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The right driveway material and design can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property, reduce maintenance efforts and replacement costs, and even lower your home’s eco-footpring. If you are looking to spruce up your driveway this year, here are 6 driveway trends for 2021 in Wheaton and Hinsdale, IL, areas.
Related: Are Your New Landscape Design and Driveway Winter-Ready in Hinsdale IL
Lighting your way home is a nice welcoming touch. Give your driveway a modern flair by installing inlaid lighting along the edges of the driveway - completely unobtrusive at night and gently guiding the way after dark, it’s a chic alternative to the single light-on-a-post from the last century.
You can also disguise light fixtures by installing them in masonry retaining walls, and lining one side of your driveway with a low wall gives it a chic “welcome to the castle” look that boosts curb appeal.
Personalized Paver Layouts
The beauty of modern design is that you can do whatever you want when it comes to using materials. A random paver laying pattern will give your driveway a relaxed and fresh look. If you want to make a statement, a bold geometric or asymmetrical pattern will add a modern touch and individual flair.
Or, opt for a minimalist look, with a poured concrete driveway with subtle accent pavers that add style. Jazz up an asphalt driveway with the addition of a cobblestone apron at the entry to the driveway (and echoed with a cobblestone walkway).
Driveway Heating Systems
Pavers, and even asphalt and concrete, can be made much safer and virtually maintenance-free in winter with the installation of a driveway heating system (this can be done while installing a new driveway).
You may have seen concrete or PVC grid systems that you can lay on a driveway and fill with gravel or grass. These are effective at channeling rainfall and snowmelt into the ground. They are ideal for rural driveways but leave something to be desired in terms of design, making them less than ideal for suburban applications.
A great way to minimize runoff and naturally replenish the aquifer is to use permeable pavers. These are concrete pavers that look just like any other concrete paver and can mimic the look of brick, cobblestones, flagstone, or granite. The joints between the pavers are larger, and filled with a permeable jointing sand; and, the driveway is set on a special substrate that encourages water to permeate through to the soil below.
Aside from the eco-friendliness of these systems, paver driveways are attractive; and if you’re concerned about damage from snowplows, you can install a driveway heating system that will eliminate the need for plowing; and any melting snow will seep into the ground rather than overwhelming the municipal storm drain system.
Ornamental trees such as magnolia, cherry, or maple lining the driveway give your driveway a “designed” look that’s eye-catching and glamorous - even when the trees are still young. Tall and stately cedars give your driveway a luxe Mediterranean villa appeal. Be careful to plant spreading trees far enough away from the driveway to avoid scratching vehicles.
Natural cobblestones have been used for thousands of years - in fact, there are Roman cobblestone roads in Europe that are still in use today! While the initial investment is higher, and you’ll need to invest in a driveway heating system to avoid scratching the cobbles with plows, it’s a one-time investment because cobblestones are virtually indestructible, not to mention beautiful!
Related: Why Choose Pavers Over Asphalt for Your Naperville, IL, Driveway
Choosing the right material for your Naperville, IL, driveway can be a tough decision. Both popular contenders, asphalt and concrete pavers, offer a set of advantages and disadvantages. However, choosing concrete pavers can be the better decision in most residential applications, giving you an aesthetically beautiful driveway that is environmentally friendly and ultimately more durable than asphalt.
The biggest advantage of using modern concrete pavers for your driveway is the versatility they offer. Pavers can be found in an almost limitless array of shapes, sizes, textures, and designs. This makes it easy to find the right paving stones to fit in perfectly with the front facade of your home and any existing masonry in your front yard. For more traditional homes, concrete pavers that mimic natural stone are an excellent option. This is also an excellent way to bring the old-world charm of cobblestones or clay bricks to your driveway. For more modern homes, you can choose a sleeker paver with clean lines and subdued colors that will provide a more minimalist look. Or you can go the middle route of using pavers based on natural stones, such as bluestone or sandstone, that can work beautifully in most designs.
Related: Best Summer Landscape Design Tips for Your Lisle Backyard
Interlocking concrete pavers also offer the ability to further enhance your design with intricate laying patterns. Laying patterns can be used to integrate a variety of pavers of different sizes to give your design more depth. Moreover, you have more freedom in creating borders and accents that can make your driveway really stand out. In contrast to this amazing design versatility, asphalt driveways can seem quite drab, giving you few options of customizes their appearance.
Permeable variants of concrete pavers also offer a more environmentally friendly solution to rainwater management. While asphalt driveways are typically impermeable, which causes water to flow off them and into stormwater drainage systems, permeable pavers feature a more penetrable surface. This allows water to seep into the driveway and assimilate back into the soil. This water eventually joins the groundwater and helps to maintain the groundwater levels under your property, completing the water cycle and providing a more eco-friendly solution.
Lastly, we come to the major reason why most people choose asphalt for their driveway. Asphalt is typically favored due to its longevity. However, concrete pavers installed by an experienced contractor can produce a driveway that can be significantly more durable than asphalt and last decades without the high-maintenance of an asphalt driveway. The secret lies in ensuring that the underlying layers of aggregate provide a solid foundation for the pavers, as well as the weight of vehicles. Moreover, modern construction often utilizes a synthetic mesh grid that does an excellent job of ensuring that there is little to no sinking of the surface by evenly distributing the weight over the soil. The pavers themselves are highly durable, featuring high strength concrete and multiple color layers that prevent them from fading from sun exposure and spills.
Asphalt is also associated with having a lower cost. However, while paved driveway can be more expensive to install, their desirability and durability can get you a better return on investment by raising your property’s value. Interlocking pavers are also easier to replace if damaged or cracked, whereas asphalt requires unsightly fillers or complete replacement if cracks develop over time.