When we talk about installing a new driveway, most people think of Tarmac, gravel or paving. But, now you can choose from another material.
Resin driveways give the homeowner a permeable, strong, durable and easily maintained surface. In other words, they’re easy to look after and don’t collect puddles of rainwater. Sounds great, don’t they?
The cost of a resin driveway is typically around £2,400 in the UK, including aggregate, for a 40m2 area. Prices will differ according to the quality of materials and location. A resin drive will range between £40 to £70 per m2, with an average of about £60.
Driveway installers use two main types of resin.
- Epoxy resin. This isn’t very common nowadays. It doesn’t offer the same load–bearing resistance as polyurethane.
- Polyurethane resin. These have great bonding properties and can bear very high loads. Therefore, they’re great for compression and tension. Also, they’re resistant to abrasion and impact resistance meaning they withstand scuffing and other types of damage. Their chemical properties mean they’re resistant to oil and petrol as long as you clean a spillage as soon as possible.
The driveway material consists of resin mixed with an aggregate of size ranging from 1mm to 10mm. So we’re going to talk about aggregate and polyurethane (PU) surfaces and the driveway installers that supply them.
How Much Does a Resin Driveway Cost?
The resin driveway cost per m2 will vary depending on the proposed area. For a typical driveway of up to 40m2, you’ll get a price of £60 per m2. For 40m2 to 100m2 area, it’ll cost £50 per m2. Whereas for any size larger than 100m2, it’ll cost about £45 per m2.
Resin Driveway Prices:
|Area (m2)||Cost per m2||Total Cost|
Of course, you can cover other surfaces besides driveways. How about a resin patio or garden path?
Using these figures it’s relatively easy to calculate the cost of any outdoor surface you intend to cover. However, these figures assume there isn’t any extra work, such as lifting and removing an existing driveway, inserting kerbstones or levelling off the base.
* You must also remember that you’ll have VAT added on top and if you live in London and Southeast the cost will be between 10% and 20% higher.
You can ask any driveway installer to give you an estimate, but don’t assume it’s set in stone until the contractor visits and looks at the site. Various factors change the price and a reputable tradesman will consider these before giving a quotation.
- Size of the area?
- The thickness of the layer? Rule of thumb states that the thickness must be a minimum of three times the diameter or the largest aggregate size. Therefore, if the largest stone is 10mm diameter, then the layer should be at least 30mm thick.
- Add a geotextile membrane for weed control? Although resin–bound mixes are weed resistant, you must often suppress weeds too. And, this is perfect.
- Do you need kerbstones? Edging the driveway finishes it off neatly. It may be an existing wall or kerbstones.
- Extra drainage? The planning regulations have constraints about this, but we’ll deal with this later.
- Add sub–base? You can use crushed stone, self-mixed concrete, and pre-mix concrete. Factors determining this will depend on site conditions and available budget.
- Is the removal of the existing driveway necessary? If it’s in good condition, the resin can be installed directing on top without much preparation.
- Waste disposal? Only necessary if you remove an existing driveway or excavate the soil.
- Access for machinery? Resin mixing machines and excavating machines.
You can only assess these with a site visit.
What should I look for in a contractor?
Unfortunately, many driveway installers are unskilled and see this as a way to earn a bit of cash. Therefore, check beforehand to ensure they have the necessary qualifications, memberships and insurances.
Firstly, because resin drive specialists are relative newcomers to the construction industry, they don’t have a trade association yet to which they can belong. However, there other organisations of a similar nature such as
- FeRFA, The Resin Flooring Association.
- The Guild of Master Craftsmen.
- The Federation of Master Builders.
Membership of these organisations shows the company achieves and maintains national standards, such as ISO9001 quality management system. However, they don’t guarantee your resin driveway will be perfect. But, until the industry has a trade association, this is the best we have.
A good quality company will provide references for their work, and you can make an appointment with their customers to view the standard of work.
Also, a reputable company will offer a guarantee to provide reassurance against:
- Loose stone and cracking.
- Oil and petrol damage.
- Colour change and UV degradation.
- Frost and heat damage.
- Quality of work.
The company should charge between £40 and £80 per m2. If your quotation is too far outside this range, you’ll know something is wrong.
Get at least three quotes using the same specification for each so you can compare costs and save.
Resin Driveway Types
There are two types of resin driveway in the UK:
1. Resin Bound
This is the type usually used for driveways. It involves coating the solids in polyurethane resin. The solids vary from aggregate, crushed marble, recycled plastic and many other types. The mixture lays on a firm base and provides a smooth upper surface.
