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Old Posted: 26-04-2009 , 01:08 PM #2
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Mayo
Posts: 1,443

I'll start:

804 - this is usually laid on driveways as a base for something else or as a 'temporary' driveway ... my 'temporary' 804 driveway has been down for a number of years ... will eventually get around to putting in a 'proper' surface :-)
Anyways, 804 looks just fine when it is put down first. After a while though it compacts solid where you drive on it and it's a good surface EXCEPT - weeds grow where there is no traffic- and that can be a LOT of places - along the kerbs, corners etc etc. Potholes can also form.
You can easily fill in the potholes but you will have to spray with weedkiller every year, maybe twice.
It dowsn't look pretty though and in my opinion, doesn't look 'finished'

Tar and Chip - this gives a rougher surface than Tarmacadam. It's quite a bit cheaper BUT weeds and grass WILL grow up through it eventually where there is no traffic to prevent it (look at small by-roads where the traffic doesn't run on the middle of the road because it's too narrow - these are always surfaced with Tar and Chip and invaribly have a line of grass growing up the middle, albeit it may not happn for a few years)- still, it's a much better option than the 804 and weeds can be kept under control much easier if you spray as soon as you see them emerging.

Gravel - This is the pebble type thatyou say you like the sound of :-)
This looks lovely but can also be quite expensive depending on which gravel you buy. You will also need a fair depth of it so it doesn't go 'bare' too quickly. The problem with this is that it will spread as you mentioned, however, if it is contained (e it is kerbed etc and has edges, you can re-spread it. You will lose some gravel at your entrance though and you have to be careful that it doesn't spread onto the public road as it could cause accidents as it makes the road 'slippy' and technically you could be sued (worst case sceario!). In orde to overcome this, you sometimes see people putting tar and chip along outside their property wall and across the front of their entrance -this helps but won't solve the problem completey.
One other 'con', if you have kids, they won't be able to ride bikes etc on this, also, while the sound of it is lovely in the daytime it might no be so nice at night when people living there could be coming home late at night and disturbing whoever may be asleep at the time :-)

Cobble Stones - I LOVE these! BUT they are super expensive! More than tarmacadam I think (but stand to be corrected). These look lovely and you can do whatever design you want. In my opinion it looks best with the cobble stone kerbs rather than the normal concrete kerbs. Dirt will accumulate a little in the joints and you will have to power wash every now and then to keep them clean and stop weeds. If they are laid properly they should last years.

Tarmac - there's a reason it's so popular ... in the long run it can work out the cheapest as it lasts a long time and needs little maintainence bar a power wash every now and then.

Personally, when I'm putting in our 'proper' driveway I will probably put in Tarmac even though I am not crazy about it either but it is a lot cheaper than cobble stones (these would e my choice if wasn't an issue - I have a BIG driveway too!). The other options need too much maintenance for me I'm afraid ;-)

Hope all that helps!!!
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