If you think about it, your driveway is the true entrance to your home. Most of us never even use our front door, instead choosing to enter the house from the driveway, through the garage door.
But what happens if you hate your driveway, it’s cracked and falling apart, or you just hate the shape or style of it?
Maybe the way it’s constructed means there’s constantly a puddle you drive your car through, or there are weeds everywhere.
The good news is, it’s not that difficult or cost intensive to redo your driveway. It’ll take a little time and financial investment, but if you have a little saved up, you can probably swing it.
Don’t know how you’d fix it but know something needs to change? Read our driveway ideas below.
1. Heated Driveways
If you live somewhere it snows, you know how obnoxious having to shovel the driveway is. You have to get up early, get into all your gear, then get sweaty, which only makes you chilly-er in the biting cold.
It’s not a choice for most people either. There are city and county ordinances that demand homeowners shovel the sidewalk in front of their home, at the very least. It’s an attempt at public safety, but it’s also a hassle.
So how do you keep from ever shoveling your driveway again, without moving somewhere it doesn’t snow? You can install a heated driveway. It’s a little expensive and takes some work, but it lasts for years and is a great selling point for the house.
Let’s talk about how the stunning range of driveways with radiant heat work.
First, you either dig up your existing driveway or prepare to create a “new” driveway over it. A plumber comes and connects a pipe to your interior water heater, then that pipe is laid back and forth over the driveway.
Once the pipe is in place, a layer of cement is poured over the prepared section and pipes, which is what you’ll now walk/drive on.
When you turn the driveway on (weird idea, right?) in winter, it takes the same hot water that’s running through your home and pipes it under your driveway. That warms the top level of concrete enough that snow doesn’t “stick” or accumulate on the concrete.
Now you have complete snow and ice-free driveway, without lifting a finger (after the initial install).
Heated driveways are a great choice for older couples, who are unable or unwilling to shovel snow. They’re convenient, no matter your age, but the reduced workload and risk of slip and fall make them perfect for the elderly.
Plus, when you sell your home, the idea of not having to shovel is passed on to buyers, motivating them further.
2. Perforated Driveways
If you live in a place where it rains a lot, like, Florida then you know the annoyance of having a driveway full of puddles. It doesn’t help that most of the land in Florida is flat, so if there’s even a slight downgrade in your driveway, all the water collects.
That’s where perforated driveways come in. They’ve gone out of style for a while, but depending on the property you have, they may be the perfect thing.
Perforated driveways, as they sound, have holes in them. They’re usually made of lattice-looking decorative concrete and have grass, dirt, or stones in the holes.
If you choose to grow grass in your driveway, all you need to do to maintain is to mow it when you mow the rest of your grass. If you’re not willing to do that maintenance, don’t use this option, because you’ll have a jungle, quick.
Having the grass and the soil there absorbs water and keeps you from having constant puddles. The look isn’t for everyone, but if you like unique design features, this is something to look into.
It’s also rather cheap since it takes fewer materials than other types of driveways. And since there are holes built into the design, any cracks from tree-root growth or other damage won’t ruin the entire driveway section, the damage will stay more local.
3. Tar and “Chip” Driveways
If you’re looking for something long-lasting and durable, that’s not expensive and is less likely to crack, try this option. It’s a gravel base, with asphalt poured over.
Since both are raw materials, they’re on the cheap side. Then you get a light colored smooth pebble and spread them out evenly (via machine) over the wet asphalt.
The result looks a lot fancier than the process really is.
4. Rubber Driveways
Do you know those playgrounds that have recycled tires as their base? This is kind of like that, except the recycled material is melted together and creates a solid form.
It’s a softer material that absorbs heat, and since it’s flexible, it’s super durable.
Since it’s a recycled material, it’s cheaper than concrete or paving stones. It doesn’t hurt as much to fall down on if you have kids, but you can still expect some bumps and bruises.
Does your driveway need a makeover? If you want to use a more creative material, as rubber, you may have to run your driveway ideas past your HOA board. If they say it’s okay, then go for it!
If you don’t have an HOA, then you can use whatever material your heart desires.