Home > What To Do > Planning a New Driveway Construction

Planning a New Driveway Construction

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 7 Jun 2011 | comments*Discuss
Driveway Drive Expert Build Plan Project

Creating a new driveway is a relatively simple job and many homeowners are confident of tackling it themselves. But there's perhaps more to it than meets the eye, from the bewildering choice of materials available to layout options and potential planning issues. This article will help you put it all into perspective and select the right materials and methods.

If you are simply replacing a straightforward driveway from the road to your garage, perhaps only one car's length long, then there aren't going to be too many options in terms of layout and design. There's unlikely to be any planning issues either, as long as you stick to the original layout and the kerb is already dropped to allow cars to drive over it.

Look for Problems

If the surface needs replacing before its time, it's worth trying to find out why that's happened and what you might do to make the new surface last longer. Look at it from a variety of angles to see if there's a Subtle Gradient, as it might not be draining properly. Does rain water pool in a section that's more worn than the rest, or is the damage more evident near the garage guttering or close to another drain?

Drainage Issues

Water is a drive's worst enemy regardless of material and construction, particularly in the winter when the cold will freeze and expand trapped water. When it thaws the water will drain away, taking minute particles with it and creating weak spots which will eventually create holes or bare patches. Therefore, Drainage Needs To Be Carefully Considered whatever the shape and length of a driveway.

Look at Layouts

If you have more land around your home, you will have more options, and the layout of the new driveway will be more important. If the drive is associated with a new garage in a new position, you'll obviously want to reach that, but can you also make the drive part of a path system to the front or back door? If you're on a busy road, can you fit a turning circle or dogleg in the front garden so that you can turn round and go back out on to the road facing forward?

Perhaps you have a corner plot and want to change the road that your driveway comes out on? This will need a bit more thought as the kerb should really be lowered and you'll need permission for that. See our article on Planning Permission in this section for more details.

Keep Everyone Informed

Most driveways will need an element of Excavation before the supporting layers and final surface are added, so it's wise to keep your neighbours informed. You may need to ask them to keep the pavements clear either side of, or opposite to, your property to allow for access for deliveries and taking waste material away. And you might also have to find a place to park your car or cars until the new drive is ready to be parked on.

It's also worth letting neighbours know what days you'll be doing the work, particularly if you're laying a surface like tarmac that smells while it's being applied. Getting on with your neighbours is very important, and the more you keep them informed the better.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • James
    Re: Planning Permission for Driveways
    Hi, do I have to get a permit to convert the front garden into a driveway if I do not need to drop the kerb? The driveway…
    24 November 2018
  • TheResinMan
    Re: Resin Bound Driveway Surfacing
    MITCH - This is quite unusual as white patches are an indication that moisture is present upon install but shouldn't be…
    11 November 2018
  • TheResinMan
    Re: Resin Bound Driveway Surfacing
    exsigs - With regard to the headlights of your car highlighting inperfections, this is quite normal. You have to understand…
    11 November 2018
  • Improvement
    Re: Considering Drainage on Your Driveway
    Hi do I need driveway permit when the rainwater run off to the road? Regards
    24 October 2018
  • Pipoc
    Re: Planning Permission for Driveways
    30 years ago we closed off a drive and started using a different one, The old drive is still there but it is under soil and…
    17 October 2018
  • sav
    Re: Planning Permission for Driveways
    hi i have a nabour we live on a walk and the highways department have removed the bollards and made a hard standing so my…
    16 October 2018
  • daveo
    Re: Can Gravel be Laid on Top of Tarmac?
    Hello, I have a tarmacked drive which is 25 years old, the same age as the property, it is looking very tired, the…
    12 October 2018
  • Gander
    Re: Planning Permission for Driveways
    I am purchasing a rural property near Chichester.and would like to create an entrance further along the lane from the…
    19 September 2018
  • KellyB
    Re: Resin Bound Driveway Surfacing
    I had resin laid about 6 month ago but I have noticed dips on it where my car tyres have been sat. Is this normal or do I need…
    12 September 2018
    Re: Resin Bound Driveway Surfacing
    Our resin driveway as been down a couple of years it is red/green and has developed white patches how can we bring the shine back
    3 September 2018