Which Driveways Are Permeable

Permeable driveways in Northampton are designed to allow water to pass through the surface and into the ground below, reducing runoff and contributing to stormwater management. 

Permeable paving has become an attractive option for eco-conscious homeowners and those living in areas with stringent stormwater regulations. Let's explore the types, examples, and even some disadvantages of permeable driveways.

What Are Examples of Permeable Paving?

  1. Permeable Concrete Pavers: These are specially designed pavers with gaps that allow water to filter through. The spaces between the pavers are filled with small stones, enabling water to seep into the ground.
  2. Gravel: A traditional and simple form of permeable paving, gravel driveways allow water to pass through the stones and into the soil below.
  3. Grass-Crete: This is a system where concrete paving blocks are laid with spaces in between for grass to grow, allowing water permeation.
  4. Resin-Bound Surfacing: This is made from stones mixed with resin, creating small voids that allow water to drain through.

What Type of Tarmac Is Permeable?

Permeable tarmac, also known as porous asphalt, is specifically engineered to allow water to pass through. Unlike traditional tarmac, it is mixed with open-graded aggregates that create voids, permitting water to flow through the surface. It offers the look and feel of traditional asphalt but with the added benefit of permeability.

Is a Brick Driveway Permeable?

The permeability of a brick driveway depends on the type of bricks used and the installation method.

  1. Permeable Bricks: These are specially designed with higher porosity, allowing water to flow through the material itself.
  2. Installation Method: Even standard bricks can be laid with wider joints filled with coarse sand or gravel, allowing water to drain between the bricks. This method can create a permeable surface even with traditional brick materials.

What Are Examples of Permeable Paving? 

To reiterate some additional examples of permeable paving:

  1. Porous Concrete: This is specially formulated with fewer fines and no dense top layer, allowing water to penetrate the surface.
  2. Plastic Grid Systems: These are often used to stabilise gravel or grass, creating a drivable surface that remains permeable.
  3. Wooden Planks: Set with spaces between them, wood planking can provide a permeable and attractive driveway surface.

What Is the Disadvantage of Permeable Paving?

While permeable paving offers significant environmental benefits, there are some potential drawbacks:

  1. Maintenance: Permeable surfaces can require more maintenance, such as regular cleaning to prevent the voids from becoming clogged with debris.
  2. Climate Considerations: In areas with severe freezing and thawing cycles, permeable paving can be prone to damage.
  3. Installation Costs: Proper installation to ensure permeability may be more complex and costly than traditional driveway construction.
  4. Load-Bearing Limitations: Some permeable materials may not be suitable for heavy vehicle traffic.

Permeable driveways are an innovative solution for managing stormwater runoff and lessening the impact on local water systems. From permeable concrete pavers to porous asphalt, grass-crete, gravel, and even certain brick installations, there are numerous options to choose from.

However, these benefits come with considerations, including potentially higher maintenance, costs, and consideration of the specific needs and conditions of the location.

 Consulting with a professional who understands permeable driveway design and the local environment can guide homeowners in making a choice that aligns with both ecological goals and practical needs.

How Long Do New Driveways Last

What Type of Driveway Lasts the Longest?

Driveways can be constructed from various materials, each with its durability and longevity.

  1. Concrete: One of the most long-lasting materials, concrete driveways Northampton can endure for up to 50 years with proper care and maintenance. Its rigid structure and resistance to weathering make it a preferred choice for longevity.
  2. Asphalt or Tarmac: Generally lasting around 20 years, but it can go even longer with proper maintenance.
  3. Pavers: These can last anywhere from 25 to 50 years depending on the material used.
  4. Gravel: Though it can last a lifetime, gravel requires regular maintenance and replenishment.

How Long Does Tarmac Last on a Driveway?

Tarmac, or asphalt, is a popular driveway material known for its relative ease of installation and attractive appearance. Here's what affects its lifespan:

  1. Quality of Installation: A professionally installed tarmac driveway with proper foundations and drainage can last 20 years or more.
  2. Maintenance: Regular sealing and crack repairs can significantly extend the life of a tarmac driveway.
  3. Climate and Usage: Extreme weather conditions and heavy usage can wear down tarmac more quickly.

How Long Does a Concrete Drive Last?

