High quality driveway installation by our expert team.
Acorn Landscape Gardening offers a full driveway building service in the Preston area. We work with all materials and lay driveways of all sizes.
Ground work is the key to building driveways which will last. We are experts in ground preparation and laying solid foundations. This means our driveways always stand the test of time.
We work with you every step of the way to make sure you get the best out of your budget. Our business is founded on transparency so our customers always know exactly what they are getting.
Guarantees are given with all work so you can be sure what your getting is great quality.
All of our services are available individually or as part of a full garden design. The service includes:
Q: Do I need to seal my driveway?
A: Paved and imprinted concrete driveways require sealing every few years to maintain the appearance.
This guide explains the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular types of driveway. If you are thinking of upgrading to a new driveway soon then it’s always a good idea to do your research.
Acorn Gardening installs all the types of driveway we mention below, and more. Please contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss your driveway project.
Summary: Tarmac could be called the practical option which considers functionality and cost over looks.
Tarmac driveways are a popular choice. Their popularity is primarily driven by their relatively low cost over time. A tarmac driveway, when properly installed, will give you 15 years before holes start to appear. It has good weather resistance, requires very little maintenance and is easy to patch up when holes do appear.
Tarmac driveways are a solid choice but they have two areas which are poorer than other options. Firstly, installation can be difficult. Tarmac is laid when hot and requires special equipment which means that it may be out of the question for an armature DIYer to do. Secondly, the tarmac itself is limited in variety and can only look so good. Although it doesn’t look bad, it is certainly not the most attractive option.
Improving the appearance
The appearance of a tarmac driveway can be improved with the addition of other features such as a block stone border. This can take advantage of the low price whilst still having a driveway which complements the house
Summary: A lifetime investment for those that like the old world look.
Most of us have experienced the old world charm of cobbled streets. A cobbled driveway can add some of that to your property. The large variety of materials, colours and textures make a cobbled driveway adaptable to most tastes. Cobbles are highly resistant to weather and wear and tear. To top it off, cobbled driveways have a staggering lifespan of up to 100 years, making them a true lifetime investment.
The downside to a cobble driveway is very predictable, the cost. With cobbles usually made from granite or basalt, the material costs can be high. Installation is no cheaper, each block will need placing, levelling and potentially shaping. This makes it very labour intensive.
It’s not particularly hard to lay a cobble driveway but getting it right and doing it fast takes experience . If you have plenty of time on your hands then DIY is an option. Just make sure you know what you are doing or you will end up paying for it to be fixed in a couple of years.
Reducing the cost
Due to price its most common for people to use cobbles as an element of the design rather than the whole driveway. Granite block edging around an Indian sandstone driveway is a popular choice. This gives a look of rustic class without breaking the bank.
Summary: Quick, cheap, durable and good looking but a can be a pain to manage.
Gravel is the fastest driveway surface to install and because of this it can also be the cheapest. There are many different types of gravel to choose from. You can get gravel which will blend with or add a contrast with any surroundings. You can even opt for sections of different gravel.
Gravel driveways are highly permeable which means that run off is no different to the soil. They may even retain more water. This is handy as it avoids the requirement of planning permission necessary for some hard surfaces. It also means no pooling.
Gravel can be a pain if its not contained so you may need to add retaining borders. It can end up being a choice between a trip hazard or gravel everywhere.
Hard to clean and de-ice. Where as a flat surface can have snow removed easily with a shovel, you may end up removing quite a lot of gravel with the snow. Salting the area can work but it has its limits and may damage nearby plants and grass.
Prone to ruts and holes. With frequent use from foot traffic and cars the shape of the driveway can change. This can be easily fixed with a rake but sometimes it is the base which has been shaped. This would mean adding extra gravel from time to time.
Summary: Highly adaptable and durable. A great choice for value and looks.
Block paving has become one of the most popular choices when for driveways around Preston. It brings an expensive look and has limitless options for design. It can handle heavy loads and has a very long life span.
With new materials such as shaped concrete becoming increasingly available the material costs have dropped to match those of paving.
