Last Updated on January 15, 2022

Heated Driveway Cost – UK Prices for 2022

Zac Houghton

Zac Houghton

Construction expert and founder of Loftera.

If you don’t adequately remove snow and ice from your driveway, you can create a serious safety hazard for you and your family.

Heated driveways provide a solution. Heated driveways reduce slip and fall accidents by heating your driveway to remove dangerous snow and ice that accumulate in winter weather. The average cost of installing a radiant heating system is between £1,000 to £6,000, depending on various factors that will be discussed in this article.

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Table of Contents

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Types Of Heated Driveway

There are several types of heated driveway systems to choose from. Heated driveways work by heating the surface of the driveway to melt snow and prevent ice accumulation.

Portable heated driveway mats are a cheap and easy-to-use solution for your driveway. Built-in heated driveway systems typically cost more money than heated mats, but, in some cases, they’re more effective.

Heated Mats

Heated driveway mats are portable and come in various sizes. The price of these portable mats ranges from around £200 to £1,000 per mat.

Heated driveway mats boast a much lower cost than an in-built heated driveway system. Heated mats have the advantage of being portable so that they can be moved anywhere you need them. This portability could come in useful if other parts of your property, such as your porch or doorstep, require heating.

Portable heating mats are built with a heating element that sits between slip-resistant rubber covers. These driveway snow melting mats come with a moisture-resistant power cable and typically allow you to adjust the heating levels to the right temperature for your needs.

Built-In Heated Driveway System

A built-in heated driveway provides a permanent solution for your driveway at a higher cost than heated driveway mats.

Hot Water Heated Driveway System

The most common hydronic system uses tubes that run beneath the driveway and is a radiant heat system. 

Initially, hot water is heated by your boiler. The hot water is then mixed with antifreeze and pumped through the tubes, creating a solution that radiates up to the driveway’s surface layer. Before snow and ice have a chance to set on the driveway, this solution will melt them, preventing ice and snow accumulation.

The water created by the melted ice will collect in a drainage system, removing excess water from your driveway.

Wire Grid Heated Driveway System

Your second option for an in-built heating system is a wire-grid heated driveway system. Electric cables are laced into a grid pattern and installed beneath your driveway’s surface. These heating cables heat the surface of your driveway.

This system can distribute the heat more evenly across your driveway. However, greater electricity usage will incur extra operating costs compared to the hot water heating system.

Manual Systems

Manually controlled systems incur lower operating costs, but they need to be switched on and off by you, so they rely on you to predict when snow or ice will fall. 

Once a significant amount of snow has fallen, the manual system will only melt the layer of snow closest to the driveway. If snow has already accumulated and it’s thicker than a couple of inches, you’ll likely still have to shovel the top layer.

Automated Systems

Automated systems are constantly switched on at a low level. Automated heated driveway systems heat up rapidly once it starts snowing, preventing snow and ice from accumulating on the driveway.

Automated systems use sensors that detect temperature and moisture levels on the surface of your driveway, kicking into gear automatically when required.

Automated systems can sometimes be controlled via a smartphone app that monitors the weather, meaning your system will receive information about upcoming snowfall or icy temperatures and heat up accordingly.

If you opt for an automated system, you can be sure that snow and ice will clear from your driveway even when you’re on holiday or away from home for a significant period. You will, however, likely incur higher operating costs due to the driveway using energy for more extended periods.

Benefits of Heated Driveways

Reduces Risk Of Injuries

The reduced injury risk of heated driveways is twofold. Injuries are caused by falling or slipping on ice and overexerting yourself when shovelling snow. Installing a heated driveway reduces the likelihood of you falling on ice, and the need to get rid of snow from your driveway manually.

Reduces Need For Shoveling Snow

Installation of a heated driveway makes ice and snow removal simple, meaning you’ll no longer need to go out early in the morning to shovel snow and ice from your driveway before your morning commute.

Heated driveway systems reduce costs associated with de-icer or rock salt products, which are frequently used to remove ice from driveways.

Saves Time

In the winter months, people typically have to get up earlier to de-ice or shovel snow from their driveway before they can leave for the day. Installing an electric snow melting system removes the need for these measures, saving you time and energy in the mornings.

Comparing Quotes Could Save You Up To 30%:

heated driveway cost uk

Comparing Quotes Could Save You Up To 30%:

Low Maintenance

As long as your heated driveway was installed correctly, minimal maintenance should be required for years on the heating system itself.

A heated driveway can reduce maintenance costs by removing the possibility of your driveway being damaged by frost. By reducing the likelihood of your driveway incurring frost damage, you lower the likelihood of needing to pay expensive repair costs.

Keep Interior Floors Clean

With less snow and ice forming on your driveway, the chances of you treading snow and ice into your home’s internal floors are reduced. Having cleaner interior floors, in turn, saves the time and money that would have been spent on cleaning.

How Much Does A Heated Driveway Cost?

