Your driveway plays two key roles in your life as a homeowner—it provides important access to your home for your family and visitors, and it is a major part of the overall appearance of your home. As a result, it also contributes significantly to the value of your home.
Considering these factors, it makes sense to spend some time planning a new or refurbished driveway. Whether new construction or an upgrade in materials and style, a well-thought-out design can make a difference in the final product. Beyond the paving material, you will want to consider other features that can put your driveway front and center.
Asphalt or concrete
This is probably the first and main consideration of every homeowner, and the answer frequently comes down to budget. Asphalt is less expensive than concrete, so for very long or very large driveways, many homeowners will frequently turn to this durable surface that holds up well in varying climates and is easy to maintain. In the planning stages, however, it is good to consider maintenance (asphalt needs more attention than concrete) and longevity (the lifespan of concrete can be 10 to 15 years longer). Today’s concrete also provides you many more style and color choices, which can dramatically change the look of your home and may make it worth the higher cost.
If you are on a budget, you may want to make this decision before settling on the material. Whether new construction or upgrade, if space allows you to choose the size of your driveway, take time to consider the size and number of vehicles you have and how your family will use the driveway. You will want to allow room to get around vehicles at the bottom of your driveway and to open doors and exit vehicles without stepping on grass or in landscaping.
Houses with very long driveways or on busy streets will usually benefit from a turnaround or circular section to allow vehicles to drive forward out of the driveway. As you design these features, you will want to consider spacing from the garage, other outbuildings, and trees or landscaping features that are already a part of your property.
Frequently the apron of the driveway becomes an afterthought, but it should not. Take the time to plan proper grading where your driveway meets the curb and street to avoid vehicles “bottoming out” as they back out.
For new or upgraded driveway plans, always consider utilities placement before beginning construction. This means where these lines and pipes are currently as well as where they could be located or moved to. Main water lines, electrical lines, low-voltage lighting, sprinkler lines or allowances for future additions of any of the above should be considered in your design plans.
As you plan your new or upgraded driveway, consider also any Homeowners Association guidelines that may apply to you and be sure to confirm building and safety codes associated with your city and county. For guidance and ideas on how to make the most of your space and best complement your property with a driveway you can be proud of, contact the experts at All Ways Construction. Click here for more information on the benefits of quality asphalt and concrete, including stamped and colored concrete, for your home.