It may not be the most exciting aspect of your home, but your driveway design can greatly affect how your property looks and functions.
Key considerations for driveway pavers
Despite often being overlooked, the design of your driveway can have a huge impact on the property’s overall appearance and how the space functions. Driveways occupy much of the front garden, yet it’s common for homeowners to regard these hardworking surfaces simply as loose gravel or a slab of concrete.
Driveways should be considered in unison with the surrounding landscape and have a visual dialogue with the architecture of your home. The chosen driveway surface should complement the aesthetic of the home’s façade and be integrated into the soft landscape to create a harmonious look.
If you’re looking to renovate your existing driveway or planning a new build, take these four tips to into consideration to ensure your driveway enhances your property’s appearance and functions well over time.
1. Wear & Tear
Driveway surfaces need to be hardwearing due to the punishment they take of constant vehicle and foot traffic. Driveway pavers must be able to cope with wear and tear, grip issues and potential staining.
To combat wear and tear, the material and format of your paver is crucial. Choosing the right type and format will help achieve a driveway that will stand up to the tests of modern living.
There is a variety of paving options that are marketed as suitable surfaces for a driveway. It’s important you choose the right surface if you want it to survive under the pressures of modern living. When it comes to grip and traction, split stones generally perform best as driveway pavers due to their inherent non-slip surface.
Split stones are available in several forms with cobbles, crazy paving or Filetti being the most suitable for driveway applications. These finishes also offer more structural integrity than a standard flooring paver, which is crucial for dealing with the weight of vehicles.
Another key consideration when it comes to how well your driveway surface will wear over time is how susceptible they are to spots and blemishes and how easy it is to disguise these stains.
Pavers that are darker in colour and that offer tonal variation will be more forgiving when it comes to oil spills, tyre marks and other stains commonly occurring on driveways. Porphyry is a perfect example of a material that will disguise stains well due to the variation in colours.
These are Eco Outdoor’s top materials for driveways paving for their durability and forgiving nature:
Cobblestones come in a variety of stone types with Granite being one of the most popular. Granite is an ideal cobblestone for driveway applications due to its dense structural properties. The darker granites, such as Buffalo, will ensure marks are not as obvious with some even blending into the natural movement of the stone.
Filetti is a traditional stone found throughout Europe and in its long thin format, the stone works with both traditional and modern architecture. Filetti incorporates various stone types including granite, porphyry and gneiss, which are all extremely dense and hard-wearing making them a suitable choice for driveways.
Porphyry split stone
Porphyry split stone is another ideal product for use on driveways. Its dark reddish and earthy colours provide tonal movement, making the stone extremely forgiving when it comes to marks and stains. Due to its split face, this type of stone also provides a non-slip finish which is key to any driveway.
2. Design Detail
Whether it’s modern, streamlined aesthetic or a more rugged, natural-looking driveway you’re trying to achieve, picking up on the design details of your home will help harmonious the overall look. Style cues could be materials, colour tones or even the lines of the architecture.
Consider softening the driveway by adding subtle curves or planting out a ground cover along the driveway edge. Create visual interest and depth by using a different stone to border the driveway. Consider how the driveway relates to the other elements of your front garden such as your fence and pedestrian path, as well as how it looks in the evening and daylight.
Paying attention to the design details will ensure your driveway won’t detract from your home and help enhance your property’s overall value.
3. Create Movement
One simple, yet effective way to enhance the aesthetics of your driveway is to consider how you lay the stone pavers. While laying the pavers in a linear pattern may relate well to the architecture, some homes can benefit from a more organic driveway surface.
Using the stone to create movement can help soften the driveway and blend it more seamlessly into the immediate landscape. Filetti pavers or cobblestone are ideal materials that will lend themselves to the shape and style of the driveway, adding a sense fluidity and texture to the area.
4. Caring for your driveway
One final consideration when choosing a driveway paving is how much ongoing maintenance is required to keep the driveway looking great in the future. Knowing how much time and money you may need to invest in the upkeep of the surface may influence your decision.
Natural stone pavers, for example, tend to require less regular maintenance than loose gravel. You may find that the up-front cost of the material and install is a better investment in the long run. Another popular choice for driveways is to incorporate grass or a ground cover in between the hard surfacing. Although this can soften the overall appearance of the surface and minimise the purchase cost of stone, it does require more upkeep.