The resin–bound mixture provides a rainwater permeable layer so puddles don’t form and drainage isn’t a problem. The thickness of the layer varies depending on the size of aggregate, the type of stone used and whether you’re making a driveway or patio etc.
The resin covers all the solids, so there’s no chance of anything working loose.
2. Resin Bonded
This method has a layer of resin on a sub-surface. The solids are then scattered and pressed into the layer so that all the resin is covered. Because the stone is on top of the resin, the stone is exposed and there’s a chance it’ll work loose. The layer is non-permeable and is only a single stone layer thick. The resin bonded gravel driveway works out at about £26 per m2. Compare this with resin bound driveway cost of £40 per m2.
Although Resin Bonded surfaces are cheaper, the Resin Bound driveway is far more popular of the two in the UK. There is a good reason for this, and it has to do with the UK Planning Regulations. But we’ll talk about that later.
Colours & Styles
There are many colours and textures available for a resin bound surface. They mainly depend on the colours of the gravel and other solids used in the mix. And, you’ll find that each supplier has unique names for the colours. If you decide on a resin bound driveway, choose the correct colour range that complements the existing colours in your house and garden. There are too many colour combinations to mention, so we’ll just concentrate on a few.
- Oyster Pearl looks like small pieces of pearl and is resistant to UV fading. It is probably the most popular and has an air of extravagance.
- A mix of gold and grey stones looks like jewels. This is common in coastal areas, looks like a shingle beach and goes well with rendered properties.
- Grey slate has different grey tones making an impressive driveway. The overall colour range looks good on contemporary properties.
- Spanish marble is another favourite. The creamy stone chips give an impression of solid marble when set inside the resin.
- One of the most popular colours is a mix of golden, white, and brown. It looks good with Cotswold stone properties.
UV-Stable vs Non-UV Stable: What’s the difference?
You can cure UV Stable resin using ultraviolet light. There are a few advantages and disadvantages:
- Can cure within a few minutes.
- Less susceptible to cracking.
- Resistant to moisture, cold and heat.
- However, it is more expensive than non-UV resin.
- And, you need a UV lamp for curing.
Non-UV Stable resin is a standard resin which cures by a chemical reaction. It also has advantages and disadvantages:
- It’s cheaper to buy than UV Stable resin.
- It‘s more reliable because it doesn’t rely on a UV light to cure.
- You can use it in small areas where a UV lamp won’t access.
- Can change colour under prolonged UV exposure.
- Often cracks and becomes brittle after a while.
- Can take a long time to cure.
Typical prices for the kits for both type of resin, excluding VAT. There are various sizes available.
|Type||Notes||Price per 6.5kg kit|
|Non-UV stable resin||Includes resin & hardener||£38|
|UV Stable resin||Two-part polyurethane kit||£47|
Resin Resurface Advantages & Disadvantages
- The transparent resin highlights the natural rock colours.
- Can install it on an existing driveway.
- It’s permeable so reduces drainage problems.
- Gives a smooth finish so is suitable for wheelchairs.
- Is compliant with Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS), reducing flooding in urban settings.
- The surface is seamless.
- Needs very little maintenance and has no loose stones.
Resin driveways also have a few disadvantages too. For starters, apart from drainage, there aren’t any regulations governing their construction. So, you might end up with a very poor quality driveway with substandard workmanship and materials. Therefore, ensure you use a good national company or someone who is well known in your area. Alternatively, complete the form on this page and you can be sure you’ll receive quotes from driveway installers who have already been checked out by us.
Another disadvantage is when your contractor uses the wrong resin. Ultraviolet light protection is very important as your driveway will change colour over time if you choose the wrong type or poor quality resin.
Although you’ll experience moss growth on any driveway surface, most materials are textured and not smooth like resin. You’ll then end up with a very slippery surface. Make sure you regularly clean the surface and remove any vegetation.
If the sub-surface was in poor condition when the contractor laid the driveway, you’ll eventually have cracks that need repairs. Because the resin is one seamless surface, it’s very difficult and almost impossible to invisibly repair a resin driveway without giving it another layer on top of the original surface.
Driveway Installation Duration & Steps
So you know what to expect let’s look at each step when building a driveway.
Inspect the sub-base for places where you need repairs. The sub-base should be stable and able to support the expected load.
Check all surfaces are clean and dry. Record the temperature and humidity before and during application so it’s always within the manufacturer’s limits.
2. Mixing the resin
It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly when mixing the two components. This ensures the consistency of every batch. Try to mix enough resin for a certain area to avoid variations.
3. Combine resin and aggregates
Using a Forced Action Mixer, combine the mixed resin, sand and aggregate following the manufacturers’ instructions.
