Curb appeal has gained popularity in recent years. This is due, in part, to homeowners who want to sell their home and get top dollar. Other people have begun to realize the long commute from work should end at a home that looks welcoming on the outside as well as the inside. Whatever the reason for curb appeal, the driveway takes up a lot of space and makes or breaks the curb appeal of a home.
Remodeling the driveway for looks and durability is a project with many choices. The best way to start is with a trip to city hall. Ground water issues have cropped up in many areas and outdoor paving such as driveways and patios now have new regulations. These laws cover how water is handled by the paving material. Many areas now require homeowners to use either permeable or porous paving methods for driveways.
Porous materials such as flagstone and gravel have spaces that allow water to seep into the material. The water then goes into the ground where it is filtered by the soil underneath the driveway. Using this method keeps rain water in the area where it has fallen and stops it from picking up contaminants on its way to the local river or lake. Beautiful driveways can be made with the many color choices and shapes of both gravel and flagstone.
If the material the homeowner wants to use is a permeable paving material such as slate or pea gravel (small, round stones) otherwise known as dried aggregates, it requires enough spaces in the materials to allow rain water to flow into the ground. This is accomplished by either using crushed material such as the gravel, or spacing it in a pleasing pattern when using a more solid material such as slate.
Both of these methods are designed to keep rain water where it has fallen. When done properly, using either porous or permeable materials will allow water to seep into the ground. The homeowner who is creating their own driveway should study all options to find the one that provides the finished look they seek for their updated curb appeal.