A driveway that has been professionally upgraded can add value to your home and reduce your overall homeownership costs. If you’re thinking about upgrading or replacing your driveway, there are several points to consider before you go ahead and arrange for the work to be carried out, such as cost, durability, maintenance requirements and overall suitability; let’s look at these points in more detail:
What should your driveway look like?
Do you want your driveway to stand out from those of your neighbors, or blend in? Do you want to choose the same materials as surrounding driveways for its construction, such as gravel and stone, or asphalt and concrete? Should your driveway be simply practical, or do you want it to increase your homes curb appeal? As well as aesthetics, you may also need to consider your budget and any price constraints you might have.
Talking with a general contractor who specialize in paving and driveways is the best way to thoroughly evaluate your options, and they will have a range of materials and design ideas for you to choose from.
How much can you afford to spend on your driveway?
There are a variety of factors that will influence the cost of installing a new driveway, or upgrading our existing one, and you’ll need to consider them all in detail before meeting with a construction company and drawing up any plans:
- The dimensions of your driveway
- Does it require any drainage features?
- Do you want/need curbs or lighting?
- Adjacent landscaping
- The type of material used for paving
There are four main types of material used in the construction of driveways, aggregate (gravel), asphalt, concrete and paving stones. Gravel is the least expensive of all the materials.
What shape and dimensions should your driveway be?
If you’re upgrading your driveway, then of course the shape and dimensions are already there, but if you’re designing a new driveway, you’ll need to assess what you want your driveway to look like and what course it should take. Naturally, if you live in a suburban or rural area, you’ll be able to be a little more creative with these design elements, whereas if you live in an urban setting, space and design may not only be at a premium, but you may be required to conform to certain sizes and shapes of driveway.
Don’t forget to factor in local regulations:
Depending upon where you live, municipalities and homeowners’ associations can be very strict when it comes to planning permission for driveways, and they often place bans on certain materials or colors. Check with the relevant powers that be before you even beginning designing your driveway to ensure that you don’t waste money on materials that won’t be permitted. If you’re working with a reputable paving and driveway company, they will help ensure that your driveway conforms to local regulations and doesn’t upset anyone!
How much maintenance will your driveway require?
Certain materials, such as gravel, are cheap and easy to maintain, while others, such as asphalt, require maintenance efforts at least every few years. Think about the average climate where you live too, since cold weather and heavy rain can damage certain materials. How much are you willing to invest on maintaining your driveway, if anything?
A new driveway is a big decision and investment, but when designed and installed professionally, it can enhance your home both from an aesthetic perspective, and a practical one.