Concrete driveways are a staple at many homes around the United States because they can add a distinct hue to concrete to make it stylish and different. However, concrete does have drawbacks such as the need to repair cracks because of settlement. Whether homeowners are considering changing their driveways to improve their home's value, add curb appeal or make their neighbors envious, there are alternative driveway materials they can use besides concrete.
Pavers are alternative driveway materials which can be used in cold or hot climates as long as they are correctly installed. For instance, according to Tile Tech Pavers, pavers used in colder climates should have crushed rock --- the same material used as a base under roads --- placed in the driveways before installing pavers. For homeowners who are partial to concrete, they can use concrete driveway pavers. The concrete pavers resemble the look of stone once the driveways are complete. Another option is natural stone pavers. The pavers are made out of natural rock, but are cut into rectangle-shaped pavers. The last paver option is brick. Brick pavers are created from shale and clay materials.
Gravel material is another driveway alternative. Homeowners can either use gravel that is crushed stone or regular gravel material. Of course, gravel may not be as beautiful as other alternative driveway materials. However, there are some advantages. For instance, homeowners who have extremely long driveways can use gravel to save money. Another advantage is that gravel driveways can be paved over later with material of a homeowner's choice.
Cobblestone is another alternative driveway material. The cobblestones are actually made of Belgian block or cut granite squares. The cobblestones are also made of rounded river rock. Cobblestones offer a historic look to a driveway because it appears as streets and driveways were at the turn of the 19th century. However, the cobblestones do have some drawbacks. For instance, cobblestones cause the driveway to be uneven and may allow plants to grow between the stones.
Asphalt driveways come in different styles and patterns. For instance, the asphalt can be colored by including powdered pigment. Asphalt can also be stamped to look like brick. Homeowners who want to use asphalt in conjunction with gravel can choose to apply a sticky layer of asphalt emulsion and roll gravel onto it. This alternative driveway material is called chip seal.
- Photo Credit long driveway image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com
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