In the process of designing a driveway? You need to put a lot of thought into this process as your driveway performs so many essential functions. Firstly, it is the path between the street and your home, that means it is a high-traffic area, and it has to be built to last. Secondly, it is an essential part of your front yard design, so it has to look good.
What Advantages Can I Expect From My Concrete Driveway?
Concrete driveways offer so much:
- Affordability: Concrete is one of the most affordable materials available. This simple mix of sand, gravel and water is cheap, and it goes a long way. If you do the maths and compare it to bluestone, sandstone, slate and other materials you’ll see just how much money you can save. You don’t just save money on the raw material, you also save money on labour as a concrete driveway is much quicker to construct than other options.
- Perfect Finish: If you use a skilled contractor, concrete looks incredible when it’s finished. You end up with a completely uniform-looking driveway. When dealing with stone and tile, you need an incredibly skilled stonemason to deal with the natural variation between each stone, paver or tile. With concrete, as long as the pour is good, and the weather is right, your driveway will look good.
- Durability: Concrete is incredibly durable. There’s a reason it is used in almost every form of construction, from building bridges to providing the foundations of entire cities. If you opt for a concrete driveway, you know it will last. Your driveway is placed under enormous force. Your car crunchies it almost every day, and in some cases even rests on top of it. That’s not to mention all the other traffic it cops.
- Versatility: Concrete begins its life in liquid form. That means it can be poured to fit basically any shape you like. Do you need a curved driveway, a circular driveway or even a diamond-shaped driveway? Whatever you want, it’s yours.
The Design Possibilities
Perhaps the most significant advantage of a concrete driveway is the almost endless design possibilities you have at your disposal:
- Coloured Concrete: With coloured, or painted concrete you get the option to choose the colour of your choice. You can go for striking reds, moody blues or even striking purples – the choices are endless. When combined with a broom or sponge finish and an orange colour, you can create a beautiful Mediterranean feel, without forking out for the cost of terracotta tile.
- Stamped Concrete: This method of texturing or imprinting concrete is used to replicate other finishes. It allows you to mirror slate, brick, stone and wood finishes meaning you get all the beauty of these designs without having to suffer the expense these materials bring.
- Exposed Aggregate: By leaving the aggregate of the mix exposed, you’re left with a beautifully-textured and striking driveway. The beauty of this method is that it also makes the driveway anti-slip, and the design even hides oil stains!
- Stencilled Concrete: Stencilling gives you complete control over the design of your driveway. Come up with a custom look, or replicate any number of Latin, Asian or European finishes. With stencilling, the concrete really is a blank slate for you to design exactly as you like.
- Plain: With a quality pour, and a good sealer, a plain concrete driveway looks impressive and is a design element in its own right.
Another enormous advantage of a concrete driveway is that they are basically maintenance free. To keep it looking perfect, you just have to sweep and hose it down to remove any dirt or debris. On top of that, you just have to seal it every 5-10 years, and it will basically last forever.
Stone, tile and pavers are all maintenance-intensive compared to concrete. You have to re-grout between the sections, and there’s the constant problem of weeds pushing up through the grouting. You also have to deal with chipped tiles, pavers and pieced. They just aren’t as durable as concrete, and it can be challenging to find the perfect piece to match the overall look.