Sunday, 7 July 2013

Choosing a drive way- block, concrete, loose gravel, resin bonded gravel , resin bound gravel ? Plus update pictures

As well as deciding to do the rear patio , I have decided to do the drive way too. The bungalow slopes from the rear garden to the front and it would cheaper for me to excavate both the rear garden patio area and the front garden at once rather than doing them separately.

So after 3 days with a small JCB and 7 grab lorries full of soil I now have the patio area which will be covered in indian stand stone. The retaining walls have been constructed from concrete block which will be rendered and then painted white.

The patio will be 6 inches higher than the ground you see in the picture above  once the base has been prepared with hardcore and bedding sand.

I have two cars and with the bungalow being on a small close I want to keep them off the streets. So want to get the drive made asap.

Planning permission for Driveways?

Half of my existing front garden already had a driveway. However as  I am converting the rest of the driveway I would have needed planning permission if I wasn't installing a soakaway. A soakaway basically is a crate that is buried 1 meter underground to which drainage along the driveway diverts rain water into it rather than into the road. This negates the need for planning permission.

I looked into various finishes for the drive way and have settled on Resin Bound Gravel.

Block Paving- the most common finish for driveways, but  in my opinion doesn't look very nice after a few years , needs weeding often .

Loose Gravel- Love the look of it, however the loose gravel makes it's way on the road which can be hazardous for pedestrians , also with my drive being on a slope the gravel will need regular spreading to keep an even finish. Pros : very cheap.

Concrete- looks awful. Pros : very cheap

Tarmac- same as above

Resin bonded gravel - is basically a layer of glue applied to a solid base like concrete , upon which gravel is poured. Loose gravel is brushed off so you're left with a thin layer of gravel stuck to the top. Pros :Gives you the look of gravel but you don't have loose gravel problems. Cons: The gravel does come loose with heavy traffic of cars.

Resin Bound Gravel- We have a winner! Basically gravel and a resin and mixed together in a mixer. This is then laid on top of a concrete base. This gives you the looks of gravel however much stronger than Resin bonded gravel as the entire piece of gravel is covered in resin and forms a strong bond rather than just one side like in Resin bonded gravel. I will post pictures once it has been laid but this will be the last job after all the skips and heavy machinery have been removed. Resin Bound is completely SUDs  compliant as the gravel forms natural pockets for rain water to travel down, to the base below and then to the drainage channel at the bottom of the drive and eventually into the soakaway.

The base for the gravel to be laid upon will be 6inches thick of concrete with a metal mesh for added strength.

Before :

After : 60 tonnes of soil have been removed

The front garden will have retaining walls built along the sides and rear leaving an area of 7.2m by 7.2m for a driveway. I will leave a small flower bed along the sides and rear.

Finally the rest of the roof has been constructed but is yet to have tiles laid . This will be done this week. Finally the 6 meter bi fold doors are going in tomorrow and the front door on Wednesday.


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  5. I really like the fresh perspective you did on the issue. I will be back soon to check up on new posts! Thank you!
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