Concrete is a commonly used material for driveways mainly due to its strength, durability, and affordability. Plain concrete, however, is boring and not really attractive. If you plan to put your house out on the market someday, it would be a good decision to invest in improving a dull concrete driveway into a modern concrete driveway. This will not only increase your home’s resale value but it will also get buyers willing to pay more.
With today’s technology, modern concrete driveways can have unique decorative designs and vivid colors that will surely boost your home’s curb appeal. Read on to get some ideas on decorative surfaces that will suit the modern concrete driveway of your home.
Stamped or Stenciled Concrete
Stamped or stenciled concrete can easily give your driveway an upscale look, especially if you choose colors that match, complement, or enhance your home’s exterior facade. These types of decorative surfaces provide texture that resembles expensive and luxurious cobblestone or brick driveways.
The difference between concrete stamping and stenciling is that stamping is done on newly poured concrete that is yet to harden, while stenciling is done on hardened concrete.
Stamping is a more difficult process and is best left to the experts. First, before fresh concrete sets, dye is added to the concrete to mimic the aesthetic of an individually paved stone, brick, slate, tile, wood, flagstone, or any driveway pattern of your preference. Next, color hardeners and release agents are added before stamping begins. Concrete is then quickly stamped using large polyurethane forms, and then detailed work is done, residua release agents are removed, a curing compound is added, joints are installed, and then finally, concrete is sealed.
On the other hand, stenciling can be done by DIYers as stencils are made from paper which creates the mortar joints in concrete. The great thing about stenciling is that it can be completed faster as you can cover large areas at one time and you can print any pattern or design you prefer – may it be pavers, tiles, bricks, or practically any pattern you can stencil.
Stamped or stenciled concrete driveways look great on split-level homes, classic ranch homes, and coastal homes. Stamping a concrete driveway with a circular pattern can offset a boxy home shape, such as colonial homes.
Your concrete driveway can also be decorated with an aggregate concrete surface, which is a combination of cement and small stones or pebbles, stone dust, or crushed shells. This requires a high-pressure blast process to achieve an exquisite and elegant finish. Aggregate concrete is known for its durability and natural look. With the right combination of color and pebbles or material, it can easily complement any modern home’s sleek, simple, plain lines and texture.
Concrete Pavers or Slabs
The overall aesthetic of concrete pavers or slabs is identical to stamped concrete. Essentially they are made from smaller pieces of pre-poured concrete, depending on the style and design that suits your home. In places with shifting climate, concrete pavers or slabs are ideal as it allows water to penetrate the soil below them. Consequently, less repair is required and cracks are rarely seen. The only disadvantage of pavers or slabs is that they can become a tripping hazard when they become loose over time, and the edges tend to get in the way when shoveling snow from the driveway.
The right decorative surface for your modern concrete driveway can be achieved as long as you consider both the aesthetic and function that goes with your house. Playing around with textures, colors, shapes, and patterns will make your driveway stand out and increase your home’s value. With diligent maintenance and good planning, you do not need to worry about selling your house with a good resale value.