Did you know that the driveway material you use can significantly affect your home's curb appeal? Though asphalt is by far the most popular, it isn't necessarily the most aesthetically pleasing. There are a variety of materials that could be used in place of asphalt that would add a touch of class to your home's exterior. Below you can read through some of the most common driveway materials to help determine which will best fit your needs.
1. Cobblestone: Like brick or stone, cobblestone is a natural material that adds a touch of charm to the driveway area. It can be easily installed by adding sand between each stone and fixing them into place with cement. To add even more character, consider embedding lights in the stones themselves for an added effect at night.
2. Brick: Though brick may not always complement the style of every home when it does work, it can have a beautiful result. For example, when using red brick rather than standard grey or tan bricks, homeowners will see a striking contrast that adds to the appeal. To prevent your brick driveway from becoming an eyesore, consider using darker mortar joints so that dirt and grass don't stand out as much against the lighter brick surface.
3. Gravel: Gravel is one of the most common materials on driveways today. It comes in a variety of colors and textures to suit any style or preference. Mixing gravel with stones can create an interesting effect while mixing it with cobblestone creates a more refined look that will add some class to your home's exterior.
4. Concrete: Though oftentimes asphalt is considered cheaper than concrete, it isn't always the best option for every homeowner's needs or tastes. Though this material can be poured relatively quickly, it can crack or break if done incorrectly. It also doesn't come in as many colors as other materials.
5 . Poured Concrete: Though this material does tend to be slightly expensive, it is very strong and attractive. Another benefit of poured concrete over asphalt is that homeowners don't have to worry about the driveway cracking or breaking as they do with regular concrete because asphalt has filler material built into the mixture.
6 . Flagstone: This material consists of flat stone pieces measuring four inches maximum in width and a maximum of 16 inches in length. Homeowners looking for driveways using natural materials should consider flagstone for its ability to stand up to well-weathering effects like rain, sleet, and snow. In addition to being strong, flagstone looks great in a variety of styles and can be easily mixed together with other materials like brick for added effect.
7 . Brick Pavers: Though this material is commonly used in walkways and patios rather than driveways, it can add a certain amount of flair when used there instead of concrete or asphalt. When using this material, it's important to ensure that the overall mass matches up evenly throughout the driveway. To achieve this look, start by pouring a layer of gravel down first before adding the pavers on top.
8 . Slate: Like cobblestone, slate is best utilized in rustic settings where red bricks may not match well. This material is great for driveways because, when cut into thin pieces and properly aligned, it has a beautiful appearance that makes the driveway look like natural stone. It also comes in a large variety of colors, such as blue-gray and brown gray, which add an extra touch of class.
9 . Asphalt: Though many homeowners choose to use asphalt rather than concrete because it's cheaper and easier to install, asphalt can actually cause problems down the road if not done correctly by professionals. The biggest problem with this choice is that over time it tends to sink and crack if not repaired immediately after installation. This material isn't very aesthetically pleasing either, making other materials such as brick or flagstone more attractive options overall.
10 . Interlocking Pavers: These pre-shaped interlocking cubes are ideal for driveways because they let the homeowner choose the color and pattern they want before installation, which helps ensure perfect compatibility with the home's exterior design theme. For example, if the home has a stone or natural brick front, then choosing one of these materials will match nicely without looking too modern or out of place.
Each Material Will Require Different Maintenance
No matter what material you select, each will require a different maintenance routine to preserve your driveway and keep it functioning for years. Some of the most common maintenance cleaning required of driveway materials include sweeping, pressure washing, and sealing. For driveways made of brick or stone, homeowners should also consider repointing the joints every ten years.
While some materials are more expensive than others, they are all worth considering depending on what your home needs in terms of curb appeal.
Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Material
Driveway materials are a great way to improve the overall look of your home's exterior, but they aren't always as simple as choosing from stone or asphalt. You should consider important factors before making this decision, such as how much foot traffic the driveway receives and whether or not there is a garage attached.
If your home has high-frequency traffic, then choosing a material that doesn't crack easily, like brick, for example, would be best because it can stand up to daily wear and tear without breaking down over time. In addition to durability, it's also important to consider curb appeal when choosing a material for your driveway. Using natural materials like flagstone rather than asphalt will help boost the appearance of your home while still being functional at the same time.
In the end, driveways are a necessary part of any home's exterior design because they provide a safe passage from your garage or house to your car. The material you choose should therefore be strong but beautiful at the same time, thus making one of these ten options ideal for your individual needs.