Let's face it, when you build a new home, the first thing you and your guests will see is the driveway, which is part of the “face” of your new houseplan. From cobblestones, brick and concrete to asphalt and the latest treatments such as environmentally friendly materials and rough-cut looks, today's driveways are safe, practical and durable, built to last for many years.The latest trend is the rough-cut stone style, as more home builders want an organic, natural look and feel.
Historically, prior to 1850, most homes had a simple dirt path leading up to their front door. During the second half of the 19th century,people began to develop more creative driveways surfacing (pun intended.) This was when semi-circular driveways featuring curving walkways, additional curbing—and driveways with trimmed edges of cobblestone, shells, brick, cut stone or tile clay. Gravel became another popular surfacing material, although brick, stone and flagstone walks also became prominent.
Then concrete driveways became the standard for many years after motorized vehicles came ito existance, post 1900. Most driveways and back alley ways became quite common, and typical materials used included either concrete, asphalt or at lthe very least, a two wheel concrete ribbon was laid dowen upon a dirt path. Asphault allowed for seamless surfaces with no joints. Made out of a mixture of dark bituminous pitch with gravel and/or sand, it too can be colored and/or patterned in a variety of ways. However, one problem with asphalt is that vehicle drippings, oils and brake dust build up, then when it rains, the toxic pollutants are washed into the storm sewers and ultimately into creeks, rivers and then reservoirs, which requires removal from our water supply.
Another popular driveway treatment became popular when people began using stains or coatings on concrete for a fresh, modern look. One advantage to this treatment is that the various artistic stain toppings can also be imprinted for a non-slip textured look in finished such as marble, slate, stone or tile. Many people also began using paved stone, so the driveways actually mimic the look of cobblestone, stone, tile or brick. Paving enables a project to be completed in phases. Some more porous paving allows rainwater to filter through it and return to ground water supplies.
Today’s driveways enable consumers to choose from a host of new materials. In fact, another trend is to use old reclaimed antique cobblestone and curb can become a part of your new driveway. And designs in driveways to compliment the landscaping is also popular now with drought conditions causing homeowners to use more gravel, rock and landscaping, such as The Plan Collection's (plan #135-1087), a 2,647 sq. for single story mountain style house plan (left) which uses a creative combination of attractive treatments for the driveway leading up to the home.
One new treatment known as Grasspave2 and it is composed from 100 percent recycled, high-density polyethylene plastic. These are manufactured in 24" square panels with a tongue-and-groove latching system. Believe it or not, Grasspave2 is also much stronger than concrete. It is compressed, and grass paver / porous pavement enables home owners to drive, park, ride, walk or relax on its surface. Performing the same functions as an asphalt or concrete pavement driveway, it has the aesthetics of a lawn, and is good for the environment. Architects, and landscape designers are using it as an alternative paving solution to asphalt and concrete since it can support heavy vehicles.