Curb Appeal: Driveways

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Realtors stress the importance of “curb appeal” when selling a house. First impressions count. Landscaping is an obvious concern, but your home’s Hardscape likely covers more ground and attracts the eye more than your greenery does. Many times a homeowner will overlook the impact of the home’s driveway. Driveways can cover the largest part of a property’s land but they tend to be neglected as a major consideration in curb appeal. Improving the driveway adds beauty and function to your property.

Many townships regulate the maximum percentage of a parcel’s “impervious coverage,” i.e., the amount of your land covered by construction that does not absorb water. Ecological concerns over rainwater runoff inform these regulations. Your house is part of that percentage, as is your driveway. These regulations can be a challenge when you want to add a pool, a gazebo, or extend your patio to accommodate an outdoor kitchen.

Updating the driveway with permeable construction is a great solution. Eco pavers are permeable paving stones laid over a smart drainage system that allows rainwater to be absorbed into the soil instead of running off into drains. Less storm water runoff is the core idea behind township regulations on impervious coverage. Installing a driveway that prevents runoff lets you design the rest of your Hardscape freely. (You can use Eco pavers for your outdoor room, too!)

Besides curb appeal and environmental sensibilities, upkeep and longevity are other concerns when choosing a material for your driveway. Asphalt needs to be resealed every 2 to 4 years and the edges tend to crumble. Large concrete slabs or poured installation can crack and crumble, too, and cleanup of oil or other stains can be a problem. A paver stone driveway can last many decades and repair is a snap. Because the paver bricks are individually laid in sand, they are a flexible system that can expand and contract with freeze-thaw cycles rather than upheaving or cracking like concrete (including decorative concrete). Also, any stained brick can be replaced easily. Snow can be plowed from paver driveways, and leaves can be raked and blown. Paver driveways are tough. Unlike other solutions, paver driveways last.

But above all, pavers make your driveway stunning. Because pavers come in a large variety of shapes, textures and colors, you can break away from the large bleak black slab of asphalt that dominates the look of your property. Paving stones give you colorful patterns to cover a major part of your front yard, instantly adding visual interest. You can use simple designs or mix it up with fan, circle, or rectangular patterns. The sky’s the limit.

Scroll through our driveway gallery to get ideas how you can raise a simple driveway into a work of art.