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Cost of Installing a Concrete Driveway

Whether you plan to have a concrete driveway installed or are considering the possibility, this cost guide will prove very useful and provide you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision!

Duration:
2 - 3 days
Avg price:
£530 - £730

An Introduction to Concrete Driveway Installation

An impressive driveway leaves a lasting impression and is a beautiful addition to your home. A concrete driveway can represent value for money, but it's not all down to cost. They are aesthetically pleasing, functional and durable.

You can extend a concrete driveway to the rear of your property, for a perfect patio or garden path. Other reasons to consider a concrete driveway installation include low maintenance costs and extra curb appeal.

Some insurance companies give preferential rates if your car is parked off-road. Insurers maintain that curb-side vandalism is diminished, with less chance of damage from other passing vehicles.

Points worth bearing in mind!

Concrete driveway installation costs will vary greatly, depending on where you live.



Some basic online research will reveal the best concrete driveway prices, as well as specialist builders offering their services.

If you are thinking of employing a tradesperson, you will need to get several quotes to find the company to install a concrete driveway.

Search online for professionals in your area who specialise in concrete driveway installation.

It's advisable to get several quotes to find an average cost.

It's certainly worth spending time on this as you may be able to save money by comparing the average price.

Whether you are accomplished at DIY, or you intend "getting someone in", this article is here to help.

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Concrete Driveway?

Depending on the size and style, of your concrete driveway, you should expect to pay between £600 for a single car concrete driveway to around £8,000 for a large, four-car installation. The size of the driveway that you're having installed is the first and most obvious factor that would affect the cost.

For example, a single-car driveway would cost around £530 to £730 whereas a driveway that fits four cars would cost approximately £3,400 to £3,600. The average labour cost of installing a concrete driveway is usually somewhere around £40 to £50 per m².

Depending on the complexity of the job and the time it takes your particular labourer to complete each metre square of concrete. This works out at an average labour cost of £220 to £450 per day.

The price of a concrete driveway installation varies considerably.

The size of your chosen driveway will directly affect the price. Popular driveway sizes in the UK varies from around 5.5 per m². for one car space, rising to 21 per m² for a two-car driveway.

The average cost of laying a concrete driveway is currently around £50 per m². With labour costs between £200 and £400 per day, depending on the complexity of the work and where you live.

The table below highlights UK average material and labour costs (2020) for a simple concrete driveway.

Driveway Size Timeframe Materials Labour Total cost
5.75sq/m 1 to 2 days £250 to £400 £250 to £400 £500 to £800
12.25sq/m 2 to 3 days £700 to £800 £600 to £700 £1,300 to £1,500
25 sq/m 3 to 4 days £1,300 to £1,500 £1,000 to £1,200 £2,300 to £2,700

The above prices are estimates only and are exclusive of VAT. If you require any additional features, for an extra cost, concrete can also be coloured, patterned and imprinted.


Different border patterns can be applied, for average prices see the table below.

Driveway size Time taken Material cost Labour cost Total cost
40 sq/m 4 to 5 days £1,000 to £1,200 £2,600 to £2,700 £3,600 to £3,900
60 sq/m 5 to 6 days £1,400 to £1,600 £3,500 to £3,600 £4,900 to £5,200
100 sq/m 7 to 8 days £2,300 to £2,500 £5,400 to £5,600 £7,700 to £8,100

The above prices are estimates only and are exclusive of VAT.


Supply Costs

London and the South East of England are more expensive than the rest of the UK. Unless you feel competent enough taking on the project yourself, below is a useful table to determine the average cost of the job:

Raw materials Cost
Block and Edgings £900 to £1,000 per m²
Kiln-dried sand £70 to £80 per m²
Sharp sand £130 to £160 per m²
Skip hire £200 to £500
Mini-digger hire £130 to £200
Weed mat £40 per m²
Concrete cost £60 to £90 per m²

Additional Costs

It's always prudent to add a contingency to your budget to cover any unforeseen extras. Research concrete driveway installers and get several quotes. Remember to ask about timescales for completion too!

Always remember that cheapest is not necessarily best. Weigh up whether it is worth the extra for a someone with a good track record. Check out the builders' references before engaging them.

Additional Materials Additional Costs
Gates £500 to £1,000
Security lighting £10 to £200
Garden wall £800 to £1,200
Fencing £500 to £1,500
Landscaping £80 to £150 per m²
Purchase and Installation of a CCTV system £225 to £850

A reputable builder will supply the tools as a matter of course, but it's wise to make enquiries before you start. Remember the concrete driveway will need to be sealed or coated to protect it from the weather and stains.

Unless previously stipulated, there could be extra costs involved for these additional. Ensure that you are satisfied with the work, and it's finished to a professional standard before signing off on your project.

A concrete driveway is considerably cheaper than other types of driveway surfaces. However, the need for specialist installation will inevitably drive up costs.



Make sure to check drainage requirements if trying to avoid planning permission. Drainage grates are cheap and very effective.

When weighing up overall costs, take into consideration the lifespan forecast for your concrete driveway.

Does your builder offer any guarantees on the quality? Will there be any ongoing maintenance costs? It's worth checking before commissioning the work.

