Great Ideas for Driveway Materials and Landscaping Your Driveway
When landscaping your driveway, considering curb appeal is just as important as function. Depending on your design ideas, you can easily combine great landscape ideas like garden beds with materials that accent and highlight the architectural style of your home. The shape and size of the driveway is also an important consideration in terms of creating flow and visual appeal, and the type of material used for the driveway itself will certainly impact things like cost factor, function and maintenance.
Driveways are also important for adding value to your home. Homes with driveways sell for higher amounts and landscaping your driveway only adds to the curb appeal. Research shows that the higher the curb appeal, the faster a home sells and the higher the price point it commands. Naturally, certain shapes and styles of driveway are more suited to some types of homes than others, so it is crucial to consider the look you are hoping to achieve as you plan your driveway.
When the size of the front yard accommodates the amount of space needed, circular driveways add an element of style and class. They are also highly practical, as they allow for easy entry and exit of the driveway without the need for backing up. However, you might consider a wider driveway if you expect heavy use and the need to pass other vehicles without moving all the other vehicles. Creating a center garden with low-maintenance ground covers also gives your driveway an attractive focal point.
Straight driveways are generally the most common, but they do not have to be boring. Even something as simple as lining it with colorful garden flowers makes it much more appealing. Adding a curb helps in keeping the garden area from being accidentally run over by tires and also prevents the washing away of soil and mulch during periods of rain.
Naturally, driveways receive a great deal of traffic, which makes durability an important factor in choosing the type of material used. Depending on location and how often you use your driveway, there are factors that
influence installation costs. Ultimately, the cost of a driveway largely depends on the material, but size, length, shape and terrain are also factors.
Concrete is one of the more cost-effective options, costing around $6 per square foot. Customizing it with coloring, stamping or carving add a significant extra cost. Understandably, concrete is the most widely used material for driveways, as it is highly durable and lasts an average of 40 years. The downside is cracking caused by expansion and contraction due to extreme temperatures.
Gravel driveways are the most affordable choice at less than $3 per square foot and are generally made of materials including rock, sand and clay. It compacts easily, which makes it more stable for cars. Unfortunately, while installation is easy, it requires regular maintenance and is very dusty. However, gravel driveways can last up to 100 years with proper maintenance because it does not crack, sink or soften. Portions of the driveway may need replacing if it moves or becomes too low, but stabilizers help prevent such issues. Unlike some types of driveway materials, gravel easily matches different architectural styles.
While a beautiful choice, concrete and brick pavers are expensive, costing anywhere from $10 to $20 per square foot. The reason for their high expense is that they require proper base preparation and hand-laying. It is highly advisable to hire a professional contractor who is ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute) certified to ensure proper installation. Concrete pavers greatly increase curb appeal, which may potentially offset some of the initial cost in terms of adding to the value of your home. Concrete pavers come in a variety of textures and colors that allow a great deal of flexibility. The greatest advantages of concrete pavers, it does not crack and, if repairs are necessary, simply remove the pavers, repair the base, and re-install the same pavers.
While it is a very affordable option at $3 to $4 per square foot, asphalt does not afford customization. It also requires regular maintenance like resealing and resurfacing. However, it handles extreme changes in temperature better than concrete and takes less settling and drying time. Another advantage of asphalt driveways is that they are easily repaired and last about 20 years. Unfortunately, asphalt comes only in black and is less durable, requiring resealing every 3 to 5 years and regular resurfacing.
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As outdoor experts, the team at Executive Landscaping, Inc. has years of knowledge in creating masterpieces for our clients, from their front curb to their backyard. We pride ourselves on the quality of our work, and we have built a solid reputation on our abilities for bringing their vision of a beautiful landscape to life. We incorporate our eye for design into every aspect, creating a unique design that showcases their property, and our standard of excellence has kept us at the top of our industry.
Call Executive Landscaping, Inc. to learn more about landscaping your driveway and ask about the range of outdoor services we offer today!