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Everything You Need to Know About Secure Sub-Bases for Resin Driveways

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Jan 31, 2023
8 minutes read
  • Why a driveway sub base is important
  • What to look out for
  • Typical cost

If you’ve decided to have a resin driveway installed, you’ve probably come across the necessity for a suitable driveway sub base. Not only will your new drive need to be on a solid foundation, but this can protect it from damage in years to come. Despite the labour of the job increasing the overall price, you need a suitable base for your resin driveway or risk shelling out on repairs or a replacement much sooner than you need to.

This article will look at how best to prepare your driveway sub base, including which materials are acceptable and warning signs that it isn’t up to scratch. We’ll also look at why drainage is important and a rough overview of how much it costs. Once you have a suitable sub base, the installation of your new resin driveway can commence.

A cracked concrete drive with grass verges

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What Is a Driveway Sub Base?

Much like the house built upon sand, your drive needs to sit upon a solid enough surface to perform at its best. It needs to be able to spread the weight placed on it evenly enough to not cause structural damage. You’ll also be able to avoid pitfalls from where your car usually sits, for example. Finally, a driveway sub base is useful for the prevention of water pooling. It provides evenly, suitable drainage that doesn’t back up through the resin driveway.

While sub bases aren’t always required for driveways, they can be essential for some types. For resin driveways, a sub base is absolutely necessary. While you may only initially have a driveway sub base for your resin driveway, it can always be reused. If your tastes change later down the line and you want to replace it, you can do so and still reuse the existing driveway sub base.

Settled on a resin bound driveway? Read our complete guide to resin bound driveways next.

Suitable Materials

The best material for a driveway sub base is MOT Type 3, which consists of crushed granite, limestone, basalt or concrete. It’s around 40mm and is fully permeable, allowing water through while still being stable and unmoving. It provides the most useful surface for a resin driveway. It contains fewer fines, which are smaller pieces of stone, in the content to allow for better water drainage.

An existing concrete drive can always be used as a sub base if it is in good shape. It isn’t permeable, which means it will require holes to be drilled into it or for a drain to be added at the bottom of a slope. As a driveway sub base, concrete tends to be cracked and uneven. If you need drainage, it might be easier to change to a better sub base.

Tarmac comes in different types and textures. Some can be extremely brittle, which won’t make for a good sub base, while others can be open textured, which is better for water permeability. Providing there’s no damage, an existing tarmac driveway can be a suitable driveway sub base for your new resin driveway.

Warning Signs

Sometimes you might wonder if your drive is already in a good enough condition for a resin driveway to be installed. The base for a resin driveway will be impacted by cracks, patches and nearby trees. To be a suitable driveway sub base, you will need to avoid the following:

Cracked Tarmac
  • Block paving, soil and grass

  • Damage, such as crumbling

  • Cracks and patches

  • Holes

  • Uneven surfaces, with block paving, for example

  • Tree roots, or proximity to trees

Block Paving

The most unsuitable surfaces for a resin drive are block paving, Earth and grass. A driveway sub base needs to not move, and block paving will move in tiny amounts. Any bare ground will need to be prepared first to be able to support the weight of a resin drive. Without suitable ground works, a resin driveway can also move about, which will lead to damage.

SuDS Compliant

Sustainable drainage systems redirect surface water away from the existing waste water networks, allowing it to drain directly into the ground. It’s a measure in place to prevent flooding as much as possible. Driveway legislation is now in place to make sure that new drives are SuDS compliant. This includes a suitable driveway sub base. Otherwise, planning permission is required for drives bigger than 5m² if they aren’t permeable.

It’s usually more beneficial to opt for a SuDS compliant driveway sub base, as you can save yourself hassle further down the line. Laying a strong foundation for your drive will remove the need for repair work from heavy vehicles and objects as well as prevent any water pooling. If you want to change to a new drive in future that isn’t permeable, it can still be laid on top of a SuDS compliant driveway sub base.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of installing a secure sub base for a resin driveway depends on how large your drive is and how deep the base needs to go. If you’re looking at MOT Type 3 materials, this can cost around £85 per 850kg. The longer and wider your drive, the more aggregate you will require. A drive that’s around 20 metres long and 3 metres wide can need almost 5 tonnes of aggregate for its driveway sub base, which could set you back around £475, but this is just for the cost of materials and not for labour. The total price of excavation and laying of the aggregate will contribute more towards your totals and should be considered when factoring in costs. Unless you’re a skilled manual labourer, you probably won’t be able to lay a driveway sub base yourself.

Recycled aggregate is less expensive than using new materials, so this can always be considered for costs if you’re looking to get a SuDS compliant driveway sub base at the cheapest price possible. The most important thing to remember is that your new resin driveway will look its best if you take the time to do it properly.

Want to know more about resin driveway costs? Read our related article.

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