Resin bound gravel driveways have become a popular choice for homes all over the UK as they’re durable, permeable, easy to take care of and super attractive. However, if you’re looking to install a new driveway, one of the first things you’re going to want to know is how much it’s going to set your back.
Resin driveways may start at around £50 per square metre. However, you have to keep in mind that there are a lot of factors that can affect this price and each project is unique. Getting a quote is the best way to understand more about the costs.
That said, I wanted to provide you with as much information as possible so that you really know what to expect. In this guide, I’ll cover all of the intricacies of resin driveway cost and what might boost the final price.
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Why Should I Choose A Resin Drive?
Before I get into the cost of a resin bound gravel driveway, let’s think about whether this is the right choice for your home. As I have mentioned, this has become an incredibly popular choice and there’s a few good reasons for this. So what makes a resin drive such a brilliant option?
Well, resin driveways are very durable and can last as long as 25 years when they’re properly cared for. But I’m going to talk more about durability in the following section.
You’ll also find that this type of driveway offers a non-slip solution so if you or anyone in your home is a little unsteady on their feet, it can make things much safer. Plus, in bad weather, there won’t be as much concern. Moreover, there are options to add further things into the mix such as crushed glass which will again boost the non-slip nature of the material. And in the summer, you won’t need to worry about the sun’s UV rays causing damage because your driveway will be totally resistant to this.
Provided that you install your resin bound driveway on a porous surface, water will seep through and go back into the ground so there’s no need to worry about drainage. Plus, when it comes to taking care of your new driveway, you won’t have your work cut out as this is one of the most low maintenance options out there.
Compared to concrete, resin bound gravel is ten times more eco-friendly. In a time where we’re all a little more eco-conscious, this is certainly a selling point.
You won’t need to apply for planning permission to install a resin driveway and the work won’t take an age and a day to complete. There is a drying time which you’ll need to adhere to but this doesn’t take more than 48 hours and you’ll be able to use your new driveway that will serve you for years to come.
But, one of the main reasons that people choose this type of drive is because of how good it looks. Where aesthetics are concerned, you won’t find many other materials that’ll really have the wow factor like resin. What’s more, boosting the appearance of your property adds value to it and there are so many different colour choices that you can go for something that’ll really compliment your home.
A Word On Durability
Earlier, I mentioned that resin bound gravel is one of the most durable driveway options there is. Now, this can affect the cost meaning that you’ll usually have to pay a little more upfront compared to other driveway materials. But of course, if the driveway is going to stand the test of time, you’re going to save in the long run.
Moreover, if you lay your resin bound driveway on top of something like concrete then the chances of things like weeds are slim to none. Weed growth can damage a driveway a lot more than you might imagine, causing or worsening cracks which can be costly to repair.
One of the issues with a lot of driveways is that, when they’re exposed to the freeze and thaw process, they can start to crack but this usually isn’t the case with resin driveways. The reason for this is that they’re made using a polyurethane resin which, unlike epoxy, is far more flexible.
That said, don’t go into it thinking that you’ve got something that will never crack as that might not be the case. A lot of the durability in terms of crack resistance comes from the base that the driveway is laid on. This is why it’s really important to make sure that your contractor properly prepares the sub base as this will go a long way in preventing cracks down the line.
Where durability is concerned, resistance also comes into play and one of the great things is that this material is highly resistant to UV damage. But that only applies if you use an aliphatic resin as opposed to an aromatic resin. You see, aromatic resins aren’t UV resistant and so the driveway will begin to discolour over time. Yes, you’ll pay more for an aliphatic resin but it’s worth it if you want a driveway that’s going to look good for longer.
Generally speaking, a resin bound gravel driveway will last up to 25 years as long as it’s properly cared for. However, you should be mindful about what you’re being sold. A lot of companies will give you at least a 12 month warranty on the work and materials but I have seen companies that guarantee the surface to be crack-free for up to a decade.
That might be wishful thinking because there could be factors outside of their control that cause cracks such as a rogue tree root. If this is the case, good luck getting any repairs or maintenance done for free. Before you sign anything, just be sure to read the small print.
When you are looking to install a resin bound driveway, I’d always suggest getting quotes from at least three installers, if not more. This will give you a clear picture of the price in your local area as well as allowing you to find the best cost.
But one thing you will notice when getting quotes is that the price is broken down into several sections. It pays to be aware what these sections are and what costs they cover. Of course, if you’re unsure about anything, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
The cost of preparing the area can vary greatly between projects. For example, if you’re looking to install your resin driveway over a currently lawned area then this will entail far more work and so the preparation costs will be much higher. This will include things like excavating the area, adding various base layers, edging and other things before you can even think about starting on the final resin surface.
