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  #1  
Old 01-02-2006, 11:30 PM
terrysgirl33 terrysgirl33 is online now
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Default Driveway advice : Best surface option? Cobblelock, gravel, tarmac, concrete?

Hi! Partly for our own enjoyment, and partly to make our house more attractive when selling, I'm considering enlarging our driveway. The house is an ordinary three bed semi, 7 years old. The front is half brick, half painted and there's a six foot brick wall to one side of the driveway. The front garden is open plan. The reason for doing the driveway is to enlarge it so that three cars can park in the front (currently plenty of room for two, one in front of the other) and to give more room at the side of the car for getting children in and out.

What is the best surface option? Cobblelock, gravel, tarmac, concrete??? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? DH is convinced that cobblelock is out because it develops 'dents' under where the wheels of the car are parked, and it would be full of puddles and weeds, so what is the most suitable surface for car parking?

Would it be worth getting the front garden landscaped? It's very plain, just grass with shrubs in the end (put in by the builder) so it could look a lot better, and I'm wondering if it would be better to get it laid out so that we get enough paved space where we need it (I'm afraid of planning the job ourselves and finding the shape we chose doesn't work)
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2006, 11:32 PM
brian.mobile brian.mobile is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

A mon avis, it wouldnt be worth getting it done unless it was a fancy paved job. Done correctly it will make your home feel like the entrance to a palace.

Concrete is eek. Tarmac is eeker. Stones are messy.

BM
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2006, 11:44 PM
DonKing DonKing is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

I got cobble lock put in 4/5 years ago. I hate it! It gets dirty too easy. It's sunken in places and weeds are always sprotting up.

If I was going to do it again (which I may do soon) I think I'd go for the concrete with a pattern type. A neighbour has it with a portion of the garden left for shrubs etc. It's painted black and always looks clean and neat. I think it suits a small/medium suburban garden. I have heard that they can be slippy.

If you do go for cobble lock etc. make sure that there is sufficient hardcore laid to withstand the weight of cars.
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2006, 11:50 PM
brian.mobile brian.mobile is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonKing

If you do go for cobble lock etc. make sure that there is sufficient hardcore laid to withstand the weight of cars.
Have to agree with you on this. I had a fella in to do some paving. hes spent more time on the 'blinding' as he did on the paving.

It's a perfect job...

BM
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2006, 11:03 AM
lala41 lala41 is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

Yes,

Agree, I think paving looks expensive, always preferred brick paving myself, getting the base right is the secret though

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  #6  
Old 02-02-2006, 11:15 AM
Deirdra Deirdra is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

Confirming what people said above - the secret is making sure there is enough strong hardcore as the foundation.
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  #7  
Old 02-02-2006, 06:22 PM
Sue Ellen Sue Ellen is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

Have a look at www.pavingexpert.com for some general info.

If you are going to do such a major job just to increase the sale price of your house then I think you will be wasting your time and causing yourself a lot of inconvenience. I really can't see it making much difference.

We have cobblelock and it is too high maintenance. I have also heard people complain of cracking on the imprint concrete stuff. So there's no easy option. Perhaps good old borin' plain concrete is yer man?
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2006, 06:44 PM
lala41 lala41 is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by sueellen
Have a look at www.pavingexpert.com for some general info.

If you are going to do such a major job just to increase the sale price of your house then I think you will be wasting your time and causing yourself a lot of inconvenience. I really can't see it making much difference.

We have cobblelock and it is too high maintenance. I have also heard people complain of cracking on the imprint concrete stuff. So there's no easy option. Perhaps good old borin' plain concrete is yer man?
Yes, if your just selling it on then no, its not cheap, but if you want to make it look nice and make good use of it I would recommend, and it does improve the value to a property, well, it did in UK, all I can say, people like to see nice driveways, clean, showing how much potential it has for parking areas, only my opinion, but when a house is advertised, for sale, it does look nice too, as also, its the first thing you usually see when you enter a property, kerb appeal known as, first impressions
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2006, 11:28 AM
demoivre demoivre is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

i have paving on the drive and around the house and am very happy with it. As others have said good preperation is essential to stop it sinking and to ensure the surface water flows in to the gulleys. I spray it for weeds with roundup twice a year and have no probs. Regardless of whether you have paving, tarmac or concrete you will still have to give it the odd sweep to keep it tidy.
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2006, 02:25 PM
terrysgirl33 terrysgirl33 is online now
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Default Re: Driveway advice

Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply!!

To clear things up, we are considering expanding the driveway anyway as it's just a little too narrow. I want to do it in a way that is both a good surface to park a car on, and looks well. I'm not doing it 'just' to increase the value of the house, but don't want to depreciate the house either!!! I amn't keen on concrete, but DH is convinced it's the only surface that can take cars on it in the long term. Is there a way of doing concrete so that it looks well? I've seen the 'painted' concrete and it looked OK). It looked shiny, but seemed OK to walk on, I haven't driven on it.

The concrete driveway at the moment looks fine, it's just a straight up driveway, but I'm not sure it would look good with a wide expanse of concrete at the front.

Is it possible to get cobble lock laid 'properly' so that it doesn't sink? In the concrete we currently have you have to spray for weeds regularly, I don't have a problem doing that. I think cobblelock looks better myself, but there's no point doing it if it will sink.

BTW, I don't like gravel myself, but I was reading the property supplement in the Irish Times on Jan 19th (I think) and they had a list of 10 things to do to enhance the value of your home, and they recommended gravel instead of cobble lock, which seemed strange to me?????

