There are many reasons why you might be thinking of adding a driveway to your home: they look tidy, they are easy to clean, not to mention street parking is a nightmare! But, did you know adding a driveway brings up the value of your home?

The parking conundrum

Chances are, your house wasn’t built for parking your car neatly in front (let alone multiple cars!). And, as we’ve all been forcibly made aware of lately, our streets were definitely not designed to accommodate the vehicles of an entire neighbourhood.

Cars are no longer luxury items (not all of them, that is), but our towns and cities haven’t yet caught up to the reality that most households in the UK own at least one. Still, unsurprisingly, none of us have mastered the ability to make our cars vanish overnight before we need them again in the morning.

The driveway solution

It is appealing, it is easy to build, and it is practical. Driveways not only look great as a welcoming path spilling into our homes, they save us from fighting our neighbours for that last parking spot on the street, and remove the hassle of weeding out an entire front yard that is rarely used.

As a feature, they are low maintenance and high value.

A driveway also adds financial value

A driveway’s tidy, effortless appearance provides a desirable front for you, but also for prospective buyers. Studies have shown that adding a driveway can increase the value of your home by as much as 10%.

Although prices for installing your driveway vary based on location and materials (gravel, resin, block paving, or concrete being the most common), the long term payback is generally well worth the investment.

Do you need planning permission for your new driveway?

This depends largely on what’s already there. If you are simply replacing a driveway, for example, chances are you can get away without going through planning.

The main things you have to take into account when thinking of installing a new driveway are:

  • Will rainwater have somewhere to go? If it doesn’t, you will need to make the necessary drainage provisions.
  • Is the proposed area over five square metres? If it is, you are better off seeking planning, since larger driveways tend to drain onto the street (and the city doesn’t like that).
  • Is your building listed? If so, you’ll need a planning application (you probably saw that one coming).
  • Is your building in a conservation area? Planning rules are stricter in conservation areas, so we advise you seek planning advice before carrying out any alterations in these zones.

Where to begin with a new driveway

Whether or not you are in a conservation area, we always advise our clients to start with a planning appraisal. A planning expert can identify the planning needs for your job, but also flag any items in your site that might need special attention, such as tree protection requirements, construction access limitations, or similar jobs successfully carried out in the area that you can use for reference.

If you’re sure you don’t need a planning application, our team can also help establish your project’s requirements, from specialist reports (that dreaded flood risk included) to foreseeable costs of construction.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch today if you have any questions about how to build the perfect driveway for your home!

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