Atlanta Driveway and Walkway Ideas
When you arrive home every day, what do you see first?
Are you happy with your home’s first impression, or could it use some improvement? If your answer is the latter, it’s time to take a hard look at your curb appeal, and your driveway and front walkways are a great place to start. After all, it’s not only important to “wow” your neighbors and guests, but you should be able to “wow” yourself too!
The experts agree: permeable-paver driveways are the best option for homeowners concerned with environmental friendliness. “When installed in a best-practices method (with an underlayment of aggregates without fine particles), the permeable paver system absorbs rain and directs it into the ground below,” explains Walt Steele with Pine Hall Brick Company. “This helps the environment, as a conventional hard surface like concrete enables rainwater to carry pollutants to the nearest stream, while a permeable surface directs in into the ground, where it is naturally filtered.” Another benefit of the permeable-paver system is its durability and ease of repair. “If a concrete or asphalt driveway or walkway cracks, not even a patch will hide the unsightly blemish left behind,” says David Rice with Oldcastle, Belgard’s parent company. “Belgard permeable pavers are constructed in a way that reduces the chance of cracking and damage; and because these pavers are placed individually, even if a single paver cracks, it can be replaced without issue and at a low cost.”
Of course, permeable paver systems can be composed of a variety of paver materials, which can also have eco-friendly attributes. A great classic option, the all-clay paver, is engineered to last for decades and is made out of two simple materials: clay and water, both abundant natural resources. Then, there’s the new composite paver, like those made by AZEK Pavers ($8 to $9 per square foot), which take eco-consciousness one step further. Made of 95 percent post-consumer recycled materials, including scrap tires and plastics, AZEK Pavers contribute more toward LEED certification than many other pavers in the market, and have the physical strength, durability and appearance to rival concrete pavers.
Bringing interior design to outdoor living areas has become a popular trend, and now you can do the same for your driveway and walkways with Belgard Porcelain Pavers. “The newest line of porcelain pavers is imported exclusively from Italy by Mirage,” Rice says. “With an endless array of color schemes, shapes and sizes, these pavers can have a wood, stone or metal aesthetic appeal. Porcelain pavers are also frost resistant, skid resistant, durable and easy to clean, and they can be laid onto grass, gravel, dirt and sand with ease. They are perfect for a home’s high-traffic areas like walkways and driveways.”
Are you looking to enhance your current driveway and walkways rather than replace them altogether? Joe Wilson of CTI of Georgia notes that there are several great options for doing just that. First, you can have aprons installed on the end of the driveway, giving a brick-looking accent to add interest. Second, you can treat your concrete driveway and walkways with an acid stain. “Concrete accepts the stain in different degrees of color intensity, creating a multi-hued variation,” Wilson explains. And third, you can have an acrylic overlay installed on your concrete, changing the flat, plain slab to one with patterns similar to brick and stone.
Complement your home
When choosing a driveway material, it’s crucial to add a foreground that accompanies the architectural design of your house. “The hottest home style today is a cottage or craftsman that uses a mixture of different materials, creating a warm feel and rich texture,” Steele notes. In line with this architectural style, he says, “We’ve seen a big increase in the demand for rumbled pavers ($2.50 to $3.25), which are tumbled after firing to achieve a 100-year-old appearance with a new product.”
For a traditional style home with sharper lines and angles, he recommends a beveled-edge paver. “The main point is to consider your driveway as an extension of your home versus a utilitarian surface to drive a car on,” Steele says. He adds that clay pavers are often the choice of designers looking to add a classic appeal. “Whether it’s a historic district in a downtown area, a college campus or a stately home, the aesthetic of clay pavers is as much at home in Boston in the 1700s as it is in Atlanta today.”
• Brick color pavers add warmth to wood or stone houses
• Gray tone pavers with brick houses eliminate the urge to match everything
• Pavers a few shades lighter than a house will work in harmony with a home environment
—David Rice, Oldcastle, Belgard’s parent company
Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot
With the string of bitter cold, snowy winters Atlanta has been having, homeowners are turning to heating systems to melt snow and hazardous ice from their driveways, eliminating the need for a shovel. Made by EasyHeat, a Sno*Melter Cable Kit comes pre-sized for easy installation underneath concrete or pavers. Romy Sheynis with EasyHeat says, “There is no need to shovel, snow-blow or spread chemicals ever again.”
AZEK | Azek.com
CTI of Georgia | CTIga.com
Easy Heat | EzFloorHeat.com
Oldcastle/Belgard | Belgard.com
Pine Hall Brick Company | PineHallBrick.com