When in need of a driveway, you may find there are more than a few options that could suit your need. Each will have its own benefits and downfalls and it can be hard to come to an end conclusions with the different options. Below are the alternatives to a concrete driveway (aren’t we nice for offering this information), but first maybe it is better to start with those considerations we talked about above.
Things to consider
whether it is a concrete driveway or not, make sure that you take all the important considerations into account first. Of course the first, and often most limiting factor, is cost. There is no point in discussing an option if you simply won’t be able to afford it. However, sometimes you must consider the initial expense and outlay as opposed to ongoing cost, including maintenance and how long before you will need to have someone come in and replace the driveway for you. Secondly, consider what the driveway will actually be used for and whether it needs a higher load bearing capacity. We are not just talking heavy vehicles here, although if you do have trucks you need to further consider your options, but also caravans, boats and work equipment. An important one for clients is always visual amenity and the aesthetic quality, of ten this will determine the final look a person wants. The shape of the land and layout of surrounding buildings may also affect what can or cannot be done, as will access to some areas. Weather and topography may also be a consideration, as a smooth concrete driveway may not be applicable where you require something with more grip due to slope or constant wet weather. Finally, something that few customers consider is what they are allowed to actually do. Always check with the local council in regards to cross over regulations and if you are in a residential housing estate that has a covenant check further – sometimes they will restrict the material you can use. Without much further ado, here are some of the alternatives to the concrete driveway
Many people get mixed up between concrete and asphalt or think that they are either very similar or there is no difference in having them installed as they are both “poured” methods. The activities are actually quiet difference, as is the end product. Asphalt is generally cheaper to have installed when dimensions are all equal. What asphalt requires however is an ongoing maintenance in the form of having to reseal it, that, while not extensive, still can be a nuisance and cost money. In regards to breakage and cracking, both can equally have the same issues dependant on the land and initial installation, however asphalt repair is generally easier. Climate can also be an issue, as we know in sunny Queensland, extreme heat can also affect asphalt negatively. It is also generally softer and does not have the life span of a concrete driveway, meaning it will likely have to be replaced sooner.
There are a variety of different pavers that can be used for driveways, however due to the weight load from heavy vehicles , you are restricted to those with a thickness that won’t crack or move. The two most common paver used is either a bluestone or clay brick pavers and one of the benefits of having a paved driveway is the ability to form patterns and colours not associated with poured methods. Bricks can be cut to shape however you do not get the same flowing malleability of a poured method. The down falls is that pavers, unless sealed in correctly can move, crack or break. These can be replaced however often due to sun exposure will be of a different colour.
Gravel, Pebble and stones
A loose driveway sounds like an easy solution however if you have ever owned or driven on one, you know the downfalls. The stones will be moved about and fall on your lawn, and don’t event tell me about mowing along the edges! It gets ripped up by bad drivers, especially on slopes where you need traction and is prone to holes and divots from water runoff. It also needs to be replaces or filled up with more of the material quite often. And don’t even get us started on the weeds!
Popular years ago but less so as other material become abundant, timber sleepers can be used either side by side or spaced sparingly to provide an entrance to your home. While this may be a cheap option (depending on the amount and type of wood used) timber obviously has its shortfalls. It can crack and break and although the timber is normally sealed, the slightest crack can leave it exposed to termites and other boring insects.
Technically, you don’t need a driveway – not if you like dead grass and bare patches of earth that turn into cesspools of mud when it rains. Technically you don’t need a driveway, but you still want one right?
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