Factors to Consider in Driveway Design

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Large house gravel driveway design

The day you think about driveway design Is the day when those last stubborn shreds of your childhood fade away. Sorry. . . I feel like the insecure bully who crushed all of the innocent kids’ belief in Santa Claus on the playground. Anyways, let’s move away from nostalgia and focus on the present—you need the driveway design that’s right for you, and we’re here to help. We’ve covered whether to resurface or repave your driveway, but those are issues to think about after you’ve installed the perfect driveway. While the driveway seems like an afterthought compared to the look of your home or the landscaping, homeowners with a savvy sense of aesthetics know the driveway can add a little something-something to the front yard. Today, we’ll cover all of the factors to consider as you think about your driveway design.

Material

Surprise, surprise, the material you choose is the central aspect of driveway design. There are four main options: Asphalt, concrete, chip seal, and gravel. Each of these differs both in terms of price and aesthetic. These two factors are related in the sense that you need to balance what look you want while still keeping it in your price range.

Price

Prices that follow are estimates only, as numerous conditions cause that price to vary. Sunrise works with each homeowner to figure out their estimate.

Asphalt: Asphalt does well both in terms of price and longevity. On average, you can expect to pay about $3-4 per square foot. Also, asphalt will last you up to +20 years, so you don’t need to worry about repaving every few years. In terms of maintenance, you mostly just need to fill cracks, which is simple and inexpensive.

Concrete: On one hand, concrete cost the most money—up to $6.00 per square foot. However, concrete also has the longest lifespan, up to +40 years. Think about how long sidewalks need to last, and you can understand why it needs to be so durable. If you are planning on staying in your house for a long time, concrete can actually be really cost efficient.

Chip Seal: On the balance, chip seal is a solid option. It is less costly than asphalt and concrete, and also requires almost no maintenance. While it does wear down more quickly—about every 5-6 years—replacing chip seal is simple, easy, and inexpensive, making it an attractive option for shorter term stints.

Gravel: Gravel is the least expensive option, between $1-2 per square foot. and puts the other options to shame in terms of longevity—gravel will last +100 years! Perfect for if you’re planning to establish the seat of your dynasty so your progeny can rule the neighborhood for a thousand years.

Aesthetic

Asphalt: Fresh asphalt hot off the paver looks pretty slick with its smooth, pitch-black surface. As it wears down, though, the color fades to grey and can begin to crack. While it won’t become an eye-sore, it is something to consider. Asphalt can be a nice complement to lush, green environments, and can look great if you’re house is shingled with black as well.

Concrete: Concrete can come in many different shades, from gun-metal gray to a more subdued, creamy appearance. Versatility in color is one bonus, and another is that concrete can easily be laid in different patterns. With some creativity, you can come up with a unique looking pattern for your home and environment.

Chip Seal: Chip seal is basically crushed stone laid over asphalt. The typical color is grey, but you can customize the color any way you want. The result is a clean, colorful driveway that feels more intimate than the cold look of asphalt or concrete. Chip seal looks especially striking if your driveway cuts through a vibrant lawn.

Gravel: While gravel is cheap, it’s not like you’re turning your driveway design into some rickety back-country dirt road. Instead, think of those long meandering gravel driveways leading up to old English manors. Far from being primitive, gravel driveways can have a sophisticated, classic look to them. They also can blend seamlessly into desert and naturally dry landscapes.

Luxury grey house concrete driveway design

Which Driveway Design is Best for You? 

When friends, family, and solicitors arrive at your house, the driveway is part of the first impression, what some people call a house’s “Curb appeal.” We went over the basics of choosing asphalt, concrete, chip seal, or gravel, and now you have the information to make the right decision for both your aesthetic sense and your wallet. Once you decide on the perfect driveway design, Sunrise Asphalt can provide the best surface laying service in the Tucson area. Contact us today and our experts will help you through the whole process!