March 2015



I am considering purchasing a new home, however the one disadvantage of the house I am planning to purchase is that there is a lot of driveway and very little garden, which is disappointing given that I have two small children. My question is: is it easy to remove a large section of tarmac from a property and will there be any complications?


Strictly speaking it is not difficult to remove tarmacadam, provided you engage a competent building/ landscape contractor to undertake the work for you. In terms of potential pitfalls, I would expect there to be a significant amount of associated work such as a substructure that will need to be removed and perhaps modifications to the surface water drainage systems.

I don’t know whether the proposed property you are purchasing has a widened entrance to facilitate this large driveway but again you may need to extend or alter the front boundary walls and any alterations already carried out to public footpaths may also need to be reviewed and altered. You will also have the additional costs associated with buying topsoil and levelling and seeding your new garden and all the associated works that are involved in landscaping this space.

At the end of the day, any proposal that reduces the amount of hard standings and promotes a more sustainable drainage system is to be encouraged.

Alan Baldwin is a chartered building surveyor and a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland’s building surveying professional group