Driveways are yet another structure that has reaped the benefits of the many concrete design options today. No longer is the standard grey fare the top choice for visitors’ first impression of your home. The modern driveway comes in an array of styles and colors that boost your curb appeal and make the entrance of your home a welcoming one. Take a look at some of the hottest design options for concrete driveways.
Colored concrete has become a popular choice with many shades available. Dyeing concrete provides a much deeper shade than an acid stain might. You will also have a uniform look across the surface, rather than the mottled or marbled effect of acid stain. Both dye and acid stain come in an almost unlimited palette of colors, although most concrete contractors will have a list of their usual offerings. You can color your driveway to coordinate with the rest of your landscape or the exterior hues of your home.
There are many ways to add a pattern to a concrete surface. The most requested technique is stamping, where a stamp is used to create the illusion of tile, stone or brick. When you combine the right stamp with the right color, you create a customized, high-end look to the front of your home. Other methods of adding patterns to concrete include stenciling and engraving. If your driveway is sporting a few surface cracks, you can even incorporate them into your overall design by cutting random lines in the concrete to look like stone.
In some cases, it is too costly to stamp or engrave the entire driveway. A more cost-effective solution would be to add a stamped border or apron that offers a bit of pattern in strategic areas. For example, you could create a faux brick border with stamping and a red acid stain. Or you could stamp the top third of the driveway and leave the rest plain. This designer look will look expensive, but cost much less than a full treatment.
Texture is another addition you can make to your driveway to increase its aesthetic quality. The easiest way to add texture is to use an exposed aggregate of small stones or pieces of glass. The aggregate can be a combination of colors that will draw in the elements of your landscape. Exposed aggregate is generally sealed after it is completed to ensure the stones remain intact even after heavy use. For a luxurious look, add a stamped or stenciled border around the aggregate areas.
A decorative driveway finish is not much harder to maintain than a plain concrete surface would be. An occasional cleaning with the garden hose or a pressure washer will effectively remove dirt and debris. Most decorative concrete surfaces require a sealant to help them maintain their appearance. This sealant will need to be reapplied every few years. With proper care, your decorative driveway finish will last for years and become a focal point to the exterior of your home.