Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for households to have more than one car per their family. While garages can protect cars overnight, it can be hard to find space to squeeze more than one car in. Many people dislike parking their cars on the public pathway at the front of their home and feel much more content with their beloved vehicle(s) parked on their land – hence the necessity of a home driveway.
Driveways have become more than just a place to park your car, they’ve also become a symbol of beauty. You’ve started noticing neighbours’ driveways, either envying their appearance or snubbing at their state of disrepair. There’s no denying it, driveways have a massive impact on the curb appeal of your house. It makes sense to have a gorgeous driveway, more people will see the outside of your house than inside it! So what options do you have when it comes to driveway surfaces?
Tarmac and asphalt
These two surfaces are very similar in appearance and are great if you want a low key driveway. If you have a beautiful garden or a particular aspect of your home’s external appearance that you want to take all the attention then asphalt and tarmac driveways allow it to take the limelight.
Tarmac can be extremely hard wearing if laid by a reputable contractor, it’s used on roads too so it’s rather durable. It can also look great if it matches the adjoining road or pavement at the front of your house.
Asphalt has a tidy and wholesome demeanour; you won’t get any weeds growing through this surface! While its appearance is quite a selling point, you will need to continually re-seal it to prevent it from water damage. If maintained properly you can expect an asphalt driveway to last between 12 and 35 years.
Concrete doesn’t bring the most exciting images to mind, and whilst concrete flags aren’t the hottest landscaping trend, the material itself is more prevalent in modern driveways than you may think.
Stamped concrete greatly differs in appearance from traditional slabs with weeds growing in between.
Stamped concrete is tinted and has a design stamped onto it so the surface is far more visually interesting than its dreary counterparts. Choosing one which complements your garden can actually make concrete look like a rather luxurious driveway surface – what’s more it’s incredibly cheap!
Natural stone paving
Natural stone pavers for driveways is a more luxurious form of driveway surface, compared to the other manufactured options it looks far more authentic. When combined with electric garden gates you’ll have a home that resembles a palace.
Cobblestone is a beautiful form of natural paving which many homeowners choose for the entrance of their home. But be aware that it requires a lot of upkeep to maintain its fabulous appearance. Be prepared to get handy with the weeding tools!
Gravel, shingle and pebbles are incredibly inexpensive to lay but have an appearance which is incredibly modern and by no means “cheap”. They’re eco-friendly too as they are a natural driveway surface option. Plus, you get that lovely crunching noise as your tires roll over the driveway and eventually grind to a halt!
If you’re worried about them potentially puncturing your tires then opt for gravel or pebbles as they don’t have the jagged edges which shingles do.
Block paving is possibly one of the most commonly sighted driveways surfaces of the modern home. It’s the surface that mimics the appearance of red house bricks and can look amazing when laid correctly. You can even ask your contractor to develop patterns out of the brickwork, this can create a great visual impact on larger driveways.
The formation of the bricks can make your driveway appear very organised and tidy whilst the colours in the bricks can really warm up the exterior appearance of your home, making it very welcoming.
Which one’s for me?
So you’re spoiled for choice with the numerous options you’ve just read about, and now you’re thinking “I want them all!” Firstly, consider how much maintenance you’re realistically going to be able to handle. If you work long hours a driveway which requires constant maintenance won’t be a good option here as neglect will ruin its appearance.
Also, take into account the style and appearance of your home’s exterior. If you have a country cottage you could opt for one of the more traditional options such as cobblestone. If you’re a modern homeowner however, you could play it safe with the block paving option which everyone seems to relish!
Stephanie Staszko wrote this post on behalf of Just Motor Law who are drink driving solicitors and deal with a range of motoring offences for those times when your car’s not parked on your driveway.