A concrete driveway is a perfect solution if you can’t or don’t want to park on the street. It means less time to get indoors out of the rain.
It will also add value to your home and if you decide to sell you’ll have the advantage over houses without driveways.
This guide tells you how much a concrete driveway will cost you, what you need to know about laying a drive, what you need to include in your budget, how to save money and what to do if you want to contact a professional to do the job for you.
How Much Does a Concrete Drive Cost?
The table below is an estimation of the costs taking into account that the costs of supplying the materials and laying the driveway are between £75 and £100 per m2.
|Size of Driveway||Estimated Supply Cost||Estimated Labour Cost||Time Required||Estimated Total Cost|
|15m||£619-£825||£506-£675||Two to three days||£1,125-£1,500|
|25m||£1,031-£1,375||£844-£1,125||Three to five days||£1,875-£2,500|
|35m||£1,444-£1,925||£1,181-£1,575||Four to six days||£2,625-£3,500|
You might find prices are more expensive if you live in and around London and they may be cheaper if you are in the North of England.
When you need a professional to concrete your drive let HouseholdQuotes help you! Fill in the online form and we’ll get trusted tradesmen to give you no-obligation quotes.
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What Impacts the Cost of a Concrete Driveway?
Several factors will have an impact on the final cost of installing a concrete driveway.
Driveway Size and Shape
It will cost less if your driveway is a uniform shape and doesn’t have any obstacles to go around.
It’s not that you can’t concrete a driveway with awkward shapes and obstacles, it’s just it will require more labour and so cost more.
Laying concrete on a slope will cost more money for labour. This is because the contractor will have to lay wooden formers along the drive and up the slope.
The wooden formers prevent the concrete at the top of the slope from sliding back down to the bottom of the drive.
Drainage and Services
Any underground pipes and drainage you have should be deep enough into the ground that they don’t get disturbed.
The excavation for a driveway goes down about 2500mm and your service pipes and cables should be about 600mm below ground. Always find out where your cables run and do a test dig before any final excavation.
Ease of Access
If men and machinery can access your property easily then this will make the job more straightforward. It will cost more, for example, if the contractor has to use a labourer with a wheelbarrow to bring the concrete through to your driveway.
Removal of Walls or Hedges
It might be necessary to remove all or part of a wall or hedge to build your new driveway. Unless you remove these things yourself there will be extra costs.
If the driveway contractor doesn’t include this in the quote you’ll need to find someone who can do the job and dispose of the rubbish afterwards.
The materials you’ll need, or your contractor might use include:
- Wood for setting out and control joints
- Hardcore for the subbase
- Kiln-dried sand to fill in any gaps if you are laying block or brickwork
- Sealant to provide a protective coat
- Edging blocks to finish off the driveway or create a kerb
The cost of a skip will depend on the size you want and what part of the county you are in.
For example, a skip that holds up to 60 black bin bags of rubbish will cost around £200 if you live in Brighton, Sussex and £165 if you live in Leeds.
Other things you should budget for are the extras you might want to add to upgrade your security and make the area more attractive.
- Lighting that comes on automatically when you are on the drive will make it easier for you to come in and out of your doorway. It will also deter opportunist burglars who won’t want bright lighting.
- Gates also give you extra security. You can choose electric gates if you don’t want to have to get out of your car when you want to enter your driveway
- Fencing and walls will give you both privacy and security.
- A CCTV system should deter burglars or other people from causing a nuisance. It also provides vital evidence if you should need it.
- Landscaping the garden when the driveway is finished will make the front of your home more attractive
How Much Preparation Is Needed
If you have a suitable sub base you don’t need to worry about digging down further and adding hardcore. This means saving on the cost of the hardcore and labour charges.
You’ll probably have a suitable sub base if you are taking up old block or brick stones.
How Can I Save Money on a Concrete Driveway?
Choose a simple design and natural colour. Complicated designs and hard to source colours make a concrete driveway more expensive.
If you want to save money go for a basic design and a standard colour.
Do part of the job yourself. Excavating a driveway isn’t a job for anyone unless you are good at DIY. If you are good at DIY you could hire a mini-excavator and do the job yourself.
If you’re less of an expert get a professional to do the excavation.
Another job you could do is lay the hardcore and the concrete yourself. Bear in mind that concrete hardens within a couple of hours so you may need the help of friends and family to get the job done in time.
We’ll use our database of trusted tradesmen to give you no-obligation quotes for your driveway project.
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How Do You Lay a Concrete Driveway?
When a professional comes along to begin the work of laying your driveway they will mark out the position for the driveway using string and pegs. The driveway will have to be at least three metres wide in a single driveway.
The land is usually excavated down to between 200mm and 250mm. If it is a large drive then the contractor might use a mini excavator if access allows.
The contractor will fill half the depth with hardcore for the subbase and the other half will contain the concrete.
During the excavation, the contractor will create a slight slope if there isn’t one already. This makes sure the rain flows away from your home. This is also when they could arrange to install the additional drainage.
The contractor will hammer pegs into the ground at various intervals using a spirit level to keep all the pegs level. This is in preparation for the formwork.