A concrete driveway will need to be re-sealed every couple of years to keep it at its best. Unlike other, more expensive driveways, there is very little additional investment required.



DIY Concrete Driveway Installation

If you are a builder, you can, of course, save money using your skills. But one of the main problems with DIY., if you are not competent is laying of the concrete.

Several things can go wrong, from incorrect the mix proportions, to the improper laying of the hard-core foundations. As you only get one chance with concrete, getting a contractor in to do the job would seem to be money well spent.

Your concrete driveway cost, whilst more expensive than DIY, may be a good investment, if only for your peace of mind. A contractor can sign off when the job is complete and offer you guarantees and certifications on completion of the project. A few years ago, nobody thought twice about paving over a garden.

However, ecological issues are now at the forefront of public awareness. The eco implications of paving over gardens have come under increasing scrutiny. Our lives are busier than ever and, national lockdowns aside, we no longer have time to tend to the garden. So they are covered over with driveways and patios for the sake of convenience.

Most of the current planning issues are environmental ones.

Replacing a garden with hard surfaces such as concrete increases surface water when it rains. This can lead to flooding, due to increased water running into the drainage and sewage systems as the rainwater is unable to soak away. This drains often cannot cope with the deluge.

Hard surfaces such as concrete also soak up heat during the day. This heat is then released into the environment during the cooler evenings. This green-house effect contributes to the overall warming of the environment.



The popularity of replacing gardens with driveways is thought to be at least partly responsible for increased cloud cover over the UK, and it is a contributing factor for the recent heavy storms.

When garden areas are paved over, the impact on animal and plant life can be catastrophic. There are fewer places for small organisms and insects to find food.

Which, in turn, means less food for birds and small animals like mice and hedgehogs. The environment is deeply effected by fewer plants soaking up carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.

The concrete driveway trend is a blow to wildlife and bio-diversity, as Insects and other small organisms lose their environment. This results in less food for mammals and birds.

Streams and river are also affected by petrol and diesel, poisonous to the environment.

New Front Garden Driveway Regulations

Regulations brought in in 2008, states that it is not a necessity to apply for planning permission to pave over a front garden as long as the surface is permeable. This encourages the installation of porous driveway surfaces, not prohibit them altogether.

Non-permeable driveway surfaces will need planning permission. This can be avoided by ensuring that adequate provision is made for drainage.

Drainage ducts direct rainwater towards lawns, borders, or sewer outlets, rather than draining onto a street. If using porous concrete for your new or replacement driveway, you will not need planning permission. Porous concrete allows any surface water to drain through.

Planning permission is likely if the surface to be covered is more than five square metres. It's also likely if laying a traditional, impermeable driveway that does not let the water run to a soak-away area.

Planners can, of course, can refuse planning permission and insist on the installation of a porous surface.

Potential Problems and Pitfalls

Cracks

A common problem with concrete driveway installation is cracking. Excess water and cold conditions lead to cracking. The cracks can often reach through to the subgrade. Small cracks in the concrete are easily remedied using fillers.

Discolouration

Most common concrete driveway problems are due to improper building techniques. Cutting costs, by looking for a better price could result in a sub-standard concrete driveway installation.

However, the discolouration can happen because of stains from materials such as car oil and tire marks resulting in unsightly patches appearing. A popular method of maintenance and cleaning is to use a stiff brush dipped in diluted vinegar to restore the appearance of concrete.



If you are dealing with a severe case of discolouration, you might need to use a more potent chemical, such as hydrochloric acid.

Concrete is Unsuitable for Cold-Weather Regions

Concrete contracts and expands in changing weather conditions. A concrete driveway is not advisable if you live in an icy climate, as it will suffer cracks and frost heaves in cold weather.

This lack of resistance can make concrete driveways victims of surface spalling. Common signs of this include a broken, flaked appearance to the concrete, and pitting, eventually leading to permanent structural damage.

Concrete is More Expensive, with a Longer Drying Time than Asphalt

Concrete requires more time than asphalt to install.

You will need twice the time and money to install a concrete driveway as concrete costs more and requires more time to set and cure than asphalt. One of the primary problems with concrete driveways is their slippery surface. They don't provide adequate traction in icy weather.

Add to this the fact that concrete driveways are prone to crack in extreme weather; the combination can prove hazardous. Another point that's crucial to consider is the ongoing maintenance problems with concrete driveways.

In Winter, many homeowners use de-icing salts to combat the slippery surface of their driveway, yet concrete reacts adversely to these preventative measures.

It's a catch-22 situation: you want to try and minimise slipping, yet the necessary action to resolve this can create more significant damage to your concrete driveway overall.

Although concrete offers more versatility and options than asphalt, it comes with its own problems and pitfalls. Problems include poor installation, inadequate maintenance, and weather conditions. Concrete doesn't respond well to the weather in the UK.

Although it's a relatively easy material to manage and maintain, there are common concrete problems that might occur over time.

Scaling

During Winter, salt is often used to de-ice the concrete. This can cause the surface to show signs of scaling or pitting. The best solution to the problem is resurfacing the concrete. The entire surface will need to be roughed up to make the repair.

Once the new surface has been applied, you need to wait overnight before applying a waterproof finishing treatment to protect the new layer from the elements.


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Sam J

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