Of course, if you want to install your driveway onto a concrete surface then this may be cheaper. However, it all depends on the condition of the area. If there are weeds that need removing or cracks that need filling, this will all be reflected in the cost.
The main ingredients of a resin bound driveway include a mix of aggregates in two sizes, sand and resin. Sometimes a polymer is included and if you are laying the driveway over concrete, then it may also be necessary to apply a primer before the driveway can be installed.
The mix comes in bags of 25 kg and how many of these you need will depend on the size of the area to be covered. What’s more, while there aren’t a lot of suppliers of this material, the cost between them does vary according to the qualities of the mix including its traction and the type of stones used. As I mentioned earlier, there are different levels of resistance so if you have an aliphatic resin, this will also cost more.
You’re hiring someone to install your driveway and this doesn’t come for free. Normally, it will take between three and four people to work on an average driveway so you’ll need to cover the cost of the workmanship for all of these people.
The longer the project takes, the more it’s going to cost but usually, resin bound driveways don’t take too long to install. Of course, this very much depends on how much preparation work is involved.
The amount you will pay for labour each day will highly depend on the skill of the workers. Normally, it could be between £100 and £200 per day but this is something you need to be clear on when obtaining your quotes.
While the above three points will usually always be included in the price breakdown on your quote, there could be other costs involved.
Some companies may charge for mileage, particularly if your property is far away. On top of this, the workers may need to stay overnight in local accommodation so you will likely be expected to foot the bill for this too.
Where a lot of preparation work is involved, there may be the need to hire a skip or some other kind of waste disposal which again, will fall on you. When choosing a company, it’s very important to ask questions regarding extra costs so that you have no nasty surprises when you receive your final invoice.
Finding The Right Company For The Job
As I’ve discussed, it’s important to get quotes from several companies before you make a final decision. If you’re given a quote that seems too good to be true then the chances are that it probably is. Installing a resin driveway does take a degree of skill and experience and this comes at a cost. If you’re given a cheap quote then you’ll have to expect less than a high standard of work.
But cost isn’t the only way to determine whether someone is right for the job. Checking out online reviews is a brilliant way to find out how the company or tradesperson has performed in the past. There are lots of independent sites where you can look at honest reviews such as Yell. Customers will be prepared to go into detail about very good or very bad experiences.
Now, keep in mind that you’ll be hard pushed to find a company that’s never received a single bad review. That’s the nature of business; you can’t please everyone. So make sure that you read several reviews from various points in time to get a better idea.
Moreover, looking at bad reviews gives you the opportunity to see how the company handled the situation by their response. Everyone makes mistakes and that’s OK so if you can see it was genuine and the company went above and beyond to make amends, that’s got to be a good thing.
It’s also a good idea to talk to the company and ask as many questions as possible. Find out about their accreditations, previous experience, ethical values, procedures and anything else that comes to mind. A reputable company who genuinely wants to provide you with a good experience will be more than happy to discuss these things with you and give clear answers.
Finally, be sure to find out what warranties and guarantees you’ll be getting with your drive. While you might be covered for several years, this may only cover certain aspects such as workmanship. The last thing you want is to find out there’s a problem but you’ll have to foot the bill to repair it.
So, How Much Is A Resin Driveway?
Now that you understand exactly what you’ll be paying for, let’s take a look at the factors that could boost or lower the expected cost. Keep in mind that every project is different so these are general guidelines.
Size Of The Driveway
You’ll usually find that there is a minimum fixed cost for the installation of a resin bound gravel driveway. This covers the basic costs of the company such as travel to and from the site. However, after this, the size of the area will be taken into account with a cost being charged per square metre.
Usually, as the size of the area gets bigger, the cost per square metre will come down somewhat. Where you’re only installing a driveway on a smaller area, the price per square metre could be higher.
When you have a resin driveway installed, the mix will contain at least two different sized aggregates. However, you can’t just choose anything as the size of the aggregates must be compatible with the depth of the drive.
Generally speaking, the driveway depth must be three times more than the size of the largest stone used in the mix. Therefore, if you’re using a 10 mm aggregate, the depth would need to be at least 30 mm.
Earlier I talked about the two different types of resin; one that resists UV damage, the other that doesn’t. The cost of your entire driveway will be affected by which of these you choose. Normally, using an aromatic resin (non UV resistant) could cost half the price of an aliphatic resin so if you’re looking to save money, this might be something to consider.
