Driveways… and what you need to know
In most cases driveways are part of your curb appeal and an important design element for how you want your front entrance to “look and feel”. Below is a sampling of photos from driveway installations we have done for customers to give you an idea of how different materials can be used to achieve a certain style, and the pros and cons of the different materials.
Asphalt is the least expensive and quickest option. For this project asphalt worked well because your focal point is on the beautiful dry-stacked stone walls and the mortared stone wall of the garage. If we would have used pavers or concrete your eye would have been taken away from the beauty of the stone. An asphalt driveway was a great choice financially and aesthetically in this case.
Concrete used to be a more common upgrade from asphalt and still does look beautiful! We do not tend to install concrete as much as we used to because of the cold temperatures in Minnesota. Concrete tends to crack with the freeze/thaw effect. The color of this concrete along with the stone on the house and flagstone walkway is very pleasing to the eye.
COMBO: ASPHALT / CONCRETE / PAVERS
Here you can see a combination of all the materials we typically use – Asphalt, Concrete, and Pavers. This is a very long driveway so we used asphalt from the road in to cut down on cost. The mortared stone pillars with the paver ribbon create a flawless transition to the concrete.
Pavers are going to be one of the more expensive options, but they can really make a visual statement. Pavers are also great if you have drainage issues. City codes are becoming more strict about water flow. We put permeable water systems underneath many of our paver patio and paver driveway installations. This is a tumbled paver with a curved edge which makes it looks weathered and worn in.
This is a great example of a “European-Style” Auto Court in Minnesota. We created a front entrance and patio out of a tumbled paver which is turned the opposite direction of the larger irregular pavers that make up the driveway. This helps define the two separate spaces. The technicality of this paver driveway lends very well to the architecture of the home.
This tuck-under garage is on the side of the home. It is not the main focus, so we were able to use a different type of material called a turf paver. Turf pavers are used to allow sod to grow through the openings on each paver hole. This is a fairly inexpensive application, with a very specific look and feel.
Here is another example of a multi-colored tumbled paver driveway with a covered reception area at the front entrance. Pavers come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Having many options to accompany the beautiful architecture is key. If a paver settles or breaks it’s easy to pull out a section of pavers and replace them, unlike with concrete where you usually have to tear the whole driveway out and start over.
PAVERS and BLUESTONE:
The combination of these two materials, pavers and bluestone, is gorgeous! The driveway is constructed out of an old word tumbled red and blue paver that looks like it has been installed for 100 years. The bluestone walkway plays off of the blues in the paver to create a warm, inviting entrance.
Lastly, when designing your new driveway and front entry try to put yourself 10 years from now and think of the longevity of the material you are choosing. It is a major investment into your property and you should love it!