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Hardscaping 101: Driveways

Driveways often get taken for granted. They deserve better. When it comes to creating curb appeal, the entry road that links a house to the public thoroughfare is often a home’s most prominent hardscape feature.

“An attractive driveway will increase resale value if a homeowner ever wishes to sell—and in the meantime will welcome you home every day,” writes our contributor Kier Holmes.

Are you designing a new driveway? Step one: Style and function should marry. To lay out a driveway, start by studying the shape and contour of the land. How big is your property? Are there dips and slopes to navigate between the public road and the house? Take into consideration the number of parked vehicles you will want a driveway to accommodate and whether you will need to allocate square footage for a garage.

Your driveway’s style will depend on its size, shape, and the material you use to pave it. If you live on a busy street, consider a horseshoe driveway to make it easier to pull out into traffic. If your house is set back from the road, consider a curving driveway to create a country-lane effect. On a smaller lot, a simple, straight driveway sited on the edge of the property may be the best choice.

The material you select to surface a driveway should complement the architectural style of the house. Pavers, gravel, grass block pavers, asphalt, and poured-in-place concrete are all common choices. Which is the best choice for your climate and terrain? Read on:

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