Concrete driveways are known for their durability and can last significantly longer than other materials:

  1. Quality of Materials and Installation: High-quality concrete, properly mixed and installed, forms a resilient surface that can last up to 50 years.
  2. Maintenance: While generally low-maintenance, occasional sealing and crack repair can keep a concrete driveway looking good for decades.
  3. Environmental Factors: Concrete is relatively resistant to various weather conditions, although exposure to excessive moisture and freezing temperatures without proper care may shorten its lifespan.

Can a Tarmac Driveway Last Up to 20 Years?

Yes, a tarmac driveway can certainly last up to 20 years, and even longer in some cases. The factors that influence this longevity include:

  1. Proper Installation: Ensuring that the driveway has a proper foundation and is installed by experienced professionals is key to its durability.
  2. Maintenance: Regular maintenance, including sealing cracks and resealing the surface every 3 to 5 years, can protect the driveway from water damage and extend its life.
  3. Usage and Weather Conditions: Heavy vehicles and extreme weather can reduce the lifespan of a tarmac driveway, but with proper care, it can still last 20 years or more.


The lifespan of a driveway varies widely depending on the material, installation quality, maintenance, and environmental conditions. While concrete driveways are among the most durable, lasting up to 50 years, tarmac driveways can also offer impressive longevity of 20 years or more with proper care.

For homeowners looking to install a long-lasting driveway, the key considerations should be:

  • Selecting the Right Material: Understanding the different materials and their lifespans can help in choosing the one that best fits your needs and budget.
  • Investing in Quality Installation: Hiring experienced professionals who understand local conditions and the specific requirements of the chosen material can ensure a long-lasting driveway.
  • Committing to Regular Maintenance: Whichever material is chosen, regular maintenance can significantly extend the life of a driveway, keeping it functional and attractive for many years.

Ultimately, understanding your specific needs, preferences, budget, and the conditions in your location will help you choose the right material and care routine to ensure that your driveway lasts as long as possible. Whether opting for the remarkable durability of concrete or the more economical but still long-lasting tarmac, thoughtful planning and care can lead to a driveway that enhances your property for decades to come.

Are Driveways Covered By Home Insurance

Home insurance is typically designed to protect homeowners from unexpected expenses related to their property, such as damages to the structure, personal belongings, and sometimes even liabilities. But what about the driveway? Are damages to or issues with a driveway covered by standard home insurance policies? You'd want to know that information before hiring Abington Driveways Northampton. Let's dive into the details.

Standard Home Insurance Policies

Most standard home insurance policies cover the primary dwelling and other structures on the property, like garages and sheds. However, driveways are often considered separate and might not be included in basic coverage.

Other Structures Coverage

Some home insurance policies offer coverage for "other structures" on the property, which might include driveways. This type of coverage usually protects against specific risks, such as damage from a natural disaster, vandalism, or a vehicle collision. However, this is not universal, and coverage can vary widely between different insurance providers and policies.

What Types of Damage Might Be Covered?

Here are some scenarios where driveway damage might be covered under home insurance:

  • Natural Disasters: If your policy includes coverage for natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, or storms, and your driveway is damaged as a result, you may be covered.
  • Vandalism: If your driveway is intentionally damaged by someone, this might fall under the vandalism protection of your home insurance policy.
  • Vehicle Collision: If a car damages your driveway in an accident, this may be covered, either under your home insurance or the car owner's auto insurance.

What Likely Isn't Covered?

Here's what typically is not covered:

  • Wear and Tear: General wear and tear or gradual deterioration of the driveway will likely not be covered.
  • Poor Workmanship: If the damage is due to poor construction or materials, this typically falls outside the purview of standard home insurance.

Additional Coverage Options

If your standard policy doesn't cover your driveway, you may be able to purchase additional coverage specifically for it. This can protect against a broader range of risks, offering peace of mind that your investment in your driveway is safeguarded.

Importance of Reading Policy Documents

Every insurance policy is unique, and the only way to know for sure whether your driveway is covered is to carefully read the policy documents or speak with your insurance agent. They can clarify what is and isn't covered and help you understand any available options for additional protection.

Driveways are an essential part of many properties but navigating insurance coverage for them can be complex. While some policies may include driveways under "other structures" coverage, many standard policies might not cover them at all, especially for common issues like wear and tear.

For homeowners seeking to protect their driveways, it's crucial to:

  • Understand Your Current Policy: Read through the policy details or consult with an insurance agent to understand what's covered.
  • Consider Additional Coverage: If your driveway is not covered, or the coverage is insufficient for your needs, inquire about additional options.
  • Document and Maintain: Keep records of the installation, materials used, and any maintenance or repairs. This documentation might be crucial if you ever need to make a claim.

