When you drive back home from work or any kind of outing, what is the first thing that you see? Well, it’s mostly the driveway. Pulling onto your driveway should be a pleasurable experience and should be welcoming you to your home. Well, that mostly is the case, provided it is designed properly.
You may not know this but it is not that difficult to mess up a driveway. In places like Australia, there are many houses that experience driveway design flaws. It may seem like a very basic stretch of concrete but people often overlook some very basic design flaws that can be corrected with the help of proper knowledge.
Drainage, parking space, aesthetics, and other such things need to be taken into consideration and the designing should be done accordingly.
We have compiled a few of such things in this article to help you understand and execute some basic principles and design ideas for a new and improved driveway.
4 basic principles for designing a driveway
1. Drainage is often overlooked
While designing a house, many people forget to design a proper drainage system. This may come as your surprise but a proper drainage system has more to do with the type of material used for your driveway rather than the design of the actual drainage. A permeable surface for your driveway is considered to be a rather eco-friendly and effective solution to flooding and clogging of the drains.
During rains, a lot of water around your house is directed towards the driveway and into the main drainage. Without a permeable surface, the water would free-flow into the drainage without hindrance and would surely flood or clog the drain. Permeable surfaces offer a very simple and basic solution to this problem.
The water that is directed to the driveway will pass down to the base of the permeable surface and will be released slowly. This ensures that the drain does not get clogged or flooded and your neighborhood remains accessible at all times.
Common permeable driveways
Amongst the common options in permeable driveways, the grass pattern driveways are probably one of the best options to select. It is a basic driveway made of concrete with a pattern on it covered with grass.
To understand this better, one of the most common patterns is to get two concrete strips along the length of the driveway wide enough for you to drive on comfortably. There is grass in the middle of the two strips and on either side of them. It looks classy and also does the work of retaining a lot of rainwater and breaking its free flow to the drains.
Loose Stones and Gravel
Another very common permeable driveway option would be to use loose stones and gravel. These types of driveways are very common in Perth due to their quality to retain water and avoid flooding of drains. Creative patterns can be made using concrete, washed aggregate, and loose stones to spice things up and such options are not very heavy on the pocket either.
You can google search ‘washed aggregate pavers perth’ in order to get trusted professionals to help you with these designs. Adding loose stones and gravel for driveways is now being promoted all over the world due to its eco-friendly qualities.
Permeable concrete and asphalt
To a layman, this might seem odd but for someone in the construction business, using permeable concrete with asphalt is a very common thing. These new types of concrete and asphalt are scientifically tweaked so that they possess the quality to retain water.
In many places, the environmental regulations did now allow for conventional concrete and asphalt driveways. The permeable options were developed to combat this hurdle and it picked up all over the world.
2. Designs based on convenience
A driveway should surely look nice but it is also important to make sure that convenience does not take the back seat. While designing a driveway you need to consider a number of things revolving around where you park your car, the distance of the front door from the driveway, pathways connecting the road, driveway and front lawn, and so on.
Basically, you have to assess the area that you have so that you can keep the following flaws in check –
- Do you have to squeeze out of your car after you park it?
- Do you have to take a long walk around the edge of your front lawn to reach the door?
- Is the car blocking any entrance to the house?
- Does the car block the view from a window?
- Is it a task to reverse your car out from the driveway?
Once you take all these flaws into account you might be able to get yourself a truly convenient driveway in every sense.
3. Lighting is essential
Many homeowners complain about not having enough lighting in the driveway which makes it look dingy. To overcome this they install makeshift bulbs and floodlights which make the driveway look shabby and take away the charm and elegance that you would want to have.
To ensure that you get enough lighting and also keep things looking stylish you can consider getting medium size lamp posts along the edge of the driveway. Make sure that you use yellow bulbs instead of white and try not to install the ones that are too bright. Another option would be to get path lights that beam illumination on the surface around it and provide a beautiful ambiance.
When it comes to the aesthetics of a driveway there is only one mantra that has been successful all around the globe – keep it minimal. Too much decoration and it takes away the charm. You can of course go all the way with the landscaping and installations around the driveway but the actual driveway should be simple, neat, and devoid of any obstacles that might cause you to dent your car.
Many people are under the impression that designing a driveway is an easy job. Well, it is provided you follow some basic principles and design ideas. Go through this article to make sure that you do not blunder a seemingly simple task such as designing your driveway.