We aren't going to do anything about the house soon, I'm really looking for opinions as to what would enhance/ detract from the house, or for that matter make no difference!!!
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2006, 02:34 PM
terrysgirl33 terrysgirl33 is online now
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Default Re: Driveway advice

To reply to specific advice!

Brian Mobile, I think that concrete is eek too! I think it would make our house harder to sell, as well as irritating me every time I looked at it, BUT DH thinks it's better (so I guess this post is more of a rant than anything!!).

Donking, was the problem that the cobble lock wasn't laid properly? Or is it a problem with cobble lock it'self?? I would plan on just spraying any weeds, so I'm not too worried about them...


Sueellen, as I'm trying to make clear (not my strongest point ) I wouldn't do it to increase the value of the house. But if we are doing it anyway, I want to do it in a way that doesn't put people off the house, should we sell in the future. Personally, I don't like concrete and would be put off a house that had a concrete yard out front, but then again maybe it would be fine if done well?? What maintenence do you find that you drive needs? I'd rather hear about it now than after the job is done !!!
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2006, 04:25 PM
demoivre demoivre is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

Sueellen is right in that there is no easy option and paving does take maintenance but badly prepared ground won't save you if you put down tarmac or concrete on top of it - it will crack and break up. You can definitely get paving that doesn't sink - we have over 700 sq. metres of it with two cars in and out on it every day plus the postman, oil and coal delivery trucks drive in on it, visitors etc. and we have had no probs. over the last seven or eight years.
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  #13  
Old 03-02-2006, 07:13 PM
DonKing DonKing is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

I didn't pay too close attention to the depth of hardcore laid at the time and considering the guy turned out to be a chancer I would say that yes my problem is with the foundations rather than the cobble lock.

I also chose a tan coloured brick which I think may show up dirt a little easy. So perhaps a darker red would be better
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2006, 08:21 PM
lala41 lala41 is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonKing
I didn't pay too close attention to the depth of hardcore laid at the time and considering the guy turned out to be a chancer I would say that yes my problem is with the foundations rather than the cobble lock.

I also chose a tan coloured brick which I think may show up dirt a little easy. So perhaps a darker red would be better
Yes,

There is a wrong way and the correct way of getting the base correct, advisable to have at least 4-6 inches of hardcore laid, with crushed limestone, and the compacted sand, wacked down hard with a wacker plate first before laying any paving, the trouble with a lot of people, they dont realise the cost of the correct equipment thats involved in these jobs to get the right result, can cost a good tradesman thousands.
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  #15  
Old 04-02-2006, 02:53 AM
Sue Ellen Sue Ellen is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

Hi Terrysgirl33,

"What maintenence do you find that you drive needs? I'd rather hear about it now than after the job is done !!!"

Initially I was very pleased with the cobblelock as IMHO it added value to the house. You need to be very careful who you get to lay it because as we all know there are many chancers out there doing driveways at the moment. However, after a few years the bricks get very dirty looking and it becomes quite hard to see the actual colour of the brick. We probably got about 5 years out of the driveway before it needed cleaning.

Last summer we bought a high pressure water cleaner from Argos and spent many hours cleaning it. It is a long and boring job and unfortunately generally removes a lot of the sand between the bricks. We haven't got around to replacing this and will probably in due course pay a price for this i.e. weeds appearing between the bricks.

Don't forget it is an expensive job to start with probably costing a few thousand at least.

Besides having a good read of www.pavingexpert.com you should also probably have a read of these previous threads on AAM and they might give you some further guidance.

Any other queries just shout.

Sueellen.
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  #16  
Old 04-02-2006, 10:39 AM
lala41 lala41 is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

Hi sueellen

You can buy some kilm sand from the builders merchants( burnt sand) to replace the joints again, use a large brush to sweep it into the joints, but only do this on a dry day, we also use PATH CLEAR, for our brick paving, kills weeds and is not harmful to wildlife, that lasts for up too 6 months, before any re-appearance of weeds.
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  #17  
Old 04-02-2006, 06:45 PM
Sue Ellen Sue Ellen is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

Hi lala,

Thanks for the advice. I see in this thread that someone is recommending silica sand? I have also read elsewhere on AAM that the sand works out quite expensive? We have it front and back covering quite a large area so it would also probably be a back breaking job?
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  #18  
Old 04-02-2006, 11:09 PM
lala41 lala41 is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice


Hi Sueellen

Yes, it takes a bit of time, but it works the same, in that it seals when its exposed to moisture it swells up, but you have to put it in when it’s a dry day, if you have a very large area, probably best to hire someone, you know of etc, but once we get to Ireland, if you ever want any free advice, please don’t hesitate to ask, this picture shows the sand on top, up by the garage, as its being spread about the joints, hope you sort it out, the weeds should only be surface, if the drive was laid correctly, they pick out easy, but when your talking about a large area, best use weed killers, from the start of spring, then summer will be free of them.
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  #19  
Old 05-02-2006, 01:32 AM
Sue Ellen Sue Ellen is offline
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Default Re: Driveway advice

Thanks for the advice. Must put this job on the list for him indoors. It won't go down too well if it keeps him away from football for long.
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  #20  
Old 05-02-2006, 09:36 AM
Brendan Burgess Brendan Burgess is offline
 
Location: Dublin
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Default Re: Driveway advice

I tend not to think too much about things like this and accepted the recommendation of a landscape gardener to put down gravel...which was totally unsuitable to me. I come in and out twice a day on my bicycle leaving marks in the gravel and distributing it around the place. Also I can't put up my bike on its stand on the gravel.

So if you or your kids are cyclists, forget gravel.

Brendan
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