In conclusion, driveways may or may not be covered by home insurance, depending on the specific policy, the type of damage, and the individual insurer's rules. Understanding your policy, considering your risk factors, and possibly investing in additional coverage can help ensure that your driveway surface — and your finances — are protected for the future.

What Driveway Surface Is The Best

Choosing the right driveway surface is vital as it can affect everything from your property's appearance to its value and the amount of maintenance required. As the owner of Abington Driveways Northampton, let me take you through the various aspects that contribute to making a decision on the best driveway surface.

What Is the Most Durable Type of Driveway?

  • Concrete: Among the various driveway materials, concrete stands out for its durability. With proper installation and occasional sealing, a concrete driveway can last up to 50 years or more. The solid construction resists cracks and wear, making it an ideal long-term investment.

Which Driveway Paving Is Best?

  • Block Paving: Block paving is often considered the best paving option due to its visual appeal and versatility. It's available in various colours, shapes, and patterns, allowing customisation to suit the architectural style of any property. Additionally, individual pavers can be replaced if damaged, adding to its practicality.
  • Resin-Bound Paving: For a modern appearance and low maintenance, resin-bound paving is becoming an increasingly popular choice. It offers a smooth finish, and the ability to incorporate various designs and colours.

What Type of Driveway Adds Most Value?

  • Block Paving Driveways: As mentioned, block paving driveways not only look beautiful but can significantly boost property value. Their timeless appearance, quality construction, and design flexibility make them a sought-after feature for homebuyers.

What Is the Best Driveway Thickness?

  • Concrete Driveways: A standard thickness of 4 inches (10 cm) is often recommended for residential concrete driveways. This thickness provides adequate support for most vehicles. However, if heavier vehicles will regularly use the driveway, a thickness of 5 inches (12.7 cm) or more may be advisable.
  • Asphalt Driveways: For tarmac or asphalt driveways, a thickness of 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 cm) is typical. It’s a balance between providing enough support for vehicles and managing costs.

What Driveway Material Is the Most Permeable?

  • Permeable Paving Stones: These are specifically designed to allow water to pass through, reducing runoff and helping with drainage.
  • Gravel: Gravel driveways offer natural permeability, allowing water to seep through the stones into the ground beneath.
  • Resin-Bound Surfacing: With correct installation, resin-bound driveways can be a permeable option, compliant with Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) regulations in many areas.

Determining the best driveway surface requires considering various factors based on individual needs and preferences.

  • For Durability: Concrete remains the top choice for those seeking a long-lasting, sturdy driveway.
  • For Best Paving: Block paving offers versatility and aesthetic appeal, while resin-bound paving is becoming a popular modern choice.
  • For Value Addition: Block paving can significantly enhance a property's value with its customisable and appealing look.
  • For Thickness: Opting for standard thicknesses based on the material (4 inches for concrete, 2 to 3 inches for asphalt) is usually suitable, though individual needs may vary.
  • For Permeability: Permeable paving stones, gravel, and resin-bound surfaces offer excellent permeable options to control water runoff.

In summary, the "best" driveway surface will vary depending on individual priorities and needs. Consulting with a driveway professional who can assess the specific conditions of your property will help guide you to the optimal choice that balances aesthetics, durability, function, and budget.

What Are The Most Popular Type Of Driveway

Tarmac Driveways

Tarmac driveways Northampton are immensely popular for their cost-effectiveness and easy installation. With a classic black finish, they are suitable for various house styles.

Concrete Driveways

Concrete driveways offer a clean and sleek appearance. They can be finished in various ways, including staining or stamping, to create a unique look.

Block Paving Driveways

These are sought after for their aesthetic appeal, offering a wide range of colours, shapes, and patterns.

Gravel Driveways

Gravel driveways are popular for their affordability and the rustic charm they add to properties.

Resin-Bound Driveways

Increasing in popularity, resin-bound driveways give a modern, permeable surface that’s also weed-resistant.

What Type of Driveway Adds Most Value?

When considering value addition, block paving driveways are often top-rated. Their aesthetic appeal, customisation possibilities, and overall quality can significantly enhance a property's kerb appeal, making it more attractive to potential buyers.

What Is the Best Low Maintenance Driveway?

