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Okay, so your humble abode isn’t likely to feature in “Home and Garden” anytime soon but that’s no reason that it still can’t stand out from the crowd. A well-laid out and attractive driveway is not only pleasing to the eye but also practical and will add considerably to your house’s market value and increase its saleability. Most people pay slight attention to a driveway but it is certainly noticed when it is in disrepair and overrun with weeds.

Everybody has heard the horror stories of “cowboy” and rogue traders who have ripped off customers by building driveways at ridiculously low prices only for the finished surface to literally fall apart only months later. That is why you should only deal with fully qualified and certified tradesmen and this applies across the board and not just for driveways.

Choices, Choices
There is a range of materials and styles available to choose from when it comes to having a driveway installed or upgraded. Asphalt, gravel, aggregates and tarmac are all commonly used and becoming more popular every year are resin bound driveways. Asphalt
Often derided as being black and boring, Asphalt has made a comeback as it is now available in colours and stamped with patterns. Asphalt is relatively inexpensive and has the advantage of being resistant to ice and salt which can break down other materials. Despite its low cost, an asphalt driveway can last as long as twenty years but only if properly laid and maintained. The downside is that an asphalt surface will have to be resealed every few years to prevent water leaking in and freezing which will obviously add to the initial low cost.

Gravel
Probably more suited to country houses as the gravel chips tend to get picked up and spread around, gravel is nonetheless a popular material for driveways. For bigger or longer driveways, gravel is an excellent choice as it is less expensive than other types of driveway materials. Bear in mind, however, that gravel is loose and will gravitate to the bottom of sloped surfaces as well as becoming displaced over time by pedestrian and vehicular traffic. This means that a gravel driveway needs care and attention as well as regular replenishing.

Tarmac
Probably the most common material used for driveways, tarmac needs to be laid correctly to prevent weeds forcing their way through. Tarmac looks great when first laid but the jet black colour will fade to grey over time and the binding agent used can be dissolved by petrol or oils. Although tarmac is one of the cheapest options, a professional should be consulted before installing a tarmac drive to ensure you understand exactly what you are getting and how long you can expect it to last.

Aggregates
Available in a vast array of colours and shapes, aggregates are made from crushed rocks, sand and gravel which is set in epoxy resin. Laying a driveway using aggregates is not something for DIY enthusiasts to try out but must be done by qualified professionals. A driveway made with aggregates can turn out to be quite a costly undertaking but can be visually astonishing and spectacular.

Resin Bound

A rising star in the world of paving is resin bound surfacing. The biggest plus about resin bound driveways is the fact that it can be laid directly onto an existing solid base thus eliminating the need to excavate new foundations. Resin bound surfaces are far more durable than materials like concrete and tarmac and also come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes to create a unique and personalised driveway or patio. Another important factor is the fact that a newly-laid resin bound driveway cures quickly and can be ready for use in a matter of hours. The finished surface is also easy to clean and maintain as well as being durable and long-lasting.
The above are but a few of the options available when installing a driveway but there are yet others including bricks, flagstones, stone, pavers, concrete or you can even choose to mix and match to best suit your individual taste and requirements.For more information on resin bound driveways, visit Thortech drives.

Considerations
No matter which type of driveway you choose, there are a number of factors you should consider before committing yourself. Understand the full costs involved as the cheapest option may not necessarily be the best. If your driveway needs constant maintenance or needs regular repairing, or even replacing, the costs will add up. That is why you should consult a qualified professional to discuss the project in detail and never ever be tempted by offers that sound too good to be true. They invariably are!

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