The road that leads to your home should be the safest. The last drive of the day just before you park your vehicle is the ultimate exhale from a hard day’s work.
That driveway brings relief from toil as it initially welcomes you home.
It’s an essential part of your property because it is the first thing you and your visitors see when they approach your home.
Remember, first impressions last. A driveway will say a lot about you and how you take pride and effort in your property’s landscape.
Here are some driveway ideas to get started.
Consider this when planning your driveway
Because the driveway occupies an important place in your property, there are several things to consider in planning your driveway:
- Budget. Factor in the long-term costs associated with different types of driveways. Paver driveways, for example, maybe more expensive installing but have lower maintenance costs. There may be cheap driveway alternatives out there, but make sure you get your money’s worth.
- Curb Appeal. Your driveway should complement the architectural design of your home. Your choice of driveway should enhance your property’s appeal.
- Climate. Know which material for your driveway is appropriate for the climate where you live. Snow, humidity, and rainfall can have negative effects on driveway surfaces.
- Maintenance. A smart driveway design will consider maintenance requirements for the material used to make the driveway. Consider the demands of maintaining your driveway whether being able to do it yourself or having to hire a contractor to do so.
- Durability. How long will the driveway last? What is the expected lifespan of the material used? What are the maintenance requirements to make your driveway last for decades?
Know the Most Common Materials for Your Driveway
There are a couple of options you can choose from.
Some of the materials that can be used for driveways are concrete, decorative brick, cobblestone, block paving, asphalt, gravel, decomposed granite, and surrounded by grass or other ground-cover plants.
- GRAVEL. You can enjoy a Low-Maintenance, All-Gravel Driveway by applying the paving technique called chip sealing. But this isn’t a DIY project. In the end, you will have an upscale, all-gravel driveway without gravel’s maintenance headaches.
The washed stones are embedded in a tar-like substance sprayed over asphalt so there will be no need for raking stones or adding new ones every year.
The surface can also be cleared easily just like regular pavement when it snows with a blower or a plow.
Gravel comes in many colors which allows flexibility in customizing the look of your driveway to match the design of your house.
For aggregate driveways, here the advantages:
- Relative affordability – definitely the cheapest
- Durability with proper drainage and regular maintenance
- Low maintenance with easy replacements and no cracking issues
- Environmentally friendly
- High DIY Potential for simple elbow grease installation
Gravel may not be your best bet, however during winter when it snows, especially if it wasn’t paved by chip sealing.
- CONCRETE. This material is number one in durability and versatility. Concrete provides a smooth, stable, and secure foundation that holds up well in any climate and requires little to no maintenance.
You can add color and stamps to your concrete driveway as well for a more upscale appearance. There are different types of concrete material that you can use for your driveway:
- Low maintenance driveways with Pattern Imprinted Concrete.
This material is becoming more popular with increasing the curb appeal of your property. Pattern imprinted concrete is laid as one slab. The expansion joints are sealed with mastic to greatly reduce the growth of weeds. Maintenance will be limited to giving a good sweep and the occasional pressure wash every couple of months.
- Concrete Pavers. Much more affordable than natural stone, these factory-made paving stones have become popular in all landscaping projects. It is easier to install because they come in uniform thickness and shapes. A driveway with concrete pavers can increase the aesthetic appeal of your property with a wide array of colors, designs, and shapes to choose from.
These are the benefits you will get with a concrete driveway:
- Ample traction
- Easy Winter Maintenance
- Relatively Long lifespan
- Relatively Low Maintenance
The cost of a concrete driveway is $5 to $10 per square foot, which is relatively a high cost compared to other materials.
Compared to asphalt, however, concrete’s longer lifespan, and lower maintenance requirements reduce annual ownership costs.
Cracking can also be a headache, which you would have to deal with over time and this might require removing and reinstalling the whole driveway, depending on the size and depth of the crack.
ASPHALT. This material is parallel to Tarmac driveways. They come out cheaper to install compared to concrete driveways.
Asphalt driveways are made with pliable and freeze-thaw resistant material, making it less likely to crack under the elements. It isn’t recommended, however, for DIY’ers without prior experience and proper equipment.
Asphalt is relatively high-maintenance, requiring resealing within a year of installation and resealing again every three to five years, which is costly at around $400. This material’s lifespan is the shortest of all materials used for driveways.
PAVING STONE. Even if this material is undoubtedly the most expensive, it is certainly the most attractive. The natural color and texture of paving stones blend perfectly with any landscape and design in the property like walkways, fountains, or driveway islands.
The cost of paving stone is $15 to $30 per square foot but the life span is up to 100 years. Capable of lasting up to a century when installed properly, paving stone driveways have the most character making it the best option when you want to enhance your property’s appeal.
Whether your paving stone is made of granite, flagstone, or bluestone, they require little maintenance and prevent water from pooling. If issues come up, you can just replace individual stones and not worry about reinstalling a whole new driveway.
Upgrade or resurface your driveway with any of these driveway material options.
Choose a low maintenance driveway that compliments your property’s appeal and one that will last a lifetime.
Your driveway is an important part of your property’s landscape that can make that first impression last.
Invest properly on the road that will bring you home by getting one from Big Easy Landscaping. We offer a variety of landscaping services and products such as pergolas, gazebos, and pathways.