Although driveways add an immense amount of character to the home, they tend to be after-thoughts for most people. Though these same people later realise that the harmony between the surrounding landscape and design of the house usually boils down to the type and style of materials used in making the driveway. On that note, here are 6 tips on choosing your house driveway paving materials.
1. How well it handles weather conditions
If you live in a state with extreme temperatures, some types of paving materials like Paving Stones will not suit your driveway. Either they crack up after some strain or they just won’t be suitable for shovelling snow away.
Gravel for example, while functional and economical, can be really difficult to maintain when there’s snow. Asphalt on the other hand holds up quite well in extreme weathers because it shrinks and expands as the weather demands.
2. Durability and maintenance
Some materials cope better than others with wear and tear over time. Some will therefore require more patches than others. Asphalt tends to hold up for more than a decade, needing little patches occasionally. Concrete, known for its versatility, would also needs patches down the years
Split-stones are considered some of the most durable driveway paving materials due to their non-slip surface. They also add a structural integrity, often lacked in standard flooring, which is necessary for bearing the weight of vehicles.
3. Design details
Here you’re more concerned with the aesthetic addition to your house. Bluestone is an extremely elegant type of sandstone used in creating streamlined modern looks. Clay brick pavers give a more rugged look to your home whereas timber sleepers give a more natural looking, eco-friendly, driveway.
4. Stain camouflage
You’ll need to know which materials are more susceptible to blemishes and stains and how well they can disguise these stains.
Generally, materials with more tonal variations or of darker shades tend to be more forgiving. Hence asphalt will probably offer one of the best camouflage for stains.
5. How soon the driveway can be used
On the off chance you’re remodelling a driveway for a family with a handful of cars, you’ll need to know if the materials used will cure on time.
Concrete can take up to 7 days to cure, which can mean a lot of grumbling from people who have been forced to park way off. Asphalt however can be ready for use as soon as the sealer dries, which takes about 24 hours.
This is obviously the deciding factor. Most people end up with asphalt driveways simply because its installation costs are one of the lowest amongst the other materials.
However, while some materials have seemingly high initial installation costs, like natural stone pavers, they tend to have lower maintenance costs down the line. So you need to consider both start up and maintenance costs.
One other option is to incorporate grass in the hard surfacing. It can soften the overall surface, and reduce cost of materials (like stone). You’d still need to maintain the grass, which can be a bit costly. So try not to dive head-first when you notice low initial costs.
You should always weigh the initial costs with maintenance costs before choosing your driveway paving materials.