Ensure all solids are dry, otherwise the mixture won’t bond properly. Also, each mix must be of the same duration otherwise you’ll have colour differences.
4. Transfer mix to the work area
Using a plastic–lined wheelbarrow, transport the mix to the working area and spread it as evenly as you can.
5. Trowelling the mixture
Trowel the mixture onto the sub–base, making sure to fill all the cavities.
6. Allow curing
Leave the mixture to cure for about 4 hours at 20°C
How long does the job take?
This depends on the size of the job and if you need any preparation. If you have to prepare the existing surface, expect the job to take about 2 days. If there’s a good sub-base, it won’t take longer than a day.
Usually, after the initial cure, the surface will be ready for pedestrians after 8 hours. However, small vehicles will need 48 hours while larger commercial vehicles need 72 hours before accessing the driveway.
Resin Surface Maintenance
As with all things, you must look after your new driveway so it lasts a long time while looking good.
- Don’t use point loads like carjacks or heavy ladders on the surface. Use boards to spread the load.
- Protest the resin surface from chemicals such as petrol, engine oil or solvents. If chemicals spill, hose down and dilute straight away.
- Sweep the surface with a hard broom to clear leaves, soil and sand. You can also hose the driveway.
- If the driveway stains because of ingrained dirt, use a fan spray pressure washer.
- Freeze chewing gum first. Then, gently scraped off with a blunt blade.
- If you notice any seedlings growing, pull them out along with their roots. Alternatively, use a mild weed killer.
Resin Driveway Alternatives
There are alternatives to resin–bound driveway material.
- Gravel is a traditional material but can be messy when the aggregate starts to move. Gravel also provides a base for weeds and grass to grow.
- Paving is another traditional material. Weeds grow in the joints between poorly maintained pavers. But, it’s relatively easy to lift and change paving compared to resin bound surfaces.
- It’s easy to install concrete but it’s prone to cracks and stains from oils and petrol.
- Tarmac is another common material. Unfortunately, it’s not as hardwearing as resin bound surfaces and high ambient temperatures affect it.
- NatraTex uses a clear synthetic binder and naturally coloured aggregates. It’s delivered in large loads to be laid down like Tarmac, rather than mixed on–site like resin. You can install it at all temperatures and in all weathers.
Driveway Building Regulations & Planning Permission
Because they’re porous, planning authorities look favourably on resin-bound surfaces. Therefore, you don’t usually need planning permission for driveways or other garden surfaces. Compare this to concrete which needs permission for surfaces over 5m2.
You won’t need to follow any Building Regulations either unless the proposed driveway makes access to the property more difficult than before. Such as, changing levels and introducing steps.
There are however regulations regarding sustainable drainage.
SuDS stands for Sustainable Drainage Systems and deals with flood management in urban areas. Planning rules for changing gardens into driveways and patios came into force in 2008. Basically, you need planning permission for any impermeable surface of more than 5m2 that doesn’t control rainwater. Resin–bound surfaces are permeable to water and so comply with the rules.
Resin Drive Cost FAQ
Are resin driveways cheaper than block paving?
Generally, resin–bound driveways are more expensive than block paving. However, the resin needs far less maintenance and you can lay it directly onto an existing driveway, so might work out cheaper in the long term.
How long does resin driveway last?
Suppliers’ guarantees vary between about 10 years up to 20 years. However, a properly installed resin bound driveway can last longer than 25 years.
Can you pressure wash a resin driveway?
You can, under certain conditions. Do not exceed a pressure of 150bar, use cool water (not hot or cold) and use a fan–shaped spray.
Do resin driveways crack?
If you use incorrectly mixed resin, the surface might crack. Similarly, if you use incorrect ratios of aggregate and resin, the mix will crack.
Do weeds grow through resin driveways?
Resin is already treated with weed killer before installation of the driveway. So, weeds won’t grow through the surface. However, sometimes seeds might grow on the surface. If this happens, use diluted weedkiller or remove the weed along with its roots by hand.
Is resin better than tarmac?
This is a matter of opinion. However, resin bound surfaces are more attractive than Tarmac and are more durable. They usually have a longer lifespan and need less maintenance. They are generally weed resistant and finally, comply with the UK government’s SuDS planning regulations.
Can a resin drive be repaired?
Yes, if a resin–bound surface becomes damaged, you can repair small areas. You must chisel out the damaged part and then use an aggregate mix, the same as the original. However, there’s no guarantee that the repair will be invisible.
Get Quotes For Your Driveway
You can find out average resin driveway costs in your area by completing the form at the top of the page. You’ll receive 3-4 quotes from local driveway specialists who have been background-checked & vetted.