As the blocks are held in primarily by their arrangement there’s don’t need to wait for anything to dry. You should be able to drive on the surface within 3 hours of laying.
Replacing and relaying is also fairly easy as small sections can be removed without disturbing the whole driveway.
Very labour intensive. The blocks themselves may be purchased at a good price but the prep work and installation is likely to be expensive. Like all driveway surfaces it will need a level base with appropriate depth and drainage. This can take some time and use of extra materials depending on the size of the driveway.
We have a whole page dedicated to block paving if you would like to know more.
Summary: The happy medium, and our recommended value for money option. It offers a massive variety of natural and modified options. Its generally cheaper than block or cobble driveways and more pricey than tarmac (but only a little).
Stone paving has the Largest variety of sizes, styles, shapes, textures out of any driveway surface. You will be able to find paving slabs to fit any taste an build an amazing driveway.
Real stone will last years and some even gets better with time.
The process for laying is far quicker than block or cobble driveway surfaces. All things considered stone paving is our top choice for value for money.
A stone driveway should be laid on cement which won’t be properly hardened for up to 48 hours after laying. If this is the only access to your house it could be a problem.
Cracking is a weakness which is specific to paving. Dropping something heavy could crack a slab and be very hard to fix or replace. This doesn’t happen often but it is a risk.
If you opt for light coloured stone paving on your driveway be aware that it can stain. Either go for a slightly darker colour, keep it clean or seal it to keep it looking great. Our paving services page has more information on the types available.
Summary: A great value option but rarely looks like the driveway surface it is trying to imitate.
Pattern imprinted concrete is designed to imitate other more expensive surfaces such as cobble, block or paving. It is usually cheaper than these surfaces and has other advantages.
An imprinted concrete driveway will most likely be one large unit after it is laid. This means that individual parts cant move around and that cracking is unlikely. It has a very long life and will not let weeds grow through it.
Imprinted concrete driveways are easy to clean. Their surface is not very porous and there is not usually many grooves for dirt to cling to a hide in.
Once its set, its set. This means that it has to be done right first time. A poorly laid imprinted concrete driveway is pretty much impossible to fix and would need to be demolished and redone.
Even when done right, imprinted concrete is prone to pooling and can be very slippery when wet. Make sure to use a sealant which doesn’t create a sheen on the concrete.
Imprinted concrete needs sealing every 3 to 5 years
Resin bound driveways have become very popular in recent years. So popular that we have a whole page devoted to them. To see prices, advice and how to book resin bound driveways follow this link.
According to Virgin Money a well done driveway can add 10% to the value of a house. So if you need one and can afford it, it may be a useful feature and a good investment. However this isn’t to say that adding any driveway to any house will increase its value. To make sure your investment is solid consider these 5 things:
Neutral colours and regular designs are the most likely to go down well because they will fit in with most tastes. If you are into unicorn patterns that’s fine, but the next owner of your property will have to be just as enthusiastic or it may put them off.
If you are considering a driveway from an investment point of view, its better to go for something popular and timeless like block paving, or sand stone.
Your taste may not be someone else’s taste so if you want a driveway that looks like something you would see at the Tate be aware that you may turn off buyers in the future who don’t like it.
Houses in certain areas with a set size cannot go up in value indefinitely. People looking it your house are likely to be taking into account the value of similar houses. They will have some specifications in mind which are most important to them.
If you spend £50,000 on a rare marble driveway with a bust of Churchill at the front don’t expect to get £50,000 more for your house when selling.
Driveways near Preston city centre or on busy streets a driveway can add significant value to your house.
Its far more common for us to re-lay or fix driveways than it is to install new ones. Sometimes this is the natural degradation over time but more often than not, its a cowboy job which fell apart after a couple of years.
It may be tempting to got for the quote which is 50% cheaper than the others but consider how they are doing it that cheap. Its likely they are missing out some important step which will result in a very short life span or other problems.
A shoddy driveway will be seen as an extra expense for a potential buyer. This could devalue the property, rather than increase the value. Make sure to use quality driveway installers like Acorn Gardening to get the job done right.