Your Driveway Is Sending a Message. Is it the Right One?

 

If you’re like the rest of us, when you’re beautifying the outside of your home, you’re likely thinking about landscaping. The driveway? Not so much.

Granted a serviceable driveway probably won’t attract a lot of attention, but a cracked, unkempt one certainly will. The wrong kind. Neighbors and home buyers alike will assume a messy driveway correlates to a home and yard that aren’t well maintained.

And given all the work you’ve put into your home, that’s not the impression you want to convey. So perhaps it’s time to invest in a driveway that really reflects you and your home.

Of course, you’ll need to think about length and width, and curves and turnarounds, but the other important issue is which paving material to use.

Asphalt

Asphalt is cheap, requires little maintenance and is relatively easy to install. Chances are your neighborhood streets have an asphalt top and a concrete bottom, so you can get an idea what your driveway will look like before you decide. While asphalt requires little maintenance, it probably will crack and likely have to be replaced before other paving materials.

Brick and Cobblestone

These aesthetically pleasing materials will catch the eye of neighbors, guests, and prospective buyers, but they are expensive and installation is labor intensive. Given these drawbacks, both are better suited as short walkways leading to the front door.

Gravel

Gravel is an unusual but affordable choice, however, it may seem out of place in a suburban or urban environment. With gravel driveways, washout is the primary concern, if you choose this material, be sure to encase the driveway with timber or bluestone.

A word to the wise: You don’t want a fly-by-night contractor. Websites like Homestars.com publish reviews of contractors in many North American cities, but you’ll still want to conduct your own due diligence. After all, your driveway deserves the attention.