Designing A Driveway to Complement Your House

When you’ve got an outdated home, its first driveway was designed for a sedan tomotor to a one-bay storage. Including a brand new driveway that can accommodate SUVs and a three-car storage would possibly create an eyesore or drainage drawback. When designing, take into account a few of the conventional methods the driveway was made to slot in. Curbs and borders mitigate an expanse of asphalt or concrete, as does a grass median. You would possibly select as a substitute a floor of pavers, cobblestones, or pea gravel.

Concrete driving strips with grass medians and verges preserve the break up driveway from showing too extensive. The bungalow’s inventive walkway is made up of river stones, brick, and concrete. Picture: Chris Considine

Take a stroll round your metropolis or city and also you’ll see what’s conventional for driveways. No surprises: gravel and pea stone, outside paving brick, numerous stone sorts, and concrete are evident throughout the nation, if not as ubiquitous as asphalt. Regional preferences apply: granite cobbles the place they had been quarried or shipped, brick within the South and wherever wealthy in clay. Up to now, you might need discovered crushed oyster shells or cinders.

You may mitigate the influence of a big driveway in selecting its location and by screening it with massive shrubbery or bushes. Making a grass strip down the middle  makes it much less intrusive, whereas lawns  and planted borders will blur the perimeters.

Pea stone softens a fairly formal association of curving drives and lawns for a Twenties-inspired home by Patrick Ahearn. Granite cobbles present edging and an apron in entrance of the doorways. Picture: Neil Landino

If concrete and asphalt are deemed inappropriate, take into account a driveway of pea stone (small-size gravel), completed on the road finish with cobbles or outside brick. The entire thing will drain nicely, and winter’s metropolis snowplows gained’t tear up the road finish. (Raking and alternative of the gravel is usually a ache, although. You may get an analogous look, if not the pleasing crunch beneath the tires, by utilizing a therapy known as chip seal or tar and chip, which entails embedding the stone mixture into asphalt.) Brick and stone will be stunning. Ensure you or your mason follows regional  pointers for depth and drainage to keep away from frost heaving. 

By the bungalow period, which coincided with the beginning of the      car age, off-street driveways and again alleys had been commonplace. Concrete was the most typical paving for these driveways, and asphalt quickly adopted. Immediately, concrete has change into an artwork kind; artisan installers can coloration it, give it texture, or stamp it to appear like slate or pavers. You will discover precedent for nearly any form of paving. Your selection will rely partially on the size of the driveway, supplies and colours already evident on the outside of your own home, and supplies popularly utilized in your area. 

This 1928 Mediterranean Villa was transformed by David Heide Design Studio; a brand new entry tower hyperlinks outdated and new area, whereas an appropriately paved motor court docket permits easy accessibility from the storage to the principle home. Picture: Alex Steinberg for David Heide Design Studio

After all, design ought to embody sensible issues, not solely aesthetics. Take into account slope and drainage. Take heed of your climate, as snow and ice have an effect on efficiency and longevity. Suppose forward to long-term upkeep complications and prices: brick models could also be changed, whereas concrete and asphalt normally want a full redo.  Would you like an ADA-compliant design? Wheelchairs gained’t transfer simply throughout cobbles. From the start of design, plan for lighting and even perhaps buried, low-voltage mats or cables to maintain the driveway from icing up in chilly climate with precipitation.

Cues From Home Type

In-town or rural? New England or Arizona? Moreover area and site, the model of the home suggests whether or not the paving materials ought to be clay, stone, concrete, and even tile.  

For a Mid-century Trendy home, floating steps of integrally dyed concrete terminate in a sample keyed into the driveway. Picture:

Formal Vs. Casual

Formality is usually a results of design fairly than the paving materials chosen. Sturdy symmetry, clear edges, extensive borders, and landscaped circles lend formality even when completed in gravel. 

Shingle Type homes are deceptively casual; at this re-creation of the enduring home Kragsyde, the driveway is just crushed stone fading into the grass edges. Much less dusty river stone paves the world underneath the porte cochère. Picture: Brian Vanden Brink

Location isn’t essentially an indicator, as a rustic home might have a really formal driveway and motor court docket. Shingle Type homes and Arts & Crafts bungalows beg for a studied informality—by the usage of pea gravel, outdated brick pavers, and gentle edges—even when the general design is rigorous. Mixing supplies can lend formality, as with a driveway edged in bricks or a number of programs of cobbles. Or combined supplies might look storybook, maybe incorporating tile or river rocks.

old house garage and driveway
under For the formal court docket and parking space in entrance of a brand new carriage home, Frank Shirley Architects specified an asphalt heart, with a border of mortared cobbles. Picture: Randy O’Rourke for Frank Shirley Architects

The Motor Court docket

For an genuine look, the driveway ought to be slim near the road. Additional again, nevertheless, it could terminate in a easy, paved space meant for parking or turning the automobile round. Within the nineteenth century, when round drives started to be added in entrance of fancier homes, they had been neatly trimmed with a curb of cobblestones, lower stone, or brick. Then as now, the popular paving materials was gravel, or in some instances stone or brick.

A pair of flanking carriage homes and the motor court docket are new, for an 1888 Shingle Type home on Cape Cod “fastidiously edited” by Patrick Ahearn. The brand new drive creates a extra formal arrival. Picture: Michael J. Lee

Nonetheless, asphalt makes an excellent floor for a motor court docket. It seems to be extra applicable if used at the side of sections or borders of brick or cobblestone. Coloured or textured concrete is an alternative choice for these massive areas.

For each driveways and motor courts, brick pavers are traditional and low-maintenance, if costly on the outset. The laying sample can be utilized to interrupt down the dimensions of the area. To cut back runoff, immediately’s permeable paver choices ought to be thought-about for giant expanses of pavement. Concrete sorts maintain up higher than plastic grids underneath automobile site visitors.

Double-track Driveways

Courting to the early car period, this idea is relevant to homes constructed ca. 1900 to 1940 and for earlier properties that in all probability bought their first driveways throughout these a long time.  Twin tire tracks of concrete, brick, or stone encompass a grass (or moss) median, which diminishes the obvious width of the driveway.

A grass median divides brick-paved tracks beside an 1894 people Queen Anne Victorian in Vermont. Brick paving extends to a walkway to the porch. Picture: Carolyn Bates

The permeable heart and verges enable rainwater to percolate: environmentally sound, it  additionally helps keep away from pooling and icing. With much less paving materials, the set up price might be much less, as nicely. You do have to take care of the grass. 

driveway design for old house
On Martha’s Winery, an allée of uplit bushes flanks a cobblestone and grass driveway resulting in a carriage home and visitor quarters, designed by Patrick Ahearn Architect. Picture: Richard Mandelkorn


concrete stains

paving brick
Previous Carolina Brick Co.
Hand-molded brick pavers

Pine Corridor Brick
Sturdy pavers for walks & drives

David Heide Design Studio,St. Paul, MN

Frank Shirley Architects,Cambridge, MA

Inexperienced II Builders, Altadena, CA
(626) 824-7120

Floor One Panorama Design, Bloomington, MN

Patrick Ahearn Architect, Boston, MA

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