June 30, 2017

Driveway surfaces 101

Resurfacing your driveway and unsure which surface material to choose?

We understand that it can feel overwhelming faced with all that choice, that’s why we’ve written this blog post to help you evaluate the best option for you and your home. Whether you’re worried about the environment or your bank balance, we can help you find the right fit!

If only everything was as easy as ABC… Unfortunately, like with most things, you have to put a fair amount of thought into the surface material you choose for your driveway, you’ll need to think about the appearance, the climate, maintaining it, and of course, your budget. We suggest that you prioritize the items that are most essential to you to help make your decision easier.

Driveway with Mixed Materials

Let’s start with the most expensive option: a combination of different materials. If you’re really unsure of the type of driveway you want, you could opt for a mixed media one and have grass, gravel, concrete or natural stone installed. This can look really great, but don’t forget to consider how to properly prepare the ground, and just how much maintenance you will have to carry out.

Driveway - Gravel.

Now, on the other end of the price scale we have gravel. It may not be the prettiest to look at, but it is certainly the most economical solution, and you can make it more attractive by adding a decorative layer on top. However, you will need to apply several layers as the gravel becomes compacted over time, and you may find that a lot of gravel ends up in your lawn over the winter when you plough your driveway. Unfortunately, picking pieces of gravel out of your front yard can be quite time consuming!

Another advantage of gravel is that it is good for the environment, this is because when there is heavy rainfall, the rainwater can be reabsorbed into the ground and doesn’t run into the street and sewer systems. If you like the easy-going sound of gravel but aren’t such a fan of its appearance, have a look at some other natural stone alternatives, such as slate, pebbles or limestone.

Driveway - Asphalt

Without a doubt, asphalt is the most popular and widely used driveway surface material. Asphalt is a good choice as it does not require a lot of maintenance, you will simply have to apply a sealer every few years to protect it from the elements. You can even get patterns printed into the asphalt to make it look like pavers. Don’t forget, for best results you need to properly prepare the underlaying ground to receive the asphalt.

Driveway - Concrete

Another interesting and quite popular choice is concrete paving slabs. Again, these are low-maintenance and only require the application of a sealer once per year. Concrete pavers are an ideal choice as they can withstand very cold temperatures and very heavy vehicles. In fact, they are probably one of the most durable options lasting up to 30 years.

Concrete pavers come in a range of colours, shapes and textures, or you could also opt for poured concrete. Poured concrete is poured into compartments with joints so that the concrete can contract and expand with the temperature.

Driveway - Unistone

The next option is very appealing to the eyes, and will certainly turn heads and increase your curb appeal: Unistone. This type of driveway is essential small blocks that are fitted together in a pattern and held in place with a concrete-sand-aggregate mixture. Again, you will need to carry out maintenance annually by applying a coat of sealer. The main advantage (other than its look) is that it is very easy to replace a single damaged block without having to disturb others, which could save you money in the long run.

Driveway - Grass

This final choice will probably surprise you, we doubt you’ve seen many reinforced grass driveways in your neighbourhood. These are an excellent choice if being environmentally friendly is your top priority! Soil is added to a plastic, honeycomb-shaped structure and then seeded with grass. You can speed up the process by laying sod rather than seeding grass, but you cannot under any circumstances drive on it until the grass has taken root.

While this is very environmentally friendly and will blend in seamlessly with your front yard, it is not suitable for frequent use or heavy vehicles. If you’re looking for something grass based but this type isn’t for you, why not have concrete blocks installed with spaces for grass to grow?

Don’t leave your garage door out!

If you are reworking your front yard, update your garage door at the same time. Contact us at 1-800-780-3883, once we know a little more about what you’re looking for we’ll be able to send you a detailed quotation by email. If you prefer to speak to someone in person, we can organize to come out to your home.

If you’ve already seen a garage door you like, why not play around with our Design Centre and see what it will look like when it’s installed. If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, you’re only a click away from our image gallery!

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