The cost to install a heated driveway will depend on various factors:

  • The size of your driveway
  • Whether you need to remove your existing driveway
  • What materials you’ll use to replace your driveway
  • The type of heated driveway system you install
  • Whether the heating system will be manual or automatic

 

The average costs are set out below:

Heated driveway installation 

£3,000

Installation under asphalt

£6,500

Installation under concrete

£6,000

Removal of the existing driveway per square metre

£120

Installation of drainage

£4,000

 

Cost Factors To Consider

Radiant heating systems can be installed under almost any driveway surface. They’re most commonly found beneath a concrete or asphalt driveway, so the cost of an asphalt driveway or concrete driveway should be factored into your budget.

You can add custom design elements such as colours or a stamped pattern to a heated concrete driveway, giving it a unique and attractive finish. This may add an extra cost of around £3 to £6 per square foot.

The typical cost for a heated driveway system is between £9 and £16 per square foot. You’ll need to factor in the cost of installing a new driveway on top of the heating system.

The heated driveway cost to operate should be considered, with the hourly running cost of an electric heating system coming to between £1 to £1.50. 

The upfront cost of hydronic systems tends to be more expensive because they require the installation of a new boiler specifically for the driveway system. However, hydronic systems use less energy than their electric counterparts, so the cost balances out long-term.

If you’re installing heating elements underneath your existing driveway, you should budget for the possible removal and installation of the driveway.

Depending on factors such as soil compaction and trees in proximity to the drive, you may be able to run tubing underneath your existing driveway.

Having tubing installed without removing the driveway saves the costs and time of breaking up your driveway to make space for the heating system. You wouldn’t, however, be able to see whether the heated system had been installed properly underneath your driveway.

FAQs

How long does it take to install a heated driveway?

It takes between four days to a couple of weeks to install a heated driveway. This time frame depends on whether your old driveway will need to be removed before the heating system can be installed. The material used for the driveway surface will affect the length of time it takes to install your new driveway.

Will a heated driveway increase my home’s value?

Heated driveways are modern and convenient, and come with many advantages. These benefits will be attractive to any potential buyers and can boost your home’s value by a significant amount, especially in areas that experience heavy snowfall.

How can I save money on installing a heated driveway?

If you want to minimise the costs of your new heated driveway, consider whether you can reduce the area that the heating system covers.

It may be that rather than covering the whole drive, you can install the radiant heat system only near the front door or by the wheel tracks of your driveway.

You could save labour costs by breaking up and removing the old driveway yourself before the heated driveway is installed underneath. This approach is not advisable for people with no previous experience in similar projects, but this is a cost-effective option if you are DIY savvy.

Another way to save money on your driveway is to choose a cheaper material for the driveway surface. The cost of a tarmac driveway tends to be cheaper than the cost of a resin driveway. On this basis, you may opt for a driveway surface material such as tarmac, concrete or asphalt to keep costs to a minimum.

Purchasing and laying heated mats can be done yourself, but installing an in-built heating system is not a DIY job suited to people without experience. Installing a heated driveway yourself would likely take weeks, so even if you have the relevant knowledge, it may still work out cheaper in the long run to hire a driveway installer.

If you want to use a professional tradesperson for the job but keep costs low, ask friends and family for recommendations of local driveway installers and check client reviews and testimonials. This way, you can ensure you’re getting the best value for money by hiring a competent tradesperson.

heated-driveway-snow-melting-mat-min

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How do I maintain my heated driveway?

Maintaining your heated driveway is relatively straightforward but may require different approaches depending on the driveway material used. A driveway clean is recommended for all types of driveway, so it’s advisable to look into the cost of having your driveway professionally cleaned.

For asphalt and concrete driveways, it’s recommended that you have your driveway sealed every one to three years for maximum longevity. For block paving driveways, it’s advisable to remove unsightly weeds and apply a weed preventative to stop them from appearing again.

If you’re looking to add some extra style to your driveway, consider the cost of investing in a new set of driveway gates. Driveway gates are a cost-effective way to make your property more safe and secure and add an attractive finish to the end of your driveway. 

Can I retrofit my existing driveway with a heating system?

You can retrofit your existing driveway with a heating system. This process involves cutting grooves into your current driveway, installing the heating system, then sealing the driveway back up.

Retrofitting your driveway is a cheaper option for people who don’t have the budget to have an entirely new driveway installed. However, the final appearance of your driveway may be less polished as a result of the installation.

Will installing a heating system reduce my driveway’s lifespan?

The installation of a heating system should not affect your driveway’s lifespan. If anything, the durability of your driveway may be increased because the heating element reduces the need for salt and other substances that can damage the surface of your driveway.

However, if the heated driveway system is poorly installed or a cracked pipe appears in your hydronic system, this can cause problems for your heated driveway.

The Bottom Line

Heated driveways save time, reduce the risk of injury, reduce the need to shovel snow and de-ice and are a desirable and modern driveway feature.

The first step towards installing your new heated driveway system and reaping its rewards is to contact a recommended local tradesperson for a quote.

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