Until relatively recently a driveway was simply a means of getting vehicles and people from the road to the house. But modern home owners are very aware of the appearance of their houses and driveway designs have become an integral part of that general appearance.
In essence, a driveway is a very simple item. It is a level surface, capable of taking the weight of vehicles and giving access to a house, garage or parking area. Sounds dead boring doesn’t it? But modern driveway designs have lifted an otherwise utilitarian area into an enhancement for any property.
When deciding on the designs for a property, the modern home owner has a wide variety of materials, colours and shapes to choose from. Any driveway contractor will be able to provide a portfolio of ideas and many will provide drawings of the finished structure for customers.
Probably the first choice to be made in driveway designs is the materials to be used. There is a choice of concrete or clay permeable paving blocks or slabs, laid patterned concrete, setts, stone blocks or slabs, gravel or asphalt.
Integral in the choice of material is the pattern in which it will be laid. Some materials slightly limit the driveway designs available. Hexagons or octagons, for example, only fit together one way, whereas block pavers, like the bricks they resemble, can be laid in a variety of combinations.
Basic block pavers can provide the following designs: herringbone, basket weave, stretcher bond (like a brick wall), and variable stretcher bond. They can also be laid randomly incorporating different sizes, squares and rectangles. If required they can become a circle or fan shape. A wide variety of driveway designs from just a single type of material.
For a really mind-blowing range of designs, home owners may turn to patterned imprinted concrete. To achieve this finish, concrete is poured into the prepared area and then a pattern is applied using an imprint form. This system is obviously only limited by the range of forms which the contractor has available.
Patterned concrete driveway designs can mimic Victorian cobble stones, York stone slabs, a Parisian street, a dry river bed, tiles, even decking or a hardwood floor. At its most basic, patterned concrete can give a roughened safety surface rather than just flat concrete.
Whether the choice for the driveway is blocks, slabs or concrete, there is also the question of colour. All the options can be produced in a range of colours to suit most tastes. The blocks and slabs are coloured in their manufacture, whilst the patterned concrete usually has colour added during the laying. Some designs contractors do insist on incorporating the colour into the concrete mix, which gives a longer lasting effect.
Colour can be chosen to enhance the existing colours of the building or provide a contrast. Some driveway designs give contrast within the design itself with different coloured edges, banding or inset motifs.
Really, there is no limit to exciting driveway designs. Home owners and contractors together can produce a domestic work of art.