When choosing a driveway design, a central consideration will be the substance out of which the driveway is constructed. Many homeowners tend to go for asphalt or concrete, more or less automatically. It is conveniently easy to maintain and clean, but it has some drawbacks, too. It’s not very attractive aesthetically, making your home look rather industrial park-like and, in practical terms, there is the matter of run-off from pavement, which can both create drainage problems and, if there’s any fall-down in maintenance, even long terms toxics problems. To help with considering your options, this post on residential driveway design choices looks at alternatives – such as grass driveways or using gravel for driveways – to help you find your best driveway solutions.
Alternatives to Paving for Your Driveway Design
1. The Green, Green Grass of Home. For the eco-concerned, why not just go with grass? Water is absorbed into the ground with minimal run off to the street or into your basement. If you like this option, you can finish it off with some pavers to provide tracks for the car’s wheels. This approach allows grass to grow up between the two rows of pavers. This alternative ensures traction under wet conditions and preserves enhanced run-off for rain or melted snow.
2. Gravel? Some people have an almost visceral reaction against the idea of gravel. Maybe as children they fell and scraped their knees – with all those pieces of gravel in the scraped skin. Admittedly, not fun. And, it is true that gravel driveways are noisy, announcing your arrivals and departures more than you might like. On the flip side, though, gravel driveways are cheaper to manage than concrete and asphalt, and still do a good job of allowing water to soak into the ground or at least limit the extent of run-off. It is an inexpensive produce and is easily replaced as needed.
3. Barking up the right tree. It depends a bit on where you live, and thus the availability and costs, but for many people bark, indeed even sand, can be great driveway solutions. They both provide the traction that you need. Properties near the sea shore can make good use of sand. Homes in more rustic areas will find bark the more reasonably priced and practical alternative. Another idea is to put down wood cross beams that enhance the traction on those extremely wet days, when the bark or sand can turn a little soggy.
4. Brick by brick. If you’re a homeowner that insists upon a sold driveway, but does want an alternative to the old standard asphalt or concrete, then bricks might be just the way to go. They offer a firm surface for your driveway and do provide better run-off absorption than asphalt or concrete – though we couldn’t quite call them permeable. They are getting up into a more expensive option, though. Another possibility is permeable pavers, shaped like brick. They give the same aesthetic feel and of course drain better.
Hope these alternatives to paving for your driveway design help with considering your options. From grass driveways to bark driveways or using gravel for driveways, there are several alternatives for your driveway solutions.