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The Importance Of Driveways In Hardscaping

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Location, location, location! We all know the phrase ? but we often use it to mean the importance of the place in which a particular property is located, rather than the importance of the beauty of the location itself. However, 60 percent of potential home buyers are influenced by the way a yard looks. Money Magazine reported that a well-landscaped yard can bring between 100 and 200 % recovery value at selling time; in fact, a high-quality, well-maintained landscape can increase the resale value by up to 14 percent.
Landscaping includes the lawns, plants, and more, and often it gets the most attention. Equally important, however, is the hardscaping: the inanimate components such as concrete, brick, stone, wood, metal, and more. Hardscape design ideas include patios, front walkways and backyard paths, fences and decks, retaining walls, and driveways.
It’s surprising, how often homeowners will invest money into the outdoor appearance of their homes but forget their driveways. In fact, driveways are one of the most important features of a home and its landscape. A driveway is one of the most noticeable aspects of the home’s appearance, and its functionality is essential. It’s not just for private homes, either; a landscaping study found that commercial offices having high-end landscapes were able to command 7 percent higher rental rates. However, almost 70 percent of landscaping jobs in the U.S. are residential.
Before undertaking any driveway project, there are some things to consider: design, materials, cost, common challenges for your site, and hiring a contractor or custom hardscaping services.
First, consider how you use the space. Is it just for cars? If so, how many? What else might it be used for? More than anything, a driveway must be functional. If it needs to accommodate a boat, an RV, or simply a basketball goal, those should be accounted for.
Second, will you install landscape lighting or safety lights? How will that fit with the driveway design? What about other adjacent features, such as gates or garages? Consider the transition space, borders, and connected walkways, as well as the landscaping around any driveways.
A third consideration is proper drainage. Before making any decisions regarding materials, consider the fact that driveways have to endure a lot of water. A solid concrete or asphalt driveway repels water, which has to drain somewhere. Some concrete driveways need to be on an incline, with indented areas directed the runoff to street drainage. Others driveways made of brick or permeable pavers can let some water through to the ground underneath. In any case, water must be directed away from the house to avoid foundational damage and flooding.
Next, consider materials. There are several great choices, but remember that you can’t choose based on looks alone; the materials have to be right for your overall landscape and hardscape construction. Stone, colored gravel, and shell driveways are a unique, charming choice that adds whimsy to many homes. Pavers and bricks are more common but come with several challenges, such as durability and weight considerations; on the other hand, it’s easier to replace a few cracked pavers than it is to repair other kinds of driveways. However, the most common driveways are poured concrete. Contemporary hardscape design offers a variety of choices for beautiful concrete driveways; colored, stamped or patterned concrete add a unique touch to a home. A skilled landscaping company or hardscape design specialist will have several techniques available.
One thing to keep in mind with a concrete driveway is that it must be maintained properly. Over time, it can crack, requiring costly repairs if not replacement. The best thing to do is to seal it, which will increase the concrete’s longevity, protect it from stains, resist mold and mildew as well as pest infestation, and maintain the curb appeal and value of a home or business location.
Last, consider the expert landscaping services and hardscaping professionals that you will employ. Be sure they are certified and have excellent references, and use environmentally friendly methods and materials. Ask questions, take notes, and request multiple design ideas. Remember that no matter the amazing landscaping design ideas you integrate, driveways are of great importance and shouldn’t be forgotten.

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