While rushing out of the house each morning to work or an appointment, it may not occur to you how much of a necessity it is to have a functional driveway, especially here in southwest Florida. A beautiful, well-designed driveway is the optimal complement to your new construction or remodel and needs to stay top of mind as work is underway. The driveway is the first impression for those approaching your home. It’s also your connection to the road, so make sure to use the right materials so that your driveway is the least of your worries for decades to come. Scott Cohen of HGTV fame reminds us that curb appeal is a also major factor in driveway design, as a nice driveway will drive up the value (and resale value) of your home.

Upgrading an existing concrete driveway, Cohen says, can be as simple as having a contractor
saw- cutting in a decorative pattern with a masonry skill saw blade, and applying decorative concrete stains. You can also consider upgrading the look of your home with a stamped concrete or interlocking paver driveway. It is surprising how much nicer a home can look with a driveway facelift.

Here are some options to consider when you are redoing or building your driveway, courtesy of Bedrock Orlando:

  • Pavers: Ranging from $2 to $50 per square foot, depending on the type, paving gives your driveway a sleek, classy look. Choosing to pave your driveway gives you a leeway for choosing the material that is best for the project. If you’re craving an old-style feel, decorative concrete pavers are your best bet. Paving can also be environmentally friendly. By using permeable pavers, the material can absorb clean rainwater. This helps the sewer system function properly while also providing natural irrigation to your lawn. Not only that, but permeable pavers are tough to crack. Pavers save you hundreds, if not thousands, on future repairs, ad typically lasts 20 or more years with the correct care.
  • Asphalt: From the price index of $3 to $5 per square foot, asphalt provides a quick install, and recapping your driveway for maintenance is an easy job. Asphalt installation needs to be done in a correct temperature to be efficient, with the optimal temp averaging at 70 degrees. Therefore, asphalt installation in our southwest Florida climate is best done during the cooler months of November – March. Asphalt has a long lifespan, usually a good 20 years with the right maintenance.
  • Concrete: At anywhere from $2 to $50 per square foot, depending on decoration, concrete is a great material for driveways. Concrete provides an array of design options, from stamps to patterned finishes with which to personalize your driveway design. Although concrete is not so impervious to staining, maintenance is easy and relatively inexpensive.
  • Gravel: Although this may be the cheapest route, costing on average about $1 to $3 per square foot, the maintenance can be costly. This material, however, requires the most upkeep. That being said, gravel driveways can last as long as you keep them maintained.

Also keep in mind driveway length, width and options for a circular or cul-de-sac design depending on space availability, as well as a turning area and extra parking spaces. And don’t forget to factor in walkways! Women in heels appreciate not having to step on the lawn going to and from the car.

There are many materials and options to choose from in your driveway design, and it may get a bit overwhelming. Make sure to research each one to see which one is best for your lifestyle. With over 20 years of construction experience, J. Sweet Construction can offer an expert opinion on your driveway design, with honesty and integrity. Give us a call today!