. We’ve put together a separate blog, which gives more detail about what you should consider when choosing the best material for your driveway. You can find the materials advice blog here.

Find Your Local Driveway Installer

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Will my driveway need drainage?

driveway drainage
Local councils are increasingly concerned about drainage, particularly in densely populated areas. New regulations mean that homeowners no longer need to apply for planning permission to pave over a front garden as long as the surface is permeable. Therefore, it’s clear that the government is looking to encourage permeable driveway surfaces across the nation. Porous driveway materials include gravel, permeable asphalt or permeable block paving.

How much will it cost?

The cost of a new driveway is likely to be less than homeowners think. With this said, it’s important to not scrimp on costs as it will likely lead to substandard materials and installation standards. Costs will vary throughout the country, but the best way to ensure you’re getting a high-quality installation is to use a trusted tradesperson website like Checkatrade. If you’d like to get a ballpark figure on how much a new driveway will cost use our cost calculator on our driveway cost guide that will help with the task.

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