It is always important to remember that you need to think carefully about which driveway materials you use for your property. This is because your driveway has to fulfill some very specific purposes. Your driveway needs to look aesthetically pleasing but it also needs to be highly practical and functional at the same time.
When you decide to fit a concrete driveway, for example, you might search Concreters Ballarat to find a local supplier. But before you finally decide that a concrete driveway is definitely the best option it makes sense to consider all of your options when it comes to what materials to use.
In order to be able to make an informed decision it would be a good idea to learn about the pros and cons of each potential option.
Here is a look at what you need to know about the main driveway materials available, together with some general points to consider regardless of your preferred option.
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What are some key questions you need to ask?
One of the obvious questions you will want an answer to is how much will it cost.
Cost is clearly a key consideration and some driveway materials will be more expensive than others. However, the cheapest price might mean you have to compromise on quality and durability.
Another important aspect is maintenance. You need to think about how much maintenance is required to keep your driveway in good shape and looking good. If you are not keen on jet washing your driveway or picking out weeds, these are also factors that could influence your decision.
Concrete ticks a lot of boxes
It is easy to see why concrete driveways are always a popular choice for homeowners.
A concrete driveway will prove to be highly durable and it is a material that is not only practical but it fits well in a contemporary design scheme.
Although the default option for a concrete driveway is gray, you can also have a driveway that comes in a range of different colors. If you want an earthy tone, or pretty much any other color that will go with your design scheme, it is probably possible to source the concrete finish that you want.
Another positive point about concrete is that it is often the most cost-effective driveway material.
A couple of negative points to consider would be that you need to seal it fairly regularly and repair any damage to avoid the problem getting worse. You also need good drainage to avoid water runoff issues.
Overall, there are more positives than negatives about using concrete. It is affordable, durable, and will last a long time.
Paving offers a chance to make a real design statement
One of the main plus points about using paving for your driveway is that it gives you the ability to enjoy a finish that can look stylish and elegant.
You might choose block paving, or cobbles, for instance, in a variety of different shapes, patterns, and colors. Along with a range of material and finish options you will find that paving is versatile. This makes it a good choice if you have a sloped driveway, for instance.
The downsides to using paving include the fact that it can be expensive to install as it takes longer to put down. You will also need to spend money on ensuring that there is adequate drainage.
Asphalt is functional and affordable
There is a valid reason why you will often see asphalt used in public areas. It is very functional, relatively inexpensive, and delivers a reasonable lifespan.
It is also a viable option if you are looking for a driveway that is affordable and functional.
Asphalt is a material that stands up well to extreme temperatures, so it will cope with wintry conditions or long periods of sunshine.
A couple of negatives to consider about using asphalt are that it is not the most attractive material to use and it doesn’t have good drainage. Asphalt is not porous and that means surface water can pool, which is not great for obvious reasons.
Asphalt is worth considering if you are looking for a material that will last and doesn’t cost a lot to install compared to other options. If you are concerned about aesthetics it is unlikely that asphalt will be the solution you are looking for when choosing your driveway.
Gravel is easy to install and maintain
Gravel is in a similar ballpark to pebbles or shingles. It is a material that tends to create a more rustic look and the crunch underfoot is also a bit of a security feature as it announces that someone is approaching your property.
When you are considering all of your driveway options, if you want a material that is perfect for a DIY installation as it is so easy to lay down, gravel has to be on your radar.
From a price perspective, gravel is usually quite cheap to buy compared to other materials. It is also a material that offers a good level of durability as it can last for a long time with a little bit of maintenance from time to time.
Expect to top up the layers every couple of years or so to keep your gravel driveway in good condition. You should also be mindful that you will need to spray the surface with a weedkiller to keep unwanted weeds from coming through.
You should also think about whether your property is suitable for a gravel driveway. Any sort of slope would mean that gravel is unlikely to be a viable option.
What to consider when choosing the right material for your driveway?
When designing your driveway, it’s important to consider how it will complement your outdoor space. One way to tie your driveway and garden together is through the use of garden furniture. Whether you opt for a simple bench or a full outdoor dining set, the right garden furniture can enhance the overall look and feel of your outdoor area. However, it’s important to choose furniture that is durable and can withstand the elements. Look for materials such as teak or wrought iron that are known for their strength and resilience. Additionally, consider the style of your home and garden when choosing furniture to ensure that everything comes together seamlessly.
As you can see, each material has its pros and cons. You have to decide what aspects are most relevant to you. Whether that is price, aesthetics, maintenance requirements, or durability.
Once you have a checklist of your priorities and preferences, you should be able to use what you know about each material to make the right choice.
Choosing the right driveway material will make all the difference to how the outside of your property looks and performs.