Now the contractor will begin the formwork. If this is done well, your driveway will be strong and durable, lasting years.
The contractor makes the formwork by using 25mm thick planks and placing them around the driveway’s outside edge. A spirit level will help the contractor to keep everything at the right level.
When the formwork is completed, you may need control joints. You use control joints if a driveway is more than four meters long.
Concrete on a long driveway is at risk of moving and cracking. You create control joints by laying wood across the formwork at intervals of four metres.
They will then put in the hardcore of sand and crushed stones. It needs to be between 100mm and 125mm in depth.
When it is down it will be compacted.
If you have easy access to the driveway your concrete is poured from a lorry. This is much quicker than having the concrete poured and then having to fill a wheelbarrow to deliver the concrete into the excavated land.
This method will cost you more in labour because one person can’t deliver enough concrete by wheelbarrow in two hours (when the concrete begins to set).
When the concrete is down the contractor will level it and then cover it with polythene and leave it to dry. The polythene ensures that the concrete doesn’t dry out too quickly, which will make it crack.
Your contractor will advise you to wait 28 days before you park your car on the new driveway.
Is Concrete the Best Choice for My Driveway?
If you want a low-maintenance option that will last for 30 years or more, then concrete is the solution. It is stronger and more durable than other driveway materials.
Plain concrete is also fairly easy to install. Below you can see the advantages and disadvantages of the various driveway materials:
|Type of Material||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Regular Concrete||-Low maintenance|
|-More expensive the tarmac
-Patching and repairs can be expensive
-Prone to icing in very cold weather
-Salt and de-icing liquid can damage the surface
-Less weed infiltration
|-Invisible repairs virtually impossible
-A new part will be different in appearance from the rest
-Wears quickly if incorrectly installed
|Tarmac||-Coloured tarmac is attractive|
-Easy to repair
|-Prone to weed, moss and algae infiltration
-Isn’t as long-lasting as concrete
|Brick and Stone||-You can create attractive patterns|
-No waiting time once pavers are laid
-Less slippery when wet
|-Need more time to install
-Needs more maintenance to keep clean and tidy
-Needs additional drainage
|-Gravel moves as you walk or drive on it
-Needs regular topping up
-Not recommended in areas with snowfall as the gravel is picked up with the snow when clearing
How Do I Find and Hire a Driveway Contractor?
Always ask friends, family, and work colleagues. Speak to your neighbours too.
If you don’t get any recommendations HouseholdQuotes can help you. All you need to do is fill in the online form to give us a few details.
We’ll then send local contractors to give you no-obligation quotes for your new driveway installation.
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Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
We recommend you ask the tradeperson you are hoping to hire the below questions to ensure they are the right fit for you:
- Always ask a tradesman about their experience. It doesn’t matter if they are just starting, but it is better to know. It’s also important to get testimonials from previous customers or references from work placements or college courses.
- If you need drainage ask them if they intend to call in a plumber for this job or they have the experience and skill to do this themselves.
- Finally, make sure they have their insurances in place. All tradesmen need public liability insurance. If they don’t have it, don’t use them.
- Make sure you get a written quotation and ask if it includes skip hire and rubbish removal because otherwise, this will be an extra cost.
Use the below checklist to make sure you have everything you need for the process of installing a concrete driveway:
- Make sure your contractor gives you a written quotation
- Confirm the quotation includes all labour, materials, and rubbish disposal
- Save money by excavating the driveway yourself
- Save money by putting down the hardcore and the concrete
- Don’t forget to leave enough time for the concrete to dry
A new concrete driveway is a good investment especially if you live in a busy area and parking is difficult.
Don’t forget HouseholdQuotes can help you find a trusted contractor to lay your driveway. Fill in the online form and we’ll send you driveway specialists to give you no-obligation quotes for a new concrete driveway.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need Planning Permission for a Driveway?
If your driveway is more than five square metres and it has impermeable material, such as regular concrete, you will have to put in an additional drainage system that runs into a soakaway in your garden.
Or you can construct a rain harvesting system and use the rainwater for watering the garden or other uses in the household.
What Are the Planning Regulations for a Dropped Kerb?
To be eligible for a dropped kerb your driveway must be at least 4.5 metres wide at right angles to the road, or the same length as your car. The driveway must also have a minimum width of 2.75 metres.
There must also be clear visibility from the end of your drive into the road so it must be free of any obstructions larger than 0.6 metres in height.
It’s worth asking your contractor if they know what steps you need to take to apply for planning permission, they might even include doing this work in their quotation.
Can I Lay Concrete Myself?
However, if you don’t have the time, or the layout is tricky, then a professional is a better idea.
Are Concrete Driveways Hard to Maintain?
If you have any oil stains, remove them with a specialist stain remover as soon as you notice the stain.
How Long Does Concrete Take to Dry?
If you want to drive your car on your new driveway, it’s best to wait for the full 28 days so the concrete is at its maximum strength.
When Is the Best Time of Year to Lay a Concrete Driveway?
It is possible to lay concrete in winter as long as bad weather isn’t forecast and the temperature is above normal for the time of year. If you want to use a professional to lay your driveway you might find they are less busy outside optimal periods.