If you're in the process of building a new house and haven't thought about what type of material you need for your driveway, then you better start thinking about it. The design of your driveway will depend on the style of your home, the climate you have to deal with, as well as your particular visual preferences. Here are four different options to consider.
If you have a Cape Cod style home and want the classic driveway that is found in Maine and other seaside places, then you might like to get crushed shells. Originally these were used by people near the ocean because seashells were so abundant. So this was a cheap way of getting material. The shells were durable, didn't break down in the rain like mulch, and also looked nice. Nowadays, you don't have to harvest your own shells; you can get a truck to deliver them. You don't even have to live near the ocean to have a shell drive. One thing to consider is that, like gravel, they are not the best choice if you have winters with heavy snow. Plowing can disrupt the shells and cause you to have to resurface every spring.
One cool thing you can do with a shell drive, and which lots of people up in New England like to do after a Summer clam bake, is to dump the shells from your dinner onto your drive. Clam shells and muscle shells will eventually breakup and mesh into the look of your drive, and your guests will think it's wild, and probably very cool, that your driveway is so unusual.
If you don't want to use shells, or maybe you're a vegan, but you don't want a paved driveway, then consider gravel. These are popular all over France, England, and in many places in The United States. They work with all sorts of homes, from the large stately mansions like you might see on Downton Abbey, to the small ranch homes set back a few feet from the road. The downside to gravel, like shells, is that it's not a great choice for homes where there is a lot of winter snow. Also, you will have to do weeding because dirt will drift into the spaces between the gravel and weeds can grow in your drive.
If you want a smooth surface that requires no weeding and can easily be plowed during the winter, then blacktop is your best bet. It's a strong, solid surface that is also great if you're not interested in topping off the gravel or shells every year. Plus, blacktop won't blow around in a storm. With gravel, you have to sometimes maintain edges that move around due to rainfall or heavy wind. The structure of the blacktop drive will also be much sounder. Gravel driveways tend to develop tiny bumps and potholes, which are not a problem for well laid blacktop drives. Blacktop works great with most modern designs, and the ability to garden and plant so easily around it makes it so that you can customize your lawn and front yard exactly as you want, without having to worry about the spread problem that gravel and shells pose. Talk with a driveway blacktop service for more information and options.Share
27 September 2016
After we moved into an older home, I realized there were a few issues with the yard -- especially with the driveway and the front sidewalk. We had large cracks running through the pavement and driveway, and I could tell that things might turn from bad to worse unless we started working on correcting the problem. We realized it might not be possible to do things on our own, so we hired a professional paving contractor to come out and help us. He was amazing to work with, and he seemed to innately understand our needs. This blog is all about using a paving contractor to improve your lot.