For those looking for low maintenance, a tarmac driveway is often the best choice. Once installed, it requires minimal care, only needing occasional sealing. Resin-bound driveways are also an excellent low-maintenance option, with an attractive appearance that requires little upkeep.

What Driveway Will Last the Longest?

In terms of longevity, concrete driveways are usually the most durable. When properly installed and maintained, a concrete driveway can last up to 50 years or even more. The integrity of the surface resists cracking and wear over time, offering a long-term solution.

What Is the Best Driveway Pattern?

When it comes to patterns, the choice largely depends on individual preferences and the architectural style of the property. Herringbone and basketweave are popular patterns for block paving, offering a timeless appeal. For concrete driveways, stamped or stained patterns can mimic the look of more expensive materials like cobblestone or brick.

What Is the Best Driveway for No Weeds?

Weed growth can be a persistent problem in driveways, particularly those with numerous cracks or gaps. Resin-bound driveways are an excellent choice for those looking to minimise weed growth. The smooth, sealed surface leaves little room for weeds to take hold. Tarmac and properly sealed concrete driveways are also effective in preventing weed growth.

Choosing a driveway is a decision that involves many factors, including aesthetics, value, maintenance, longevity, and functional requirements like weed resistance.

  • For Value Addition: Block paving often offers the most in terms of value, with beautiful designs that can match any property's style.
  • For Low Maintenance: Tarmac and resin-bound driveways are winners, providing attractive appearances without the need for constant care.
  • For Longevity: Concrete is typically the most durable option, with potential lifespans extending many decades.
  • For Patterns: The best pattern depends on personal taste and property style, with herringbone and basketweave being popular choices.
  • For Weed Resistance: Resin-bound surfaces are known for their excellent weed-resistant properties.

Ultimately, the best driveway for your home will depend on your unique needs, budget and preferences. Consulting with a professional driveway installer who is familiar with local conditions and materials will help guide you to the best choice for your situation, balancing aesthetics, function, and budget.

How Much Does A New Driveway Cost

A driveway is not merely a place to park your car; it often serves as the first impression of your home to visitors. Selecting the right type of driveways Northampton can significantly enhance the kerb appeal of your property, but what about the cost? Understanding the various options and their pricing can help you make an informed decision that suits your budget and preferences.

Gravel Driveway

Amongst the most affordable options for a new driveway is gravel. Gravel driveways typically cost between £1 and £3 per square foot. They're easy to install and maintain, although they can be slightly noisy under tyres and may require regular raking to keep them looking tidy.

Tarmac Driveway

Tarmac is a popular choice due to its durability and sleek appearance. The cost of a tarmac driveway ranges from £2 to £5 per square foot. It requires professional installation and periodic sealing to maintain its appearance.

Concrete Driveway

A concrete driveway is a versatile option that can be customised with different finishes and colours. It's more expensive than gravel or tarmac, costing between £4 and £10 per square foot. Concrete is durable but might require occasional repair if cracks appear.

Block Paving Driveway

Block paving driveways offer a wide range of design possibilities, from traditional to modern. They typically cost between £10 and £20 per square foot, depending on the materials and pattern chosen. While beautiful and robust, they require professional installation and regular maintenance to keep them in top condition.

Other Options

There are also alternative driveway materials like cobblestone, permeable paving, and resin-bound surfaces. These can vary widely in cost, depending on the material and complexity of installation.

What is the Cheapest Type of Driveway?

Gravel is usually the cheapest option for a driveway. It's simple, functional, and requires little in terms of installation or maintenance. However, it may not be the best choice for those looking for a sleek or modern appearance.

Is Block Paving Cheaper Than Tarmac?

No, block paving is generally more expensive than tarmac. While tarmac offers a smooth and durable surface at a relatively low cost, block paving provides greater aesthetic appeal and customisation. This additional complexity and the high-quality materials often used in block paving drive the price up, making it a more premium option.

The cost of a new driveway depends on various factors such as the material, size, design, and labour involved in installation. While gravel is the most budget-friendly option, it may not satisfy everyone's aesthetic preferences. Tarmac is an excellent mid-range option, while block paving tends to be more expensive but offers more design versatility.

When planning your new driveway, it's essential to consider not only the initial costs but also the long-term maintenance requirements and how the chosen material fits with your home's overall appearance. Consulting with a professional driveway installer can provide valuable insights into the best option for your particular situation and budget.