Driveways are a really important part of your home, and it’s vital that they are not just practical but attractive too. A good driveway can add some serious curb appeal to your property. It is the first thing people see when they visit, and is on display to everybody who passes by your house.
It can be overwhelming trying to weigh up the different options when it comes to picking the materials you want to use, especially when some of them look so similar to each other. This article sums up 5 different materials, and will give you some inspiration on how to style your driveway.
Exposed Aggregate Concrete
This type of driveway is achieved by letting the stones and pebbles that are mixed into the material show through the concrete by removing the top layer, allowing for a natural aggregate textured finish. This is one of the oldest and most common types of decorative concrete, and has really stood the test of time. This material is versatile and offers a number of styles and finishes– allowing you to use a colour and texture that will really compliment your property and be unique to your driveway.
One of the main benefits of exposed aggregate concrete is that due to the rough surface providing a lot of grip, it is highly skid resistant so you won’t accidentally spin your car’s wheels. This design is fairly low maintenance, making it so well-loved. Every few years the driveway may need to be resealed just to ensure that the pebbles and stones don’t come lose and leave dips in the concrete, however, this is generally an incredibly long-lasting way to style your driveway.
Using plain concrete is one of the more simple but effective ways to style your driveway. The solid coloured blocks give a clean and uniformed look to the driveway. You can even combine these with decorative edging, which can be incredibly appealing and elevates the design. Plain concrete is very affordable and extremely long-lasting, making it a very popular choice for homeowners to use. It is one of the quickest materials to lay, and takes just a few hours to set and acquire its strength.
Although primarily plain grey concrete is used, chemical stains and concrete dyes can be applied which will change the appearance of the driveway and compliment your property. Terracotta tones will compliment most darker brick buildings, and a grey concrete driveway pairs wonderfully with sandstone and lighter coloured houses. This is a really simple way to create a neat driveway that doesn’t distract you from the building itself.
Bluestone pavers are made from natural stone, and are one of the most multifaceted materials to use when redesigning a driveway. This stone can be adapted into to a number of different forms to match the architecture around it. It can be crushed up to create gravel, used to make tiles or formed into large slabs. A lot of people who style their driveways with bluestone pavers opt for irregular shaped slabs, which create an interesting design and positively stand out.
These pavers start off as a striking blue colour, which is really unusual and looks incredibly expensive. After a while, the colour can fade slightly to light grey – this is because of the sunlight. This means that they are long-lasting as the colour fade is natural and gradual, also helping with their durability.
Clay Brick Pavers
Clay brick pavers have been used for hundreds of years; they are perhaps the most classic-looking way to style your driveway. The bricks are crafted from clay and then baked in a kiln to solidify them into their perfect shape. They are then laid on top of a sand and mortar base so that they set in place on your driveway.
They are well-known for their striking terracotta colour, and can be laid in a number of patterns which can really add some interest to your driveway. Clay bricks are one of the eco-friendliest pavers, and, despite being more fragile and prone to cracking, they are extremely long-lasting if looked after well. It is a good idea to remove any moss that can build up on the bricks to preserve their condition and can be easy to do with a power washer and a mild detergent – this will ensure the longevity of the clay brick pavers.
Also known as textured or imprinted concrete, stamped concrete slabs are crafted so that they look like stones on your driveway. This technique is achieved by pouring out concrete onto the driveway and then applying a pattern on top. They are an affordable and low maintenance option that replicate the appearance of other materials that require a lot more work to install and maintain, such as clay brick pavers.
The main draw for stamped concrete is that there are unlimited aesthetic options to choose from. This type of driveway can achieve the same texture as almost any material or design that is desired, which can really enhance the look of your property and give you a luxurious-looking driveway for a fraction of the price.
It can be easy to forget about your driveway and not realise how visible it is to other people. But we know that first impressions count, and a nicely-styled driveway will also make your building look more inviting to your guests. These are just 5 options you can choose from that would make sure your driveway is functional AND appealing.