That said, this does come with the very high risk of discolouration over time so if aesthetics are important to you then it’s worth spending that little bit extra.
As well as considering the size of the area you’re going to be working on, you also need to think about the shape and layout. There might be tight spots, areas that are difficult to access and other obstacles that will increase the amount of work your installers have to do.
What Is The Current Driveway Surface?
One of the biggest factors that will affect the cost of your resin bound gravel driveway is what’s already there. This is because the current surface will determine how much preparation needs to be done, any repairs that have to be undertaken etc.
As I discussed earlier, if the area is currently covered in grass, your contractor is going to have to dig this up and lay both a stone base and then an asphalt one. Doing this amount of additional work is going to come with a much higher cost than just cleaning and weeding a bit of concrete.
Installing Over Block Paving
One of the most common questions regarding resin bound driveways is whether you can install them on top of existing block paving. The good news is that you most certainly can, however, there is a degree of prep work involved to make sure that there is no cracking in the future.
Before your installer lays the resin bound gravel on top of the block paving, they’ll likely strengthen the area but this shouldn’t take too long. The great thing about installing on top of blocks is that there’s no need to excavate anything which drastically reduces the amount of time required.
That said, before your contractor does anything, they’ll probably give the area a thorough inspection. In some cases, where the block paving is not considered stable or safe enough to use as a sub base, there may be no other choice but to dig it up.
Installing Over Tarmac
In actual fact, tarmac is one of the best options for a sub base for resin bound gravel. If there was no base to begin with, this is what your installer would lay before the resin. However, it’s important that it’s a porous tarmac to ensure good drainage and that the driveway will be SUDS compliant.
That said, even if you have an older tarmac drive, there’s no reason that you cannot have resin installed on top provided that the base has good structural integrity.
How Much Will It Cost To Install Resin Over An Existing Surface?
Provided that your existing base is in good condition, or can be easily repaired, there’s no reason why you can’t lay a resin bound gravel driveway over the top. Now, as I’ve mentioned, the cost of the installation will vary from project to project but let’s assume that you’re laying at 15 mm, the cost may be as follows, on average.
- Up to 40 square metres – £65 per square metre
- Between 40 and 100 square metres – £55 per square metre
- More than 100 square metres – £50 per square metre
You will need to edge your driveway with something and there may even already be an edge in place. This might be something like pavers, brick, a wall, timber or anything else but if there aren’t already edges in place then these will need to be installed which will naturally bring up the cost.
How Long Will My Resin Driveway Take To Set?
When your brand new driveway is laid, you’ll be keen to use it right away. However, as with many driveway types, resin does need time to set before it can be used. If you don’t do this then it will become damaged or marked before you’ve even had a chance to enjoy it.
If you have a regular sized vehicle then it should usually take around 48 hours before the driveway will be ready to receive it. However, for larger vehicles, it’s recommended to wait 72 hours.
It is possible to walk on the driveway the day after installation but be careful not to do so for at least eight hours after the resin has been laid because this is the minimum time it’ll take to set.
Taking Care Of Your Resin Bound Gravel Driveway After Installation
Your driveway is installed, you’ve allowed it time to set and now you’ve got something that’s really going to stand the test of time. However, that will only be the case if you look after it properly.
One of the greatest things about resin bound gravel driveways is how easy they are to maintain. The material will largely take care of itself but you will need to keep it clean and you can do this using a pressure washer.
However, if you don’t have a pressure washer then you can use a garden hose with decent water pressure. What you’re aiming to do is release any debris from the surface and a strong hose will usually be enough for this.
While resin bound gravel is usually pretty non-slip, you can apply some grit during the winter to further improve the traction.
It’s also important to be mindful about how you use your driveway as things like dry steering your car whilst parked can leave marks behind that will ruin the aesthetic of your resin. I’d also be careful about dropping anything heavy onto the surface as this can cause scratches. If you need to move anything heavy over the resin, don’t drag it because it’ll almost certainly leave a mark.
Finally, if you have any fuel or oil spills then get these cleaned off as quickly as possible. If you do this, then you’ll find that they’re pretty easy to remove. However, when they’re left for long periods, they can stain.
Resin bound gravel driveways look amazing and will add both aesthetic and financial value to your property. On top of this, they’re incredibly durable and easy to maintain so they’ve become a very popular choice for UK homeowners.
But of course, with all of these advantages, you have to expect to pay a decent amount of money. While resin driveways may start from around £50 per square metre, there are factors that can up this cost significantly.
Get several quotes from various companies to find the best deal but always make sure that you’re working with a reputable trader who will do the job to a high standard.