So you’re thinking about getting a new driveway? You might be starting from scratch, replacing an existing drive with block paving, tarmac, imprinted concrete, or maybe widening it. But what are the things you need to know before work commences? Here’s our concise, no-nonsense guide to getting your block paving driveway project off the ground.
Do I Need it – Of Course…Not!
No. A 2008 change in the law means that you don’t need planning permission for a hardstanding driveway, however large it is.
Well, you almost always don’t need it. The only instance where you would is if your planned driveway was bigger than 5 square metres (almost 54 square feet) and was going to be made from a non-porous material, or that didn’t allow water to naturally drain. Block paving is porous, and so permission isn’t needed.
What Else To Think About
A driveway for block paving doesn’t need planning permission. However, if you’re changing your front garden to a parking area for the first time, you’ll more than likely need to have planning permission for a dropped kerb from your local council. You can’t legally have a driveway without it, but kerbs can only be lowered if the proposed driveway meets certain criteria. For more information on this, read our article on dropping a kerb in Birmingham
Remember to factor in all the costs of conversion. With labour and materials, you might expect to pay around £4500 in the West Midlands for a block paving driveway. The bigger the drive, the cheaper the overall cost per metre of the materials. If you need to lower the kerb, this can cost an additional £1400-£3500 depending on your location.
Can I Extend My Existing Driveway?
You may have a small driveway and a garden that you want to convert into a full one. Depending on the age and material of your existing drive, you’ll most likely get the best results by completely resurfacing the whole area. Trying to mix-and-match old and new materials may save a little money initially, but leave your driveway looking uneven. It may also complicate upkeep and maintenance if one part of your drive is significantly older than another.
Can I Put A Driveway On A Council House?
The rules for putting a drive on a rented council house are the same as other properties. However, you do need to get additional permission from your local housing officer before doing anything.
Do I Get A Return On My Investment?
There are many ways in which a driveway is an asset and an excellent external home improvement to consider. Depending on the existing value and location of your property, investing the time and money to find a high-quality block paving company to build it can add 10% to your value.
Driveways do need maintenance, but they are far easier to look after than gardens. As long as it’s been laid properly and is regularly washed down, it won’t attract weeds anytime soon.
Off-street parking makes for cheaper insurance premiums than street parking. In areas where parking is at a premium, it means you’ll always have a space to come home to as well!
Some people who live close to amenities with limited or expensive parking, such as schools and hospitals, actually make extra money by renting their drive out to teachers and nurses. This neat little trick can potentially bring in an extra £1000 per year.
Driveways On Grass Verges
Sometimes, property owners may find that they have a small patch of land next to their property; they may live on a corner or in a less built-up area. One option they have is to find out who owns that land and convert it into a driveway. Often, this land will be local council property, and they may be persuaded to sell it.
If you live on an estate, you may find that the original landowner is still the legal owner but doesn’t know or care as the land is too small to be of value. If you’re in such a situation and are prepared to do some detective work, this may be an option in getting a drive at the side of your house.
A note of caution, however, is that you cannot simply build on or alter land outside of your property boundary without permission. If you’re unsure of what you do or don’t own, then double-check your property deeds or do a Land Registry search.
So, if a block paving driveway sounds like the way forward for you, get in touch with us at Majesticlay for a chat and a quote.