An attractive, well maintained driveway can
add distinction and value to your property.
Visitors frequently form their first impression
of your house from the condition of your
driveway. If you are considering replacing
a driveway or installing a new one, the architectural
style of your house, the weather in your
area, the length of the drive, and the amount
of money you want to spend can help determine
which construction material will be best
There are a variety of materials
be used to construct driveways.
the following information:
For a more natural look in areas
removal is not an issue, driveways
constructed from a variety of
materials. Wood chips, pine needles,
and crushed sea shells all make
inconspicuous drives, although
it is best
to pick a material native to
your area when
making this kind of driveway.
All of these
need to be replenished on a regular
- Asphalt (see asphalt driveways) is one of the least expensive driveway
materials and therefore one of the most popular.
It will last for many years and is smooth
enough for easy snow removal. It is installed
by pouring a special mixture of hot tar onto
a prepared bed. It is important to get the
right slope when installing asphalt, as good
drainage prevents water from freezing and
cracking the driveway surface. You can prolong
the life of an asphalt drive by applying
a sealant every one or two years. These sealants are
best applied in hot, dry weather.
- Concrete is another popular choice in cold
climates where snow removal is an important
consideration. Concrete is a mixture of cement,
aggregate (usually washed stone), various
additives, and water. It can be colored,
stamped, etched, embedded, brushed, and molded
to achieve an almost infinite number of effects.
Concrete is more expensive than asphalt,
but it will last for many years before it
begins to crack, especially in areas with
severe winters. You can use a driveway sealer to help protect the concrete.
- Brick makes a beautiful driveway, especially
when an antique look is desired.
manufactured in a large range
of warm, earthy
tones, and it can be laid in
a variety of
patterns that add texture to
Brick drives can be easy to
repair, as damaged
bricks can be individually
expensive brick like pavers
are also available
in a wide range of colors.
makes them easy to install.
- Driveways made from stone blocks are the
ultimate luxury look. Only dense stone such
as granite should be used since fieldstone
and slate will crack from the weight of vehicles.
Concrete blocks that have been colored and
tumbled to smooth their edges so that they
resemble cobble stones are an increasing
popular, less expensive choice. These sturdy
blocks can be mixed and matched to create
patterns rich in texture. They are especially
suitable where large areas will need to be
Also, you may want to consider a driveway gate to dress up the entrance.